Spanner 1
Spanner 2

Spanner 3

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4th February 2009

I haven’t got a thing about spanners - honest!

Ralph's spanners
My set of extended and modified spanners

Placing and tightening nuts has long been a problem I have tried to solve. I looked wishfully at the pictures of the Super Tool Kit as a youngster only to be thoroughly disappointed with its performance when I eventually managed to afford one as an adult.

The only useful piece in the set, as far as I can see, is the screwdriver. The nut-slider thing looks promising but in the event is not anywhere as useful as it looks. As for the flexible nut placer thingy, it’s useless.

Having collected several spanners over the years, and especially lately on our ‘bender’ for buying new parts (post 1988) to fill in the gap in our stock, I thought it was time to get some use out of them. So, tonight sitting here trying to get to places that my finger just could not reach I decided to attach a spanner to a 5½ inch perforated strip. I know this must have been done many times before but I had not tried it until tonight. So I thought I would show you what I did.


That was it I was off… what if I bent the end up a little? That made a difference I could now get to places I could not reach before.  After a bit of messing about I ended up with five useful tools.

Spanner 1 is a standard spanner bolted onto a strip. Even this simple tool is useful. The next one, Spanner 2, is a standard spanner but with the cranked end bent up slightly. This has proved to be very useful when assembling our Ferris wheel cars. I then found that the spanner would not get into tight corners so I made another one, Spanner 3, and this time I filed the sides of the jaws down in order to make a slim-line version of the previous tool. Spanner 4 was made by bending the cranked end so that it was now at 90º to the strip. This one seems to work well and if it is used to hold the nut while the bolt is being tightened it does not need the leverage lost by the configuration. Finally I flattened a spanner out and bolted it to the strip so that the angled end is now ready to use, Spanner 5.

Sue's spanners
Sue's set of green spanners!

This set were all fixed to silver strips. I decided to make a second set for Sue on green strips so that I could not be accused of pinching her spanners!


The other thing I discovered tonight was that the long threaded rod is ideal for placing nuts. A spot of Blu-tack moulded around the end can be used to attach a nut to. The rod is used to position the nut and the bolt is rotated untilNuts 1 it has engaged the nut. The rod is then withdrawn complete with Blu-Tack, as the thread prevents it from being pulled off and staying adhered to the nut.

A piece of sticky tape stuck over an open spanner will hold a nut in its jaws so that it can be placed. The spanner with the end bent at 90º looks like it could be a winner as it can be used to place and tighten nuts in one go.


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Spanner 4
Spanner 5


Nuts 2