Introduction: Adding Handles to Allen Wrenches
I often find the "L" shaped Allen wrenches a pain to use sometimes. So to make them more comfortable I decided to make handles for them. I only do this for ones where I have multiple of that size in case I end up needing to use the short side. To make these you will need one 6" long dowel rod either 3/4" or 1" thick. You want to use a hardwood dowel like oak because softer woods will wear out. You will also need a hand saw, hammer, small chisel, two screws, a drill and drill bit, a vise, file(or grinder) and either a hacksaw or bolt cutters.
Step 1: Cutting the Dowel
The first step is to take the dowel, and cut it in half long ways. It doesn't have to be perfectly down the middle but the closer it is the better. When you make the cut, you want to have only the bottom of the dowel in the vise, if the section you are cutting is in the vise, it will pinch your saw blade. The cut should be about 4" long leaving the bottom of the dowel still connected.
The next step is to determine how long you need your handle to be. For this allen wrench, a 3" handle worked out well. You want to leave enough room at the end of the handle to insert a screw without splitting the wood. For this one there was a half inch from the short side of the allen wrench to the end of the handle. After you cut the handle to the desired length, you will end up with two halves of a dowel that fit together nicely.
Step 3: Fitting the Allen Wrench
Take one half of the dowel(preferably the larger half) and find the center. Then trace the short side of the Allen wrench onto the flat side of the dowel. Use a small chisel to remove the wood inside the traced area. Make sure you remove enough wood so the entire Allen wrench fits into the slot, but it is good to have a tight fit.
Step 4: Putting the Handle Together
Now it is time to drill the holes in the handle and insert the screws. You want to drill the holes near each end of the handle but you do not want to drill where the short side of the allen wrench will be. When you drill the holes, you should not drill completely through both sides of the handle. Instead, drill through the first side and partly into the second side. For this allen wrench I will be making the handle permanent. If you want to make a removable handle, you should countersink the holes for your screws.
When you put in the screws, you do not want to put the screw through both sides. If you plan on making the handle removable then you should use screws shorter than the width of your handle. Since this one will be permanent, I will use longer screws and cut the tops off.
Step 5: Cleaning It Up
After you cut off the top of the screws, use a grinder or a file to make them smooth with the handle. Then sand the handle a little bit to clean up any splinters. You now have a new handle on your allen wrench which makes it a lot more comfortable and easy to use!
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