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A question about whether a particular wrench was in original toolkits in British built Royal Enfields. Maybe someone with what is thought to be an original toolkit can answer this question. (I realize that tools may be lost or replaced, or added over the years, but any help/advice is appreciated.)

I am curious to know if the antique Combination Spanner labelled "ENFIELD" that shows up for sale on eBay fairly regularly, attributed to Royal Enfield, is in fact something that would have been in Royal Enfield toolboxes.

It's a clever double-ended wrench that fits two sizes of bolt at each end of the wrench, and it is vividly marked ENFIELD.

You can see photos of it in this recent eBay ad:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/393279099258?hash=item5b9142d17a:g:Vh8AAOSwv-VgYP0g

Hitchcock's online parts books for many models, from the 1946 125cc to the 1969 Series 2 Interceptor, list such a "Combination Spanner" but the small images don't show it marked "ENFIELD."

Allan Hitchcock was kind enough to dig up the factory drawing for Part No. 6406 Combination Spanner, but that drawing also does not show any markings. The part drawing, which is dated 1965, may be a simplified version of the original, or its simplicity could represent that the wrench itself was simplified at some point, I suppose.

The 1965 drawing does not show the rounded or hexagonal shapes visible in the jaws of the eBay wrench. The drawing shows only rectangular openings (a simplification of the drawing, or the tool itself perhaps?).

As for what makes me question whether a wrench proudly labelled "ENFIELD" is really a Royal Enfield wrench or not, well I had to ask. If these are real, I want one, even though I suspect it would be a terribly awkward tool to use.

All best,

David in Fort Lauderdale


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I don't know about in more modern times (!), but the military insisted on a fair old toolkit supplied with wartime models.
I'd assumed that thats why you see these same tools labelled BSA, Triumph and Enfield, as well as some nondescript ones.
They all seem so similar, they may even have come from the same supplier ?

One such parts book for one of these actually shows and lists the tools, I'll have a gander later and see if I can locate it.

You see a smattering of original tool kits on offer on fleabay for all sorts of eras.
Whether some of the tools as shown have been replaced/updated or are as supplied is an interesting question.
Some are clearly a collection of gathered tools, with different eras represented ?

Its also worth remembering that most motorcycle Co's also had a bicycle division,
and they also would have had a toolkit supplied with them.
They generally are less robust tools though, lightweight being a notable quality ?

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I sent a message to The Vintage Tool Company, who specialize in vehicle tool kits. Hopefully they'll send a reply, as I am sure they will know something about these wrenches. I got one of these wrenches from a fellow tool collector/seller. Pretty sure it did not come with a '67 Interceptor like mine but its still pretty cool to have in the tool kit.


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It would be useful to know what size spoke nipple that tool fits.
This could determine what it may be for ?

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I am not experienced in reading technical documents but it looks to me as though the 1965 drawing Allan Hitchcock sent me shows that the Royal Enfield supplied combination spanner Part No. 6406 should handle .442 and .317-inch flats on one end and .530 and .606-inch flats on the other. I believe these sizes are larger than required for spoke nipples?

I appreciate the responses to this thread so far.

All best,

David in Fort Lauderdale


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I've used both of these to unlace wheels.
I just checked, they both fit the nipples of a CO wheel I'm currently doing.
And some bits look well used/abused.

[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]

I'm not sure how those sizes relate to these - the battery in my calipers is flat !

P.S. I had to open this a 2nd time to post, the 1st one froze.
Same the other day.
I blame the traffic lights ...

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Points of information:
The large end sizes are 3/8BS / 5/16W and 5/16BS / 1/4W with .005" clearance over the nut and bolt head sizes.
The small end sizes are actually 7/16 and 5/16 AF, but would likely fit 1/4BS / 3/16W and #8 and #10 if they were made to stove bolt tolerances.

Repeating David's point, the Enfield drawing shows the wrenches cut for square nuts and bolt heads. They are called stove bolts in N Am and are made to wide tolerances with loose fits. Maybe the same in Blighty?

Who has known original RE tool kit wrenches?

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Where can we see this drawing of these tools ?

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And the tools page - prewar list. 1937 in this case.
Your attention is drawn to # 7
The only one with the Enfield name on it
Complete with toolbox to hold them (and almost impossible to find ??)
Don't know why the footpegs are mixed up in them....

[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]

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THANK YOU. You seem to have answered the question about the ENFIELD marking! Seems to be unique to this tool. You can view the drawing Allan Hitchcock sent me at this link:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1xyxA73twC7JmIV8IIvB01n3sXDBT-MIE/view?usp=sharing

...I hope.

Thank you and all best,

David in Fort Lauderdale


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Originally Posted by David Blasco
...I hope.

Yep, pic appears. Took a few cycles of a little circle, so goodness knows which cloud it came down from !
Thank you.

I note that the drawing shows a plain oval section in the middle there, rather than the I beam of the original ?
(and I note that an I (capital eye) in computer script isn't very I shaped).

And also that the drawing sez 2 stroke and 8 HP, so it was for all models (?).

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And when did Enfields last offer an 8 HP model, you may well ask.
Well I think it would be this. Early 1920s.

https://www.yesterdays.nl/site/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Royal-Enfield-1922-model-180-1.jpg

Although some of the models of the late 1920s and early 30s could well be 8 HP also (1000cc in common parlance).
A little thinner on the ground, I've not ever seen one in the metal.
So this spanner has some antiquity to its origins ?

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Peter Miller's book "Royal Enfield The Early History" lists models referred to as the "8 hp" from 1915 right up to 1925, after which they are renamed (with no increase in bore or stroke) the "9.76 hp" and as that continue through 1930, when the book leaves off. So they had an early and long history through the period you suggest. Allan Hitchcock noted that the part number 6406 is very low, suggesting the part was there at the dawn. Early '20s was his guess as well.

What catches my eye about the drawing, versus the wrench on eBay is that the drawing (presumably a 1965 retracing of some worn-out earlier version) shows the square, "stove bolt" jaws pointed out by Chris Overton. The wrench on eBay seems more sophisticated, having hexagonal form at one point.

Again, it would be fantastic if owners on this forum with thought-to-be original-to-the-bike toolkits could tells us what the wrench was like at dates certain. Perhaps hopeless.

All best,

David in Fort Lauderdale


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Originally Posted by David Blasco
What catches my eye about the drawing, versus the wrench on eBay is that the drawing (presumably a 1965 retracing of some worn-out earlier version) shows the square, "stove bolt" jaws pointed out by Chris Overton. The wrench on eBay seems more sophisticated, having hexagonal form at one point.


Ah, something to watch is that my pic above of the BSA and un-named spanners shows BOTH sides of this wrench type.
Its worth pointing out that one side has that hexagonal point, and the other side has a (curved) stove bolt jaws.
They can do this on the one tool because its been drop-forged, so 2 dies with 2 different jaw forms.

A side-on view of the un-named tool in my pic shows the 'parting line' of the 2 dies.
On the BSA version they've either ground it off, or used a neater joining pair of dies.

So, strictly speaking, that H's drawing is a shade misleading.
It should show each side - separately - with the varying types of jaws clearly defined.
A tool made to H's drawing alone would not produce the tool totally in its correct form,
it wouldn't reproduce the hexagonal jawed t'other side ...

I must investigate this Peter Miller's book. Not come across that.
Thanks for that mention.

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I have no connection to sales of Peter Miller's "Royal Enfield, The Early History 1851 to 1930" but I enjoyed reading it. Well written and backed with year-by-year model illustrations. Covers bicycles and sidecars as well as motorcycles, and cars (they built those too, then) plus corporate history. My review of it is at this link:

https://www.royalenfields.com/2020/02/new-book-explores-royal-enfields-pre.html

Thanks again for finding the image of that multi-wrench in the 1937 parts book. I bought one from eBay.

All best,

David in Fort Lauderdale


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The combination spanner in my collection has the name Shelley forged into it, where the eBay item example is forged Enfield. Other RE tool kit items stamped Shelley too. Additionally, one end of my combination wrench is stamped Enfield adjacent to the largest wrench opening, leading me to believe this did pass thru Enfield Cycle Ltd. hands. My example also has a large end shaped for hex and small end for square on one side, but simply semi-circular on the other side, as on the eBay example. This was a common utility wrench, made by different makers for different customers. Note the Enfield Cycle drawing specifies only mild steel for the forging. Tool steel or case hardening would have been a few pence more....
The open-end wrenches in Interceptor tools are Spearpoint brand. Good steel, thin for lightness and access to Fasteners. Nothing fancy, but desirable for any shop or tool kit.

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Chris, does your example of the combination spanner come from a known Interceptor or other Royal Enfield? If so, that would date the examples of the wrench that resemble your description. But I gather from your words that its origin is not known.

There is no pressing cause to my hunt for information on these things. It's really just trivia, but it amuses me.

All best,

Davd in Fort Lauderdale


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My Royal Enfield tool kit is a composite gathered mostly by a former (reformed?) collector. He collected over 20 Royal Enfields and all the ex-dealer's spares from the Canadian prairies (Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba). In that time he managed to piece together most of 1 tool kit. Gives an idea of the difficulty of the task. I managed to add 2 Spearpoint open-end wrenches when I tracked down the PO of my 1968 Interceptor that he crashed and sold 50 years ago. Tool kits are scattered to the winds and assembling one from eBay one piece at a time would cost an extraordinary amount of time and money, plus S&H of course.
One thing about this topic, we flushed out the pedants. Al appears to be only mildly afflicted....

My tool kit is short PN 43449, the valve rocker adjusting spanner; PN DWU-05 screwdriver for PoziDrive timing cover screws; PN 400935 contact breaker screwdriver. Also the little rod thingie pictured but not ID'ed in the Interceptor parts book - it is a tool for the Schraeder valve in a tire valve stem.
Oh, and the actual tool roll PN 16007. Anyone have extras?

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Got any pics ?

R.T. Shelley was an accessories maker that bought into Norton very early on, and saved their bacon.
AMC bought Nortons circa 1953, I'm not sure how the relationship was after that.

Shelley tools make up a fair few of the tools in a Norton toolkit, for many a year.

Royal Enfield and Norton had common owners in the final years of the Interceptor,
so thats how the Shelley tool supplier came into the picture in that era ?

Tools seem to get folks going - a tools thread on another (vintage) forum has folks getting new ones laser cut ...

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Looks like there are other Enfield labelled tools.
Maybe different eras ?

This one has the handle approx an inch above the hex ends, tricky to see in 2D, large hex sizes

https://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/OdsAAOSwP9Fg7E93/s-l1600.jpg

And
https://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/ShwAAOSwtARfAcSF/s-l1600.jpg

And
https://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/Hc0AAOSwZbpfgz1C/s-l1600.jpg
&
https://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/wCUAAOSwKsBhDDfO/s-l1600.jpg

At this rate a mallet must be next ...

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Eadie Manufacturing would have preceded the Enfield or Royal Enfield names ?

https://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/D3MAAOSwTJtbyBq1/s-l1600.jpg

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Well spotted. Seeing all these I begin to believe that they really are all related to Royal Enfield, Redditch. Especially the ones specifically labelled that way.

All best,

David in Fort Lauderdale


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So, the information I've gathered so far about the little multi-purpose Royal Enfield wrench is summarized on my blog at this link:

https://www.royalenfields.com/2021/08/4-way-wrench-has-long-history-in-royal.html

Thanks to Rohan, Chris Overton and other members of this Forum who contributed information. Additional input is welcome. It might be particularly interesting to find out if owners of thought-to-be original tool kits have the wrench and, if so, what year motorcycle the kit came with. Were there variations in the tool design over the years and if so what did they look like? What specific purposes does the wrench serve? Photographs, please!

Who cares? It's just something to talk about. I wondered if all those ENFIELD wrenches on eBay were really Royal Enfield bits and it turns out that, at least in this case, the bit really is legit.

All best,

David in Fort Lauderdale


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There is a (fairly small) pic on worthpoint of what is said to be a ww2 enfield tool roll.
I'd say thats not bad, certainly mostly matches whats in the parts books description.

https://thumbs.worthpoint.com/zoom/...360_cc36afeec413f2439c577c2447753b12.jpg

Found another - also a mixed brew though. Some could possibly be bicycle tools ??
https://i.pinimg.com/originals/46/08/f2/4608f2362bd9930aab15ba9426646b36.jpg

The spoke wrench is said to be a 4 tools in one.
As well as the spoke wrench, it covers 3 hex nut sizes. And it does get a fair grip.
I'd comment it is quite short to apply any muscle though - perhaps that was the intention ?

[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]

And on studying my collection, which I've actually used for unspoking and respoking wheels,
the Enfield tool covers a larger spoke size than the others.
Why this might be I don't know, I used the smaller sized ones for un/lacing common wheels - including for a ww2 Enfield ..

[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]

Hopethishelpsabit !

P.S. Nice blog entry.
I enjoy your jottings, v well done.

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[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]

I don't have that wrench in my series 2 tool roll., but doesn't mean it's not lost.


Brian
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