Source of Soft steel 'screwdriver-like' tool for R Musson Nipple-driver tool

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SA_SA_SA
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Source of Soft steel 'screwdriver-like' tool for R Musson Nipple-driver tool

Postby SA_SA_SA » 28 Jan 2019, 11:20pm

It seems even cheap screw-drivers are hardened hence my replacement Roger Musson DIY nipple-driver is a bit rubbish:

so where would be a source of Soft steel 'screwdriver-like' tool to use as the basis for said R Musson Nipple-driver tools?
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gaz
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Re: Source of Soft steel 'screwdriver-like' tool for R Musson Nipple-driver tool

Postby gaz » 28 Jan 2019, 11:23pm

For every problem, there's a post by Brucey.

alexnharvey
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Re: Source of Soft steel 'screwdriver-like' tool for R Musson Nipple-driver tool

Postby alexnharvey » 29 Jan 2019, 7:43am

That's not the type he's trying to make. The solutions are to anneal it yourself or to use an angle grinder, bench grinder or diamond file on the hardened steel. You might also try a carbide grit or maybe a bimetal hacksaw blade.

iandusud
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Re: Source of Soft steel 'screwdriver-like' tool for R Musson Nipple-driver tool

Postby iandusud » 29 Jan 2019, 8:12am

alexnharvey wrote:That's not the type he's trying to make. The solutions are to anneal it yourself or to use an angle grinder, bench grinder or diamond file on the hardened steel. You might also try a carbide grit or maybe a bimetal hacksaw blade.

+1 Anneal it - heat to cherry red and allow to cool.

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Re: Source of Soft steel 'screwdriver-like' tool for R Musson Nipple-driver tool

Postby 2Phat4Rapha » 29 Jan 2019, 10:49am

I have acquired and used a number of nipple drivers over the years and recently was surprised how easy it was to use a simple rod of silver steel ground appropriately at the end. You can get this stuff from model maker sites. (search for "Silver Steel Ground Rod"). I used 6mm dia.

The need arose when confronted with a deep carbon rim where even the longest of my drivers wouldn't reach the nipple head. I confronted the same issue; how to bend the steel rod, especially since I don't have a heavy duty bench vice. In the interim I just used the straight rod as it was, no handle, no bends, and it works a treat. It's more of a "twizzle stick" than Roger's driver but I've actually come to like using it. Only caveat is that you can really only use it where there's no significant turning force needed - but there shouldn't be any at the stage the tool is needed for. The rod's cheap enough to make several twizzlers with different depth "pins" at the blade.

As for passing the nipple through the rim to its spoke hole, search for "pin vice". Again cheap as chips. Use it to grip cut lengths old spoke with the ends ground down to a taper that push-fits into the nipple head.

So with one side of the rim on my knees and the opposite side supported on a low stool I...

    I ready the next spoke in my left hand at it's place in the rim

    Pick up a nipple on the pin vice tool and pass it through the rim

    I pinch the nipple with my index finger and thumb of my left hand whilst still holding the spoke in my remaining three fingers and withdraw the pin vice

    Using my right hand I dab a drop of boiled linseed oil on the nipple threads (that are now right next to the waiting nipple)

    I put down the oil dropper and return with my right hand now holding the twizzle stick.

    I bend the spoke so that it presents as straight as possible to the nipple as twizzle away.

I leave spokes threads visible and make a second pass of winding them all to near the same place.

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Re: Source of Soft steel 'screwdriver-like' tool for R Musson Nipple-driver tool

Postby alexnharvey » 29 Jan 2019, 10:53am

I'm not sure that annealing the steels used in screwdriver blades is as simple as heating to red then cooling. In particular, the rate of cooling needs to be very slow for some steels like S2 which is used in bits. The old trick was to leave it in the forge buried in ashes to cool more slowly, but S2 is supposed to ramp down about 40 degrees an hour.

I think this job should only require a little careful work on the bench grinder or using an angle grinder. You are only nipping away a couple of mm. Getting a reasonably tight radius on the inside corners to allow the protrusion to enter the nipple is probably the hardest bit, especially if the grinding wheel is worn and not dressed.

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Mick F
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Re: Source of Soft steel 'screwdriver-like' tool for R Musson Nipple-driver tool

Postby Mick F » 29 Jan 2019, 10:56am

I mounted my screwdriver vertically in the vice and cut a slot into it with a hacksaw, then waggled it about a bit to widen the slot.

It worked a treat.

I think cheap screwdrivers are only case-hardened tool steel. Cut through the case-hardening, and it's just plain tough steel underneath.
Mick F. Cornwall

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Re: Source of Soft steel 'screwdriver-like' tool for R Musson Nipple-driver tool

Postby alexnharvey » 29 Jan 2019, 11:09am

Are you describing nipple driver tool with a central slot or central pin Mick?

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Mick F
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Re: Source of Soft steel 'screwdriver-like' tool for R Musson Nipple-driver tool

Postby Mick F » 29 Jan 2019, 11:14am

Driver.
One that fits in the slot of the nipple top, that you can spin the nipple on with. The slot is to allow the spoke to come up through.

As it happens, I returned the screwdriver to normal a few weeks ago by filing it flat. It was just the right size for some screws I was using. If required, I can cut another slot easily enough.
Mick F. Cornwall

Brucey
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Re: Source of Soft steel 'screwdriver-like' tool for R Musson Nipple-driver tool

Postby Brucey » 29 Jan 2019, 11:50am

I've made and used a lot of nipple driver tools and if you want to make a modified screwdriver bit the best/quickest thing is to take a screwdriver bit and modify it by grinding; the steel (which can vary wildly BTW) is already hardened and tempered, probably better than you will manage to do. You can do everything you need to do with either

a) a large grinder (to get the thickness etc) and a small grinding tool (eg a Dremel) to get the shape or
b) use an angle grinder; an ultrathin cutting disc will make corners with a small enough radius to make the features required for a nipple driver.


To overcome the fact that with hardened and tempered steel you can't bend it, I would suggest that you take a small block of aluminium and drill a couple of holes in it. The steel parts (e.g. a central shaft and an offset screwdriver bit) can be bonded into the holes using epoxy resin, or secured using grub screws (which means you can change the bit if you want). The handle can be mounted to the central shaft using spacers and a circlip, located in a groove that can be easily ground into the shaft.

This is all a lot quicker and easier than working silver steel or other tool steel in its softened state and then trying to quench and temper it, which at best will get you one tool of fixed geometry.

However rims keep being made differently, so if you want to be future proof, having a flexible approach to tools like nipple drivers is much the best way. So whilst I have made and have used all kinds of fancy tools I am liable to build a wheel (esp with a deep rim) using a bent spoke tool as linked to upthread. In practice this is much faster to build a wheel with than some other approaches simply because you are not constantly swapping tools multiple times to get each nipple fitted and set. The procedure is

1) to fit a nipple to the tool
2) to wind the nipple onto the spoke end

3) er, that's it.


the nipple is fitted to the rim and set in one operation, the nipple isn't going to fall off the tool inside the rim, the tool basically can't slip off the nipple when you are driving it, and there are only two stages that require any careful alignment of anything . The tool is very lightweight and easy to manipulate. You can make a tool to suit a different rim in a minute or so.

In hindsight I have wasted a lot of time in the past making (and using) fancy tools which work less well than something I could make out of an old spoke in about a minute. Boy do I feel dumb.

cheers
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Re: Source of Soft steel 'screwdriver-like' tool for R Musson Nipple-driver tool

Postby 2Phat4Rapha » 29 Jan 2019, 12:03pm

Here's why I don't use an old spoke anymore.
https://www.wheelfanatyk.com/store/wheel-fanatyk-nipple-shuffler/
All the nipples are heads up waiting for me to stab one onto my pin vice tool.

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Re: Source of Soft steel 'screwdriver-like' tool for R Musson Nipple-driver tool

Postby Brucey » 29 Jan 2019, 12:10pm

very nice, but you still need to swap tools many more times to build the wheel and the nipple can still drop off the setting tool inside the rim.

cheers
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Mick F
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Re: Source of Soft steel 'screwdriver-like' tool for R Musson Nipple-driver tool

Postby Mick F » 29 Jan 2019, 1:03pm

What I do, is to fit all the spoke nipples on very slack. Perhaps one or two turns only.
That way, the hub will move in the centre up/down/left/right as you fit the nipples as the spokes come right through. I never have to lower on into the rim as all the spokes are proud. Only when they're all on, do I start to turn the nipples further on.

Yes, ok, I've built a very deep sectioned rim as yet, so my method may not work.
Mick F. Cornwall

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531colin
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Re: Source of Soft steel 'screwdriver-like' tool for R Musson Nipple-driver tool

Postby 531colin » 30 Jan 2019, 6:41pm

If you build lots of (conventional) wheels then Park Tool's cranked nipple driver is useful and saves a bit of time.
If you don't build many wheels it will probably take you more time to make a nipple driver than the time you might save using it.
On a similar note, long ago I developed a "nipple picker" so that I could using just one hand pick up a (conventional) nipple, insert it into the rim, and start the thread. We got a few made, but they sold dreadfully slowly (Spa Cycles). I came to the conclusion that if you already build lots of wheels, then (as in this thread) you have probably already worked out your own way of doing stuff. If you don't build many wheels, you probably won't buy the tools.

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Re: Source of Soft steel 'screwdriver-like' tool for R Musson Nipple-driver tool

Postby alexnharvey » 31 Jan 2019, 12:08pm

I also considered grinding one of these Musson pointy nipple drivers as I prepared for my first build however it was very cold in the shed. I ended up using another spoke thread to load and start nipples and then after doing a few spokes realised the benefit of the static reversed nipple on the tool Brucey describes.