|Project by JayT||posted 09-05-2016 08:43 PM||2775 views||11 times favorited||30 comments|
When the 2016 LJ Screwdriver Swap was done this spring, even though I was not able to participate, I did take advantage of the opportunity to order a few sets of shanks from Grace Tools and have finally got around to getting the final products done. I’m keeping one of the sets and giving the other two to my father and brother for Christmas.
In between building the screwdrivers and the presentation boxes, MadMark posted his review of an inexpensive laser engraver. After going back and forth, I finally decided to order a smaller one to do maker’s marks for when I build tools and ended up doing some small 3/8in diameter medallions on the screwdriver handles and 1in medallions on the box lids. The perimeter of the 1in medallions has a tool appropriate verse from Psalm 127:1, “Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain”.
All the screwdrivers have hexagonal handles with brass plumbing compression nuts for the ferrules. Each set is made with contrasting woods so that if the screwdrivers are handle up in a tool pouch, it is easy to identify which is a straight blade and which is Phillips. While all are the same basic shape, each set has some differences in the length of taper and the grooves. Finish on the drivers and inside of the boxes is natural Danish oil and wax. The outside of the boxes got a couple coats of Minwax Antique Oil so that they have a bit more sheen.
First set that was made is apitong with soft maple. The same woods were used for the presentation box with a bookmatched lid and hand cut dovetail corners. This one will be going to my brother.
Second set is hickory with walnut. Again, the same woods were used for the box and it also has dovetailed corners. On this one, I decided to do a sliding lid instead of hinged. Since the piece of hickory I had available was much smaller, the lid also got walnut racing stripes to make it wide enough. For this set, which I am keeping, I also made a multi bit driver. My plan is to use this set for gunsmithing, so wanted to be able to custom grind bits to fit different screws.
Final set, which will be gifted to my dad, is walnut with honey locust. The pink/orange of the locust has great contrast with the dark brown walnut and is probably my favorite set. Since I had very little locust, and didn’t want a solid walnut box because I felt it would be too dark to see the screwdrivers well, the box is made from quarter sawn sycamore with a veneer of walnut and locust on the sides. The top is bookmatched walnut. The laser engraved medallions were installed a little differently for this set. They are inset a bit and then covered over with CA glue. Gives a cool effect in person that is tough to pick up with a camera.
Overall, a fun project that ends up with something useful at the end. The Grace screwdriver shanks are far higher quality than anything you can find at the big box or hardware store and it’s nice being able to customize tools for an individual.
Thanks for looking and hope you enjoy.
-- In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock. Thomas Jefferson