As someone who works with a lot of threaded rod and long bolts, Izzy is intimately familiar with through wrenches. These tools are essentially sockets with no back, allowing them to be used on long bolts and threaded rod while providing the same benefits of a socket over an open-ended wrench (stability, ratcheting, and speed). However, while through sockets provide plenty of torque, they can be painfully slow — especially when you work with a lot of threaded rod, or some of that rod has worn threading or imperfections. Naturally, Izzy started working on a better solution.
The first prototype was a 3D-printed contraption that looked like two large gears. Rather than accepting a socket, the gear is printed to accept one size of nut. The prototype isn’t very versatile, and it adds width to the drill, but it’s a functional prototype and a good proof of concept. Izzy affectionately called this prototype “the nut hugger.”
The initial 3D printed version and the bamboo version have both helped to streamline the new wrench, but it is far from finished. Izzy is taking the Drill Powered Through Wrench (DPT Wrench) to market, and the machine shop is almost finished with the first all-metal prototype. The final version, still to come, will come to market as a completely US-made tool. Since it is made and assembled entirely in the United States and comes from a small production run, it will cost a few bucks, but certain people will find it invaluable.
If you’re a Maker with a home workshop wondering why you’d need one of these: you probably don’t. These wrenches are aimed at industry and the trades, where workers sometimes have to tackle miles of threaded rod in any given month. Electricians, fire suppression technicians, plumbers, HVAC technicians, and drop ceiling installers would all benefit from a tool like this.