[How do I?] Attaching a permanent handle to a socket head

dbb-the-bruce

Dave
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Finally bought a couple of cheap socket heads so I can stop using crescent wrenches on my tool post and drawbar.

Most obvious way to attach a handle (at least to me) would be drill crosswise and put a bar in the hole. However the sockets are chromed and presumably hardened to some degree. How practical approach is this and are there any tricks to drilling a socket head?

I don't have access to a welder, so that option would require asking someone to do it for me, I'm sure I could find someone but would prefer to just get it done.

I could also take some hardware store bar stock, square off an end and bend it to 90 deg (al-la allen wrench). I've got a cheap MAP torch that might have enough left in the can, but don't really have the setup grab something like that and bend it. All I've got is a pattern makers vise and a small anvil. So I'd probably end up just beating on it on the anvil. The vise does have metal style vice jaws on the bottom but I'm not sure it's up to it.

Final option that I can think of is to mill a piece of softer stuff to fit the 1/2" drive hole and put a bar through that.

What do you think?
-Dave
 

RJSakowski

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You mean like this? Custom Wrench .JPG
This is a custom 9/16" 12pt socket wrench which was made to fit a very tight space. The total socket height is .83" and the diameter is .77". I cross drilled and tapped the hole for the handle but that wasn't rigid enough so it is welded from the top side as well.

Years ago, I bought cheap socket sets for emergency use in boats, vehicles, etc.. Over the years, I have adapted many of the pieces for custom tools. They are generally soft enough to machine easily but I have yet to have one fail. One of the cheap ratchets was cut off and drilled for the stub on this wrench. The low end sockets at DIY's and HF are good candidates for these projects.
 

RJSakowski

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As far as a wrench for drawbars and tool posts, I would just use a combination wrench. The cheap varieties work well and if you want, you can cut off the open end. It makes it more convenient to use and there is less likelihood of the wrench walking off.

Here is another example. It is a custom wrench made to fit the motor mounting nuts on my G0602 lathe. It is a 14mm socket with a diameter of ,785" and a length of .985". The handle is stainless steel set into the socket with a heavy press fit.
Custom Wrench 2 .JPGCustom Wrench 3 .JPG
 

dbb-the-bruce

Dave
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The tool post nut is metric and the HW store didn't have single metric wrenches and the sets didn't go that large. Some other place like Harbor Freight and that would probably be an option. Now that I've got the socket for it, I'll just make ones like you did.

Regarding the Drawbar - it's more of a draw-bolt. It's for my dividing head and the head of the draw-bolt is quite thin, thin enough to not interfere with dividing head base when it's pointing straight up. It's also set into a recess on the back of the dividing head - using a socket is much easier.

Thanks for the help/ideas. I'm going to try drilling now.

-Dave.
 

benmychree

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Finally bought a couple of cheap socket heads so I can stop using crescent wrenches on my tool post and drawbar.

Most obvious way to attach a handle (at least to me) would be drill crosswise and put a bar in the hole. However the sockets are chromed and presumably hardened to some degree. How practical approach is this and are there any tricks to drilling a socket head?

I don't have access to a welder, so that option would require asking someone to do it for me, I'm sure I could find someone but would prefer to just get it done.

I could also take some hardware store bar stock, square off an end and bend it to 90 deg (al-la allen wrench). I've got a cheap MAP torch that might have enough left in the can, but don't really have the setup grab something like that and bend it. All I've got is a pattern makers vise and a small anvil. So I'd probably end up just beating on it on the anvil. The vise does have metal style vice jaws on the bottom but I'm not sure it's up to it.

Final option that I can think of is to mill a piece of softer stuff to fit the 1/2" drive hole and put a bar through that.

What do you think?
-Dave
As far as using a patternmaker's vise as a press, I just got done repairing one that had the neck broken off the square slide, presumably from someone using it as you might do; it is not worth destroying a valuable vise.
 

dbq49

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You claimed you had MAP gas. Use it and some brazing rod to fasten it together. With all you are doing, you will more Map gas and brazing rod in months and years to come. Do not use the vise.
 

NOBLNG

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Impact sockets are softer and may be easier to drill...they are only six point however so not as good for confined spaces.
 

dbb-the-bruce

Dave
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Here is what I ended up doing:
IMG_3625.JPG

A little overkill, but it was worth it to improve my machining skills. The cone with threads is a center to use with my dividing head - not part of this project at all, just happens to be in the picture.

I ended up turning and milling adaptors for the 1/2" square drive. They are secured with a bolt and lock washer inside the socket. The brass caps were fun to do - tight friction fit.

Regarding the idea to use MAP gas and brazing rod - I only have little cans and no experience with the technique. It would be worth getting comfortable with it - just not this time. I also need to teach myself silver soldering.
 

grotto

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I use a ratchet on my drawbar. If I ever forget to take it off before switching the mill on (has happened once when I got distracted when changing end mill) it avoids doing any damage.
 

dbb-the-bruce

Dave
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I use a ratchet on my drawbar. If I ever forget to take it off before switching the mill on (has happened once when I got distracted when changing end mill) it avoids doing any damage.
Good Idea! These aren't for a drawbar, one is for my QCTP and the other for collet bolt on my dividing head (Ok, I guess that's kind of a drawbar). No fear of the dividing head spinning fast enough to be scary o_O
 

Tozguy

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Just a comment for posterity, my version for a qctp was using a 6 point socket and have always found a position where it was not in the way. Also I found that a 25 mm socket fit better on the 1'' nut.
 
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Superburban

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I just use a stubby combination wrench. It stays nicely on the tool post, and is shorter then the handle for changing the holders. I like everything that I can to have a handle, or dedicated wrench handy.
 
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