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A WRENCH DOESN'T LOOK LIKE A TROUBLEMAKER
Wrenches seem simple
and safe. Yet why do they cause so many accidents?
WHY WRENCHES CAUSE ACCIDENTS
The answer is that
either the correct type of wrench isn't used or improper use of the wrench
causes it to slip. The result can range from mashed knuckles to a serious fall.
Slipping is caused mostly by using a wrench that is slightly oversized for the
nut. If the wrench is properly sized, it applies equal pressure to the faces of
the nut. But if the wrench is just a bit oversized, the pressure is applied to
the corners of the nut where the jaws touch. And the wrench slips. Eventually
the jaws of an improperly used wrench can become weakened or sprung. Then the
wrench won't even fit the right size head. Some persons try to use shims to
compensate for the wrong size wrench, but this isn't satisfactory either.
Another reason why your
wrench slips is that it isn't fully seated on the nut or bolt. This usually
happens when the nut to be tightened is hard to reach. This situation calls for
an offset or socket wrench. Lt may
seem like a lot of trouble to get one, but it's worth it. Always pull on a
wrench and adjust your stance to prevent a fall if something should suddenly
FIXED JAW WRENCHES ARE PREFERABLE TO ADJUSTABLE WRENCHES
You should use a fixed
jaw wrench that fits rather than an adjustable wrench. Box or socket wrenches
are even less likely to slip. Pliers are no substitute for a wrench.
Don't misunderstand, however. An adjustable wrench is a good tool when
properly used. Always place this wrench so that the pull on the nut comes from
the solid jaw and the push from the adjustable jaw.
A common mistake is
using apiece of pipe or "cheater" on the handle of a small wrench to
increase the leverage. This can place more stress on the wrench than it is
designed to take, causing it to break or the pipe itself to slip off. In either
case, the person using it can have an accident. Imagine what would happen to you
if you were standing on a ladder when the pipe gave way. Don't use a wrench as a
hammer or a pry bar. Lt won't do you or the wrench any good.
To free a frozen nut or bolt, apply penetrating oil and use a striking
face box wrench.
TAKING PROPER CARE OF YOUR WRENCHES WILL HELP MAKE YOUR WORK EASIER
No, a wrench doesn't look like a troublemaker and it doesn't have to be one, if you use it right. Keep it clean and in good repair and bear in mind the tips we have just pointed out.
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