Shackle pin spinner tool

rick.jones's picture

I've always found screw-pin shackles intensely irritating, the pins are fiddly to turn and awkward to tighten. I don't find a slotted shackle key a lot of help, and usually keep a bull-nose plier in my pocket. Even so it's not ideal.

I was thinking recently that it would be really handy to have a spinner, akin to a nut runner. It would be a similar tool, but with a slot in the end rather than a hex socket. No such thing seems to exist, but then I thought it shouldn't be too hard to make one. So I did - here's how.

I checked the heads of the shackle pins I wanted to use it on, the biggest was nearly 10mm wide, and all were about 2mm thick. So I bought a 10mm nut runner with a deep socket, and some 10mm hex brass bar. I was able to buy a short 5cm piece on eBay for around £2, which was handy.

I put the bar into the nut runner, and cut if off flush. I then took the piece that fitted into the socket and cut a slot into it. I simply used a hacksaw, being brass it's easy to work. I cut the slot corner-to-corner to get maximum width. The thickness I needed was about that of three hacksaw blades, so once I'd started the slot with two parallel cuts, I put three blades into the hacksaw and cut straight down. A depth of 10mm was enough for any of my shackles, which is around half the length of the brass piece.

Having checked that it worked as expected, I simply glued the brass piece into the socket with Sikaflex. I found I had to drill a small hole into the flat end of the bar through to the bottom of the slot, otherwise I couldn't push it fully into the socket with the sealant in place.

Job done, this should be a handy tool come next season! Check out the photos below.

8 Comments

Hi Rick,

Hi Rick,

Sounds like a great idea - is the "Nut Runner" like the old "Yankee" cabinet makers screwdriver?

Best Regards,

John

rick.jones's picture

Hi John

Hi John

I haven't heard of a "Yankee cabinet makers screwdriver", it might be the same. What I've used is also called a hex driver. In effect a box spanner with a handle.

Widely available, you might even have a spare one. I got the Draper one on-line, it was the cheapest with a decent deep socket.

Oh !! OK Rick,

Oh !! OK Rick,

I've got it now, its the handle that you can swap various size heads - I've got a couple somewhere.

Dave has described the Yankee correctly, and yes I guess I'm old enough to remember when they were used.

I got a comment from a pal of mine who was helping me recover ASHANTI at the end of the season about my general toolbox he called it a Noah's toolbox I guess that says it all !!

Kind regards,

John

ASHANTI 2008M

 

The classic Yankee screwdriver was a spiral (actually helical) ratchet driver with interchangeable tips. You just push to drive the screw in. I've got one somewhere but someone invented cordless drivers since then.

I keep seeing tools I still use in museums!

Dave.

rick.jones's picture

Oh yes, of course, I'd

Oh yes, of course, I'd forgotten that name. I too had one for years, eventually the ratchet pawls wore out. By that time I'd moved onto electric drivers.

Anyone remember brace-and-bits ? !!

Yep, My dad called it a

Yep, My dad called it a “Belly Brace” still got one in the garage or should I say the Ark !! Didn’t need a battery though so never ran out. Still got a hand brace as well. John ASHANTI 2008M

Hi Rick,

Hi Rick,

Yup, I have the whole kit, brace & bits, various wood chisels, an Adze, rove punch, Augers, etc, etc. the last time i saw these type of tools was in chatham maritime museum! they were given to me in 1965, when i was starting my shipwright apprenticeship in the london docks. the older shipwrights by tradition,gave the tools of the deceased shipwrights to the new apprentices. how old some of these tools are, is anyones guess! without any doubt, some of the tools would have been used on the sailing ships of old! If they could talk, they would certainly have a tale to tell. they now reside in a foreign land, where i spend part of the year in western australia. Ahhhh memories!

 

Strange how hand tools never used to run out of energy but now-a-days they seem to quite quickly!