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  • Homemade Tools

    Post your homemade tools to this thread.
    3 ~ Tudor's
    Henry Ford said
    "It's all nuts and bolts"


    Mitch's Auto Service ctr

  • #2
    Dog Storage House

    I just finished this today. My garage is small and full, and I needed someplace to store my Delco Light Plant and a Model A engine. If I remove the Delco, I think it has enough room for 3 Model A engines. Storing parts under those cheap plastic sheets just doesn't cut it. This is so tight it's even mouse proof, but I may put some mothballs in to keep insects out.

    I don't think any community has rules against having dog houses, even though it has no door. I got about half the materials free out of a dumpster from a local house remodel, but the things I needed to buy still cost me about $100. The paint, half the wood, and the colored vinyl siding, and 3 hinges were free. I used 3 hinges so I can tip the roof and sides out of the way to work on the engines.

    I included a before picture of the Delco I bought off ebay. I used diesel fuel and a soft paint brush to clean it up. It came out good enough to leave it as a survivor, although I may have to repaint the gas tank and the intake tube after I straighten the dent.

    I built it on some plastic milk crates, but a nice flat cement pad sure would have been better. Notice the last picture of my tar paper roll. I had it stored on the concrete apron in front of the garage, and getting wet ruined one end of the roll. Tar paper isn't as water proof as I thought.

    Since the treated 4 by 4's are bolted to the floor, I set the house on 3 treated landscaping logs to make it easy to replace if they rot, and to give it more air space underneath, and to better keep it out of the snow.


    Comment


    • Terry, NJ
      Terry, NJ commented
      Editing a comment
      I also have your storage problem! Never enough space under a roof! And I hate getting building permits! So, with my Backhoe, I dug a hole under a large tree and I "blocked"out a cellar with concrete blocks. The "Foundation" is 7.5' X 8' X 6.5 deep with a concrete floor. Once built, I proceeded to build a shed that was 9.5' X 10' (95 sq ft) on top of it. The corners were visually supported with blocks at the corners. I put a couple of glass blocks in the foundation for some light. But the block cellar is not visible from the outside. Then, when I roofed it, a friend donated some random colored shingles, Why the random colors? They favor browns and greens and are harder to pick up from a satellite photo.
      Terry
      Last edited by Terry, NJ; 05-13-2018, 09:04 AM.

  • #3
    Ammeter disassembly tool

    I had to fix a couple ammeters and both the original and repro had super tight covers on them, so I had to make a special tool to get them apart.

    Note the repro is aluminum and has no black paint on the brass inside the case. I spent more time fixing this one than it was worth. The face also uses white for the marking, while originals are silver.

    I got both the pointers centered, but hope they stay that way after the post office throws them around and drops heavy boxes on top of them on the return trip to the customer.

    I used my Sterrett 3" hole saw to cut two circles of 1/8" thick aluminum, then cut the 1 5/8" center hole out on my lathe. I then had to use my Dremel to grind away 5 notches for the 4 tabs and alignment bump in the case. The other plate I used a #20 bit to drill two holes 1" apart, then used a #7 bit and drilled two holes to tap for the 1/4 x 20 eye bolts.

    This works much better than a screwdriver and hammer. Since the two studs are slightly off center, the pressure tends to lift one side more than the other, so it's easy to spread the side with your fingers once the other side has spread a bit. It's important to remove the cover evenly so you don't warp or crack the cover. It's rare to find a good original cover without cracks in the brass rim.

    Comment


    • Tony Hillyard
      Tony Hillyard commented
      Editing a comment
      That is very clever. Simple once you have seen it, but clever.

      Tony

  • #4
    Ammeter nut tightening tool

    Here's another ammeter tool I made years ago to tighten the special slotted nuts used on original ammeters.

    These pictures show a couple wrenches I made to work on the special ammeter nuts. The first one I made has the round aluminum handle, but since that was the only handle I had I started making a new design, which is actually better because it's flat and fits in the tool pouch or tool box better.

    It takes a lathe and a mill (or, in my case a milling attachment for the lathe) to make this tool. I'm not a production shop, so for me to set up and make the tool takes an hour or so.

    The last picture shows all the parts to the ammeter. The terminals must be clean and tight to the buss bar inside the guage. Some people also solder the heads of the two studs to the buss bar for positive contact. Also pay attention to which way the ring magnet comes out and be sure to install it the same way, or the gauge will read backwards. A bent needle is easily straightened, but go easy on it, as it's very thin metal, not much thicker than heavy aluminum foil.

    I like to put a drop of heavy gear oil on each of the two pivot points, as it dampens the movement a bit.

    Notice that on an original ammeter anything you can see through the window is flat black, but on repro's it's usually just shiny brass.


    I used a 3/8" x 3 1/2" bolt to make the tool. After cutting the threads off I drilled a #22 hole about 3/4" deep for the stud to fit into. I then milled away the sides, leaving a .065" width, by using a milling vice attachment on my lathe. The slot in the brass nuts is cut with a round saw, so I rounded the end of my tool to better fit the nut slots.

    Comment


    • #5
      Engine storing and transport stand

      Having an engine stand makes storing and transporting Model A engines much easier and safer than using an old tire.
      I cut four pieces of 2 x 6 seventeen inches long, and four pieces of 2 x 6 eight and a half inches long.
      I used four #8 x 2 1/2" square drive screws to fasten each vertical board to the horizontal board.
      I used only 2 screws on each end of the bottom boards to secure each of the ends of the horizontal and vertical boards.
      Space the uprights 7 3/4" to 7 7/8" apart to clear the oil pan sides.
      I had a gallon of free green paint from the recycling center, so that's the paint I used.
      I like to use 2 drills, so I don't have to change bits when drilling a pilot hole for the screws.
      These two drill were less than $5 each from swap meets.

      Comment


      • #6
        Light switch operating tool

        How many of you have been to HF just to get the FREE LED flashlight, or seen them at your favorite 99¢ Store?

        Well, I have some pretty big news about those lights, When they fail, and they will, all is not lost. Most of you I would imagine have a 1" belt sander, or something close. Well, today I find myself wondering why my headlights only work on low beam, and removed the switch ball to find nothing out of the ordinary.
        FRUSTRATING!!! Now here comes the clincher, I find myself in a real need for a switch tool to jam in the switch ball and act like the steering switch. I know, I know, a slot screwdriver will do the trick, but why take the chance of breaking the fenolic insulator of the switch?

        Well, it just so happens, the ID of the switch ball neck is 1.040 and the OD on the flashlight body is 1.037. Perfect fit, AND it is correctly arched to allow it to fit perfectly into the slots of the switch INSIDE the neck.


        Now I can stand at the side of the car and diddle with the actual switch without needing to use the column switch.

        Also, I just noticed a mistake I made. I should have ground off the material on the LIGHT side of the housing so I could leave the threaded side in with the nifty strap to hang this tool with!! D'oh!!


        Please direct your attention to the pictures below. The working of the housing of the flashlight should be evident. I just used my belt sander and fireproof gloves to grind off some housing.
        You wana look waaay far up da road and plan yer route because the brakes are far more of a suggestion than a command!

        Comment


        • Tony Hillyard
          Tony Hillyard commented
          Editing a comment
          Now I know what to do with the old flash lights when they die!

      • #7
        Homemade Tools Timing Cover Installer


        Yesterday I was fighting with the timing cover trying to get it pulled down enough to start the bolts. I can usually start the bolt on the far right of the engine (passenger side), then I have to use a Philips screwdriver in one of the left side holes to pry the cover down. This helped me get two more bolts started, but no more. Also I'm not too fond of prying against threads, which can be damaged, so yesterday I finally made a simple tool to pull the cover into place.

        Because the angle iron is flush with the bottom lip of the block and extends forward to pull the left side of the cover down, it also sets the cover lip perfectly in line with the block while the cover bolts are tightened. I've needed this tool many times when installing new rope seals, so I'm glad I finally took the time to make it.

        I drilled a 5/16" hole through the 1/2" bolt, right next to the head, then ground two side of the 5/16" bolt head flush to the shaft, so it forms a T bolt, which is self locking, so no wrench is needed for the top of the bolt. This 5/16" bolt also locks the 1/2" from turning, but the nut only needs to be finger tight on that bolt anyway.

        After I took the first picture I cut off an inch of excess metal from the front, and I elongated the front bolt hole so it works better if the cover is forward a bit. Sometimes you might need to move the cover ahead to be sure the gasket is in place just before tightening the bolts.

        The angle iron is 2 1/12" x 1 1/2" x 11" by 3/16" thick
        The 3 bolts to the block are 5/16" x 3/4"
        The bolt through the generator mount is 1/2" x 3"
        The bolt to pull the cover down is 5/16" x 3 1/2"

        I held the angle iron to the block to mark the 3 mounting holes, but I'll give the spacing to make it easier for you. Draw a line down the center of the 1 1/2" lip then drill a 5/16" hole 5/16" in from the end of the angle iron. The next hole is 3" from the first hole. The third hole is 6 1/4" forward of the first hole, but it is also 1/8" in from the center line of the first two bolt holes. The hole for the pull down bolt is a 3/8" x 5/8" oval slot to allow movement as the cover is pulled into position. If you use this tool with the pan installed, then you'll need the 3 mounting bolts to be about 1 1/4" long.
        Last edited by Tom Wesenberg; 06-20-2017, 08:44 AM.

        Comment


        • #8
          Homemade Tools Wheel Kit for the Engine Lift

          Sometimes it would be handy to be able to lift engines and move them from one place to another in the back yard, so I made a wheel kit to bolt onto my engine lift. I also made a tongue to connect it to my Cub Cadet. I ran short on long carriage bolts, so I just slipped some in the holes to take these pictures. The engine lift, wheels, and coupler came from Harbor Freight. The legs each angle out at 10 degrees, so I had to weld the axles to the angle iron at an 80* angle.

          BTW, if you go to H/F looking for wheels, carry a 6" piece of 5/8" wood dowel in you pocket so you can stick it through the wheel bearings and spin the wheels. Many of their wheels are more wobbly than the town drunk.

          Comment


          • #9
            Engine oil fill tube remover


            This is a tool I've thought about making for years, and I finally got around to it. I've seen hammer and chisel marks from people trying to remove the oil fill pipe, and I've even read where someone suggests tapping the pipe back and forth as you pull. This is a good way to distort the bottom end and always have a loose fitting pipe.

            You need to use a slide hammer and pull straight out to maintain a good tight fit. I used a 3 1/2" aluminum square block, just because it was what I had handy. It could have been a little smaller, then I wouldn't have had to taper the edge facing the block for clearance. I used my hole saw to cut the pipe hole first, then drilled the two holes for the bolts, then used my band saw to cut it in half. I then drilled and tapped two 1/4" - 20 holes for the crossbar, which fastens to the puller by a 3/8" bolt.

            I also made a snug fitting plug for the pipe. Even though this probably isn't needed it does give the pipe good support to make sure it isn't distorted by the clamping. You can see wrench or chisel marks all over this pipe from someone's previous attempts at pulling the pipe out.

            Years ago I made an oil pipe remover tool out of a rear brake camshaft, which works great for driving the pipe up and out when the pan is off the engine.

            Comment


            • #10
              Distributor oiler remover

              Here's the simplest tool I've made, but very necessary to restore distributors. As the picture shows, it's a simple 6" long rod .192" diameter, and I turned down the last 3/16" to .149" diameter, so it's a snug fit in the oil hole. I then hammer a large flat tip screwdriver between the rod and cast body, and the oiler comes right out.

              Comment


              • #11
                32 volt drill press and a riveter

                Built by the mechanic "Hein" that lived on this farm in the 40's -70's
                Model A's and of course the famous AA's

                Comment


                • Mitch
                  Mitch commented
                  Editing a comment
                  can you explain what the tool is

                • pAAt
                  pAAt commented
                  Editing a comment
                  32 volt drill press and a riveter, I believe built with Model T connecting rods and rear end axle housings.

              • #12
                Hinge pin remover

                Adding text to see how it is edited. Ok, so I needed a hinge pin puller and thought to myself, "self, you can make one a whole lot cheaper than they sell them". So I took a piece of brass stock I think 1inx¼inx8in and sliced it in half, clamped it up in my leetle Unimat 1000 with the head mounted for mill, and started drilling the two pieces as one to get the alignment of the holes right, then turned the threaded part over and used the top piece as the guide for the other set of holes. Now, to use this, simply turn the top piece over and thread into the other set of holes. Oh, and change sides of the car for the other hinge pin. Just an FYI for those who have never removed a hinge pin, only about the top ¼in of the pin is knurled to hold it in the hinge, so that is all you really need to lift to remove them.
                Hinge tool small2.jpgHinge tool small 1.jpg
                Last edited by DaWizard; 06-25-2017, 07:42 PM.
                You wana look waaay far up da road and plan yer route because the brakes are far more of a suggestion than a command!

                Comment


                • #13
                  My shift lever spring tool was almost free

                  I took a 1-1/4 W + 2-3/4 L copper pipe and notched 4 little grooves in it. Feed two lengths of mechanics wire through the center and compress the spring in a vice to the size of the copper tube. wrap the wire tight using the notches in the pipe on each side. Then add two more pieces of wire on each side as backup. i did the last two pieces out of the vice. then install your spring and retainer and cut the wire and pull out with a needle nose pliers


                  IMG_6206.JPGIMG_6209.JPGIMG_6210.JPGIMG_6208.JPGIMG_6207.JPG
                  3 ~ Tudor's
                  Henry Ford said
                  "It's all nuts and bolts"


                  Mitch's Auto Service ctr

                  Comment


                  • Mikey
                    Mikey commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Man, I like that, I'm going to try that one.

                • #14
                  Universal / Engine Hoist

                  I made this engine hoist about 20 years ago when I needed something to lift the engine out of my 29 Tudor. The 2" square tubing was cheap because it was used, and the winch was only $5 from a swap meet. The 4 casters came from a swap meet also. The white thing on top is just a plastic rain gutter to shed rain while I use it outside.

                  Hoist 1a.JPG

                  Comment


                  • BNCHIEF
                    BNCHIEF commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Tom did you get a buy on that green paint seems that is about the color all the mills and lathes were in my high school metal shop class.

                • #15
                  Engine Pressure Test Plates

                  Here are some plates I made to pressure test the head and block. They fit in place of the inlet, outlet, and water pump.

                  Comment


                  • #16
                    Drill Bit guide

                    Today I made a drill bit guide for the pilot holes to mount hinges. Drill bits like to follow the wood grain and wander off center every time I drill pilot holes. This is especially true of plywood. I was going to use a small piece of 3/8" diameter brass rod, but then I spotted a worn out air nozzle from my sandblasting gun. The end gets worn away when the grit hits it, so I used a carbide bit and my lathe to cut it back and give it a taper to center in the hinge holes. This air nozzle also had the 1/8" center hole, so it saved me having to drill one for the 1/8" pilot drill.

                    This tool not only keeps the drill bit exactly centered, but it also acts as a drill stop. I simply chuck the bit so 3/8" was exposed when the spring is fully collapsed. This tool also speeds up drilling the 24 holes to mount 4 hinges.

                    Drill Guide 1.JPG

                    Drill Guide 2.JPG

                    Comment


                    • #17
                      Zenith Float level Checker

                      Today I put the finishing touches on a float level checker. Simple piece of ¾ brass stock about ¼ in thick, a 3/8 24 by ¾ long bolt and a couple of the drain plug washers. Some 3/16 brass tubing, a little 1/4x1/4x3/8 brass stock and 1/8 brass tubing.

                      The drum is made like the banjo style brake fittings, and the bolt is drilled to the hole in the side of the bolt that matches the banjo hole. It is used at the bowl drain plug hole, and the tubing needs to make a little bend just to clear the carb center bolt. The hole in the banjo is a slip fit.
                      Last edited by DaWizard; 07-19-2017, 07:59 PM.
                      You wana look waaay far up da road and plan yer route because the brakes are far more of a suggestion than a command!

                      Comment


                      • #18
                        Distributor removal tool

                        This is a stuck distributor removal tool I made from some aluminum pieces I had and an old distributor cam screw. I threaded the aluminum pieces so I could bolt them together, and I welded a 3/8" bolt to the distributor cam screw. Using a special distributor puller tool like the parts houses sell is the only safe way to remove a stuck distributor. Homemade Tools Distributor Remover.JPG

                        Comment


                        • #19
                          King Pin Bushing Reamer

                          Here's my complicated but works great $10.00 king pin bushing reamer. Well maybe more than that but the only thing I bought was the reamer from Amazon for $10.00 and the rest were scraps. The tapered sleeve was from an old leaking air hose coupler that I unscrewed and used one of the housings. Spring was in my misc hardware drawer plus other items.

                          Comment


                          • Dennis
                            Dennis commented
                            Editing a comment
                            The air hose coupler was turned to a taper in a lathe.

                        • #20
                          Distributor Puller

                          Cheap fast distributer puller. 6" long 1/8" x 3/4" angle iron. Drill 21/64 hole in center for cam bolt and 3/8" holes on each side 2" from center. 2- 3/8" x 3" bolts and nuts. ( not as nice as Tom's ), but did pull the tight distributer out nicely.
                          Last edited by pAAt; 07-24-2017, 07:38 AM.
                          Model A's and of course the famous AA's

                          Comment


                          • DaWizard
                            DaWizard commented
                            Editing a comment
                            Nicely done. Gota keep usin da stuff in da scrap pile, why let the scrapper have all da fun!!

                        • #21
                          Wiring protection trick

                          How many out there wear some type of rubber glove while working on da car?

                          How many have removed the battery cable from the starter to have it just touch something metal and arc, scaring the crap outa ya?

                          Well, I have an extra use for them fingers.

                          I have done this several times, and it works GREAT.

                          Cut your favorite finger off the glove and when you remove the cable from the starter switch, slip it over the end to insulate it from the rest of the car. I usually add a tie-wrap or you could use a rubber band to hold it on the cable while you go about your business. Simple, cost effective reuse of the gloves.


                          Finger 1.jpgFinger 2.jpg
                          You wana look waaay far up da road and plan yer route because the brakes are far more of a suggestion than a command!

                          Comment


                          • tbirdtbird
                            tbirdtbird commented
                            Editing a comment
                            Wiz, I do something similar. Before I fasten the cable to the starter switch, I cut a short (maybe 4") length of heater hose from the scrap bin, and slip it on there first. Then, If I ever need to remove that cable from the switch, I can just slip the hose over the end as soon as it is off, and the hose is always there, waiting for action

                          • DaWizard
                            DaWizard commented
                            Editing a comment
                            Oh, good idea, but my garage doesn't have any heater hose.....

                        • #22
                          Homemade Tools to Rebuild Shocks


                          I made a 4 piece set of shock tools, plus the angle iron mounting bracket, which are the most heavy duty tools I've seen. I made 3 sets. I sold one set on ebay for a very disappointing price. I sold another set to Jim in Wisconsin, and kept the third set for myself. The spanner wrench has a fixed pin to engage the hole in the lock ring, while the full circle lock ring tool has a movable pin to engage the hole.

                          Notice the large strap wrench used to unscrew the cover. I tapered the ends of the metal strap outward slightly so there is no chance of it leaving a mark in the cover. I don't have any dimensions or blueprints, but you can make your own tools by looking at the pictures.

                          The hex wrench has 6 tapered sides to match the taper of the hex in the shock. These tools took a lot of time to make, and I won't be making any more, but if you want a set get in contact with Jim Sinclair because he finished his shocks and has his set of tools for sale.


                          Comment


                          • #23
                            Differential pinion nut wrenches

                            Here's a pair of homemade pinion nut wrenches I made about 10 years ago. I used a plasma cutter to cut them out of steel plate. It was probably 3/8" thick, but I'd have to measure to be sure. I then filed and sanded them smooth, and took them to a local heat treatment company to have them heat treated. I'm sure that wasn't needed, but George didn't charge me for the service. He just threw them in with a large batch of other parts going through the furnace.

                            Comment


                            • #24
                              Cut out tool

                              Here's a homemade tool to hold the cutout so I can split the two spot welds. Once the cover is removed the bends can easily be straightened. The cover will fit tight and the 2 terminal screws will also hold it in place, so there is no need to solder or spot weld it in place. I adjust the contacts to close between 6 and 7 volts. The open contacts should have an air gap of about .020". Notice my variable power supply shows 7.1 volts, but that's because it's upside down. In the upright position it will close at 7.0 volts. The weight of the armature makes the difference. The closed mounting feet mean this is a later Ford cutout, which is often used as a replacement on Model A's.

                              The 4th picture shows what the cover looks like after sandblasting and plating with my Caswell "copy cad" plating kit, which is actually zinc plating. I then lightly brush the plating with my well worn brass brush to make it look more correct.

                              Comment


                              • #25
                                Coil tester

                                Here's a homemade coil tester I built several years ago. The microfarads of the capacitor isn't critical, and a slight change will just change the rate of the relay contacts vibrating.

                                Comment

                                Related Topics

                                Collapse

                                • Tom Wesenberg
                                  Homemade Tools Ammeter Cover Remover
                                  by Tom Wesenberg
                                  I had to fix a couple ammeters and both the original and repro had super tight covers on them, so I had to make a special tool to get them apart.

                                  Note the repro is aluminum and has no black paint on the brass inside the case. I spent more time fixing this one than it was worth. The face also uses white for the marking, while originals are silver.

                                  I got both the pointers centered,...
                                  05-24-2017, 06:05 AM
                                • Tom Wesenberg
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                                  I cut four pieces of 2 x 6 seventeen inches long, and four pieces of 2 x 6 eight and a half inches long.
                                  I used four #8 x 2 1/2" square drive screws to fasten each vertical board to the horizontal board.
                                  I used only 2 screws on each end of the bottom boards to...
                                  06-15-2017, 05:59 PM
                                • Dennis
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                                  by Dennis
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                                  08-11-2018, 09:21 PM
                                • Mitch
                                  A good Model A tool
                                  by Mitch
                                  This is a great tool that every Model A owner needs, to efficiently and easily fish out your broken bendix parts from the fly wheel housing. It has a durable / bendable rod that is 24" long, with a cap on the end which prevents the sides from magnetizing to things when your fishing it down. The cap is held in place by the magnet and then pushes up once it bottoms out. For coming off the snap...
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                                • Standing Elk
                                  A handy home built tool
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                                • BillLee/Chandler, TX
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                                  by BillLee/Chandler, TX
                                  Tank for my '29 Tudor, got from Berts. Came with the old gas gauge in it. I want to get the gauge out. How?

                                  I bought the special tools that are supposed to work. Was warned that they are close to worthless but already had them. The tank has been sitting with PBBlaster for over a week. The tools ARE close to worthless! Soft pot metal, poor fit, and incapable of taking the gas gauge out....
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                                  by Tom Wesenberg
                                  Anytime you install a new pressure plate or are chasing the cause of clutch chatter, you need to check to be sure all 6 pressure plate fingers are at the correct height and even with each other. I made this simple tool to make the job quick and easy. I just use a bolt and two nuts through a piece of aluminum channel, and lock the bolt head 11/16" from the face of the aluminum channel. If the...
                                  01-23-2018, 10:20 AM
                                • tbirdtbird
                                  Please comment on the NuRex timing tool
                                  by tbirdtbird
                                  We often see that some owners like to use the NuRex timing tool, you know, turn the tool 2 full rotations clockwise, then stop when the edge of tool is opposite the #4 contact. (which edge?).
                                  I have never seen the tool or had it in my hand to compare to the usual method. Have only seen pix.
                                  Would appreciate if users of the tool who have timed their cars this way and the standard Ford way...
                                  05-12-2017, 10:11 PM
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