Hand Tools

Hand Tools

It should be taken for granted that all the usual workshop hand tools such as screwdrivers, spanners, pliers and yes, even a hammer sometimes, will be required. We won’t show pictures of those though we should point out that many early magnetos, particularly Bosch, used screws with very narrow slots so it is necessary to have a selection of screwdrivers carefully ground to a thinner section to suit them. This page shows some of the hand tools we use in our workshop.

Wooden blocks
Some of the most useful aids we have are actually made of wood. Various blocks with suitable holes to accept the drive shaft hold a magneto, or dynamo, in just the right position for it to be worked on. Wooden V blocks hold dynamos and armatures without any fear of them rolling away.

Cam ring extractor
This cam ring extractor was made by adapting a commercially available bearing puller. The side arms are turned around so that the bolts push them apart rather than pull them together. The ends are ground to fit under the cam ring. To give something for the centre screw to push against, often, the block shown bottom left can be used sitting on the base of the cam housing but if the armature is still in place, the cross bar and pillars are used instead.

Red sockets
Here are a variety of special tools for various applications all made by modifying a standard ½” square drive socket of suitable size. Some are simply sockets with a reduced outside diameter to allow use in restricted areas whereas others are modified to fit something other than a normal hexagonal nut or bolt head.

Special drivers
And here are a selection of various screw and nut drivers made for specific uses on particular magnetos and dynamos.

Taps and dies
Many early magnetos used very non standard diameters and pitches of screw threads so it is often impossible to buy the required nuts, bolts and screws ‘off the shelf’. As a result, we have to make them so a comprehensive selection of taps and dies is an essential part of the workshop tooling. Blue is MM, yellow is BA and ME, green is BSF, BSW and BSCy, red is UNF and UNC. OCD? Probably that too......
A common job is to clean up existing threads, especially when a coil has been through the varnish process. Sometimes, there is insufficient room for a standard die so we have made tubular dies in various sizes to get round the problem.
Here is one in use cleaning up terminal studs in a distributor cap - next job is on a coil’s stud terminal.

Slip ring tools
Slip rings are very fragile so we have made a few jigs to hold them when working on them in the lathe. The large jig allows the slip ring to be held securely and then adjusted to give the required offset to allow the HT spout to be turned to size – useful when we have to make a slip ring from scratch. There is more detail on slip rings in our technical pages here.

End housing tommy bars
When fitting armatures, it is necessary to assemble the end housing, check the amount of end float and then dismantle to fit the required shims. Sometimes, this process needs to be done several times over so it is a lot quicker to use these special screw/nut tommy bars until correct end float is achieved.

Distributor templates
A new wooden distributor template is made whenever a particular magneto comes into the workshop for the first time. The template allows us to ensure that gear wheels and drive shafts are correctly meshed so that the rotor arm lines up with the distributor's brass contact when the spark occurs. We have found that this method is sometimes more accurate than relying on the marks supplied by the manufacturer!

Bearing fitters
This picture shows the tools we have made to help fit the outer race of the bearings in magneto bodies. With rotating armature magnetos, these bearings are insulated from the body by an insulation washer. The washer is folded around the bearing race and then held in place by the correct ring which is pushed out of the way as the bearing is pressed home. The same tool also takes care of fitting the oil seal if one is required. The large plastic collars fit over the main mandrel and are sized to fit the tunnel in the magneto body so that everything is held square and in line as the bearing is pressed home.

Points overhaul tools
Correctly overhauling a set of contact breaker points takes a considerable amount of time. These tools have all been made to make the job easier. They include tools to assist with making, repairing and fitting:
  • return springs
  • contacts
  • pivot posts
  • insulating washers, bushes, collars etc.
  • locating keys on the tapered boss
  • retaining clips
  • fibre heel

Punch press tools
This picture shows some of the press and punch tools we have made for manufacturing shims, pushing countersinks into sheet metal, dimples into cap clips and so on.

It will be obvious that the vast majority of the hand tools shown have been made for very specific requirements. They have all been made by ourselves in our own workshop. Every time we see a magneto or dynamo make/model for the first time, we often have to stop work to make a special tool or extractor - this will probably always be an ongoing exercise!
Share by: