Credit Card Sized Wrench Set- the Sunrise Wrench

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Intro: Credit Card Sized Wrench Set- the Sunrise Wrench

I'm a big fan of wallet multi-tools. They cram so much useful stuff into a flat piece of metal the size of a credit card; it's amazing. However, cramming everything into one handy little package means that not every tool works as well as it could. I've had a fair amount of trouble using the larger wrenches on each multi-tool I've owned. When you try on use them on a nut or bolt that's in an awkward position (like on a skateboard or bike, for example) instead of in the middle of a flat surface, they just don't work. That (along with my apparent obsession with wrenches) is what inspired me to create this. It has no problem with awkwardly located nuts and bolts and fits nicely inside a wallet.

My current design (the focus of this Instructable) has the following features:

  • 1/4" wrench
  • 5/16" wrench
  • 10mm wrench (can also handle 3/8" nuts and bolts)
  • 12mm wrench
  • 1/2" wrench
  • 1/4" hexagonal hole that can be used to attach the wrench to a keychain or to drive 1/4" screwdriver bits

I'm also working out the kinks of a new design (Image 3) with the following features:

  • 4mm wrench
  • 5mm wrench
  • 3/16" wrench
  • 1/4" wrench
  • 5/16" wrench
  • 10mm wrench (can also handle 3/8" nuts and bolts)
  • 12mm wrench
  • 1/2" wrench
  • 1/4" hexagonal hole that can be used to attach the wrench to a keychain or to drive 1/4" screwdriver bits
  • Gear tie
  • Bottle opener

Step 1: What You Need:

- Hacksaw

- Coping saw

- Small files, such as these

- Large file

- Calipers

- Drill or drill press

- Bench vise

- 12 to 14 gauge steel; I would recommend 14 gauge, as it is roughly the thickness of two credit cards

Step 2: Drilling

- Download the attached template and print it out. Make sure it is the right size. The template looks different than the one I used since mine was made from a rough sketch.

- Attach the template to some steel (I used glue) and cut it out.

- Use a 1/4" drill bit to drill holes in roughly the locations marked by the black dots in the first image. Take your time and make sure the drill is in the right place.

Step 3: Making the 1/4" Driver

*I chose to do this before cutting anything out in case I screwed it up somehow.

- The hole made by the 1/4" drill bit is nearly the right size already. You just need to use the small files to add "corners" to the 1/4" hole, making it hexagonal.

- Test it with a 1/4" screwdriver bit to make sure it is the right size, or measure it with the calipers.

Step 4: Cutting

- On your template, the body of the wrench is dark grey. We basically want to remove anything that isn't that colour.

- I started by cutting out the general shape of the wrench with the hacksaw.

- I then used the coping saw to cut out the "jaws" of each wrench. The holes you drilled earlier will allow you to pivot the saw blade and make the cuts at the correct angles.

*Note: it is better to cut the jaws too small than too large, as you can always make them bigger later.

Step 5: Filing

- This is the most important (and the most time consuming) step. Start by using the big file to clean up the edges you cut with the hacksaw.

- Next, use the small files to clean up/enlarge the jaws of each wrench. Be sure to stop frequently and measure them.

- Once the jaws are the correct size, file all edges smooth and proceed to the next step.

Step 6: Cleaning Up

- Remove the template from the wrench. I used a wire wheel to get rid of all the paper and glue.

- I chose to leave the metal bare and give it a protective coating of clear spray paint. However, what you do is up to you! I think it'd look pretty cool in different colours, or after being highly polished.


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    12 Discussions

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    IJustLikeMakingThings

    4 months ago

    This is really neat. I'm also surprised you made this by hand. Are you using mild steel for this? I would think that the jaws of the wrench would deform easily at that thickness. If you used a steel that could be hardened I would think it would last longer.

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    Yonatan24IJustLikeMakingThings

    Reply 4 months ago

    I think the thickness of the steel matters more, if it's thin it'll just twist, and if it's hardened it would just snap off.

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    M3GYonatan24

    Reply 4 months ago

    The thickness is definitely important, but in an application where the geometry is constrained a harder material can allow you to increase the strength. The yield strength of hardened steel is higher than non-hardened steel at the same “elongation”. This means that the hardened steel is stronger (but fails at a lower elongation); however, if the jaws deform the wrench is useless anyway. I highly recommend the Wikipedia page on fracture, it’s quite an interesting read!

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fracture

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    M3GM3G

    Reply 4 months ago

    I should probably clarify that I’m taking about the recoverable (i.e. elastic) elongation here.

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    M3GIJustLikeMakingThings

    Reply 4 months ago

    Thank you! I did use mild steel, and although I haven't noticed any deformation yet that is definitely a potential concern. When I end up making my new design, I will probably use stainless.

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    nepperhanman

    4 months ago on Step 6

    PLEASE produce these commercially!!! Several years ago I found just the tool I wanted on line, an award winner at a hardware products show. Somehow they never got to the point of producing the NUT LOK credit card wrench - look it up on You Tube under the Nut Lok name. The Nut Lok website seems to have disappeared as well.

    Great case of independent invention.

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    Yonatan24nepperhanman

    Reply 4 months ago

    But the Nut Lok tool doesn't open any nut. I think my bike had some type of bolt that allowed for a steel ball to be inserted so a thief wouldn't be able to open it with an Allen wrench. I'm planning on getting started (aka procrastinating) on an simple idea that I have on making a similar, yet maybe slightly better wrench than this.

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    M3Gnepperhanman

    Reply 4 months ago

    I just looked it up, that’s a very cool tool!

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    LarryB

    4 months ago

    It is fairly easy to broach out the 1/4" hex hole by drilling a 1/4" round hole and then pressing through a worn out hex bit that has some shoulder to act as a cutting edge. I usually press it in a vise with nut as backing to provide space for the bit. You can instead use a hammer but easy to get it off straight. . Follow that by a little careful filling on backside and hex sides but it does save time.

    DSCN8570.JPGDSCN8571.JPG
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    M3GLarryB

    Reply 4 months ago

    That’s a very useful tip, thank you for sharing!

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    Mrballeng

    4 months ago

    Whoa! When I first saw this I thought it was laser cut. You did a great job doing it by hand.

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    M3GMrballeng

    Reply 4 months ago

    Thank you! It's amazing what you can accomplish with patience and a good set of files.