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Old September 6, 2008, 10:40 AM   #1
playtheblues
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nipple wrench

I know they make good, better and best nipple wrenches. What would be my best bet for a nipple wrench for my '51 Pietta, and does anyone have a link for one?
BB in SC
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Old September 6, 2008, 11:54 AM   #2
Smoke & Recoil
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Check out Dixie Gun Works, their located in Union City, Tenneesse.
You can get good nipple wrenches about anywhere, but you'll never have
a problem with the nipples if you put a little antiseize on the threads before
you reinstall them.


Hope this helps
Roger
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Old September 8, 2008, 12:35 PM   #3
grymster2007
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Don't waste your money on a cheap nipple wrench, even if you do use anti-seize. I bought a $7 wrench, paid $15 to overnight it and didn't get a single nipple out before tossing the wrench in the garbage. I think the steel used was one of those newfangled alloys: 70% boiled won-ton wrapper and 30% pork bun dough.

Made myself a wrench out of 440C stainless steel and hardened it to (can't remember exactly now) 51-58 Rockwell C.
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Old September 8, 2008, 11:34 PM   #4
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Get one of the hardened nipple wrenches from Puffbuster at Thunder Ridge. 888-333-3858 http://www.thunder-ridge.com/index.php
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Old September 9, 2008, 06:37 AM   #5
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Ok, so which ones are hardened? The web site doesn't say.
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Old September 9, 2008, 11:28 AM   #6
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That's why I included the ph#. IIRC it's the USA0046; but you'd have to check with them to be sure.

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Old September 9, 2008, 01:06 PM   #7
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Those foreign made nipple wrenches ...They last long time ..you see Joe ..
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Old September 9, 2008, 07:14 PM   #8
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Quote:
Those foreign made nipple wrenches ...They last long time ..you see Joe
Only if you turn them finger tight do they last you Long time ..Joe

I mean Sundance
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Old September 9, 2008, 11:19 PM   #9
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i have a cheapy black steel nipple wrench that works well because I never overtighten my cones (after I get the !#$%s off the first time). I also use a anti-seize lube and at least loosen them a few turns every time I clean.

But to get them off the first time, I have a stainless steel rifle nipple wrench that I crudely thinned down with a dremel grinding stone to get into the revolver cylinder area. It looks awful but it works great.

I was wondering if I could harden the cheapy one with a Kasenit treatment?
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Old September 10, 2008, 03:40 AM   #10
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wrench last long time ....Tip last short time ...then what do ya do with the things ...I`ve been pitching them ....I finally had a machine shop make me one ...they really didn`t want to mess with it so I begged ...finally have one that really last long time .
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Old September 10, 2008, 09:10 PM   #11
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As I reported in THR on this, I bought a (I think) USA made nipple wrench. I didn't bother trying the rockwell tester on it as my tester has trouble dealing with small diameters, I just took a file and could tell it was dead soft. I thought "Well, I'll just heat treat it as if I knew it was medium carbon or better, and if it doesn't harden I'll chuck it after using it as a pattern to make one out of 4140 and HT it. I was thinking about 45-50 RC. Well, after getting it red hot with a common torch and quenching it in water it was glass hard! So I polished it and tempered it to the first dark blue. 10 minutes total time from soft to medium hard. If it breaks I'll make a proper one.
I would really like to shake grymster2007's memory as to back of the shop quenching and tempering of 440. I no longer have a furnace and minimum charge for HT is something like $75 around here. I was thinking of doing a CNC run of 440 stainless ones, if enough people were interested.
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Old September 11, 2008, 12:16 AM   #12
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Make your own or find something from Snap-On or Proto that can be adapted to work. Metallurgy is important.
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Old September 11, 2008, 12:29 AM   #13
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Gary beat me to it! Snap-On, Sears, Matco have something for everybody.
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Old September 11, 2008, 07:27 AM   #14
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I have had several nipple wrenches bust on me, always when removing nipples on new Piettas. I think they sieze their nipples as one of their production operations! The one that is lasting me the longest is one from Dixie Gun Works, the one that they claim to be the "best nipple wrench they know of" in the description.
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Old September 11, 2008, 07:51 AM   #15
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I appreciate all the replies! very helpful info.
Bill in SC
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Old September 11, 2008, 08:04 AM   #16
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Use a 7/32x1/4 drive socket(Cut slot to fit)HELLO VIETNAM!!!!!Best hot damn nipple wrench ever,just boil cylinder to taste,remove from H2O,slightly cool,remove nipples,clean said cylinder,add dash of NEVER SEIZE,reinstall said nipples and you're good to go,take about 5 minutes to make one,last forever.
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Old September 12, 2008, 08:34 AM   #17
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Quote:
I would really like to shake grymster2007's memory as to back of the shop quenching and tempering of 440. I no longer have a furnace and minimum charge for HT is something like $75 around here. I was thinking of doing a CNC run of 440 stainless ones, if enough people were interested.
Grymster's at the International Machine Tool Show in Chicago right now. And he can't think of anything but cool manufacturing stuff.

When I get back, I'll jog my buddy's memory on the heat treat. I made mine at his house and he's the heat treat expert, not me. I'll post the info next week.

Back to the show!!!!
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Old September 12, 2008, 11:12 AM   #18
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"Make your own or find something from Snap-On or Proto that can be adapted to work. Metallurgy is important."

Of course it is! I've done lots of heat treating with simple shop tools.

Remember, we're talking about making a nipple wrench for my own use, not a car steering gear part.

If I made a CNC run the parts would be heat treated by a professional, of course.

As for snap on, did you know they don't normally stop at machine shops? There's a reason for that. Shop owners know snap on has to pay for those huge trucks somehow. The tools are way over priced. Many of the tools are rebranded.
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Old September 15, 2008, 10:24 AM   #19
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Heat-treating 440C…

Checked with my buddy and after taking a ration of crap for forgetting, he reminded me how we heat-treated my nipple wrench.
  1. Bring the part up to 1850F – 1950F and soak for 45 minutes (for a part this size, he say’s 30 – 60 minutes).
  2. Oil quench
  3. As soon as the part reaches room temperature, clean it up and throw it in a 375F oven for 1 hour to draw back to ~58 Rockwell C.
  4. Air cool to room temperature
I asked if it were practical to do this with a torch, but he says the temperature and soak time are critical and such an attempt would likely fail.
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Old September 15, 2008, 10:17 PM   #20
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that is the totally proffesional way
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Old September 16, 2008, 12:35 PM   #21
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Quote:
that is the totally proffesional way
That's me; totally professional!

I realize HisSoldier was looking for "back of the shop", but I thought I'd post how mine was made from 440C.

For "back of the shop": one might try using W-1 drill rod to build a nipple wrench with. Cut a proper length of say 3/8" - 1/2" drill rod. Drill a cross hole for a handle. Turn or grind the tip down 'till it will clear the nipple recess in the cylinder. Drill a clearance hole for the nipple. Mill or grind a groove through the end, leaving two flats that will engage the nipple flats. Using a torch, heat the drill rod to glowing red, then quench in brine (¾ lb. rock salt to one gallon of water). Immediately temper in a 500F oven for one hour and it should be sitting somewhere around 58-60Rc.
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Old September 17, 2008, 05:24 PM   #22
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Found my nipple wrench photo. Body of old one is next to it. I even managed to incorporate the old nipple pick so it threads into the end of the 440C version. I also re-used the handle from the old one.

Attached Images
File Type: jpg NippleWrench.jpg (96.6 KB, 167 views)
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Old September 20, 2008, 10:34 AM   #23
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Like I said, I don't have an electric furnace any more, but may be looking for one with what minimum charges are for heat treating now days. That wrench I hardened works fine though, it was very fast and simple to "fix".
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Old September 20, 2008, 02:57 PM   #24
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grymster2007, nice job...I want two for standard Rems and Colts... and one for an ROA 3/16" socket, one for a 1863 Rem cone .31 cal... that's if you were to get access to havin' them made ... heat treat would be a plus or will do it myself. If you still have contact...get me a quote.

Thanks,

SG
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Old September 21, 2008, 12:09 PM   #25
grymster2007
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grymster2007, nice job.
Thank you, Smokin_Gun
Quote:
If you still have contact...get me a quote.
I made mine in my buddy's shop, so it was a one-off thing. You might either try making yours by loosely following my description in post #21 (lot's of ways to do this and mine might not be the best), or contact HisSoldier. Sounds like with enough interest, he'd run off a batch.
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