Enthusiasts' Directory

No. 7 : Spanners and other Tools

Winter is the time to overhaul, repair or tune the car in the home-workshop, and for those who can tackle such work the saving will be considerable, for labour charges constitute the biggest item in professional overhauls.

Consequently, this feature is devoted to the tools you need to do the job, especially spanners and wrenches. A complete tool set is, of course, desirable, comprising flat, three-cornered, round and half-round files, tinsnips, pliers, punches, hacksaw, hammers and drills, while a vice is practically essential, a hand-brace or, better, one of the universal electric drills and a bench are very nice to have, while possession of a lathe opens up new vistas of accomplishment. Spanners, however, are essential before a start can be made on any minor or major dismantling task and below we provide an indication of what is available, and at what cost. It does not pay to skim when purchasing sets of spanners, and properly hardened, well-proportioned tools should be sought. A full set of Whitworth and B.S.F. spanners is advisable, and duplicate these in box and ring spanners if you can afford to. The much-abused “shifter” is nevertheless an essential item of workshop equipment and it can be aided and abetted by one of the several excellent vice-like adjustable spanners and wrenches now on the market. Special cranked box spinners and suchlike can be added as expedient, but the bare minimum should consist of a set of double-ended spanners, as follows:

1/8” ― 3/16”
3/16” ― ¼”
¼” ― 3/8”
3/8” ― 7/16”
7/16” ― ½”

Go to it, and leave the expensive service station to work on the modern cars which obtain succour from “factory replacement” components!


Primarily concerned with equipment for commercial vehicles this firm does produce a series of spin wrenches suitable for tackling car wheel nuts, these tools have pressure-welded crossbars and considerable two-handed leverage can therefore be applied. Right-angle spanners and long-reach spanners are also available. Prices range from 1s. 6d. for a plug spanner to 10s. 11d. for a large spin wrench.

Manufacturers: Thomas Meldrum, Ltd., Freedom Works, John Street, Sheffield, 2.

Accles and Pollock

One of the specialities of this concern is the “Silentgrip” spanner available in Whitworth and American sizes complete in steel-boxed sets with-special wrench and extension pieces. These vary in price from 64s. 7d. for the minor set to 89s. 8d. for the senior. A range of flat and single-ended spanners is also available in all sizes. Apollo “Weasel” spanners for nuts in inaccessible spots and the “Dublex” hi-hexagon range also for use in awkward places are well worth having.

Manufacturers: Accles and Pollock, Ltd., Oldbury, Birmingham.


Garringtons have been making spanners of all kinds for a number of years and their present range is very comprehensive. One of the most attractive products is the “Pelican” range of socket sets made in Whitworth and American sizes and ranging in price from 65s. 10d. for the Six socket set to 108s. 5d. for the ten socket set. In the flat spanner range there is the “Merlin” type in chrome vanadium steel, the “Magpie” in medium carbon steel and the “Husky,” the cheapest in the range, at 11s. a set of six Whitworth in matt black carbon steel. Ring spanners, double-ended flat or offset ring wrenches, adjustable wrenches and stillsons are also produced; complete tool kits for cars can also be obtained. A very attractive set of nickel-chrome-plated tappet spanners retails at 21s. and comes in a plastic holder.

Manufacturers: Garringtons Ltd., Newton Works, Bromsgrove, Worcs.


The name of Gordon has long been associated with good quality tools and a glance at their well-illustrated catalogue depicting all manner of socket sets, spanners and other tools will make many an enthusiast reconsider his financial status. Turning first to double-ended spanners a set of seven in Metric sizes 8-27 mm. chrome vanadium steel with clip works out at 35s. 6d.; ignition spanners in the same material from to 9 B.A. retail at 11s. 6d. for a set of five in a plastic wallet and tappet spanners 20s. a set of four. Introduced for the first time this year are the short series ring spanners to supplement the standard long series sets and the flat ring types. In the socket and attachment set line there is a very wide choice ranging from the small “Coronation” sets with eight sockets and nut spinner in a steel box at 22s. 3d. to the complete mechanic’s kit in steel chest at £30. Additional sockets, T pieces, braces, ratchet handles and universal joints can be obtained separately and metric sizes can be requested for all open-ended, ring and socket sets.

Manufacturers: Gordon Tools, Ltd., Assam Works. Rockingham Street, Sheffield.


Two products made in quantity by this firm are ring wrenches and socket sets, especially the latter, which come in all sizes along with a most impressive range of interchangeable components such as swivel handles, universal joints, convertors, flexible drive extensions and ratchet units. A typical socket set with nine sockets, spinner handle, offset handle and three extensions is marketed at £2 14s. 6d.

Specialised service tool sets are available for the more popular makes of cars, trucks and also tractors; a series of “Multi way” wrenches for wheel nuts in all sizes, half-moon wrenches for dynamo mountings, and all types of ring spanners and giant-sized sockets. Another interesting implement is the adjustable tension wrench which can be set to any pre-determined tension allowing constant torsional stress to be applied to nuts, bolts and like components. Finally, come sets of flat spanners, an example being ten per box in 3/16” to 7″ S.A.E. at £3 5s. 9½d. a set.

Manufacturers: Jenks Brothers, Ltd., Britool Works, Bushbury, Wolverhampton.