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Alloy Steel Sockets and Drive Tools

In a previous section we looked at the Early Socket Sets produced by Duro/Indestro. By 1931 Duro/Indestro had started producing sockets made of alloy steel, and these quickly matured into a line of professional grade socket tools.


Indestro "Chromium Vanadium" 1/2-Drive Socket Set

Indestro 1/2-Drive Chromium Vanadium Socket Set]
Fig. 196. Indestro "Chromium Vanadium" 1/2-Drive Socket Set, 1931.

Fig. 196 shows an Indestro "Chromium Vanadium" 1/2-drive socket set from 1931, dated by means of the sales receipt from Western Auto Supply. The set consists of a speeder, sliding Tee handle, ratchet adapter, three extensions, universal, and ten double-hex sockets from 7/16 to 15/16. All of the sockets and tools are marked "Chromium Vanadium", except for the universal, double-male extension, and one socket.


Indestro "Chromium Vanadium" 1/2-Drive 13 Inch Speeder from 1931 Socket Set

Indestro Chromium Vanadium 1/2-Drive 13 Inch Speeder]
Fig. 197. Indestro "Chromium Vanadium" 1/2-Drive 13 Inch Speeder, with Insets for Marking Detail, 1931.

Fig. 197 shows the Indestro 1/2-drive 13 inch speeder from the 1931 socket set, stamped "Indestro Mfg. Co." and Chicago, U.S.A." on the shank with "Chromium Vanadium" on the reverse.

The overall length is 12.9 inches, and the finish is nickel plating.

Indestro "Chromium Vanadium" 1/2-Drive Sliding Tee Handle from 1931 Socket Set

Indestro Chromium Vanadium 1/2-Drive Sliding Tee Handle]
Fig. 198. Indestro "Chromium Vanadium" 1/2-Drive Sliding Tee Handle, 1931.

Fig. 198 shows the Indestro 1/2-drive sliding Tee handle from the 1931 socket set, stamped "Chromium Vanadium" on the sliding head.

The overall length is 10.0 inches.

Indestro 1/2-Drive Double-Male Extension and Universal from 1931 Socket Set

Indestro 1/2-Drive Double-Male Extension and Universal]
Fig. 199. Indestro 1/2-Drive Double-Male Extension and Universal, 1931.

Fig. 199 shows the unmarked 1/2-drive double-male extension and double-female universal from the 1931 socket set.

The overall length of the extension is 6.0 inches, and of the universal is 2.6 inches. The finish is nickel plating.

The double-male extension was required when using the double-female universal supplied with the set.

In addition to the double-male extension, the set included two standard 1/2-drive extensions, with lengths 4.5 inches and 9.5 inches. Both of these are stamped "Chromium Vanadium" and are nickel plated.


Indestro "Chromium Vanadium" 1/2-Drive Ratchet Adapter from 1931 Socket Set

Indestro Chromium Vanadium 1/2-Drive Ratchet Adapter]
Fig. 200. Indestro "Chromium Vanadium" 1/2-Drive Ratchet Adapter, 1931.

Fig. 200 shows the Indestro 1/2-drive ratchet adapter from the 1931 socket set, stamped "Chromium Vanadium" and "1-2" with stars on either side.

The overall length (extended) is 3.2 inches, and the finish is nickel plating.

The 1932 Western Auto catalog called this tool simply a ratchet rather than a ratchet adapter. By 1933 the Western Auto socket sets included a true ratchet instead of the adapter, a model based on Duro's patent #1,902,878.


Indestro "Chromium Vanadium" 1/2-Drive Double-Hex Sockets from 1931 Socket Set

Indestro 1/2-Drive Chromium Vanadium 12-Point Sockets]
Fig. 201. Indestro 1/2-Drive Chromium Vanadium 12-Point Sockets, with Inset for Detail, 1931.

Fig. 201 shows nine of the ten Indestro sockets from the 1931 socket set. (The 7/16 socket didn't match the others and appears to be a replacement.)

The sizes are, from the front left, 1/2, 9/16, 5/8, 21/32, and 11/16, and in the back row, 3/4, 13/16, 7/8, and 15/16. All of the sockets are stamped "Chromium Vanadium" and have a star symbol on each side of the size, a characteristic marking for Indestro sockets. The inset at the top shows a typical "Chromium Vanadium" marking.

The sockets have a coarse knurled band around the base, probably intended to help with turning a loose nut by hand.

The socket construction is cold-broached with a bored recess at the base. If you look carefully at the full-sized photograph, you can see chatter marks typically left by cold broaching.


Indestro "Chromium Vanadium" 1/2-Drive 12-Piece Socket Set

Indestro Chromium Vanadium 1/2-Drive 12-Piece Socket Set]
Fig. 202. Indestro "Chromium Vanadium" 1/2-Drive 12-Piece Socket Set, ca. 1935-1937.

Fig. 202 shows an Indestro "Chromium Vanadium" 1/2-drive 12-piece socket set in a tapered metal box, consisting of a forged-body ratchet, drive plug, extension, and nine double-hex sockets.

The socket models and sizes are, from the left, 1214 (7/16), 1216 (1/2), 1218 (9/16), 1220 (5/8), 1221 (21/32), 1222 (11/16), 1224 (3/4), 1226 (13/16), and 1228 (7/8). The sockets are all stamped on the base with "Chromium Vanadium" plus the model number and fractional size.

The drive tools in the set are unmarked.

Top Cover of Indestro Chromium Vanadium 12-Piece Socket Set]
Fig. 203. Top Cover of Indestro "Chromium Vanadium" 12-Piece Socket Set, ca. 1935-1937.

Fig. 203 shows the sliding top cover of the Indestro "Chromium Vanadium" 12-piece socket set. The decal is printed with the Indestro logo at the top, followed by "Chromium Vanadium Socket Set" and "Tools for Service", with "Indestro Mfg. Corp." and "Chicago, U.S.A." at the bottom.

The tapered metal box has a bronze-colored crackle finish, and the approximate dimensions are 12.1 inches long by 3.1 inches deep by 1.6 inches high.

Currently we don't have an exact catalog reference for this set, but the 1937 Indestro catalog lists a very similar No. 3111B 11-piece socket set, which includes the same components except for the 21/32 socket. The set is listed as the "11 Piece Chrome Vanadium Steel Ratchet Wrench Set" under a "Super Quality" heading, but it's uncertain whether the sets were being marked with "Super Quality" decals at that time. It's possible that Indestro may have offered this 12-piece set in earlier catalogs, but otherwise we can think of this as a No. 3111B set with a 21/32 socket added.


Indestro [3202] 1/2-Drive Pressed-Flange Ratchet from "Chromium Vanadium" 12-Piece Set

Indestro 3202 1/2-Drive Pressed-Flange Ratchet]
Fig. 204. Indestro [3202] 1/2-Drive Pressed-Flange Ratchet, with Inset for Side View, ca. 1935-1937.

Fig. 204 shows the unmarked Indestro [3202] 1/2-drive pressed-flange ratchet from the "Chromium Vanadium" 12-piece socket set.

The overall length is 9.5 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.

This unmarked example is a generic version of the Indestro No. 3202 Ratchet, a familiar and rugged tool included in many socket sets from the 1930s through 1950s (or beyond). The ratchet was permanently assembled by compressing flanges integral to the forged body, a construction technique described in patent #1,902,878, issued in 1933.


Indestro "Chrome Vanadium" 1/2-Drive 12xx Sockets from 12-Piece Socket Set

Indestro 3202 1/2-Drive Pressed-Flange Ratchet]
Fig. 205. Indestro "Chromium Vanadium" 1/2-Drive 12xx Sockets, with Insets for Broaching and Drive End, ca. 1935-1937.

Fig. 205 shows a group of three Indestro "Chromium Vanadium" 1/2-drive 12xx Sockets from the 12-piece socket set. The models and sizes are, from the left, 1224 (3/4), 1226 (13/16), and 1228 (7/8). The sockets are marked "Chromium Vanadium" with the model number and fractional size.

The sockets are constructed with tapered walls, with the taper beginning at the base of the socket. The base has a narrow band of cross-hatched knurling just above the bottom, with a plain groove above the markings.

These sockets were made using Duro's patented hot-broaching process, as described by the 1936 McNaught patent #2,027,922. The lower inset shows the broached interior of the sockets, with a scalloped ring of displaced metal visible at the base of the broached area.

Another feature of Duro's hot-broaching process can be seen in the top inset. Note that the drive openings of the sockets have a tapered edge on all four sides, which helps to depress the detent ball when inserting a drive stud. Machining such a tapered edge would be a time-consuming process, but the tapered edge is "free" when made by a suitable mandrel during the hot-broaching process.


Duro-Chrome 582 1/2-Drive 3 Inch Extension

[Duro 582 1/2-Drive 3 Inch Extension]
Fig. 206. Duro-Chrome 582 1/2-Drive 3 Inch Extension, with Inset for Marking Detail, ca. 1930s.

Fig. 206 shows an early 1/2-drive Duro-Chrome 582 3 inch extension, stamped "Duro Chrome" on the shank.

The overall length is 3.1 inches, and the finish is nickel plating.

The extension is equipped with a 3/8 inch diameter cross-bar hole for use as a Tee-handle.


Duro-Chrome 662D 1/2-Drive 3 Inch Extension

[Duro 662D 1/2-Drive 3 Inch Extension]
Fig. 207. Duro-Chrome 662D 1/2-Drive 3 Inch Extension, with Insets for Marking Detail.

Fig. 207 shows a later 1/2-drive Duro-Chrome 662D 3 inch extension, stamped "Duro-Chrome" and "U.S.A." on the drive head.

The overall length is 3.1 inches, and the finish is polished chrome.

The extension is equipped with a 3/8 inch diameter cross-bar hole for use as a Tee-handle.


Indestro "Chromium Vanadium" 3216 1/2-Drive 6 Inch Extension

[Chromium Vanadium 3216 1/2-Drive 6 Inch Extension]
Fig. 208. Chromium Vanadium 3216 1/2-Drive 6 Inch Extension, ca. 1930s.

Fig. 208 shows an early Indestro 3216 1/2-drive 6 inch extension, stamped "Chromium Vanadium" and "Made in U.S.A." on the shank.

The overall length is 5.9 inches, and the finish is chrome (or possibly nickel) plating.


Duro-Chrome 666D 1/2-Drive 11 Inch Flex-Head Handle

[Duro-Chrome 666D 1/2-Drive 11 Inch Flex-Head Handle]
Fig. 209. Duro-Chrome 666D 1/2-Drive 11 Inch Flex-Head Handle.

Fig. 209 shows a Duro-Chrome 666D flex-head handle, marked "U.S.A." with the Duro-Chrome trademark.

The overall length is 11.4 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.

The knurled handle is equipped with a cross-bar hole and has a 1/2-drive stud on the end. The latter feature was popular on earlier breaker bars, when female-drive ratchets were the norm, as it allowed the breaker bar to operate as an extension.


Indestro "Chromium Vanadium" 3221 1/2-Drive 11 Inch Flex-Head Handle

[Indestro CV 3221 1/2-Drive 11 Inch Flex-Head Handle]
Fig. 210. Indestro CV 3221 1/2-Drive 11 Inch Flex-Head Handle, with Insets for Marking Detail, ca. Early to Mid 1930s.

Fig. 210 shows an early 1/2-drive Indestro 3221 11 inch flex-head handle, stamped "Chromium Vanadium" on the shank.

The overall length is 11.6 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.

The knurled handle is equipped with a cross-bar hole and a 1/2-drive stud, allowing additional functionality as a Tee-handle and extension.


Indestro Super 3221 1/2-Drive 11 Inch Flex-Head Handle

[Indestro Super 3221 1/2-Drive 11 Inch Flex-Head Handle]
Fig. 211. Indestro Super 3221 1/2-Drive 11 Inch Flex-Head Handle, with Inset for Marking Detail.

Fig. 211 shows a later 1/2-drive Indestro 3221 11 inch flex-head breaker bar, stamped "Super" and "U.S.A." on the shank.

The overall length is 11.5 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.

The knurled handle is equipped with a cross-bar hole and a 1/2-drive stud, allowing additional functionality as a T-handle and extension.


Duro-Chrome 657DK 1/2-Drive 15 Inch Flex-Head Handle

[Duro-Chrome 657DK 1/2-Drive 15 Inch Flex-Head Handle]
Fig. 212. Duro-Chrome 657DK 1/2-Drive 15 Inch Flex-Head Handle, with Inset for Marking Detail.

Fig. 212 shows a Duro-Chrome 657DK flex-head handle, marked "U.S.A." with the Duro-Chrome trademark.

The overall length is 15.5 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.

The knurled handle is equipped with a cross-bar hole and a 1/2-drive stud, allowing additional functionality as a T-handle and extension.


Duro-Chrome 669D 1/2-Drive 18 Inch Flex-Head Handle

[Duro-Chrome 1/2-Drive 669D 18 Inch Flex-Head Handle]
Fig. 213. Duro-Chrome 1/2-Drive 669D 18 Inch Flex-Head Handle, with Inset for Marking Detail, ca. 1960s.

Fig. 213 shows a 1/2-drive Duro-Chrome 669D 18 inch flex-head handle, marked "U.S.A." with the Duro-Chrome trademark.

The overall length is 17.6 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.

The knurled handle is equipped with a cross-bar hole for use as a T-handle, but the end is not broached for square drive. Earlier versions of this model did include a 1/2-drive broached end, allowing use as an extension.


Duro-Chrome 663D 1/2-Drive Sliding Tee Handle

[Duro-Chrome 1/2-Drive 663D Sliding Tee Handle]
Fig. 214. Duro-Chrome 1/2-Drive 663D Sliding Tee Handle, with Inset for Marking Detail.

Fig. 214 shows a 1/2-drive Duro-Chrome 663D sliding Tee handle, stamped "Duro-Chrome" on the shank.

The overall length is 11.6 inches, and the finish is plain steel.


Indestro 3202 1/2-Drive Pressed-Flange Ratchet

[Indestro 3202 1/2-Drive Pressed-Flange Ratchet]
Fig. 215. Indestro 3202 1/2-Drive Pressed-Flange Ratchet, with Inset for Reverse Detail.

Fig. 215 shows an early 1/2-drive Indestro 3202 female drive ratchet, stamped "Chicago, U.S.A." and "Licensed Under Pat. No. 1902878" on the front cover plate, with "No. 3202" on the reverse cover plate.

The overall length is 9.5 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.

The patent notice refers to patent #1,902,878, filed by McNaught and Peterson in 1932 and issued in 1933.

The forged body of this ratchet is very similar to the Duro-Chrome 678D Ratchet, but the forged-in brand name has been omitted. The generic body forging of this model made it easy to customize for contract production, with only a stamped cover plate needed to mark the customer's brand.

The ratchet mechanism uses a relatively coarse 16-tooth gear, an indication of the early manufacture of this tool.


Indestro Super 3202R 1/2-Drive Reversible Pressed-Flange Ratchet

In later years Duro added a reversing mechanism to the pressed-flange ratchets, and then offered them in both male and female drive. The next figure shows an example of a female drive reversible ratchet.

[Indestro Super 3202R 1/2-Drive Pressed-Flange Ratchet]
Fig. 216. Indestro Super 3202R 1/2-Drive Pressed-Flange Ratchet, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1945+.

Fig. 216 at the left shows a 1/2-drive Indestro 3202R reversible female drive ratchet, marked "Pat. No. 1,902,878" under the shift lever, with "Indestro-Super" and the model number on the reverse.

The overall length is 9.4 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.

The ratchet mechanism uses an 18-tooth drive gear, slightly finer than the previous example but still relatively coarse.


Indestro Super 3201 1/2-Drive Pressed-Flange Ratchet

[Indestro Super 3201 1/2-Drive Pressed-Flange Ratchet]
Fig. 217. Indestro Super 3201 1/2-Drive Pressed-Flange Ratchet, with Inset for Reverse.

Fig. 217 shows a 1/2-drive Indestro Super model 3201 ratchet, marked "Indestro Super 3201" on the front cover plate, with "Made in U.S.A." and "Pat. No. 1902878" on the reverse.

The overall length is 10.5 inches, and the finish is polished chrome.

The ratchet mechanism has a 36-tooth gear, a much finer action than the Early Duro-Chrome 678D Ratchet we saw in an earlier section.

This ratchet is an example of later versions of Duro's pressed-flange construction. The 1941 Indestro catalog offered pressed-flange ratchets in three versions, a model 3201R with reversible male/female drive, model 3202R with reversible female drive, and model 3202 with non-reversible female drive. These were part of the Super Quality Chrome Vanadium line and probably would have been marked "Super-Quality".

Ratchet models 3201R and 3202R were still available in the 1956 Indestro catalog No. 20, and the model 3201R had assumed its present male-drive-only form. By the early 1960s the only remaining pressed-flange ratchet was the model 3202R.


Duro-Chrome 699 1/2-Drive Dual-Pawl Ratchet

During the 1930s and 40s much effort was devoted to improving ratchet mechanisms, especially for the "round-head" designs with fine-tooth actions. While others looked for ways to make finer teeth, the engineers at Duro Metal Products came up with a novel idea. Instead of adding more teeth to the gear, they added a second pawl to the mechanism, with the teeth of one pawl offset from the other by half a pitch. Then as the ratchet turned to get a new "bite", the pawls would alternately drop into position, thereby effectively doubling the number of teeth. The inventor W.H. Odlum and collaborators were awarded patent #2,395,681 in 1946.

[Duro-Chrome 699 1/2-Drive Dual-Pawl Ratchet]
Fig. 218A. Duro-Chrome 699 1/2-Drive Dual-Pawl Ratchet, with Inset for Marking Detail, ca. 1944-1946

Fig. 218A shows an early example of the Duro-Chrome 699 1/2-drive dual-pawl ratchet, marked with "U.S.A." and "Pat. Pend." on the cover plate.

The overall length is 10.5 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.

The "Pat. Pend." notation indicates that this is an early production model; based on the patent filing and issue dates, the likely manufacturing date is in the range 1944-1946.

The dual-pawl action can be heard clearly when the ratchet is turned slowly, with the two pawls making slightly different clicking sounds as they fall into place. The Duro catalogs advertised this as having "80 tooth action" without describing its 40-tooth gear and dual pawls.

One interesting aspect of the construction is that the ratchet has been permanently assembled by compressing flanges in the head. This technique was invented by Duro in the early 1930s (as patent #1,902,878) and used for a series of ratchet models. (The patent also appears to have been used by Hinsdale; see for example the H-12-R Ratchet.)

Although the dual-pawl mechanism was a great idea, this ratchet model was apparently not very successful as a product. Two factors probably contributed to its limited success: first, the patent design required two different pawls, one with the teeth offset, and having to make two precision parts would have increased the manufacturing cost.

Secondly, the permanent assembly negated one of the potential advantages of the round-head ratchet design, the simple replacement of the ratchet mechanism as a unit. This could have been significant when the manufacturer offered a lifetime warranty for its tools, as it would mean replacing the entire unit instead of offering (selling!) an inexpensive renewal kit. As a result of these issues (or others), by 1955 Duro-Chrome had already discontinued this model. (The 1955 catalog still illustrates this ratchet model, but the price list substitutes a more conventional Duro-Chrome 675 Ratchet with a 52-tooth design.)

Although not a big success for Duro-Chrome, the dual-pawl patent did pave the way for great products from other companies. In the early 1950s, W.J. Johnson at J.H. Williams & Co made a brilliantly simple (or simply brilliant) improvement to the design. Johnson's ratchet is described by patent #2,772,763 and uses symmetrical dual pawls, but with an odd number of teeth in the drive gear, thereby gaining the same benefit with a simpler mechanism. This resulted in the Williams S-52 (and related) ratchets, arguably one of the best ratchet designs of all time.

Some years later, H.J. Haznar at Moore Drop Forging updated the dual-pawl design with an improved shift mechanism and a quick-release button, for which he received patent #3,467,231. These features were used for the excellent Craftsman "V" Dual-Pawl Ratchets, a very popular and highly successful series introduced in the late 1960s.


Duro-Chrome 675 1/2-Drive Ratchet

[Duro-Chrome 675 1/2-Drive Ratchet]
Fig. 218. Duro-Chrome 675 1/2-Drive Ratchet, with Inset for Side View.

Fig. 218 shows a 1/2-drive Duro-Chrome 675 ratchet, marked "Duro-Chrome U.S.A." at the end of the handle.

The overall length is 10.2 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with a polished head and shank.

The ratchet mechanism is a variant of the classic S-K design and uses a 52-tooth gear in the drive handle. The shift mechanism incorporates a detent ball to guard against accidental shifting, and is described by Duro patent #2,686,582, issued in 1954.

This ratchet model was first listed in a supplement (35S) to the 1955 Duro catalog No. 35, and was intended as a replacement for the discontinued Duro-Chrome 699 Dual-Pawl Ratchet. The 1961 Duro catalog listed both the model 675 and a similar model 689 with a longer handle.

The equivalent ratchet in the Indestro Super line is the model 3275, shown in the next figure, and the very similar Indestro Super 3/8-drive model 2775 is shown below as well. Other examples of similar models include the Wizard H2833 Ratchet.


Indestro Super 3275 1/2-Drive Ratchet

[Indestro Super 3275 1/2-Drive Ratchet]
Fig. 219. Indestro Super 3275 1/2-Drive Ratchet, with Insets for Reverse and Side View.

Fig. 219 shows a 1/2-drive Indestro Super 3275 ratchet, marked with the brand and model on the shank, with "Keep Clean and Oil" stamped on the reverse.

The overall length is 10.1 inches, and the finish is polished chrome.

This ratchet is the Indestro equivalent of the Duro-Chrome 675 shown in the previous figure, and is virtually identical in design and construction.

The ratchet mechanism is a variant of the classic S-K design and uses a 52-tooth gear in the drive handle. The ratchet assembly is marked "Mfd. U.S.A." and "Pat. No. 2686582", with the latter notice referring to patent #2,686,582, issued to Odlum and Hosford in 1954.


Indestro Super 3289 1/2-Drive Long-Handled Ratchet

[Indestro Super 3289 1/2-Drive Long-Handled Ratchet]
Fig. 220. Indestro Super 3289 1/2-Drive Long-Handled Ratchet, with Insets for Side View and Marking Detail.

Fig. 220 shows a 1/2-drive Indestro Super 3239 long-handled ratchet, marked "U.S.A." with the brand and model at the end of the handle.

The overall length is 14.8 inches, and the finish is polished chrome.


Indestro Super 3208 1/2-Drive Speeder

[Indestro Super 3208 1/2-Drive Speeder]
Fig. 221. Indestro Super 3208 1/2-Drive Speeder, with Inset for Marking Detail.

Fig. 221 shows a 1/2-drive Indestro Super 3208 speeder, marked "U.S.A." on the shank.

The overall length is 17.5 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.


Duro-Chrome 1618V8X 1/2-Drive 9/16 Connecting Rod Socket

Duro-chrome's 16xx series of 1/2-drive sockets included a special 9/16 socket, made with extra-thin walls for Ford connecting-rod applications. Although the 16xx sockets were otherwise all double-hex, this special socket was available in both hex and double-hex broachings, with model numbers 1618V8X and 1618V8XX respectively.

[Duro-Chrome 1618V8X 1/2-Drive 9/16 Hex Socket]
Fig. 222. Duro-Chrome 1618V8X 1/2-Drive 9/16 Hex Socket, with Insets for Broaching and Marking Detail.

Fig. 222 shows a 1/2-drive Duro-Chrome 1618V8X 9/16 hex socket, stamped "U.S.A." on the base.

The lower-right inset shows the hot-broached construction of the socket.

This socket was intended for Ford connecting-rod applications, which required very thin walls for clearance.


3/8-Drive Tools


Indestro Super 2775 3/8-Drive Ratchet

[Indestro Super 2775 3/8-Drive Ratchet]
Fig. 223. Indestro Super 2775 3/8-Drive Ratchet, with Insets for Reverse and Side View.

Fig. 223 shows a 3/8-drive Indestro Super 2775 ratchet, marked with the brand and model on the shank, with "Keep Clean and Oil" on the reverse.

The overall length is 7.6 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with a polished head and shank.

This ratchet is the 3/8-drive equivalent of the Indestro model 3275 shown above, and is virtually identical in design and construction.


Duro-Chrome 4479 3/8-Drive Flex-Head Handle

[Duro-Chrome 4479 3/8-Drive Flex-Head Flex Handle]
Fig. 224. Duro-Chrome 4479 3/8-Drive Flex-Head Handle, with Insets for Construction Detail, ca. 1942-1945

Fig. 224 shows a 3/8-drive Duro-Chrome 4479 flex-head handle, stamped "Duro-Chrome" on the shank.

The overall length is 87.7 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

The plain finish suggests a 1942-1945 manufacturing date.

The knurled handle is broached for a 3/8-drive connection, as shown in the right inset. This feature allows the breaker bar to be used as an extension as well.


Duro-Chrome 4481 3/8-Drive Flex-Head Handle

[Duro-Chrome 4481 3/8-Drive Flex-Head Handle]
Fig. 225. Duro-Chrome 4481 3/8-Drive Flex-Head Handle, with Inset for Marking Detail.

Fig. 225 shows a 3/8-drive Duro-Chrome 4481 flex-head handle, marked "U.S.A." near the end of the knurled handle.

The overall length is 9.3 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with a polished head and shank.


1/4-Drive Tools


Duro-Chrome 4535 1/4-Drive Sliding Tee Handle

[Duro-Chrome 4535 1/4-Drive Sliding Tee Handle]
Fig. 226. Duro-Chrome 4535 1/4-Drive Sliding Tee Handle, with Inset for Marking Detail.

Fig. 226 shows a 1/4-drive Duro-Chrome 4535 sliding Tee Handle, stamped "Duro-Chrome" and "U.S.A." on the top of the sliding head.

The overall length is 4.5 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.


Duro-Chrome 4575A 1/4-Drive Ratchet

[Duro-Chrome 4575A 1/4-Drive Ratchet]
Fig. 227. Duro-Chrome 4575A 1/4-Drive Ratchet, with Inset for Side View.

Fig. 227 shows a 1/4-drive Duro-Chrome 4575A ratchet, marked "U.S.A." on the shift knob.

The overall length is 4.9 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with a polished head and shank.


Impact Sockets

Duro didn't offer impact sockets until sometime in the 1950s.


Duro-Chrome 1174 1/2-Drive 3/4 Impact Socket

[Duro-Chrome 1174 1/2-Drive 3/4 Impact Socket]
Fig. 228. Duro-Chrome 1174 1/2-Drive 3/4 Impact Socket, with Inset for Broaching, ca. 1950s

Fig. 228 shows a 1/2-drive Duro-Chrome 1174 3/4 impact socket, stamped "U.S.A." on the base.

The finish is chrome plating.

This early impact socket shows the surprising use of a chrome plated finish with a cross-hatched band, similar to the Duro-Chrome standard sockets.


Miscellaneous and Specialty Tools


Duro-Chrome 276AB Piston Pin Tool

[Duro-Chrome 276AB Piston Pin Tool]
Fig. 229. Duro-Chrome 276AB Piston Pin Tool, with Insets for Marking Detail.

Fig. 229 shows a Duro-Chrome 276AB piston pin tool, designed to remove and install the piston pins in Ford "A" and "B" models. The tool is marked "U.S.A." with the model and Duro-Chrome trademark, as shown in the insets.

The overall length is 9.7 inches, and the finish is polished steel.

Similar tools were offered by other companies, for example the Plomb 6505 Piston Tool.


Indestro No. 410 Universal Drain Plug Wrench

[Indestro No. 410 Drain Plug Wrench]
Fig. 230. Indestro No. 410 Drain Plug Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail.

Fig. 230 shows an Indestro No. 410 drain plug multi-wrench, marked "U.S.A." with the model number on the reverse (see inset).

The overall length is 9.4 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

The wrench features five double-square openings and four hex sizes in two stepped openings. The double-square sizes are 1/2, 9/16, 5/8, 11/16, and 3/4, and the hex sizes are 3/4, 15/16, 1 inch, and 1-1/8.

This tool is described by design patent #D103,579, issued to N.F. McNaught in 1937. The same tool was available as Duro-Chrome No. 644.


Indestro 2021-V8 Valve Guide Punch

[Indestro 2021-V8 Valve Guide Punch]
Fig. 231. Indestro 2021-V8 Drain Plug Wrench, with Insets for Construction and Marking Detail.

Fig. 231 shows an Indestro 2021-V8 valve guide punch, stamped with just the model number.

The overall length is 5.2 inches, and the finish is plain steel.


Indestro Super 2161 Brake Spoon

[Indestro Super 2161 Brake Adjusting Spoon]
Fig. 232. Indestro Super 2161 Brake Adjusting Spoon, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail.

Fig. 232 shows an Indestro 2161 brake adjusting spoon, stamped "Indestro Super U.S.A." with "Brake Adjusting Tool" on the reverse.

The overall length is 9.1 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.


DuroLite 16S6 Screwdriver

In the 1930s Duro introduced the DuroLite brand for a line of screwdrivers, and the next figure shows an example.

[DuroLite 16S6 Screwdriver]
Fig. 233. DuroLite 16S6 Screwdriver, with Inset for Marking Detail.

Fig. 233 shows a DuroLite 16S6 screwdriver, marked with the DuroLite brand molded into the plastic handle, and with "Chrome Vanadium Steel" stamped on the shank.

The overall length is 11.1 inches, and the finish is plain steel.


Pliers


Duro-Chrome 2100 Waterpump Pliers

[Duro-Chrome 2100 Waterpump Pliers]
Fig. 234. Duro-Chrome 2100 Waterpump Pliers, ca. 1942-1945.

Fig. 234 shows a pair of Duro-Chrome 2110 waterpump pliers, stamped with the X-Circle logo and "Forged in U.S.A." on the handle.

The overall length (fully extended) is 10.1 inches. The finish is plain steel, indicating a likely manufacturing date of 1942-1945.

The handles of the pliers incorporate a bold raised panels with Duro's "streamlined" motif at one end.


Duro-Chrome 2115 Battery Pliers

[Duro-Chrome 2115 Battery Pliers]
Fig. 235. Duro-Chrome 2115 Battery Pliers, ca. 1942-1945.

Fig. 235 shows a pair of Duro-Chrome 2115 battery pliers, marked "Forged in U.S.A." near the pivot. Note that the handle incorporates a raised panel with one end of Duro's "streamlined" motif.

The overall length is 8.0 inches, and the finish is cadmium plating. The cadmium finish indicates a likely manufacturing date of 1942-1945.

Pliers of this type were popular for servicing battery cables, as the clamp bolt nuts were frequently too rounded by corrosion to be gripped by a wrench. Battery pliers were produced by several other companies as well, and examples include the Herbrand 179 Pliers and Utica 524 Pliers.


Duro-Chrome 2120 "Steeldraulic" Pliers

In the late 1920s and early 1930s several makes of automobiles (e.g. Hupmobile, Auburn) were equipped with Steeldraulic brakes, a brand of mechanical brakes with an odd adjusting mechanism. Special pliers were required for making adjustments to these brakes, and not surprisingly the pliers came to be known as Steeldraulic pliers.

[Duro-Chrome 2120 Steeldraulic Pliers]
Fig. 236. Duro-Chrome 2120 Steeldraulic Pliers.

Fig. 236 shows a pair of Duro-Chrome No. 2120 specialty pliers for Steeldraulic brake adjustments, marked "U.S.A." on a raised panel.

The overall length is 5.6 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with polished faces.

Steeldraulic pliers were produced by several other companies as well, and examples include the Blackhawk 2581 Pliers, Bonney 2581 Pliers, Herbrand 272 Pliers, Utica 516 Pliers, and Vacuum Grip No. 14 Pliers.


Duro-Chrome 648 Battery Tool

[Duro-Chrome 648 Battery Cable Lifter]
Fig. 237. Duro-Chrome 648 Battery Cable Lifter, with Inset for Detail.

Fig. 237 shows a Duro-Chrome 648 battery cable lifter, a tool designed to remove and service battery cable clamps. The handle is forged with streamlined raised panels, marked "648 Duro-Chrome" on one side and "Forged in U.S.A." on the other, and the end is equipped with a 9/16 12-point opening.

The overall length is 7.2 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with polished faces.

The tool is also marked with a notice for patent #2,363,350, issued to W.P. Nail in 1944.


Duro-Chrome 2087A 8 Inch Adjustable Wrench

[Duro-Chrome 2087A 8 Inch Adjustable Wrench]
Fig. 238. Duro-Chrome 2087A 8 Inch Adjustable Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1968+.

Fig. 238 shows a Duro-Chrome 2087A 8 inch adjustable wrench, stamped "Duro-Chrome" and "U.S.A." on the shank, with "8 In." and "Forged Alloy Steel" on the reverse.

The overall length is 8.2 inches, and the maximum opening is 1.0 inches. The finish is chrome plating with polished faces.

One construction detail to note is the square-shouldered keyway for the sliding jaw, visible in the top inset. The square shoulder was a patented feature of the J.H. Williams adjustable wrenches, and this detail plus the general construction identify Williams as the maker of this wrench. A similar example can be seen as the Williams AP-8 Adjustable Wrench.


Refrigeration Specialty Tools

Refrigeration service was a specialty field that hadn't even existed prior to the 1920s, but which grew rapidly during the 1930s and later. Refrigeration technicians of course needed special tools, and Duro was one of the more highly regarded makers of such tools.

The special tools typically used for refrigeration service included ratchets with extra openings on the handle, sockets for gland-nut packings, and various styles of flare-nut wrenches. The figures below will show some examples of Duro and Indestro refrigeration tools.


Indestro Super 368 Flare-Nut Wrench

[Indestro Super 368 3/8x7/16 Flare-Nut Wrench]
Fig. 239. Indestro Super 368 3/8x7/16 Flare-Nut Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail.

Fig. 239 shows an Indestro Super 368 3/8x7/16 flare-nut wrench, stamped with the brand and model number on the streamlined raised panel, and with "Forged in U.S.A." on the reverse.

The overall length is 5.3 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with polished faces and panels.


Duro-Chrome 369 Flare-Nut Wrench

[Duro-Chrome 369 1/2x9/16 Flare-Nut Wrench]
Fig. 240. Duro-Chrome 369 1/2x9/16 Flare-Nut Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail.

Fig. 240 shows a Duro-Chrome 369 1/2x9/16 flare-nut wrench, stamped "Duro-Chrome" on the streamlined raised panel, with "Forged in U.S.A." on the reverse.

The overall length is 6.4 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with polished faces and panels.


Duro-Chrome 371 Flare-Nut Wrench

Fig. 241 shows a Duro-Chrome 371 3/4x1 flare-nut wrench, stamped "Duro-Chrome" on the streamlined raised panel, with "Forged in U.S.A." on the reverse. The overall length is 8.0 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with polished faces and panels.

[Duro-Chrome 371 3/4x1 Flare-Nut Wrench]
Fig. 241. Duro-Chrome 371 3/4x1 Flare-Nut Wrench, with Inset for Reverse Detail.

Duro-Chrome 372 Flare-Nut Wrench

[Duro-Chrome 372 7/8x1-1/8 Flare-Nut Wrench]
Fig. 242. Duro-Chrome 372 7/8x1-1/8 Flare-Nut Wrench, with Inset for Side View.

Fig. 242 shows a Duro-Chrome 372 7/8x1-1/8 flare-nut wrench with streamlined raised panels, stamped "Duro-Chrome" with the X-Circle logo on the front, with "Forged in U.S.A." on the reverse.

The overall length is 8.0 inches, and the finish is plain steel.


Duro-Chrome Deep Offset Flare Wrenches

In addition to the flat flare-nut style illustrated above, Duro produced a series of four flare wrench models in an unusual deep offset configuration. The deep offsets and somewhat odd paired sizes suggest that these were designed for some fairly specific application.

Fig. 243 below shows a group of all four of the Duro-Chrome offset flare-nut wrenches, and the subsequent figures will show each wrench in greater detail.

[Duro-Chrome 38x Deep Offset Flare-Nut Wrenches]
Fig. 243. Duro-Chrome 38x Deep Offset Flare-Nut Wrenches.

The models and sizes are, from the top down, 381 (5/8x13/16), 382 (3/4x1), 383 (7/8x1-1/8), and 384 (1x1-3/16).


Duro-Chrome 381 Offset Flare-Nut Wrench

In addition to the flat flare-nut style illustrated above, Duro produced a series of four flare wrench models in an unusual deep offset configuration. The deep offsets and somewhat odd paired sizes suggest that these were designed for some fairly specific application.

[Duro-Chrome 381 5/8x13/16 Offset Flare-Nut Wrench]
Fig. 244. Duro-Chrome 381 5/8x13/16 Offset Flare-Nut Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail.

Fig. 244 shows a Duro-Chrome 381 5/8x13/16 offset flare-nut wrench, stamped "Forged in U.S.A." on the streamlined raised panel with "Duro-Chrome" on the reverse.

The overall length is 7.0 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with polished faces.


Duro-Chrome 382 Offset Flare-Nut Wrench

[Duro-Chrome 382 3/4x1 Offset Flare-Nut Wrench]
Fig. 245. Duro-Chrome 382 3/4x1 Offset Flare-Nut Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail.

Fig. 245 shows a Duro-Chrome 382 3/4x1 offset flare-nut wrench, stamped "Forged in U.S.A." on the streamlined raised panel with "Duro Chrome" on the reverse.

The overall length is 8.2 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with polished faces.


Duro-Chrome 383 Offset Flare-Nut Wrench

[Duro-Chrome 383 7/8x1-1/8 Offset Flare-Nut Wrench]
Fig. 246. Duro-Chrome 383 7/8x1-1/8 Offset Flare-Nut Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail, ca. 1942-1945.

Fig. 246 shows a Duro-Chrome 383 7/8x1-1/8 offset flare-nut wrench, stamped "Duro Chrome" with the X-Circle logo on the front panel, with "Forged in U.S.A." on the reverse panel.

The overall length is 9.2 inches. The finish is plain steel with traces of cadmium plating, indicating a likely manufacturing date from 1942-1945.


Duro-Chrome 384 Offset Flare-Nut Wrench

The next figure shows the largest wrench of the offset flare-nut set.

[Duro-Chrome 384 1x1-3/16 Offset Flare-Nut Wrench]
Fig. 247. Duro-Chrome 384 1x1-3/16 Offset Flare-Nut Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail.

In Fig. 247 we see a Duro-Chrome 384 1x1-3/16 offset flare-nut wrench, stamped "Duro Chrome" with the X-Circle logo on the front panel, with "Forged in U.S.A." on the reverse panel.

The overall length is 9.7 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with polished faces.


Duro-Chrome 4490 Refrigeration Ratchet

Ratchets designed for refrigeration use typically included extra broached openings on the handle, so that the single tool could operate with commonly used valves or nuts. The ratchet drive was usually a 1/4 square female broaching, the most common size used for the square valve stem on tanks of compressed refrigerant gases.

[Duro-Chrome 4490 1/4-Drive Refrigeration Ratchet]
Fig. 248. Duro-Chrome 4490 1/4-Drive Refrigeration Ratchet, with Inset for Reverse.

Fig. 248 shows a Duro-Chrome 4490 1/4 female drive ratchet, marked "Duro-Chrome" on the face plate with "Pat. No. 1,902,878" on the reverse.

The overall length is 6.3 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.

The handle includes broachings for several commonly used sizes, including 3/16 square, 5/16 square, 1/4 square, and 1/2 double-hex.

The patent notice refers to the well-known patent for the pressed-flange ratchet construction. Other examples of this patent can be seen in the Duro 678D Ratchet and Indestro 3201 Ratchet.

Refrigeration ratchets were made by several other companies, including Bonney, Snap-On, and Walden. An example can be seen in the Walden-Worcester 867 Ratchet.


Duro-Chrome 34x 1/4 Male Drive Sockets

The special ratchets used for refrigeration service were generally furnished with 1/4 female drive, which means that an adapter stud would be needed to use conventional sockets. Duro provided a more convenient alternative by making special 1/4 male-drive sockets in the sizes and broachings commonly needed in this application.

[Duro-Chrome 34x 1/4 Male Drive Sockets]
Fig. 249. Duro-Chrome 1/4 Male Drive Sockets, from Left: 341 (3/16), 344 (5/16).

Fig. 249 at the left shows two examples of the 1/4 male drive Duro-Chrome 34x socket series, each marked "U.S.A." with the "Duro-Chrome" trademark.

The models and sizes are 341 (3/16) on the left and 344 (5/16) on the right, and both sockets have square (4-point) broachings.


Duro-Chrome 338 5/8 Gland Nut Tee Wrench

[Duro-Chrome 338 Gland Nut Tee Wrench]
Fig. 250. Duro-Chrome 338 5/8 Gland Nut Tee Wrench, with Inset for End Detail.

Fig. 250 shows a Duro-Chrome 338 5/8 gland nut wrench with a sliding T-handle, marked "U.S.A." with the "Duro-Chrome" trademark.

The lengths of the socket and handle are 1.9 and 3.7 inches, respectively.

That completes our brief tour of Duro's refrigeration specialty tools. In the next section we'll see some examples of Duro/Indestro contract production, tools produced by Duro but marked for other companies.


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