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Project by mgb_2x posted 01-19-2010 04:20 AM 2066 views 8 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I made some screwdrivers for my son,son in law and all my nephews for Christmas, seemed to go over well. Got a call from my sister the other day asking what it would cost for me to make her a screwdriver because she too occasionally uses the tools. And, oh by the way, her husband would like one as well. So I made three tonight; one in Cocobolo, one in Lignum Vitae and one in Olive. For me Cocobolo is a lovely wood, smells great, turns and finishes woderfully. This was my first shot with Lignum Vitae and it is every bit as beautiful as I imagined, has a truly unique and pleasant smell. It was a bit difficult to turn to a nice finish. And then there is Olive, one of my top five woods, it is easy to work and is my all time favorite wood fragrance. Wonder if they bottle that stuff. Unfortunateloy this piece of Olive is very plain unlike most of the pieces you will find.

Included are a few photos of the process. I have used the Rockler kits but found a cheaper way to make them. I buy the srewdrivers from Home Depot for $2.99 or on sale at Harbor Freight for $1.99. Liberate the metal parts. Prepare the stock and drill a 5/8 hole, make sure it is deep enough, 4 inches works for me. I buy a 3/4 by 6 brass nipple from Lowes and use a lathe to slice them into 5/8 long segments. Some wood shops sell the ferrules that go on chisels or lathe tools and those wood work. Turn the wood to any shape you like. I then use a pipe clamp to slide the locking mechanism into the 5/8 hole. Certainly not a complicated project but one that people really enjoy and a great way to show your favorite wood.

And though I hate pot pourri, the dust and shavings in the shop really smell good.

-- "aim small miss small" m g breedlove

10 comments so far

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18265 posts in 3669 days

#1 posted 01-19-2010 04:29 AM

Good idea. Great job doing!

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Dudley's profile


742 posts in 3254 days

#2 posted 01-19-2010 05:27 AM

Very nice. I love the Lignum Vitae. Used to turn that on my metal lathe. It has it’s own oil if it’s been stored right. Under water. BZ

-- Dudley Young USN Retired. Sebastian, Fl.

View yarydoc's profile


417 posts in 3138 days

#3 posted 01-19-2010 05:41 AM

Nice screwdrivers and a great idea. Thanks

-- Ray , Florence Alabama

View scrappy's profile


3507 posts in 3424 days

#4 posted 01-19-2010 07:12 AM

Great screwdrivers. I like the way you think outside the normal “parts suply” box.haha

Keep up the great job.


-- Scrap Wood's the best...the projects are smaller, and so is the mess!

View ratchet's profile


1391 posts in 3780 days

#5 posted 01-19-2010 02:55 PM

Those look great. How much for a set in CB?

View kine97/Theresa's profile


121 posts in 3772 days

#6 posted 01-19-2010 06:57 PM

Nice job! Thanks for sharing your procedure for using something other than the Rockler kits.

-- "My formula for living is quite simple. I get up in the morning, and I go to bed at night. In between, I occupy myself as best I can." -Cary Grant

View ChuckM's profile


608 posts in 3660 days

#7 posted 01-20-2010 01:37 AM

Nice work. For those who want to do away with the extra cutting work, they can buy the bit holders from Lee Valley:,43411,43417,41306,41329,43411,43417

-- The time I enjoy wasting is not time wasted

View mgb_2x's profile


180 posts in 3063 days

#8 posted 01-20-2010 05:42 PM

By the way I need to disclose the idea was not mine but given to me by a true local woodworking expert by the name of Rich. Alos the nipple I use is 1/2 inch not 3/4.

-- "aim small miss small" m g breedlove

View harrywho's profile


120 posts in 3226 days

#9 posted 04-15-2010 07:51 PM

Just ran across your screwdriver project yesterday and thought it was really neat. I ran out and got a few 6 in 1 screwdrivers at Harbor Freight and some 1/2” copper tubing for the ferreles. Today I tore apart the screwdriver and set up a nice piece of walnut to turn the handle. Then I thought, how can I drill a 5/8’s hole in the handle and put a 1/2” ferrel around it? In your last post you said the nipple was 1/2” not 3/4”. Am I missing something?
I really like the project by the way.

-- Harry, Indiana

View crank49's profile


4030 posts in 2964 days

#10 posted 04-15-2010 08:20 PM

A 1/2” nominal pipe size is not the same as copper tubing. A 1/2” schedule 40 pipe, in iron or brass (as was used here), is .840” O.D. and has a wall thickness of .109”. With a little math that comes out to .622” I.D. By the same calculation nominal 3/4” pipe is 1.050” O.D. x .113” wall thickness = .824” I.D.

Since a 5/8” hole is .625”, which is larger than the .622” I.D. of the pipe nipple, I also am confused. Did you turn out the I.D. of the nipple? Or do the Lowes pipe nipples come with fairy dust lubricant to make them fit.

Very nice looking screwdrivers anyway, great job.

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