I was doing a wheelie down the center lane of the Golden Gate Bridge the other day. Why, you ask? Well, I had a flat front tire and no wrench with which to remove the wheel. (I always ride in the middle lane, not gonna let a silly flat change who I am.)
I looked around for a cool, lightweight 15mm wrench and didn’t really like anything. So, I time travelled to the year 3467, but still nothing. So, I made my own.
All the wrenching details
I started by band sawing some 3/8″ Birch plywood into the basic shape that I liked. You can see the errant cuts from where I was texting, LOL.
I had some extra sockets, so I decided to use one. Wooden sockets don’t work so well, what with the eternal wood vs. metal battle.
I decided my 3/8″ handle looked too wimpy, so I glued it onto another piece of ply. After several days like this, I figured out that the glue works best between the wood, and not soaking down through it. My neighbor has the worst advice.
Clamps remind me of being a kid. Those were the days, clamped down to the dining table until I finished all my veggies.
Back to the bandsaw to remove the excess flange.
I used a following bit to trim the second layer perfectly the same as layer 1.
It works like a charm!
A bit of spindle sanding got things smooth. I also started to bevel the middle of the handle to make it more comfy.
I used a file to contour the bevels into a more round shape.
I did most of the final shaping on the belt sander.
Instead of trying to grip the round socket, I decided to us a nail to lock it in place. I drilled two holes through the top of the socket.
After driving the nail through the wood, I used a bench grinder to round off the nail head. I also round of the nail head on my thumbs this way. I just can’t recommend bench grinders enough.
I thought about leaving it raw wood, so it would get a disgusting patina from my dirty biking hands and dusty tool bag.
Hmm, to patina or not?
I was fresh out of old coffee grounds to rub into the wood, so I went ahead and varnished it. Three layers later, and this beautiful butterfly emerged from a chrysalis of patina nightmares.
It looks super wrenchy. I think the next one will be a bit more abstract.
Best feature – quick replacement thumb if one falls off.
What do you think, should we produce a small batch of these for the Tinkering Monkey store? Let us know in the comments below.