This simple idea is a very easy way to turn one of those stubborn bolts that just does not want to move, into an easy day in the workshop. A cheater bar is used to get those bolts loose that you just cannot seem to budge with just your hands and a regular wrench. Instead of going out and buying a more powerful wrench, all you have to do is put some kind of piece of a pipe on the end of your wrench. This adds extra leverage to decrease the amount of work required from you to get that bolt loose. Cheater bars have been in use ever since stubborn bolts have been getting stuck, but sometimes are just too long to keep around, or use, in a practical location. Sometimes you would not have enough space to store a long piece of pipe, or you would not have enough room to get the wrench turned with the long amount of pipe stuck on the end of it. With this innovation of a cheater bar, when fully compressed, it is compact enough to be able to store in a toolbox, and if not in a small space in a corner somewhere or something, and though it can be very compact, it has the capability when fully extended to be an almost four foot long cheater bar. Capable of getting the most stubborn of those bolts out.
Credit to Justin Smith for the idea.
Step 1: Materials You Will Need
- Two Pipes: The size of the larger pipe is totally up to the person building it. You can get one however long you want one to be, with the largest or smallest diameter you see fit. In this project, the second, smaller pipe, is the same length as the larger one, though this is also up to the builder, as it is up to them as to how far they want it to extend out. The only real requirements for these two pipes is that the smaller one is of a diameter that fits as close to snug as possible inside the larger one. I used copper pipes for this, but mainly just for demonstration. Copper pipes are not the strongest on the market, and using something like steel pipes would definitely be recommended for this. I just used copper piping for this prototype.
- A Lock Pin: The lock pin will be used to hold the inside pipe, inside. Regardless of the setting you have the cheater bar on, the lock pin will keep it there. This is also what will be used to change the setting of the cheater bar. The requirement for the lock pin is that the length of the pin must be greater than the diameter of the larger pipe. The closer you can get it to the diameter of the pipe, the better, as this will allow for less play in the bar when it is extended.
- A Drill: You will need a powerful electric drill, strong enough to go through whatever kind of piping you chose to use, with a drill bit just slightly larger than the diameter of your lock pin. You want the lock pin to be as snug as possible.
Step 2: Stabilizing the Inner Pipe
We needed to guarantee than the hole drilled through the larger pipe would perfectly match up with the hole drilled through the inner pipe. If we had just left the smaller pipe unsupported inside of the larger pipe, it would move around when being drilled into, and it would become very hard to perfect the alignment.
To make sure the smaller pipe had as little movement as possible when being drilled into, we took an amount of paper, wrapped it around the end of the pipe, and then put that whole thing into the larger pipe. We did this with both ends.
Other materials you could use to accomplish this would be some tape wrapped around the end of the smaller pipe, some Styrofoam, rubber bands, or anything else small enough to squeeze in the room around the smaller pipe to make it snug.
Step 3: Drilling Your Holes
This is the step where the drilling finally takes place. With the smaller pipe firmly secured inside the larger one, all you have to do is decide how many, and how far apart, you want your adjustment holes to be. We chose to make our first hole three and one-quarter inches from the end of the twenty-four inch pipe. Start drilling where you made your mark, and drill all the way through until you come back out the other side of the pipe, to ensure the pin will fit straight through. If you try to drill from one side at a time, you may have difficulties getting the holes to line up.
The next hole is exactly halfway down the pipe. Just pull the smaller pipe out the end of the larger one until the hole you already made in the larger one the first time is evenly matched halfway down the smaller pipe. Since you are using the same hole in the bigger one, now all you have to do is drill through the smaller pipe in the same fashion you made the first hole, and your second one is done.
The third and final hole was made three and one-quarter inches inches from the opposite end of the pipe you started from, you can make this the same way you made the second hole.
The lock pin should fit through any and all of these holes, and your cheater bar is pretty much complete!
Step 4: Cleaning It Up, Making It Pretty
Your cheater bar is perfectly functional at this point, but there are a few more things you can do to improve it slightly.
I used a Die Grinder right around the holes I made in the pipes while drilling. I did this to get rid of the small amount of metal that was sticking out that the drilling caused. This metal could cause scratches, cuts, or could just make you uncomfortable, so I thought it was important to get rid of.
I then took the air compressor to it to get rid of all excess metal shavings that could be left-over from either the drilling or the grinding.
My last step was taking a scrub brush and going along the length of both pipes, just to shine them up a bit.
Congratulations, you just made your own telescoping cheater bar!