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A lockdown activity suggestion

Illustration for article titled A lockdown activity suggestion

This is my Sidchrome 3/8" socket wrench. It’s over thirty years old and is dressed in a 10mm socket that is part of the original set. Even more amazingly...both were made in Australia.

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After all this time, and the use/uses to which this tool has been put (remember that a socket wrench is the Spork of the hand tool world), it should come as no surprise that it has been becoming non-functional as a socket wrench.

The internal sprocket has been slipping and I suspected wear. So it was time to take it apart for the first time...

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Illustration for article titled A lockdown activity suggestion

Quite straightforward with the right pair of pliers. Close the clip and remove it from the body then remove the backing plate to expose the sprocket.

The sprocket itself looked fine - perhaps a little dry in the lubricant department. I found I couldn’t remove the sprocket. Assuming there was some dirt or other crud stopping it, I gave the lot a blast with brake cleaner. Lo and behold, a minor flood of toxic solvent, dried grease and other contaminants dribbled out of ever orifice.

Still could not get the sprocket out but did find that everything moved and interlocked much more sharply. It truly appeared to be...fixed! In order to avoid further complications through wondering I simply gave the gubbins a light blast of a lanolin based lubricant and closed it all back up.

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I’m now reassembling chairs with it!

Illustration for article titled A lockdown activity suggestion
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Since most of us own at least one socket wrench then perhaps giving it a little love whilst you are cowering away from nature (along with the rest of us) might be a useful distraction.

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