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Homemade Cone Wrench Design
#1
In the same spirit that jr14 recently posted (thanks jr14) homemade tools, I thought I would add this one while it is still fresh in people's mind. I decided that I might try this and save $40 or so by making my own cone wrenches.

DISCLAIMER: The attachment shows only my design ideas and have not tried this yet. I'm still waiting for temperatures to rise above 60 degrees around here before I begin this project. So feel free to let me know I am wasting my time, but please let me know why.

TOOLS NEEDED:
4.5" angle grinder with metal cutting wheel
vice (to safely clamp your work down)
bench grinder (the angle grinder will also work in pinch)
drill (if you plan to add mounting holes in handles)
scribe (for accurate outline cuts for wrench openings)

METAL STOCK: (for 10 wrenches shown in attachment)
30"-length, 1.5"-width, 1/8"-thick, cold rolled steel
60"-length, 2"-width, 1/8"-thick, cold rolled steel
16"-length, 2.5"-width, 3/16"-thick, cold rolled steel

The metal cost me about $19 from a local metal supplier. Stay away from Home Depot or Lowes because their prices are about twice as much. A spray can of flat black paint, to stop rusting, might cost around $5.

I chose to use "cold rolled" steel as opposed to "hot rolled" steel because the cold rolled is much tougher than hot rolled. Believe me, it is VERY difficult to bend. The best other alternative would probably be high-carbon steel or sometimes called "tool steel" but that would involve tempering the steel with a forge. But for bicycle repair use I think the "cold rolled" steel will work just fine.

Making about 10 wrenches for half the price of a factory-made set of 5 wrenches might be worth the trouble. Be careful with the grinders and always wear eye protection. Smile

Steve
Junkyard Tools rescued from the junkyard!
  Reply
#2
I like your idea, except that after measuring my cone wrenches (el cheapos by the way), they came out to JUST over a 1/16th of an inch. The reason they're so thin is so they can fit in thin spaces, like on a hub, for instance.

1/8" and 3/16" are just far too wide to be practical.

I REALLY dig the design. Simple. Industrial. I would round of the outside corners to protect the frame from scratches when the wrench slips. And we all know it WILL slip.Smile

I'm really digging the idea.

Just wrap some electrician's tape around the handle, (That's what I do) and they'll be REALLY cool.Big Grin
Dedicated scholar of bicycles
  Reply
#3
(01-24-2010, 04:04 PM)jr14 Wrote:  I like your idea, except that after measuring my cone wrenches (el cheapos by the way), they came out to JUST over a 1/16th of an inch. The reason they're so thin is so they can fit in thin spaces, like on a hub, for instance.

1/8" and 3/16" are just far too wide to be practical.

I REALLY dig the design. Simple. Industrial. I would round of the outside corners to protect the frame from scratches when the wrench slips. And we all know it WILL slip.Smile

I'm really digging the idea.

Just wrap some electrician's tape around the handle, (That's what I do) and they'll be REALLY cool.Big Grin

Thanks much Jr!

I wish I had posted this BEFORE I bought the metal. But I am a tool freak so I guess I'll have another set of 1/16" cone wrenches if I can find it that thin. On the 3/16", 30mm wrench that was actually measured from my 1985 Schwinn World headset so in that particular case I'll be okay there.

Thanks again, Smile
Steve
Junkyard Tools rescued from the junkyard!
  Reply
#4
Yup. The headset wrench will be fine. Try here: http://www.aircraftspruce.com/catalog/mepages/4130strips.php

You can order in .071" thick. Just make them all 2" wide. You can order 1.5 for a quantity, and in the special instructions, just tell them to ship 3 36" pieces. That will cover all your lengths if you get creative with the lengths you cut out of each piece.

Since you're a welder, after the wrenches are cut, you can use your torch to heat the wrenches to orange hot, and dip them in water to harden them, then temper them in your oven at 500 degrees for a couple hours.

The steel will cost you about $16.00 + shipping.

This is going to be awesome.Smile

*edit* I want pics. Lots of pics.Big Grin
Dedicated scholar of bicycles
  Reply
#5
(01-24-2010, 04:38 PM)jr14 Wrote:  *edit* I want pics. Lots of pics.Big Grin

You got it Jr. Thanks again!

Steve
Junkyard Tools rescued from the junkyard!
  Reply
#6
i use a old innertube for wrapping my handles
(01-24-2010, 03:24 PM)KC-Steve Wrote:  In the same spirit that jr14 recently posted (thanks jr14) homemade tools, I thought I would add this one while it is still fresh in people's mind. I decided that I might try this and save $40 or so by making my own cone wrenches.

DISCLAIMER: The attachment shows only my design ideas and have not tried this yet. I'm still waiting for temperatures to rise above 60 degrees around here before I begin this project. So feel free to let me know I am wasting my time, but please let me know why.

TOOLS NEEDED:
4.5" angle grinder with metal cutting wheel
vice (to safely clamp your work down)
bench grinder (the angle grinder will also work in pinch)
drill (if you plan to add mounting holes in handles)
scribe (for accurate outline cuts for wrench openings)

METAL STOCK: (for 10 wrenches shown in attachment)
30"-length, 1.5"-width, 1/8"-thick, cold rolled steel
60"-length, 2"-width, 1/8"-thick, cold rolled steel
16"-length, 2.5"-width, 3/16"-thick, cold rolled steel

The metal cost me about $19 from a local metal supplier. Stay away from Home Depot or Lowes because their prices are about twice as much. A spray can of flat black paint, to stop rusting, might cost around $5.

I chose to use "cold rolled" steel as opposed to "hot rolled" steel because the cold rolled is much tougher than hot rolled. Believe me, it is VERY difficult to bend. The best other alternative would probably be high-carbon steel or sometimes called "tool steel" but that would involve tempering the steel with a forge. But for bicycle repair use I think the "cold rolled" steel will work just fine.

Making about 10 wrenches for half the price of a factory-made set of 5 wrenches might be worth the trouble. Be careful with the grinders and always wear eye protection. Smile

Steve
  Reply
#7
One little thing about your design, the sharp corners inside the "jaws" of the wrenches will be stress risers, so tears/cracks will propogate from them, that's why wrences normally have a rounded end to the jaw, or radiused corners at least.

Also, cone wrenches have to be thin, so to make them stronger, make them bigger, width ways, if you see what I mean, so that there's more support for the jaws. Cone wrenches don't have to fit in tight spaces, so the extra size won't make them less useable.

In many respects, I think you would be better pretty much copying the style/design of ready made wrenches:

[Image: shimano_pro_bicycle_hub_cone_wrench_set_1.jpg]
  Reply


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