Screwdrivers

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  #1  
Old 09-07-04, 09:05 AM
Rock Chick
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Screwdrivers

Hi..

For my final A2 Level project, I've decided to re-design a device used on drills (essentially a spring-loaded metal cylinder that extends past the tip of the screwdriver, it stops the screwdriver slipping off the screwhead) so that it can be used on a hand-held screwdriver. The idea being, you can get on with the job in hand , rather than damaging the screwhead (making it bl**dy impossible to get out again!!) or scratching the wood, chest of drawers, whatever the screw is going into.

So.. does anyone have one of these things on their drill atm? good/bad points about it? is it easy to use? any ideas etc..

Any comments/ideas would be really appreciated
 
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  #2  
Old 09-07-04, 07:49 PM
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Do you happen to be in the UK?

I think I know what you are referring to.

I have something like you describe that fits in a drill and is for use on a slotted screw. The one I have has a fixed flat blade screwdriver bit with a metal cylinder like you describe that has a tapered inner lip to center itself on round head screws. It can't be used on flat screws.
It really doesn't get used all that much because the screw head that is used in Canada over 95% of the time is a Robertson or socket head style.
In the United States the Phillips or the sometimes referred to star, is the most common type.
The Phillips head is somewhat prone to stripping, not from being off-center but rather from being a difficult profile to make grip the screwdriver tightly.
The far superior Robertson or socket (pardon my Canadian bias) rarely strips in either hand or power use.

So, not really using one that much I'm not sure what I can offer except that if you were to want to offer an improvement for hand use, maybe include a handle in the packaging.

What did you have in mind to make it better?
 
  #3  
Old 09-07-04, 08:07 PM
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Kinda

Well, I have one of those things in my cordless drill/driver case atm
Along with a few other accessories I occasionally use in a pro & household manner
It seems you're in the idea zone (what's an A2?) so I'll stream 'o' concience a bit
My cylinder bit thing (sleeve) is not spring loaded
Screws come in way too many sizes for that to work (I guess)
It slides stiffly for diiferent size screws and kinda stays where I put it
But not really
Once I drive 'em home I have to reset it
When I do break it out, it's because for some reason I need to "one-hand" it
Well, it may work for one screw, but I need two hands to re-adjust it for the second screw
That defeats the purpose
If it sprang back to the original (set by me) position by itself, that might help
Screw length on one project can often vary by an inch or more
Or maybe if it kept the screw straighter ( if the cyl. is big enough for the head, the rest of the screw, most importantly the point, can get tweaked)
I rarely use it but maybe a "homeowner" (occasional use) would like mine
Hopefully more will chime in and you'll get an idea and change things for the better
Good Luck!
 
  #4  
Old 09-07-04, 08:21 PM
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Oh yeah, my sleeve will work with any bit that drops inside it (6-sided)
I prefer the square head to Phillips-more torque
(GregH, I allways called the square head the Canadian head because the furniture from Canada often used this head...Is the Robertson square? Also the "star" is called Torx and is pretty different from the Phillips)
 
  #5  
Old 09-07-04, 08:59 PM
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slickshift,

The "star" reference is really just a nickname.
The Robertson is the square or socket head.

What most don't know is that the Phillips screw was developed for the automotive industry as a screw that would center the driver quickly during assembly.
Another benefit was the fact that the driver would automatically slip when it was torqued down.
This benefit makes it a very poor screw design for other uses because it was designed to slip deliberately.

I have heard that many years ago manufacturers wanted to use the Robertson screw in the production of goods but because the PL Robertson Co of Canada held the patent and wanted a high price for the rights, US mfr's stuck with the inferior Phillips. The patent ran out some time in the sixties but I think that the Phillips head is too engrained to really see any gain.
 
  #6  
Old 09-07-04, 09:31 PM
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Thanks GregH
I have personally used the Robertson head screws, whenever possible, in any project, personal or professional over the (US) traditional Phillips for the last...well, quite a few years
And I'm glad to know why (I really was curious...they work so much better) and where they came from
Thanks for the education
 
  #7  
Old 09-08-04, 11:05 AM
NutAndBoltKing
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I have a rather large collection of fastener catalogs and sales brocheures; some, very weathered and quite fragile, that date back to the 1800s. Screw manufacturers often boasted and/or made strange claims that their screws would not split wood, would not slip, would self-center in holes or would never rust; and/or stated that their screws were far superior to other brands because they had better tapers and threads, were made from better stock, or were the kind most prefered by famous people or clients: Edison, Firestone, the Fischer Brothers or Ford. One 1920 sales ad directed towards the booming automobile manufacturing sector from Watson Machine Screw (Paterson, NJ) simply states one word; "Shakeproof!" Their one way screws had "Tamperproof!" and "Foil Hooligans!" banners on their size charts. Many of these old screw makers also made and sold their own screwdrivers designed just to fit snuggly in the heads of their style of screws, and they had to because there were all types of screw heads being made. Even in todays marketplace there are hundreds of proprietary screws that require their very own driver.

Screws at several times in history were very, very expensive. If one takes a 1920s pricelist for example and converts those dollar amounts into todays values you'll see that they cost a great deal of money way back when. One box of screws at the turn of the century could cost as much as a weeks pay. Looking at the pricelists from the different eras one will also see that labor and energy costs will historically most impact the overall cost of screws.

I wish there was a way I could share my collection with some forum members because there are numerous drills, drive tools, tips, and gadgets also available in these old screw and fastener catalogs; and some funny ads promoting them. One of the most unusual gadgets was an "E-Z To Find" screwdriver with a glow in the dark plastic handle. The ad also tells the craftsman to ask for their glow in the dark hammer handles and saws. Just what we always wanted .... a way to cut wood in the dark.
 
  #8  
Old 09-08-04, 11:47 AM
NutAndBoltKing
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P.s.

.... a quick PS:

A 1940s ad from Getz Screw Products:

"You need no spit, you need no grease,
because our screws thread with ease!"
 
  #9  
Old 09-08-04, 12:58 PM
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Boy would I love to leaf through that stuff
Do you have a camara? Maybe you could take some pictures and post them on the web?
I'm sure there's way too much to do it all, but still...
NutAndBoltKing's Online Museum of Fastener Literature...hmmm....
 
  #10  
Old 09-08-04, 08:54 PM
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I'll second that!

This isn't my area of expertise but I understand that scanning and converting to a PDF isn't that hard.

I too am interested in seeing it..
 
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Old 09-08-04, 09:22 PM
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N&BK's MoFLit

Hmmm...sounds like a project...maybe for someone who is recently retired and looking for a hobby...(wink, wink)
 
  #12  
Old 09-08-04, 10:03 PM
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When my grampa was showing me how to work with wood in the early seventies, he would have me rub the flat head, slotted screws on a bar of soap.

Also, on the same project he kicked me off the saw.
At the age of seventy he climbed up on the sawhorses and proceeded to rip a sheet of plywood with a hand saw.
It was as straight as I do it now with a guide board and a circular saw.

Ya, I'm interested in hearing about the old ways.
 
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