Patent Remake: 1909 Ratchet Wrench


You can bid to own this wrench here:
I only made 1 for sale!

This patent reproduction is based on a very simple and elegant 1909 patent for a ratcheting wrench by Frederick Walden. You can view the original patent here:

I always love the patent reproduction videos as they challenge me in ways the restoration videos usually do not. This reproduction forced me to get a dividing head and shaping attachment for the Bridgebort milling machine.

I decided to use 4140 for the main ratcheting part of the wrench and both the lathe and the shaping attachment did NOT like that as much as mild steel. Using the shaping attachment was a massive learning experience as I first had to custom make a cutter out of O1 tool steel and then learn how to use the tool itself. After a bit of practice I learned enough to be confident in machining the square hole as perfectly as possible. I am pushing the shaping attachment to well beyond what the limits apparently are so dealing with that was a challenge as well.

The handle reproduction was fairly simple with just a couple of bends, but the exactly length of the arm of the handle the engages the ratchet is important as too long or too short will cause the mechanism not to function.

I decide not to harden any of the components to match the original design, but the ability to do so is still there if I ever decide to change that!

I did decide to make an extra one that I am putting up for sale at auction. I’ve never done something like that before, so I think it will be fun to see what happens.

Wrenches and screwdrivers are now for sale at

Help secure more tools for future videos (if you want):


Facebook Group – Share your restorations

Reddit – Share your restorations

Podcast (with Jimmy DiResta and Andrew Alexander) –