Author Topic: Brute force fixes fouled-up B & S CA ratchet  (Read 1270 times)

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Offline Wrenchmensch

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Brute force fixes fouled-up B & S CA ratchet
« on: June 15, 2011, 11:29:14 AM »
Some back-and-forth has been issued about fixing Billings & Spencer CA ratchets that came in their early 1920's Ratchet Wrench Set boxes. From what I can gather, there is a preponderance of sentiment leaning toward taking the ratchet apart first to gain an understanding of the root causes of this ratchet's malfunctioning.

There are several factors that can affect these CA ratchets. One of them is physical abuse suffered by the ratchet over its lifetime. Some of these ratchets clearly doubled as hammers. Out-of-roundness resulted which will cause the ratchet to "bind" or even lock up.   Others had pipe put on their ends to add extra moment arm. In this latter instance, sadly, ratchet handles were sometimes bent because the user failed to put the socket in the correct side of this one-way ratchet.

The ratchet below came to me with the owners' warnings: "ratchet binds"; and "handle is bent"  After I ran a couple of 360 turns on the ratchet, it became clear the ratchet was out of round. Visual inspection gave an indication as to where force should be applied to restore roundness. Using my Dad's old 4-lb. maul, I hit the round ratchet casing one medium-hard blow with the maul. It worked. Roundness was restored, and the ratchet now turns freely through its clicks. 

To straighten the handle, I rested the curve between handle and head on curved horn of my old Little Giant vise with the bottom of the handle resting on the masonite work table top. Again, sighting along the handle to determine where to hit it was done.  It took 3 or 4 blows with the maul to straighten it. 

I have two of these CA ratchets now.  I practiced taking the other perfectly functioning one apart using Bus's received information. Hint. For those w/o collections of drifts, etc. an 8-inch length of wire coat hanger works well for depressing the pawl. Put a curve in the end of the wire to make it easier to use. Save the wire, because you may get hooked on CA ratchets, and you will need it again.

Note: a 4-lb. maul does not leave marks the way a household hammer or a framing hammer does. 

I am getting another CA ratchet in a few days. It's been described as "locked up".  I'll probably take it apart first for a look-see (before I get out my Dad's maul again).
« Last Edit: June 15, 2011, 12:08:39 PM by Wrenchmensch »

Offline bc_z

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Re: Brute force fixes fouled-up B & S CA ratchet
« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2011, 03:07:33 PM »
nice fix, and once again proof that everyone should not have access to tools, if they can't understand their intended purpose, or decide that more force will fix the issue - usually at the expense of the tool - if they are fortunate.