Author Topic: Thin-wall socket  (Read 6694 times)

velocistar237

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1422
  • Location: Metro Boston
Thin-wall socket
« on: February 19, 2013, 07:04:14 AM »
I recently bought a hand grinder for coffee with an upgrade kit from Orphan Espresso. The kit improves the construction by adding a second support point to the axle. Unfortunately, it didn't come installed. When I tried to remove the nut from the conical burr, I found that the hex socket wouldn't fit between the nut and the burr, that I needed a socket with a thinner wall. I couldn't find a reasonably priced thin-wall socket at a store to try out, and I didn't want to order one because I didn't know if it would be thin enough.

So, I bought a Ryobi grinder for $46 at Home Depot. I haven't opened the box yet, and I have time to return it if I can find another solution. Does anyone know of a cheaper way to accomplish this task, either by modifying the cheap socket I have, or using a different tool? How long would it take to file down a millimeter of stainless steel with a hand file? Are grinders useful enough in general (sharpening, etc.) that I should go ahead and keep the grinder?

MrSaturday

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 138
Re: Thin-wall socket
« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2013, 08:33:15 AM »
You might want to ask for a quote from a machine shop.  They can turn it down in a lathe really quickly so you might be able to get it done cheap.  They might also be able to save you a socket if they realize ahead of time the socket won't survive the modification (cheap ones are easily broken).

unpolloloco

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 185
Re: Thin-wall socket
« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2013, 10:49:45 AM »
So... to save yourself the possibility of wasting $11, you bought a $46 grinder?  Why don't you just take the part into Home Depot and find a socket that fits it?

tooqk4u22

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2194
Re: Thin-wall socket
« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2013, 11:48:31 AM »
I really don't have answer for you other than to get a socket that fits but what am I missing here?

I bought an electric grinder about 10 years ago for $20 and it works great.  This seems like one of those hipster things!

Russ

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2213
  • Age: 28
  • Location: Boulder, CO
Re: Thin-wall socket
« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2013, 12:40:27 PM »
Grinding or turning (probably grinding) the socket you already have, using someone else's tools, is the way to go IMO. I watched the upgrade kit install video; the nut just looks like one of those nylock jawns so you shouldn't have a problem with weakening the socket too much for this particular job. It might get too thin for other jobs though, so if you don't want to ruin a good socket pick up a cheap one and have it modded. Other places that might have a grinder include your local bike shop, a college/university student machine shop (nobody here really cares if you're a student or not), or maybe a friend.

Taking off that much material with a rough file is probably doable, but may or may not take a while and may or may not seroiusly dull the file, depending on the quality/hardness of the socket and file.

The grinder might be useful for sharpening big things like an axe or shovel that don't need too nice of an edge, but it would eat up most anything else unless you bought finer stones.

Sparky

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 163
Re: Thin-wall socket
« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2013, 04:13:42 PM »
Tiny bit lost on this one but can you try just using a pair of pliers instead of the socket? Needle nose pliers might work.  Or try pawn shops for the socket?

Good tools are not really so much as cost as they are an investment BTW.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2013, 04:15:42 PM by Sparky »

velocistar237

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1422
  • Location: Metro Boston
Re: Thin-wall socket
« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2013, 08:07:09 PM »
I really don't have answer for you other than to get a socket that fits but what am I missing here?

So... to save yourself the possibility of wasting $11, you bought a $46 grinder?  Why don't you just take the part into Home Depot and find a socket that fits it?

The socket wall is too thick for the space between the nut and the burr. The grinder seemed like the better bet, and in the end, I'd have another tool. I did take the part to Home Depot and scour the shelves for a socket that fit. There was a Milwaukee thin-wall socket set, but it was $70 and sealed in a box.

I bought an electric grinder about 10 years ago for $20 and it works great.  This seems like one of those hipster things!

Ha! Can an engineer even be a hipster?

Our electric grinder broke after 4 years. This hand grinder is the conical burr type, which is the nice kind which can, at least with the upgrade, make a nice, even grind for French press. An electric one would cost more than twice as much, and I'd think it would be more likely to break and wouldn't be as repairable.

I found a friend at work who has a bench grinder, and he agreed to try grinding down the cheap socket I already have. He recommended that I keep the bench grinder I bought, but honestly, I'm not sure I would use it that much. He said it was good for axes and lawn mower blades, but I have maybe 2 trees and 1000 sq ft of grass in my "yard."

johnnylighthouse

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 52
  • Location: Philadelphia
Re: Thin-wall socket
« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2013, 09:37:02 PM »
Did you look at 1/4" drive sockets?  they're normally much thinner than 3/8".  Nothing wrong with your solution though.

You can sharpen drill bits on a bench grinder too if you're into that sort of thing.

velocistar237

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1422
  • Location: Metro Boston
Re: Thin-wall socket
« Reply #8 on: February 20, 2013, 12:36:50 PM »
It turns out a smaller pair of needle-nose pliers did the trick. Thanks all for your help.