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Machine Shop and Tool Talk

Straightening a Pipe Wrench


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  #1  
Old 11-30-2010, 10:11:33 PM
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Meco3hp Meco3hp is offline
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Default Straightening a Pipe Wrench

Hello,
I was given a fairly new Rigid pipe wench that somebody got stupid with and bent it. Could a guy heat it up and bend it back?

Thanks!
Richard
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Old 11-30-2010, 10:24:25 PM
Rick McKay Rick McKay is offline
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Default Re: straightening a pipe wrench

According to Ridgid's guarantee, if the wrench bends or breaks, they will replace it. I have never tried to turn one in, so let us know how it works out.

Rick
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Old 11-30-2010, 11:04:49 PM
KidDynamo KidDynamo is offline
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Default Re: Straightening a Pipe Wrench

My first pipe wrench was a nice 24" Rigid steel that I got cheap because it had a pretty good bend in it. After years of buying wrenches I have more pipe wrenches than I care to count, from small to 48" and still have that original 24"-er.

A couple years ago, I decided to straighten it and did quite easily by using a hydraulic press and some well positioned steel blocks to allow the re-bend to proceed the way I wanted it to.

I moved the blocks as needed and now the wrench is straight.

Bend it cold, or rather heating should probably not be needed.
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Old 11-30-2010, 11:06:08 PM
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Default Re: Straightening a Pipe Wrench

I suspect a cheater bar. Been there done that.
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Old 12-01-2010, 12:10:11 AM
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Default Re: Straightening a Pipe Wrench

Hello,
I'm thinking cheater bar also! If it was a bigger wrench, I'd suspect a over head crane! They have 2 pipe wrenches at work that must be 6' wenches, (we build pulling rigs among other oil field products). As you can guess when repairing oil field equipment, you have to get extreme some times. On a number of occasions, I've walk through the shop only to see one of those wrenches on a part with a 10 ton over head crane pulling up on the handle!: Talk about a cheater bar! I just turn and walk back into the office. Yes, they are bent!

Rick,
I figure a bend from a cheater bar would void most warranties.

I've been wanting to build a hydraulic press for my shop. Now I got another reason to build one.

Thanks!
Richard
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Old 12-01-2010, 01:42:28 AM
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Eric M. Eric M. is offline
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Default Re: Straightening a Pipe Wrench

Quote:
Originally Posted by Meco3hp View Post

Rick,
I figure a bend from a cheater bar would void most warranties.
Maybe but maybe not. You never know until you ask. A friend of mine bought a 1/2" breaker bar from the Snap-On truck that visited his jobsite (before he retired). As you know, Snap-On has a "If it breaks, we'll replace it" guarantee. When he bought it, he asked the salesman "how many feet of cheater bar can I apply before I void the replacement guarantee?" His response? "If it breaks, we'll replace it."
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Old 12-09-2010, 12:47:38 PM
David Hughes David Hughes is offline
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Default Re: Straightening a Pipe Wrench

I have a 3 ft Rigid pipewrench that was broken at work while breaking drill string joints, Rigid replaced it

David Hughes
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Old 12-09-2010, 01:09:09 PM
Roland Hayes Roland Hayes is offline
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Default Re: Straightening a Pipe Wrench

I inherited an old Snap-On 1/2" drive 36" breaker bar from a relative, it had snapped in the middle of the handle shaft but had continued to be used at the shorter length just as a general purpose bar. I had it in one of my toolboxes for years until a time came where I was working in a place where a Snap-On man came around weekly to sell tools to the guys, I thought I'd see if he would exchange it for a new one, which he did immediately and without question. The Snap On lifetime guarantee means what it says, I find that very reassuring in these times.
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Old 12-09-2010, 01:52:16 PM
Weezer Weezer is offline
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Default Re: Straightening a Pipe Wrench

Be careful putting that wrench in the press! I used to straighten the 4 bar links on a friends race car when they got bent. One time the bar slipped, I heard the bar and one of the blocks go past my head. Find some way to restrain that thing. Those little plexiglas guards ain't gonna do it, they're just more shrapnel for the Dr. to remove!
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Old 12-09-2010, 02:48:18 PM
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OTTO-Sawyer OTTO-Sawyer is offline
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Default Re: Straightening a Pipe Wrench

After many years of running a straightening press at work along with machining, broaching, milling, spline rolling, finish grinding, etc.,...I have to offer up another word of caution when straightening anything.

If you can't get it in 'one shot', try to get it done in the second try, as the more times you bend it the more brittle it gets, and the more likely it will break on you.

You have to bend it passed straight with a slight bow in the opposite dirrection so it can spring back to straight when you relieve the pressure. If you try to sneek up on it a little at a time, the repeated bending and relieving will stress harden it to the point you may as well be trying to straighten a glass bottle. Eventually you will have shrapnel flying.

Eyeball it before you start to determine the best location for the support anvils with the ram on the high point even if it isn't pefectly centered between the anvils, then press it as quickly as you can to 1/4 to 1/2 inch passed straight depending on how bad the original bend was.
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