Welcome! Here are the website rules, as well as some tips for using this forum.
Need to contact us? Visit https://heatinghelp.com/contact-us/.
Click here to Find a Contractor in your area.

My bestest wrenches

Options
2»

Comments

  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,757
    Options
    Are those painted in "I dare you to steal this" purple?
    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el
    Solid_Fuel_Man
  • B_Sloane
    B_Sloane Member Posts: 56
    Options
    Flame Safeguard color :)
    ethicalpaul
  • BradHotNCold
    BradHotNCold Member Posts: 70
    Options
    Gordo said:

    I am partial to the S-2 Ridgid compound wrench.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=odLe_3fVpq0&t=

    Gordo said:

    I am partial to the S-2 Ridgid compound wrench.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=odLe_3fVpq0&t=

    Gordo said:

    I am partial to the S-2 Ridgid compound wrench.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=odLe_3fVpq0&t=

  • BradHotNCold
    BradHotNCold Member Posts: 70
    Options
    As Gordo’s video shows, the best one is the lever...
    “ Archimedes — 'Give me a lever long enough and a fulcrum on which to place it, and I shall move the world.”
    Gordo
  • BobC
    BobC Member Posts: 5,479
    Options
    I bet that purple paint discourages those wrenches from walking off.

    I have a 50ft bright pink 14-3 extension cord that I still have for the same reason.

    Bob
    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge
    B_Sloane
  • rick in Alaska
    rick in Alaska Member Posts: 1,458
    Options
    When I bought my first 24" aluminum pipe wrench, the first thing my boss told me to do was paint it ridgid red so it looks like a steel wrench. Otherwise it will be gone in a heartbeat.
    Also, my wife painted all of her hand tools pink so I wouldn't take them. Didn't work. When you need a tool, it doesn't matter what color it is.
    Rick


    icy78SeanBeans
  • Alan (California Radiant) Forbes
    Options
    @B_Sloane Nice Mulberry tree in the background!
    8.33 lbs./gal. x 60 min./hr. x 20°ΔT = 10,000 BTU's/hour

    Two btu per sq ft for degree difference for a slab
    B_Sloane
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,840
    Options
    I've seen the wrench with the drift on the end called an erection wrench because it is designed for erecting steel, the drift is for pulling the steel together while you get the other bolts in.
    Ceacel
  • B_Sloane
    B_Sloane Member Posts: 56
    Options
    BobC said:

    I bet that purple paint discourages those wrenches from walking off.

    Bob

    Pawn Shops around here will not take painted Tools :)
    Intplm.ethicalpaul
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,353
    Options
    mattmia2 said:

    I've seen the wrench with the drift on the end called an erection wrench because it is designed for erecting steel, the drift is for pulling the steel together while you get the other bolts in.

    Erectors spud wrench is another common name.



    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,840
    Options
    The origin of that second line about spuds seems dubious. A million commercial and industrial things still have spuds...
  • Hap_Hazzard
    Hap_Hazzard Member Posts: 2,846
    Options
    If you don't know what to call something, call it a spud. :D
    Just another DIYer | King of Prussia, PA
    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S | 3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24
    Intplm.
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 11,089
    Options
    I did see on the "Steve Lav" Utube a pretty good idea.
    He has a small, maybe 10" pipe wrench that has thin jaws.
    The handle is cut off, so if you needed a pipe wrench to work on an expansion tank, you fit the cut off wrench onto the flats of the tank nipple. Then take a 14-18" and open the jaws large enough to fit over the mini-wrench. I have watched him do this several times and works out well.
    B_Sloane
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,757
    Options
    Hey wrench fans, here's a new TOH video about Stillson's invention: https://youtu.be/3RaUSUOvSlI
    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el
    Hap_HazzardCorktown
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,543
    Options
    The one I can find when I'm looking for a wrench...
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • PMJ
    PMJ Member Posts: 1,265
    Options
    Anymore it seems to take two men and a boy just to look at my Ridge Tool 60 inch.


    1926 1000EDR Mouat 2 pipe vapor system,1957 Bryant Boiler 463,000 BTU input, Natural vacuum operation with single solenoid vent, Custom PLC control
  • retiredguy
    retiredguy Member Posts: 919
    edited October 2020
    Options
    I was in a supply store about 30 years ago and they had a 96" Ridgid pipe wrench. I thought it was a plastic display model until I tried to pick it up. So I had to ask the supply house "who was the customer" for such a huge wrench. I was told that it was going to a railroad yard to tighten nuts on parts of the old steam engines and drive train. I should have known it was for a steam customer.

    I had the pleasure of using a 72" wrench to tighten a steam flange. I was much younger then.

    I had a wrench with a drift on the end for aligning the bolts for flanges.
    CLamb
  • Intplm.
    Intplm. Member Posts: 2,037
    Options
    I frequently ask that I be talked out of using a pipe wrench that is bigger than three feet. Im beginning to listen👀👂
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,746
    Options
    @rick in Alaska

    very true. aluminum wrenches disappear. steel ones don't.

    Same thing with box and open end wrenches. Chrome wrenches walk. Black steel wrenches stay
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,840
    Options
    i have some harbor freight aluminum pipe wrenches and i notice that they veer to the side a bit when i use then up close to something. Is this just crappy machining somewhere? I just don't use pipe wrenches enough to have aluminum rigid wrenches.
  • BobC
    BobC Member Posts: 5,479
    Options
    Years ago I happened upon a collection of 6 pipe wrenches for $25 on ebay - shipping included. I bought them and a week later I heard a loud thump on my front porch.

    The package had 8" to18" wrenches, all American made and all in good shape. The one i was looking for was a Ridgid offset wrench that didn't show much use at all. I gave three of them away and added the rest to my collection.

    Some guy was spinning in his grave over this one. Years before this find a buddies wife sold her fathers toolbox at a yardsale for $10, her dad was a diesel mechanic and that box was full of tools. That thing weighed a ton but I'm sure the buyer ran out of there like it weighed 2 pounds.
    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge
  • rick in Alaska
    rick in Alaska Member Posts: 1,458
    Options
    JUGHNE said:

    I did see on the "Steve Lav" Utube a pretty good idea.
    He has a small, maybe 10" pipe wrench that has thin jaws.
    The handle is cut off, so if you needed a pipe wrench to work on an expansion tank, you fit the cut off wrench onto the flats of the tank nipple. Then take a 14-18" and open the jaws large enough to fit over the mini-wrench. I have watched him do this several times and works out well.

    When I was doing fire sprinkler work, we would take an 18" wrench and slide about a one foot piece of copper pipe over the handle and hammer it on to fit tight. That way, we had effectively an 18" wrench, but with a lighter wrench, and jaws that would fit in to tight areas. I still use that wrench almost daily, but the copper finally broke off and I haven't replaced it yet. 34 years of use will do that.
    "Same thing with box and open end wrenches. Chrome wrenches walk. Black steel wrenches stay ."
    Personally I don't like chrome wrenches as well as black ones. If you are a mechanic and are doing anything with oil, then it is very hard to hang on to the wrench.
    Rick
    hot_rod
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,840
    Options
    Or get the socket off the extension or adapter.
    CLamb
  • Hap_Hazzard
    Hap_Hazzard Member Posts: 2,846
    Options
    Added a 15" Ford wrench to my collection. Jaw capacity is 3¾".


    Just another DIYer | King of Prussia, PA
    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S | 3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24
  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 7,196
    Options
    Always read and was told about the Famous Parmalee Wrench, the best wrench for working on Chrome plated Brass. It grips like the human hand and leaves no
    Marks on the Chrome plating. Priced one out about 10 yrs ago.   Almost 1000 bucks for 1/2" pipe size.  I had to fit out a very large commercial kitchen with 14 appliances all CP heavy brass. Stick w my old school tricks.  Rainbow rubber, sheet lead and rosin...Mad Dog
     
    Corktown
  • WMno57
    WMno57 Member Posts: 1,386
    Options
    I have several Parmalee wrenches that I have picked up at estate sales. Very few know what they are. They are also used to grip rollers in textile and paper mills.
    https://parmeleewrench.com/
    I DIY.
    guzzinerd
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,840
    Options
    Seems like one little piece of debris and it's all scratched. Could do something with multi strand chain and a piece of rubber that works on more than one pipe size.
  • Hap_Hazzard
    Hap_Hazzard Member Posts: 2,846
    Options
    You can't exert quite as much torque with rubber strap wrenches, but it's enough to assemble steam piping with PTFE compound or tape. (Disassembly is another story, but you don't always need to save what you're taking apart.) There are good ones and bad ones, like anything else, but the ones pictured below, with the metal levers and the reinforced straps work very well as long as there's no grease on the strap or the work, and I have a pair I've been using for about 15 years now.
    strap wrenches
    Chain wrenches usually have a serrated jaw that leaves bite marks, and padding it with rubber or leather reduces the torque you can apply to about what you get with the above strap wrenches.
    Just another DIYer | King of Prussia, PA
    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S | 3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24
    Alan (California Radiant) ForbesCorktown
  • guzzinerd
    guzzinerd Member Posts: 243
    Options
    Mad Dog_2 said:
    Always read and was told about the Famous Parmalee Wrench, the best wrench for working on Chrome plated Brass. It grips like the human hand and leaves no
    Marks on the Chrome plating. Priced one out about 10 yrs ago.   Almost 1000 bucks for 1/2" pipe size.  I had to fit out a very large commercial kitchen with 14 appliances all CP heavy brass. Stick w my old school tricks.  Rainbow rubber, sheet lead and rosin...Mad Dog
     
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/275688792613?mkcid=16&mkevt=1&mkrid=711-127632-2357-0&ssspo=J195ldk9SyW&sssrc=2349624&ssuid=FWKVlNuoS2u&var=&widget_ver=artemis&media=COPY

    $100 with shipping gets you the 1/2" plus 3/8" and 3/4"
    Bryant 245-8 2-pipe steam in a 1930s 6-unit 1-story apt building in the NM mountains.  26 radiators heating up 3800sqf.
  • Larry Weingarten
    Larry Weingarten Member Posts: 3,356
    Options
    Hi, One good thing the Parmlee wrench does is to not make pipe go out of round when you need to use force, so it's good for any stubborn threaded pipe.

    Yours, Larry
    WMno57
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 11,089
    Options
    Ed, my Greenlee 1/2" CI head is 54 years.....so there!

    Wife probably won't allow it in the box though.
    ratio
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,746
    Options
    @JUGHNE

    My Benfield was at the oil co I started working for in 73' and I ended up with it. It looked 50 years old then so I don't know how old it really is. I have had several 3/4 benders over the years that got misplaced or stolen or someone borrowed it and I never got got them back.

    But the old 1/2" I always managed to hang on to. I also have a 1" T & B (Thomas & Betts) and an 1 1/4" which I think is a Greenlee....that one has an aluminum head which are just as old. Used the 1 1/4" a few times but not often. Takes a lot to crank that one lol