The BSA A7-A10 Forum

Technical => A7 & A10 Engine => Topic started by: Frenchy on 04.08. 2010 15:56

Title: British tools
Post by: Frenchy on 04.08. 2010 15:56
Just because I'm curious...

Those of you that live in the UK, can you find British wrenches and the like very easily?  Can you walk in to the corner hardware store and buy Whitworth nuts and bolts?  Whitworth tools are more rare than a unicorn over here. 
Title: Re: British tools
Post by: iansoady on 04.08. 2010 16:27
Imperial tools are available but generally from specialist shops. I've found these people http://www.baconsdozen.co.uk (http://www.baconsdozen.co.uk) very useful.

As for fasteners, again readily available from specialists such as C&D or Namrick.

What saddens me a little is when people use metric nuts & bolts when the proper ones are easily available.
Title: Re: British tools
Post by: bsa-bill on 04.08. 2010 19:34
not too difficult to get Whitworth stuff at all, most of the bigger vintage rallies will have a tent or two selling tools and Whitworth sets.
Best buy I had was at Newark many years ago, A friend had just bought a Flash and wanted some spanners, there was a stall there selling Whitworth sets of open enders for a fiver
Title: Re: British tools
Post by: cotterpinkid on 04.08. 2010 20:08
It always amazes me to see companies advertising metric spanners (wrenches) in magazines aimed at the classic British market. There was an add recently doing the same with a Velocette in the background, some marketing people need to do more homework! The set of imperial spanners and sockets I own I gained as an apprentice some 30+ years ago - buy quality and they'll last. Spanner sets are often available at autojumbles, picked up a decent full set of ring spanners recently.
Title: Re: British tools
Post by: bonny on 04.08. 2010 20:16
It always amazes me to see companies advertising metric spanners (wrenches) in magazines aimed at the classic British market. There was an add recently doing the same with a Velocette in the background, some marketing people need to do more homework! The set of imperial spanners and sockets I own I gained as an apprentice some 30+ years ago - buy quality and they'll last. Spanner sets are often available at autojumbles, picked up a decent full set of ring spanners recently.

but you have to remember that the people who place those ads are the sort of people who ring the aa/rac if they get a puncture while driving their cars , just like 95% of the population in most western countries.
Title: Re: British tools
Post by: Brian on 05.08. 2010 03:40
On the subject of tools, I bought a set of these about three years ago and have to say I am very happy with them. Koken was not a brand I was familiar with.

They are 3/8" drive single hex (6 point) sockets, ideal for working on bikes.

http://cgi.ebay.com.au/Koken-3-8sq-8-Piece-Whitworth-BSF-Sockets-1-8-9-16W-/310126423573?cmd=ViewItem&pt=UK_Hand_Tools_Equipment&hash=item4834f9ae15
Title: Re: British tools
Post by: bonny on 05.08. 2010 13:53
just for people to be aware , i bought a rail of teng tools a/f sockets in a local motor factors , they were reasonably priced and i have a metric teng tools set i bought as an apprentice and found very good, but none of the new sockets would fit the nuts or bolt heads on my (crashed) triumph , the a/f sockets i have from britool and gedore fit fine , so i don't know if the quality control from teng is slipping but there you are.
Title: Re: British tools
Post by: andy2565 on 05.08. 2010 14:32
car boot sales,i got some gedore imperial sockets and ratchet for a fiver last year.but on the spur of the moment, at an auction, i bought
a big box of sockets for £8,and on collection found they were all the same size,and hexagon drive  *eek*
Title: Re: British tools
Post by: RichardL on 05.08. 2010 15:54
If not 15mm, what size for working flexible armoured oil lines?
Title: Re: British tools
Post by: MG on 05.08. 2010 18:10
Speaking of quality:
At last year's Beaulieu Autojumble I searched for Whitworth spanners (try finding some here on the continent).
I finally bought a set from "Silverline", 8pcs for 13 quid, ring and open ended.
Mind you, these were the most expensive ones I could find!!!  *eek*
I asked the guy at a large stand with tools about the quality of the ones he had there (a set for 8 quid and they looked REALLY cheap, and he said: "If you want good ones, I will get a set for you, don't have them here because people only want the cheap ones."
Incredible. People spend thousands on their bikes, cars or whatever and then buy the cheapo-tool stuff.
However, the spanners are better than I thought, actually I'm quite happy with my purchase so far. Should have bought a second set, but I didn't dare then because I thought wasting 13 quid was enough.
Title: Re: British tools
Post by: mikethebrush on 05.08. 2010 19:19
I search boot fairs for mine and only buy the top makes

I was in france recently with the wifes family and her uncle was telling me that the old dear over the road from them in suffolk died earlier this year, her late husband had been an engineer and mechanic

the executors skipped three large metal chests of imperial tools as they said there was no call for them as everyone uses metric  *eek*

by the time her uncle found out the skip had gone, he said to the executors I know soneone who would have taken your hand off for them and given you a fair price for them

I was gutted
Title: Re: British tools
Post by: groily on 05.08. 2010 21:34
I laughed/grimaced too, cotterpinkid, at that ad (Draper?). Pathetic really, but Bonny's probably got it in one. Can't expect the spotty youth that works in marketing to know the difference, any more than we can expect a bank manager to know how to, er, manage a bank.

My best BSF/W spanners and sockets are Gedore and Elora, with some King Dicks and Gordon Tools and 'Superslims' thrown in, and then there are loads of things that are so old the names would mean nothing. UK and US war departments figure large, stamped in many cases '1942', must have been a good year.

Re cheapo options, I'd say that in some cases it doesn't matter much - the bigger the weapon, the less important the quality, provided the sizing is right. Takes a hell of a lot of arm-power to bust a socket which is more than an inch, say, AF. When I bought most of my 3/4 drive kit (ratchet, breaker bar, extensions etc), I really didn't care about getting the best of the best (even if I could have afforded it) as I knew I'd have needed to go on a body-building course to destroy any of it in normal use. (The sockets themselves I paid a bit more for, and got decent brands made in the good ol' US of A where good things are generally more affordable - and do what they say on the tin.)

I was amused to read lately somewhere about someone complaining that they'd bust a 1/4 drive ratchet trying to undo a seized M8 setscrew . . .
Maybe he was trying to get exhaust headers off a a japanese bike, where there's never any room to get proper tools on the job, the bolt heads are often undersize for the shank and the manufacturers haven't heard of brass, that invaluable material for making nuts that might one day want to come undone. I wouldn't say this had I not struggled a few days back to replace the pipes on my only modern machine, and ended up rounding the rusty nuts (no relation) or busting all the studs on inaccessible parts of my b****y Yamaha. All Cubes and Flatulence.
Title: Re: British tools
Post by: bsa-bill on 05.08. 2010 21:54
I think in some ways fit is the where you should look for quality. not many sockets or spanners are that bad that they would round off corners, but the fit will determine where on a nut a socket will put pressure, despite the trend nowadays to design sockets with the corners taken out so they grip in the middle of the flat of the nut I'm not sure this is best. the centre of the middle of a nut is the thinnest part, more likely to stretch and impart pressure on the bolt thereby needing more force to slacken a tight nut.
My theory anyway - other theories are available
Title: Re: British tools
Post by: Stu55Flash on 05.08. 2010 23:03
I got fed up scratching around  amongst my odds and ends of imperial whitworth spanners and sockets and treated myself to a set of scokets and silverline combo spanners from here. I think for the money they are good quality and I am on my third resto with them and they are good as new.

http://www.baconsdozen.co.uk/tools/whitworth.htm

Stu
Title: Re: British tools
Post by: BSA_54A10 on 06.08. 2010 02:07
Go to UK ebay and search spanner .
There are thousands of them.
Buy a couple of complete tool boxes Get then freighted ( not posted ) to you in the US
Keep what you need then list the remainder in the motorcycle section of USA ebay at a grosely inflated price to sucker all the others too lazy to look properly.

A lot of vendors list the same item in several sections.
The same CEI taps & dies are listed in the tool section @ $40 and in the motorcycle section @ $ 100

Title: Re: British tools
Post by: bonny on 06.08. 2010 02:09
i was lucky enough to pick up a few german stahlwille imperial spanners recently , i am impressed with their quality , anyone else use them ?
Title: Re: British tools
Post by: MG on 06.08. 2010 09:49
I've got some really old metric Stahlwille spanners. There's no way you will ever ruin one of these.
Title: Re: British tools
Post by: BSA_54A10 on 08.08. 2010 10:09
Yep I got em too.

You can generally guess the quality of a ring by the thickness of the ring.
Thin rings need to be forged from very high strength steel.
Thick walled ones can be made from recycled fence bolts.

Primarily I use Dufors ( you won't find these outside Australia.
Dully & Hansford made nuts & bolts and originally forged their spanners from the same stock as the high tensile bolts.
So they have round handles and are really really strong.
Siddons industries ( Sidchrome) latter convinced the country that all quality spanners had to be chromed and Dufors to a large extent got out of the market which is a shame because their non plated spanners were a lot better than Sidchromes.