The Screwdriver

 900

Screwdrivers are another must-have in the woodworker’s set of hand tools

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Screwdrivers are another must-have in the woodworker’s set of hand tools. Not only will you need Phillips and slot, or flathead screwdrivers, you’ll need star drivers and Torx drivers, too. Quality construction is vital to a good set of screwdrivers. So many of them are made out of soft metal, and the first time you put any “oomph” behind them, they strip out, becoming absolutely useless.

You’ll need a long screwdriver with a square blade that is very heavy duty. This gives you a lot of torque. You’ll also need a small and medium slot screwdriver. For working on cabinets or tight places in woodworking, you’ll need a screwdriver with a thin shank so that you can reach screws that are inside of deep holes. This is accomplished with a cabinet screwdriver. Get a couple of medium Phillips head screwdrivers, and a stubby one too, for those tight places. You may also want a ratcheting screwdriver.

If your slot screwdrivers are high-quality material, you’ll be able to grind them flat when they get worn. Beware, though, that too much heat will change the temper of the metal, weakening it so that it won’t drive or draw screws. By the way, some of dad’s tips for getting the most out of his screwdrivers:

  • Use the right size blade for the screw.
  • For stubborn screws, fit the driver into the screw, put as much downward pressure as you can on the screwdriver, and strike the end with a hammer. This more often than not will pop the screw loose. It also helps with screws that have been stripped out.
  • Put beeswax on the threads of screws before you drive screws into hardwood. If you don’t have beeswax, use soap. It makes the screws drive more easily.
  • You’ll get more driving force with a shorter shank.
  • Use a crescent wrench on the blade to get more torque.
  • Some people can magnetize a screwdriver by holding it up and striking it with a metal bar. It realigns the molecules, making it magnetic. You can also break your screwdrivers doing this, so be careful!
  • Get a pry bar. Keep it with your screwdrivers, and every time you need a pry bar, leave your screwdrivers alone!

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