What is this wrench for?

March 31, 2017 at 08:41:51
Specs: several
Another "hardware" question that has nothing to do with computers.

I came across a tiny wrench that has a hole through it obviously so
that it can be put on a keychain and kept in one's pocket, suggesting
that it might be useful in everyday circumstances. But I can't figure
out what it would be used for. It is double-ended. Each end has a
hexagonal socket. They appear to be the same size, about 3/32" or
2.5 mm, but one has a notch at each corner of the hexagon, so that
the shape is more like a star or a gear with six cogs. The nut it is
designed to fit could have an extension at each corner. The whole
wrench is only 3/16" thick at the center and 1.5" long. Really tiny.
It was probably made between 1960 and 1990.

Anyone recognize what it is for?

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

message edited by Jeff Root


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#1
March 31, 2017 at 09:49:04
Can you post a photo?

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#2
March 31, 2017 at 11:50:04
Being that small it sounds a little like an early tamper proof tool. One used to remove nuts (or even bolts) from electronic kit - even a domestic item (possibly a toaster). Equally possibly something for an instrument technician to use to same end; maybe even a clock repairer?

Until fairly recently getting tools to fit and thus remove tamper proof nuts/bolts was not easy. But these days there are kits a plenty that allow almost anyone to remove such tamper proof items.

Previously such tools were only available to techies employed by whichever company to service their particular products...

But a photo would be a real asset here?


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#3
April 2, 2017 at 02:59:03
Hi Jeff, both respondents above have advised a photo would help.

I would be interested in seeing same, preferably a number from all angles.

Remember to include a (metric?) measure in them to give an accurate idea of size.

Good Luck - Keep us posted.


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#4
April 2, 2017 at 13:46:14
You could put a snap on here then let us have the URL they give you:
http://www.fileconvoy.com/index.php

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks


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#5
April 5, 2017 at 02:33:19
Thanks for the link, Derek. I didn't see your reply until just now.
I'll check it out and maybe use it next time. I already managed to
upload photos to my own website: I took them with the camera,
removed the SD card and put it in the new laptop, copied them
to the new laptop's hard drive, edited them to reduce their size,
saved them, copied them to a thumb drive, put the thumb drive in
a desktop computer in the building's library (yes, the building I'm
living in has its own library), found that Windows Explorer refused
to show the thumb drive even though the safe removal thingy in
the system tray showed it as drive E:, got a bright idea to see if it
would show up in the Open dialog in Word, found that starting
Word wanted to install some missing part of Word, found that
allowing the install caused an error message, but cancelling the
install allowed Word to start apparently normally, found to my
astonishment that my E: drive showed up in the Open dialog,
inserted a floppy disk in the floppy drive, sent my three photos
from the thumb drive to floppy drive A: using "send to" on the
right-click menu, removed my thumb drive and floppy disk and
logged off the library computer, put the floppy disk in my ancient
laptop, copied the photos to the hard drive, plugged the modem
into the ancient laptop, plugged the phone line into the modem,
started up the FTP program, and discovered to my considerable
surprise that the dial-up Internet service I last used about a year
ago (maybe more) still works, and uploaded the photos to my
website.

Ignore the dates. I actually took the photos the same day I
started this thread, March 31. The first photo is an overall view,
the second shows the plain hex end, and the third shows the end
with extra room at each corner of the hexagon. I used a dime to
show the scale. I took the photos before you suggested using a
metric scale. If I had mine handy, that's what I would have used,
but it's in storage, kilometres away.

wrench-1.jpg
wrench-2.jpg
wrench-3.jpg

Any idea what the tiny little wrench is for?

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

message edited by Jeff Root


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#6
April 5, 2017 at 03:09:58
Just for curiosity does that hole go right through (for a tommy bar maybe)?

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks


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#7
April 5, 2017 at 03:22:32
**Gad** that took a lot of edits to get the links right!

The hole goes all the way through. One of those keychains
made of little hollow metal balls linked together by straight
metal rods (I hope I don't need to post a photo! :-) neatly goes
through it, and I expect that that's what the hole is for.
Otherwise the wrench would easily be lost.

I presumed you meant the hole through the diameter, and that
a "Tommy bar" is a handle for increased torque. The holes at
each end are 4 mm deep. I finally located a metric scale in a
kitchen drawer.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

message edited by Jeff Root


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#8
April 5, 2017 at 04:27:37
It "may" have been part of a set/a kit and the hole in the barrel intended for a small bar to pass through so as to allow a greater leverage/turning torque?

There have been such kits about for an age; usually they were standard hex nut box spanners (UK term) or wrenches (USA term). I have such a set from the mid 1960's...

In those days there weren't too many such (tamper proof) "nuts" about; and those that were required the appropriate tool supplied to the technicians employed by the manufacturer of whatever item is was that used those nuts... Such kits have appeared over time of course for the general public to acquire...

The star end is now in many of those widely available kits... along with of course the standard hex, torque and many others.


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#9
April 5, 2017 at 10:20:30
The "star" end does look rather like the Torx shape. I don't have
any Torx fasteners to test it on that I know of, but I do have three
Torx screwdrivers, sizes 8, 10, and 15. Torx screwdrivers are
intended to go into the star-shaped holes in the heads of screws,
of course, while the star-shaped hole in the nutdriver (or wrench
or spanner) is obviously intended to surround a star-shaped nut
or bolthead, so the comparison is apples to oranges, but the tiny
star-shaped hole in the little nutdriver slips over the #8 Torx
screwdriver tip without engaging it, while it only goes down
about 1 mm over the #10 Torx screwdriver tip. It *does* engage
that tip, but very poorly. Possibly it would fit a #9.

As I said, the opening is only about 3/32" or 2.5 mm wide, which
implies a very tiny bolt head or surprisingly tiny nut. I can't think
what it could fit that my dad would have had such a driver. And
again, I suspect it dates from before the turn of the millenium.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis


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#10
April 5, 2017 at 12:29:56
My term tommy bar meant what trvlr said in his first para #8.

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#11
April 5, 2017 at 15:17:29
Tommy bar was the name wot I kudn't remember...

No idea why it's called that though...

Possible link somewhere in the dim 'n distant past with British soldiers perhaps?


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#12
April 5, 2017 at 15:36:56
Yeah, it could well be mainly a UK expression:
https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/tomm...

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks


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#13
April 5, 2017 at 16:32:34
Also..., several tymes I have almost misread the tag for this thread as:

"What is this wench for...?


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#14
April 5, 2017 at 16:55:47
Now there's an old fashioned word. I'll stick to "no comment" LOL.

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks


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#15
April 5, 2017 at 19:10:11
Somebody here suggested that eyeglasses of olde used to
be held together with a nut and bolt arrangement rather than
a screw directly into the frame. If so, the wrench might be
for turning such nuts. It would seem to be the right size.
But the star shape ??

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis


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#16
April 6, 2017 at 00:27:15
There were some spectacles which used a similar style nut (the star shape). I think the suggestion that this is a spectacles tool is likely correct. The current style of mini spectacles key ring attachment seems to be a simple, single, mini screwdrive blade only; as there are no nuts on the current frames (although some might suggest there are some nuts wearing them...).

Either that or it's part of a tool kit lost by the "borrowers" during one of their foraging expeditions around the neighbourhood. They conduct such expeditions regularly and are usually very careful to leave no actual trace, evidence of their visits/expeditions, let alone anything that will confirm they exist and are surviving...


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