Ridgid Pipe Wrench

Remember the pin I drove into my bench from the previous post?  This is what is was from.  This, of course, is a pipe wrench.  Specifically, it is a 24″ Ridgid cast iron pipe wrench.  A friend from work picked it up from a local estate sale and I bought it off of him for what he paid.  Everyone needs a couple pipe wrenches right?


Well, here it is as picked up…


Sure, it has seen better days but there’s not to much to go wrong with a pipe wrench.  Somewhere along the way, someone put a pipe on the handle and bent it in both directions.  I was able to straighten out the side to side bend with a mallet and block of wood.  The forward and backward bend didn’t want to come out though.


Here’s the pin in the wrench, before I drove it into my bench.  As mentioned before, I drifted it out with a pin punch and hammer.  The moving jaw, called the Hook Jaw, comes off easily by unscrewing the nut until it falls out.


Here’s the pipe wrench in pieces and ready for cleaning.



Of course, I turn to electrolysis again.  I’m using a couple piece of rebar as the sacrificial anode and some baking soda.  Add water and cook…


I let it run overnight and was greeted by relatively clean water in the morning.  I put the hook jaw and lower jaw piece in to clean them as well.  The nut was pretty clean.  I just gave it a few passes with a wire brush.


As always, when the part is removed from the electrolysis tank, it is covered with a layer of black gunk (iron).  The gunk was scrubbed off with some coarse 3M green pads.  After I was satisfied with the cleaning I oiled it .  I think it came out pretty well.

This wrench is actually missing a part.  Inside the handle there’s a spring assembly (bent piece of metal and coil spring) that helps keep the hook jaw centered and parallel to the handle.  I found a replacement assembly on ebay for pretty cheap but decided to see if my dad could find one locally.  He decided to order it and tell me after the fact cause he’s sneaky like that.  Thanks!  When it arrives I’ll drop it into the wrench.

I was admiring how well the wrench turned out when I noticed “PAT. PENDG” on it.  This is short for “Patent Pending.”  To protect their work, companies or peaople patent their design to keep other folks from reproducing it.  As a result of this, you’ll usually see a marking saying “Patented” or “Pat #####” stamped on the tool.  This wrench says “Patent Pending” meaning the patent has been applied for but not granted yet.  This is noteworthy because you can look up patent to get an idea about the age of the item.

After a little searching on the internet, I came across the patent for this wrench.  It can be seen here:  Pipe Wrench Patent.    It says that the patent was applied for on 1-11-1928 and granted on 9-28-1929.  This means that this wrench was made in either 1928 or 1929.  As I like old stuff, I find this to be pretty cool.  You have to wonder what this pipe wrench has done in the 83 years is has been around?  Probably sitting in someone’s box, but maybe not.



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