PVC Socket Wrench

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About: Innovative Projects, Diy's, Life Hacks

A few weeks ago, I changed the tap on my kitchen's sink.

There was a long bolt holding the tap to the think. It took me ages to fasten the nut as there was no space for an adjustable wrench.

I don't own a socket wrench tool as it's not something I would use a lot, but that day it would have been handy.

In this Instructable, we look at a simple way to make a socket wrench or spark plug wrench from a PVC pipe.

Great for situation when you need a socket wrench, but you don't have one.

What will you need:


If you are Interested in the video version of this Instructable and the embedded video does not appear on your mobile device, here is an alternative link

Step 1:

I put a pipe bender spring in a PVC pipe and heated it up with a heat-gun.

When heating the PVC, make sure to do it outside or wear a respirator

If you don't own a heat-gun, candle will also do the trick.

Just heat it up on top of the candle.

Step 2:

Then I bent the pipe.

When the PVC was cold, I removed the spring.

If you don't have a spring, you can still try to bend it.

Step 3:

I heated up one end of the pipe and slid it onto the nut.

When the PVC had cooled, I removed the nut.

I also added a cap on the other end (for decorative purposes)

Step 4:

That's it!

Now you have a PVC socket wrench.

I have tried to make it for 2 different size nuts and it did the job.

If you need to remove the nut from a long bolt, just make a longer socket wrench.

Or you can even attach it to your drill.

Tip:

If the nut is very tight, don't use the tool first (at the end of the day it's plastic)

Use other tools available to unfasten the nut and then switch to the PVC socket wrench to remove it.

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    79 Discussions

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    panks

    2 years ago

    Brilliant! I'll definitely be making this.

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    onemoroni1

    2 years ago

    This is a good application. It is called the mother of invention. Having been in construction and worked around the house you come across many situations that are not textbook perfect and you have to make something like this or use a tool in an unconventional manner. It's not perfect for every situation, but is creative and solved the problem.

    2 replies
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    Mjtrinihobby

    2 years ago

    A little penetrating oil on the bolt head or nut will help out the handy diy pvc socket wrench. Nice write up!

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    onemoroni1

    2 years ago

    This is a good application. It is called the mother of invention. Having been in construction and worked around the house you come across many situations that are not textbook perfect and you have to make something like this or use a tool in an unconventional manner. It's not perfect for every situation, but is creative and solved the problem.

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    onemoroni1

    2 years ago

    This is a good application. It is called the mother of invention. Having been in construction and worked around the house you come across many situations that are not textbook perfect and you have to make something like this or use a tool in an unconventional manner. It's not perfect for every situation, but is creative and solved the problem.

    0
    None
    onemoroni1

    2 years ago

    This is a good application. It is called the mother of invention. Having been in construction and worked around the house you come across many situations that are not textbook perfect and you have to make something like this or use a tool in an unconventional manner. It's not perfect for every situation, but is creative and solved the problem.

    0
    None
    onemoroni1

    2 years ago

    This is a good application. It is called the mother of invention. Having been in construction and worked around the house you come across many situations that are not textbook perfect and you have to make something like this or use a tool in an unconventional manner. It's not perfect for every situation, but is creative and solved the problem.

    0
    None
    onemoroni1

    2 years ago

    This is a good application. It is called the mother of invention. Having been in construction and worked around the house you come across many situations that are not textbook perfect and you have to make something like this or use a tool in an unconventional manner. It's not perfect for every situation, but is creative and solved the problem.

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    Michael Morgan

    2 years ago

    Here's something from an old-timer: Heathkit at one time included a plastic nutdriver with some of its kits. The idea was to use the knurled plastic tube to start the nut on the stud or machine screw, and run it down finger tight, then change to a wrech or deep recess nutdriver to tighten the nut. recess

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    jesse2669

    2 years ago

    I was going to explain how to strengthen the the length of the socket,or the handle,whatever you choose to call it,also but like you said the amount of work involved wouldn't be worth it unless it were an emergency,the job had to be done now and you just didn't have the right tools.The original idea by ShakeTheFuture should be fine for running the nut up or down the treads if you can find a way to break it loose first and provided the threads are clean and undamaged.

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    jesse2669

    2 years ago

    I would think that PVC has far too much flex for this type of application and isn't nearly hard enough unless the nut is little more than finger tight.It's a good idea but before using it I would first improve it by cutting pieces of flat steel,the same height and length as the flats on the nut, and placing them on the flat sides of the nut before heating your PVC around it also, I would wrap the finished PVC socket tightly in fiber glass mesh and coat it with fiber glass resin,these modifications will make the socket much more usable by having a hard steel surface inside the socket that won't stretch or be torn by the nut your trying to turn and the fiber glass on the outside of the socket won't let the PVC distort it's shape under the pressure of twisting.If you don't have a fiber glass repair kit you could also tightly wrap the socket it steel wire.

    2 replies
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    ShakeTheFuturejesse2669

    Reply 2 years ago

    That's an interesting improvement you have in mind.

    Thanks for sharing!

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    JimTheSoundmanShakeTheFuture

    Reply 2 years ago

    Jesse, that's a crazy amount of work you are proposing. I think he was meaning this to be more of a one time use/throwaway sort of tool.

    Your improvements would make the actual socket part of the tool much stronger, but that still doesn't improve the handle which would be broken by too much torque, no matter how much you improved the socket end.

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    CigarSmoker2

    2 years ago

    PVC pipe, one of the most useful things man has made. It can be rigid, flexible, easily cut or bent. I have used it to make a ladder to my attic, a bow and quiver, hand pump for the cistern, air cannons, and used it for actual water pipe. Now I am presented with a possible new use. Thank you.

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    Mihsin

    2 years ago

    So great I'll do it right now. Thanks for this practicle I'ble.

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    harvsch

    2 years ago

    I would think of this more as a nut runner rather than as a wrench. I wouldn't try to actually tighten anything with this. PVC has an unfortunate habit of shattering violently when over-stressed. An outer jacket of heat shrink would make it a lot safer to use. Heat shrink with an inner melt-able sealant layer would likely increase it's strength as well.

    1 reply
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    ShakeTheFutureharvsch

    Reply 2 years ago

    Yes, it is more like a nut runner, but actually it's not that bad.

    I could tighten the nut pretty tight until the PVC warped.

    It's not for heavy duty jobs - that's for sure!

    Thanks!

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    Bombguy54

    2 years ago

    This wrench, although clever, will bear little torque, even with the suggested metal insert and fiberglass. (This from a mechanic of 45 years holding an Airframe and Powerplant license, once with a boat powerplant repair business and a shop restoring vehicles as a hobby.) Tools can be absurdly expensive, but some real deals can be found at garage sales, on craigslist and ebay. Invest is a good set and it will serve you for a lifetime.