Nomad 883 spindle wrench replacement

My ‘Project #1’ composite spindle wrench used as the initial milling tutorial for the Nomad has finally become unusable to hold the spindle for collet tightening as the jaws have bent open over time (probably my compulsive over tightening hastened it’s demise). I couldn’t find project files for the original wrench so I quickly tacked together a new design in F360 and milled it out of solid aluminum flat bar. Just in case somebody else ends up in the same situation I put it up on CutRocket.


Actually, the Di-bond panel isn’t strong enough to make a usable wrench — it’s just intended as an example / test cut, not as a usable wrench.

FWIW, I worked up a parametric example using METAPOST a while back:

Interesting. The things you learn. My Nomad did not arrive with a spindle wrench and (coincidentally?) the Project 1 Dibond composite wrench fit pretty well. I know from other posts there are more Nomad users in the same boat. A standard 12mm wrench doesn’t fit in there so it’s either make one or grind down an off the shelf wrench.

Odd, mine is a pretty standard (maybe low profile?) 12mm wrench — if anyone can find a sales listing for one which does fit, let us know and we’ll add it to the tools page on the wiki:

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I use one of these - I bought a “cheapo” just to keep by the machine:

I’ve used three different 12mm wrenches with this machine, and they all fit just fine (one craftsman, one ratcheting I don’t remember the manufacturer of, and this powerbuilt one)

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Thanks Mike!

Perhaps I have unique problem. I have two 12mm wrenches (Stanley and Craftsman) and neither are thin enough to get between the spindle cartridge housing and the tapered faces on the spindle. I wandered through Home Depot and a couple of other hardware stores with a set of calipers and couldn’t find a 12mm wrench appreciably thinner either. I’ll have to get one of the Powerbuilt on the way and see if it fits.

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I’ve got a 12 and a 17 (for the collet) I keep by the machine.

I remember (it’s been a couple years) running into the same problem now that you mention it, and it was one of my wrenches that didn’t fit…I bought the “powerbuilt” pair specifically for a little toolkit I keep by the machine because 100% of the time I picked up the 1 of 4 that didn’t fit from my main toolbox.


If you want a thin wrench, you can try an auto parts/tools dealer or an industrial supply. They see a lot of use in tight spaces in servicing engines and machinery, and are also sometimes known as jam nut wrenches or check nut wrenches.

For the spindle, though, I would (and did, when the supplied wrench wandered off) grind a standard wrench to fit. No need to thin the whole head. You only need to bevel the edges to clear the bevel of the flats on the spindle. Quick and easy.


Note that more recent machines use 13mm wrenches for the spindle — if necessary, please measure yours before purchasing a new wrench.