The Best Socket in Your Kit
A socket wrench is a wonderful tool, but it can be made better with a little tweaking.
One small innovation turns your socket for rigger nuts into a wing-nut tool, too! You'll end up with a combo socket that will meet all your needs.
You'll need to find a machine shop and ask them to cut your 7/16 (or 10mm, if that's what fits the boat you cox) socket for you.
The socket needs to be cut straight across, and down, removing two of the six straight sides that make up the hex-fitting socket. The cuts should go all the way to the base of the socket depth. Have a shop with vises and metal saws do this safely. Trust us, it's worth it.
After they've cut two sides out of your socket, ask them to give it a once-over with their wire brush to smoothe the edges.
Add a 6" socket extender to your kit (if you use a racheting handle) or a nut driver with a 6" neck, if you're looking to conserve weight in your bag. The extender will help you get to those pesky wing nuts between the shoes as well as the rigger nuts hidden in the stays that attach to the hull. We carry a nut driver handle with one of these sockets in our cox kit and then keep a racheting handle in the rigging tookit.
This tool is one of the simplest innovations we've seen, and it works like a charm. And, your rowers will be amazed that you've thought ahead and reworked one of the simplest tools into a multi-purpose finger-saving device.
Our thanks to Steve Fluhr for turning us on to this innovation. We're forever grateful.
Have an innovation that's changed your coxing? Let us know.