Monday, December 2, 2013

The Engineer’s Wrenches

From my paternal grandfather I inherited a large adjustable wrench.  He said it was a railroading tool called an engineer’s wrench.  Dad’s father was a boiler maker, a brakeman and finally a conductor.  Dad’s Uncle Bill was an engineer.  I never doubted their authority when it came to anything about railroading.  I still call the tool the engineer’s wrench.

Sometime later I learned other people call the same thing a monkey wrench.  When I looked up Monkey Wrench in Wikipedia I found the history fascinating.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monkey_wrench

In my shop I hang all the ones I have on the stump supporting the large forge room vise.  Mostly, they have been used for twisting. Sometimes they have been used for measuring.  Twisting leverage is improved by welding another handle on the fixed jaw so it resembles a thread die holder with the working area neared the center of the tool.  They can be adjusted and locked in a vise to serve as a fixed bending fork.

All of my old adjustable wrenches have been modified in one way or another for some past project.  I have a couple of tools which I have heard called the blacksmith’s adjustable wrench which I’ve never actually used.

I posted my Engineers wrench drawing on the 3D Warehouse yesterday morning.


I still can’t find a link to the Carl Davidson article which I apparently once found so I decided to make a drawing which shows the general idea of using his adjustable wrench jig and post it tomorrow.

My two engineer's wrenches.

Two modified monkey wrenches.

The Stillson wrench.

Blacksmiths's adjustable wrench.

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I don't often check for blog comments, so the best way to contact me is directly: at ottercreeksmith@gmail.com or djedwards@cableone.net