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Is there a demand for Whitworth tools?

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JP Santos01/12/2021 11:35:00
41 forum posts

Hi all, long time no post on the site.

I have been through my spanner addiction and I have a lot of Whitworth spanners.
I mainly use imperial and have no need for this, wonder if there's any demand for it these days?
If I'm getting this right they are mainly useful for old british machinery, tractors, motorcycles etc..?

I had a look on ebay and some can go for quite a bit of money, the brands I have are King Dick, Matador, Elora, Snail Brand, Gordon tools, Super Slim and a few odd ones.

What should I do with this? sell? trade for something else?
anyone here interested in them? I'm in Andover, Hampshire, wouldn't mind trading these for someone willing to maybe service my lathe, give it a once over kind of thing?

thank you!
 

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2021-12-01_11-33-07

Edited By JP Santos on 01/12/2021 11:37:32

Edited By JP Santos on 01/12/2021 11:37:41

martin haysom01/12/2021 12:07:55
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90 forum posts

unlikely to be worth any more than they weigh in for. there is a charity tool stand at a place near me where you can just pick them up and put a donation in a box. the table is unmanned. pity because i got lots of them too

JP Santos01/12/2021 12:15:53
41 forum posts

I agree, I thought they wouldnt be worth much, but then looked on ebay completed listings and some do good for some money, I saw some sets for like 50 quid?? not that I'm looking to get rich, I'd much rather trade it for knowledge and help.

Mark Rand01/12/2021 12:50:31
1239 forum posts
28 photos

I still use whitworth spanners and sockets. My milling machine, Myford lathe, surface grinder and many of the things I make use BSW and BSF threads.

Un/fortunately I'm reasonably well equipped with tools for them.

Nigel Graham 201/12/2021 13:10:53
2036 forum posts
28 photos

You say you "mainly use Imperial" but don't need BSW/F spanners?

Many model- and preservation- engineers need them, though.

Put an ad. in the For Sale list here.

Steviegtr01/12/2021 13:22:22
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2422 forum posts
336 photos

There are always a lot of them for sale at Autojumbles i go to. Not much money.

Steve.

JP Santos01/12/2021 13:51:18
41 forum posts
Posted by Nigel Graham 2 on 01/12/2021 13:10:53:

You say you "mainly use Imperial" but don't need BSW/F spanners?

Many model- and preservation- engineers need them, though.

Put an ad. in the For Sale list here.


yes, I work, as a hobby on my old harleys and old american cars and have plenty of AF sockets and spanners.
the BSW/F spanners just sit in a box on the side, so I thought trying to find someone who could have an interest in them.

Howard Lewis01/12/2021 14:48:07
6024 forum posts
14 photos

Anyone with vintage Machines, Cars, Motorbikes, Tractors etc might be interested, since they will incorporate BSW / BSF/ BSP threads and fasteners..

A/F spanners will be needed for North American made machines of the same, and later vintage.

Industry did not change over to Metric until the late 80s, or so, and in some cases ran Imperial and Metric side by side on similar products.

Howard

Keith Wyles01/12/2021 15:29:49
94 forum posts

Has anyone tried grinding them to create a new size?

Howard Lewis01/12/2021 15:37:09
6024 forum posts
14 photos

I have some that have been heated and bent to allow access to a difficult to get at fixing, or ground to give greater angle of swing, without too much weakening..

Spare spanners are always useful for modification for a specif task, especially when nothing is available commercially. Or if it is, at an affordable price, for what may be a one off job.

Howard

Tim Stevens01/12/2021 15:42:50
avatar
1587 forum posts

Of course there is such a demand. Anyone owning a pre-war car is likely to need them regularly, as will anyone with pre-war machinery including railway engines and traction engines.

the idea of grinding something no longer available to do a one off job comes fairly high in the scale of vandalism, in the eyes of the cognoscenti (like what I hope to be one day).

So - if you are keen to get rid, let me know.

Cheers, Tim

Keith Wyles01/12/2021 15:46:54
94 forum posts

Howard
i have a 1/2" AF combination spanner that I bent the ring to 90deg many years ago, infact so long ago i can no longer remember why. I have a vague memory that a socket wouldn't fit, but the modified ring did. Also a metric spanner ground wider, but don;t even remember doing this.

Gerard O'Toole01/12/2021 15:55:01
135 forum posts
10 photos
Posted by JP Santos on 01/12/2021 13:51:18:
Posted by Nigel Graham 2 on 01/12/2021 13:10:53:

You say you "mainly use Imperial" but don't need BSW/F spanners?

Many model- and preservation- engineers need them, though.

Put an ad. in the For Sale list here.


yes, I work, as a hobby on my old harleys and old american cars and have plenty of AF sockets and spanners.
the BSW/F spanners just sit in a box on the side, so I thought trying to find someone who could have an interest in them.

Gerard O'Toole01/12/2021 15:58:46
135 forum posts
10 photos
Posted by Gerard O'Toole on 01/12/2021 15:55:01:
Posted by JP Santos on 01/12/2021 13:51:18:
Posted by Nigel Graham 2 on 01/12/2021 13:10:53:

You say you "mainly use Imperial" but don't need BSW/F spanners?

Many model- and preservation- engineers need them, though.

Put an ad. in the For Sale list here.


yes, I work, as a hobby on my old harleys and old american cars and have plenty of AF sockets and spanners.
the BSW/F spanners just sit in a box on the side, so I thought trying to find someone who could have an interest in them.

Sorry duplicate post.

Any fellow motorcyclist with AJS, Norton, Velocette , etc , or BSA/Triumph to early 60's would find good use for them. I have a couple of sets , as well as sockets but often pick extra items up at car boot sales etc. You should definitely sell them on to someone who might have more use for them. Or maybe ask at a local classic/vintage motorcycle club.

JP Santos01/12/2021 16:15:48
41 forum posts
Posted by Gerard O'Toole on 01/12/2021 15:58:46:
Posted by Gerard O'Toole on 01/12/2021 15:55:01:
Posted by JP Santos on 01/12/2021 13:51:18:
Posted by Nigel Graham 2 on 01/12/2021 13:10:53:

You say you "mainly use Imperial" but don't need BSW/F spanners?

Many model- and preservation- engineers need them, though.

Put an ad. in the For Sale list here.


yes, I work, as a hobby on my old harleys and old american cars and have plenty of AF sockets and spanners.
the BSW/F spanners just sit in a box on the side, so I thought trying to find someone who could have an interest in them.

 

Sorry duplicate post.

Any fellow motorcyclist with AJS, Norton, Velocette , etc , or BSA/Triumph to early 60's would find good use for them. I have a couple of sets , as well as sockets but often pick extra items up at car boot sales etc. You should definitely sell them on to someone who might have more use for them. Or maybe ask at a local classic/vintage motorcycle club.


yes I see what you say, unfortunately everyone I know we have old harley or old american cars, dont know anyone with british classics, my first thought was trying here...

Ideally I'd like to swap them for lathe knowledge if there was someone local to me, if not I'll try sell them on ebay or something, but rather not having to deal with ebay.

I use my lathe for basic stuff, like spacers and things like that, but i'd like to learn screw cutting and someone to look into why my lathe is so noise in certain settings (I'm guessing probably a bearing)

this is the type of things I build, this one is a 1951 harley Panhead.

IMG_20211125_145520" />

Edited By JP Santos on 01/12/2021 16:16:08

Keith Wyles01/12/2021 16:22:08
94 forum posts

JP
To give you a value, I paid 50p recently for some large size ones, good makes. You might get more if you find someone who needs them, but possibly supply now excedes demand.

Howard Lewis01/12/2021 16:48:20
6024 forum posts
14 photos

The Britool 7/16 drive socket set with which my father earned his living, and with which I earned my first money in Engineering, now resides in The Old Workshop in The WaterWorks Museum in Hereford.

All but one of the sockets are original (WHAT doe that say about the quality? )

Someone will find a use for them, especially the larger sizes.

Oddly, I don't see modifying a tool for a specific purpose, as long as there are duplicates in original form, to be vandalism, but as producing a tool for the task. My preferred material for such modifications tends to be lowest value example of the tool that is available.

Very often, "The Devil drives, where needs must"

Didn't really like doing it, but 140 miles from home and the correct material a M6 nut was modified with a 1/4 BSW Tap. to meet an immediate need.

ie Would be more likely to convert a Ford Escort into a hill climb special than Bentley! (Perhaps that's why so many "chain gang" Fraser Nash cars suffered that fate )

Howard

Nigel McBurney 101/12/2021 17:23:25
avatar
999 forum posts
3 photos

I restore old stationary engines most of them English,so they are all Whit and so are a lot of ourEnglish machine tools main exception is Colchester which are a/f ,most of the owners of old cars,motor cycles,steam engines,lorries,etc etc use them and still buy them,pre covid I found a tool stand at a steam rally selling the usual resonably priced far easten new spanners and there were the useful long deep socket sets among them were whitworth and BA sets so I bought them,they have been used a lot since,the quality is quite good compared to the Taiwan rubbish of 40 years ago. When buying used spanners from auto jumbles the good makes ie King Dick,Elora ,Britool ,Gordon are always more expensive,than other makes,though still good value.I would never dispose of good tools ,the day always comes when they may come in useful.

Nicholas Wheeler 101/12/2021 17:33:31
909 forum posts
86 photos
Posted by Howard Lewis on 01/12/2021 15:37:09:

I have some that have been heated and bent to allow access to a difficult to get at fixing, or ground to give greater angle of swing, without too much weakening..

Spare spanners are always useful for modification for a specific task, especially when nothing is available commercially. Or if it is, at an affordable price, for what may be a one off job.

When faced with removing the 18 oil hoses on a Yak18, my boss was astonished when I cut my 30mm spanner in half to save what looked like hours of work turning the fittings a few degrees at a time. She was even more surprised when I welded the two parts back together to tighten the new ones correctly. I have another 10mm open spanner end with a 1/4 drive extension welded to it for removing the air compressor, which saved a considerable amount of time compared the the couple of minutes it took to do.

As for modifying old tools being vandalism, they were intended to do work. I have no qualms about cutting the couple of Whitworth spanners that have been hanging on the wall unused for as long as I remember. Currently, and for a very long time, they are junk.

Nicholas Farr01/12/2021 18:31:41
avatar
3313 forum posts
1530 photos

Hi, grinding, bending, twisting etc. spanners. Wot! surprise as if you would catch me doing that.

adjusted spanner.jpg

I just call it adjusted myself.

Regards Nick.

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