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AF socket sets. Are they extinct

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Andrew Tinsley10/11/2018 18:00:09
865 forum posts

Just been looking for my comprehensive AF half inch drive socket set. It seems to have disappeared, lent out or workshop gremlins!

I want this to go in the boot of my newly restored MGB, for any on the road repairs (I always carry a comprehensive kit of spares!)

Looking on Epay, there are no end of combined Metric and AF sets for reasonable money, but I want a set of AF only, 3/8" to 1"sizes plus the usual 1/2" drivers. The costs seem to run from £100 to £350!!!! Having picked myself up. I decided to ask on the forum. I don't need top class stuff, just a middle of the road set would do.

Anyone know where I can get such a thing at less than £100? I don't want the combined metric and AF sets due to the smaller size of the box!

Andrew.

AJW10/11/2018 18:43:29
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261 forum posts
117 photos
Enjoy you MGB!
I would've thought it might be better to purchase individual sockets you need rather than a box which includes some you won't?

Alan
alan lloyd 310/11/2018 19:01:29
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149 forum posts

Try amazon, teng set on there, TT1215af in a nice small box too £50

JC5410/11/2018 21:26:02
79 forum posts
1 photos

Where are you situated? I am having a clearout due to ill health and have a lot of AF sets and bits to get rid of. JC

Andrew Tinsley10/11/2018 22:04:23
865 forum posts

Hello JC,

I have sent you a PM,

Regards,

Andrew.

Hopper10/11/2018 23:00:18
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3503 forum posts
68 photos

Doesn't your British-made MG use BS/Whitworth sockets rather than AF? Or did they break with tradition in later years?

Bill Phinn10/11/2018 23:11:23
160 forum posts
35 photos

Here's a modestly-priced set minus the 3/8 socket, which I'm sure you could supply for very little money:

https://www.machinemart.co.uk/p/clarke-pro365-10-piece--drive-af-socket-set/

Don Cox10/11/2018 23:14:46
27 forum posts

My long departed 1964 "B" was very definitely UNF with a few UNC thrown in, so A/F spanners fitted everything. Some Morris Minor 1000s I have worked on had BSF/BSW chassis fixings with AF engine nuts/bolts, pre BMC chassis versus and BMC engine etc I presume.

I could always visually pick the right spanner from the A/F range to fit whatever nut/bolt I was working on, a skill I have never developed with the metric system.

V8Eng10/11/2018 23:32:17
1254 forum posts
27 photos

In the 1970s I worked on several 1960s Triumph cars from the BL stables and remember using AF spanners specially bought for that.

Edited By V8Eng on 10/11/2018 23:33:07

Mike Poole10/11/2018 23:56:34
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1862 forum posts
45 photos
Posted by Don Cox on 10/11/2018 23:14:46:

My long departed 1964 "B" was very definitely UNF with a few UNC thrown in, so A/F spanners fitted everything. Some Morris Minor 1000s I have worked on had BSF/BSW chassis fixings with AF engine nuts/bolts, pre BMC chassis versus and BMC engine etc I presume.

I could always visually pick the right spanner from the A/F range to fit whatever nut/bolt I was working on, a skill I have never developed with the metric system.

I think picking the right spanner for a metric fastner is made more difficult because it is not hard and fast which hex size is used on a fastner. Cars and bikes seem to use smaller heads than the standard engineering spec but not consistently, its all done to confuse I am sure.

Mike

Andrew Evans11/11/2018 08:05:53
210 forum posts
I would give an autojumble a try. You can often find quality stuff that has come from a garage that has closed. If you are willing to pick through boxes of bits you can often find Brittool or SnapOn stuff in the right size at great prices.
John MC11/11/2018 08:16:52
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142 forum posts
21 photos

Ebay has an abundance of AF sockets for sale. Seems like all qualities available.

John

Michael Gilligan11/11/2018 08:38:22
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12912 forum posts
555 photos
Posted by Bill Phinn on 10/11/2018 23:11:23:

Here's a modestly-priced set minus the 3/8 socket, which I'm sure you could supply for very little money:

https://www.machinemart.co.uk/p/clarke-pro365-10-piece--drive-af-socket-set/

.

surprise They are flank-drive sockets, too

MichaelG.

Brian G11/11/2018 09:06:16
461 forum posts
9 photos
Posted by Mike Poole on 10/11/2018 23:56:34:
I think picking the right spanner for a metric fastner is made more difficult because it is not hard and fast which hex size is used on a fastner. Cars and bikes seem to use smaller heads than the standard engineering spec but not consistently, its all done to confuse I am sure.

Mike

I always had Japanese bikes and German cars, and they make Whitworth, BSF and BS seem so simple by comparison (except perhaps my mate's BSA which needed both BS and AF tools). In my limited knowledge M12 is the worst offender with 5 different AF sizes; JIS is 17mm, ANSI and ISO are 18mm, DIN is 19mm and both ISO and DIN standards also allow heavy nuts of 21 and 22 mm respectively.

On the same subject, what are 6, 9, 20 and 23mm spanners and sockets intended for? I get the impression they are just there to make sets seem complete, or to go on the opposite end of useful spanners to make you buy more.

Brian

EDIT:  As far as the original subject is concerned, why not buy a cheaper combined set and just put the sockets on a rail?  They will take up much less room in a toolkit than a boxed set, which is mostly air.

Edited By Brian G on 11/11/2018 09:28:37

James Alford11/11/2018 09:13:31
336 forum posts
72 photos

Is there a tool charity near you? I recently bought an Austin Seven which needs a complete rebuild, including body. I need some Whitworth and BSF tools to work on it. I have yet to visit the shop, but they tell me that they have a box full of the things through which I can rummage. I suspect that AF would be available.

James.

Ron Laden11/11/2018 09:45:05
994 forum posts
150 photos

Couldnt you just buy the sockets you need plus a ratchet, T wrench and a short and long extension and fit them into a small tool roll, it would take up hardly any space at all.

Chris Evans 611/11/2018 09:45:36
1392 forum posts

Try a series three Land Rover from the 80s. Whit/Metric and A/F all used on there. Brian G. the 6/9/20/23 sizes are all used on some automotive applications. A bit like my 1929 BSA bike mainly Whitworth sizes with the odd A/F thrown in. I finally have a use for my 25/32" A/F spanners !

FMES11/11/2018 09:49:51
570 forum posts
1 photos

Even metric spanners and sockets are 'AF'.

Andrew Tinsley11/11/2018 10:34:15
865 forum posts

Thank you for all the suggestions! My B is a late model and everything is AF, except for the carb set up which uses BA.

I am a bit leary of some of the combined sets, I have broken a few sockets in my time and would like some half decent ones.. I have broken undoing nuts rather than tightening them up. I prefer a box set up, because you can see exactly where everything is. Getting a socket out of a bag or off a bar arrangement isn't my cup of tea when doing any emergency repairs at the roadside, especially when it is freezing cold or wet!

Thanks everyone for your suggestions,

Andrew.

Dave Halford11/11/2018 12:18:25
373 forum posts
3 photos

Posted by FMES on 11/11/2018 09:49:51:

Even metric spanners and sockets are 'AF'.

Very true there is no such thread as AF, however old open-end and ring spanner sets can be BSF or Whit, I use them on plumbing jobs.

Imperial AF sockets will fit anything that matches the dimension 'across the flats' just like metric AF ones do.

Never seen a BSF socket set and I don't see the sense of having a set of spanners that require you to know the size of the threaded portion that you can't see especially when bolt head sizes are not standardised anyway. It's just a trial fit then use it so mixed sets are fine especially when the heads have been reduced by rust.

If you can find a Kamasa set you will be fine, they take a fair beating without using gas pipe extensions or a lump hammer on the socket handle. I got my first set from Greenshield stamps, the sockets are still good.

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