Picture of Wing Nut  Key  Power Driver
This is an Easy  Re-purposed  DIY  tool..

I do a lot of tumbling of geodes which are amazing special rocks good for a tumble.

My large tumblers are a 9" barrels with rubberized innards that hold, a bunch of rocks,
in tap water, with a scoop of grinding grit and about 15% free air space = volume.. 
Then the barrels are sealed and rotated at 16 RPM 24/7 for about two weeks.

When spin time is right  the rocks ( geodes ) need to be looked at and
the tumbling barrel will have to be opened.
  • I have to unscrew the six 1/4-20 Wing-nuts per barrel
  • Which starts by using a pair of pliers to loosen each one of them.
  • Then finger un-twisting each of the Wing-nuts
  •  A future ible will describe why this is a Fascinating Hobby  
  • Then repeat this process in reverse.
  • Finger twist and tighten each of the Wing-nuts
  • Finally using a pair of pliers to tighten each one of them.
Using this  Wing Nut Key Driver   makes it so  Much Easier  and  Quicker  to open
then close the tumbler barrels.
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Step 1: What You Need

Picture of What You Need
The only hardware items you need are;
  • A Concrete Anchor.- - - - mine was left over from a recent deck extension.
  • And a 1/4-20 Wing-Nut and a bolt - - - to tune the Key for a best fit.

The tools that will be used are;
  • A 3 inch vice - - - - - - to squeeze the metal fingers together,  & yes mine is a 4".
  • A hack saw - - - - - - - to cut the iron anchor rod..
  • A grinder or rat file - - to dimple the Key fingers to clear the wing-nut center bulge.
  • A wire wheel - - - - - -  to remove the paint and smooth sharp metal edges.
Wired_Mist4 months ago

Great Idea! Real cool looking too; almost looks like a fleur de li. I might start using wing nuts again, I hate those things >.<

iceng (author)  Wired_Mist4 months ago

Thanks for your comment, someone told me Harbor Freight sells a better one.

Again sorry to harangue about that motor current .....

Wired_Mist iceng4 months ago

meh no hard feelings! Debate is how problems are solved :)

onrust1 year ago
Cool beans. There is nothing better than making a good tool.
iceng (author)  onrust1 year ago
Yea .. it does feel good ... like a lock pick

Been looking at lots of Google images thanks to your heads up...
onrust iceng1 year ago
I used that pick the first 2 months at my Apartment. What a cheap landlord!
neo716651 year ago
built in rare earth magnets and 3 different sizes that in the 3 years I've owned them yet to find a wing nut it won't fit.
iceng (author)  neo716651 year ago
I shop Harbor Freight at least twice a month and never saw a tool like that.

And you say it has built in magnets ...... Wow
Never pay for something you can make yourself.
iceng (author)  caarntedd1 year ago
Right you are..
zomfibame1 year ago
This is a cool, simple lil' tool. I love it.
iceng (author)  zomfibame1 year ago
Thank you very much.
Appreciate my fist Artistic comment.on a mere tool,
and noticed you tackled the remote issue long before me :-)

rrrmanion1 year ago
can't you just swap the wing nuts for regular nuts, and use a regular spanner? or am i missing the point?
iceng (author)  rrrmanion1 year ago
Your correct, several people have suggested nylocks.

Tradition implies tumblers are meant for hand work. 

Wait until you make a featured ible,  thousands of viewers can't be missing the implied pleasure.

Anyway it was the  Ouch pic  that made me do it ;-D
Bill WW1 year ago
Nice wok and photos.
Better than getting out the channel lock pliers.
iceng (author)  Bill WW1 year ago
Thanks for understanding :-)
firehorse1 year ago
what an interesting idea. I want to make a eye-hook bit for my cordless drill. A modification of your wing nut key could be used too screw and unscrew multiple eye-hooks. Thanks!
iceng (author)  firehorse1 year ago
Great !

I presume you voted for me :-)
veeguy1 year ago
Good idea to make a wingnut wrench. I switched my Lortone tumblers cover nuts to 1/4-20 nylon insert self locking nuts. You don't need to crank them down so tight because once tightened, they stay there. I use a ratchet to open and close them. I'm interested in what you do to the geodes before tumbling them. Do you slab them or cut them in half, or break them manually? Whet type of geodes are you doing. Mexican agate or the softer Iowa or Missouri chalcedony type?
iceng (author)  veeguy1 year ago
Thanks for the comment.

Iv added a last step that depicts what all my tumbling and other equipment lets me make.

My Geodes come from Utah, Nevada and Idaho.

If you can point  me to the sources of Mexican agate or the softer Iowa or Missouri,
I would appreciate it.

veeguy iceng1 year ago
I am a dealer in lapidary equipment and supplies. I also make jewelry and display specimens, mainly for fun. When it comes to rough rock, I usually only deal in large quantities due to the high shipping costs. Mexican agate costs almost to ship as the material sells for in small quantities.

Utah, Nevada and Idaho is god's country for rockhounds! My dad used to have a friend with an opal mine in Idaho. I still have a crate of opal in matrix from that mine, somewhere around here mined in the 1970's!
jbrauer1 year ago
I like the idea. I might have to pop an old deep well socket in the forge to anneal it (careful not to breathe the burning chrome), cross drill for a pin where this design has magnets, grind a couple of notches, then re-heat it and hammer it a little flat, and give it a quick quench to harden back.
iceng (author)  jbrauer1 year ago
Sounds like Fun work ! 
Make it an instructable... I envy your blacksmithing skills.

BTW Those notches need to be long as possible to make
it less desirable for magnetic flux to travel that Long path.
I didn't need to tell the engineer but this is a learning site.

streetrod51 year ago
Iceng, this is a great Instructable! I always love innovative tools, and I have come up against the wacky wing nut time and again. Very good solution. The pics and descriptions are nicely done.
iceng (author)  streetrod51 year ago
Thanks for your comment,  have a look at the added reveal :)
neo716651 year ago
I know this is about making stuff and you done a great job but I bought a set of 3 keys that fit in a drill for $5 at harbor freight.
iceng (author)  neo716651 year ago
Your spot on the mark.

But, I would be surprised if your new keys have a magnet built-in to help in removal !
WWC1 year ago
Very fancy. The rolled up handles made for some good " gingerbread."
I had made one similar for the oil drain plug on my JohnDeere 318, but it was just a notch cut in a piece of pipe to engage into a roll pin.
iceng (author)  WWC1 year ago
Thanks for your comment, Iv been following your software issues,
but unable to comment 'C' being my reading only language :)