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Thread: Non-marring spanners for e61

  1. #1
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    Non-marring spanners for e61

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    I recall years ago seeing a service video where the guy used some sort of nylon or fiber reinforced plastic spanners to service an e61 group to avoid marring the chrome, he mentioned they were specific tools to service espresso machines. I can't for the life of me find where to get some... I've seen some non-marring wrenches from the US designed for Aluminum hose fittings but they are all imperial. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  2. #2
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    I wrap mine in insulation tape, but I'd prefer a better solution.

    Watching the answers with interest

    Cheers

  3. #3
    Senior Member level3ninja's Avatar
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    I'm not aware of any espresso specific tools but there are a couple of options depending on how much room there is around each nut. There are non-marring socket inserts that turn a regular socket into a smaller nylon socket (22-17mm is the largest I've found). They're are non-marring nylon ring spanner sets that go up to 13mm. Then there are non-marring fork cap wrenches for motorcycle fork nuts that go to at least 30mm.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member CafeLotta's Avatar
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    I use a couple of short handled Bahco adjustable wrenches with minimal play in the jaws which are reserved only for the E61 Grouphead. Had to spend a little time with a fine sharpening stone and extra fine wet & dry sandpaper and oil removing any sharp edges on the jaws and then polishing. (Reference Bahco 6" 9029 and 8" 9031 wide jaw models.) A bit pricey but nice quality.

    You can always use a couple of winds of electrical insulating tape to protect the chrome as long as your spanner doesn't have sharp edges and loose jaws.
    Last edited by CafeLotta; 7th September 2019 at 10:59 AM. Reason: Spelling correction
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  5. #5
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    On fixings that will allow Socket access, always best to go with a decent quality hex item rather that the standard 12 pointed socket. That way at least, you're not putting so much force on the fixing corners where you are most likely to see damage occur...

    High quality Impact Sockets are the best I've found.

    Mal.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member noidle22's Avatar
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    Just use spanners that have very tight tolerances to the fittings. A good quality adjustable wrench with a tight thread adjuster and jaws is sufficient.

    Nothing on the exposed chrome of the E61 should require tightening to the point that slipping or gouging would be a concern. If it does, it means seals aren't working as they should.
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  7. #7
    OCD
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dimal View Post
    On fixings that will allow Socket access, always best to go with a decent quality hex item rather that the standard 12 pointed socket. That way at least, you're not putting so much force on the fixing corners where you are most likely to see damage occur...

    High quality Impact Sockets are the best I've found.

    Mal.
    Concur.
    Or, you can use a Metrinch type ring spanner (or socket) which is a hex spanner that doesn't apply force to the corners of a bolt.

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    As I posted up top I'm 100% sure I watched a service video and they guy used white plastic/nylon looking spanners. The whole spanner set was made from this material no inserts at all. It's driving me mental that I can't find it again!

  9. #9
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    Non-marring spanners for e61

    https://sailzing.com/product/sailors-multi-tool-single/

    Maybe a Delrin tool similar to this?.. If I get desperate I'll 3D print them!

  10. #10
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Not really necessary in my opinion mate...

    In many years of servicing, rebuilding my own machines and repairing others, have never so much as caused a blemish to any chrome-work. All the advice above is from people who have many years of experience under their belts and know what they're talking about. Main thing is to use good quality, tight fitting tools and you won't have any problems.

    Mal.
    P.S.
    If you still remain unconvinced, then you could locate a source of Al-Bronze such as these pictured.

    BronzeTools.JPG
    Last edited by Dimal; 7th September 2019 at 10:23 PM.

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    I'll admit that it's more that I've seen them used and I'm just so curious now as to what they were... Yes, I can do all sorts with my current tools to negate marring, it's just that I like things that are specific for a purpose that someone has put thought into, adds to the hobby.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by sp3000 View Post
    I'll admit that it's more that I've seen them used and I'm just so curious now as to what they were... Yes, I can do all sorts with my current tools to negate marring, it's just that I like things that are specific for a purpose that someone has put thought into, adds to the hobby.
    G'day sp3000

    There are two "hidden assumption" or "conflicting issues" in your thread.
    1) If it is loose enough virtually anything that fits closely enough will loosen it without marring
    2) If it is really tight the nylon / delrin / plastic whatever ones will usually break before they will loosen the bolt/nut anyway. Oh, and the brass ones tend to bend under extreme pressure anyway.
    Been there / done that / scrapped them.

    I come from an engineering background involving heavy stuff (steel bridges / gas pipelines) and later really light stuff (electronics / building custom servers). I use a mixture of Bahco and Gearwrench (impact sockets / ratchet open ends / ratchet rings etc etc) and have never damaged anything no matter how tight it is. Historically one rusty 5/8 whitworth needed 2 people and nearly 3 metres of pipe and a lot of Penetrene to get it off using the Bahco impact sockets (critical location, had to get it out quickly without an angle grinder or "gas axe" - explosions are not a good look!).

    For the really tough ones I start with an exact fitting hex socket (i.e. not the usual 12 sided ones).

    If you are really paranoid, you can use a nylon insert on an impact socket (mentioned above in another post) or 3d print a 20% carbon fibre / nylon composite insert - cheap and fairly easy these days. FYI - I had a full set of unused nylon inserts for 30+ years until my "dear" nephew lost them. I have never bothered to replace them as they are not really needed these days.
    Hope this helps.

    Enjoy your cuppa - once the SOB is out and sorted.

    TampIt

  13. #13
    OCD
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    However much torque you apply to a bolt to tighten it, it will eventually need even more torque to loosen it - unless it spontaneously falls off in the meantime.
    I've lost count of the number of bolts I've beheaded or rounded off whilst trying to loosen them. Can't recall ever doing that to any I've been tightening.

    Ps stripped a few threads though. But that's another story.

    Ps 2 it's a fine line.
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