Tools: DIY Pipe Key Alternative

Hello, everybody! Today, I am going to share to you an idea that was shared to me by Jon. I will not mention his full name for his privacy but I would like to thank him for sharing his knowledge to me; as usual, whatever I learned will go straight to you if it is beneficial and will help prevent any frustration while you work on your equipment. Read on!

IMG_5136I modified a pair of tweezers from the manicure section and bent it in the shape of a cow horn forceps. I bent them with a pair of pliers and being careful that the resulting shape is symmetrical. Finally, I flattened the resulting prongs to make them fit the tight spaces that they are required to slip into. Finish it off by sanding the flattened parts so you are sure that there are no rough edges that will damage anything. Make sure that it’s smooth by trying to scratch it on a piece of scrap plastic or metal. If it didn’t leave any mark then you are successful! Before I forget, make sure that the prongs are parallel to each other.

IMG_4915These are the types of scenarios where you would want to use this tool. The slot is placed deep inside the barrel and there is something in the way (usually a lens element) so you cannot use your usual lens spanner. The best way to reach this is with a tool called a pipe key. It is basically a pipe that fits in between these parts and there are 2 keys there that’ll correspond to slots inside. It is annoying to fabricate them and is a real specialized tool.

IMG_5677Our improvised tool is good enough to reach deep into the slots. Just be steady with your hands so you will not scratch the glass or anything delicate. Make sure that the tips of the prongs are securely inserted into the slots and then carefully turn it until what you want to remove is loosened. When it is loose enough, use another tool to pick on the slot and turn it until it comes off. Remember, this tool is only used to loosen or tighten anything!

IMG_5678Here it is! It would cost me a considerable amount of time to fabricate a pipe key and it is so specialized that I cannot use it for anything else. I have used this tool for several other lenses including a Zeiss Sonnar. This is one of the more useful tools that I have.

That’s it for this article. I hope that learn something from this and as always, practice lots of caution and common senses. I will not be responsible for any damage or injury done. I am sharing these in the assumption that you have ample experience with tinkering. See you again and thank you very much for supporting my blog, if you liked this or learned something then please share this with your friends. Take care, Ric.

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Maintaining this blog requires money to operate. If you think that this site has helped you or you want to show your support by helping with the upkeep of this site, you can simple make a small donation to my account ( Money is not my prime motivation for this blog and I believe that I have enough to run this but you can help me make this site (and the companion facebook page) grow.

Helping support this site will ensure that this will be kept going as long as I have the time and energy for this. I would appreciate it if you just leave out your name or details like your country and other information so that the donations will totally be anonymous it is at all possible. This is a labor of love and I intend to keep it that way for as long as I can. Ric.

11 Comments (+add yours?)

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  2. Pentermezzo
    Sep 06, 2017 @ 16:32:07

    Brilliant, thanks for sharing this!


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