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Rudder Nut Wrench

jimcleary

James M. Cleary
Mitchell

Last week the rudder nut on Dana's rudder packing gland needed to be tightened due to some weepage. In the beginning of the season I used my homemade wrench to repack. This time I decided to use the brand new aluminum wrench you sent me. It appears that the new wrench is exactly 3.25 inches wide. It also appears that I mismeasured the opening required because I had to remove 1/16" from the opening to make the wrench work. Not a big deal to modify but I feel very guilty that my original measurement was wrong. With that slight modification the wrench works fine on Dana. I'm sorry for the misinformation.

Jim
 
Jim,
Thank you for the feed back!
I haven't heard from anyone else that our wrenches are a bit small. Yet.
I'm glad you were able to fix this issue. Fortunately a 1/16" isn't to much trouble.

When I made these, they were waterjet cut and fairly precision even in their "rough cut" state.
Then I put each one in a vise and carefully file the flats to size before sending out. Also, I sand smooth and debur the edges and dress them up a bit.

I still haven't used one on my rudder, so feel a little guilty as well. I can't get to the nut without disassembling the quadrant.
I have tried the prop nut wrenches and while they are snug which is good, I did confirm and feel confident they work well.

So, if anyone else has this issue or any other, I would like to hear of it...

To "Fine tune" the opening, place the wrench handle in a vise with some protection on the vise jaws.
Use a good, sharp file. Apply some kind of wax, or parrafin on the file teeth. WD40 works well too, and is easy.
This will help the file from loading up with aluminum.

Keep the file surface flat to the edge you are removing material from. Also, file stroke away from you only. Files work in one direction. Keep it perpendicular to the wrench so the flats remain true. The opening flats top and bottom are really the only two I feel will need adjustment. Aluminum is easy to work and this should only take a few minutes.

You can check the measurement with a caliper. Harbor Freight sells one cheap and is adequate for this job. Compare the total open dimension to the rudder nut. Give it a few thousandths extra. I suspect that the rudder nuts were not real precision on the outside measurement with all the boats and there may be some variation.

I hope this helps, and PLEASE let me know how it goes.


Thanks,
Mitchell
 
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