|Project by scottb||posted 12-30-2006 06:05 AM||4538 views||2 times favorited||18 comments|
Almost a year ago, my brother-in-law (and fellow lumberjock) and I decided to swap homemade gifts for Christmas. I saw plans for one of these interchangeable screwdrivers in a woodturning magazine last winter, using parts from the ubiquitous orange handled reversible screwdrivers you can get at the local big box. I picked up three, so I could make a few. By the time I got started on the project… (almost a year later) kits had become available from through Rockler and Penn State (for about the same price!).
I took a hacksaw to the big orange handle, saved the metal parts, measured the depth and diameter of the hole, mounted a block of mahogany (salvaged from my In-laws new deck) on my shopsmith and bored out the middle, also counterboring for the nut, which I epoxied (and tapped in) snugly.
A few days of curing later, I had to file out some epoxy residue inside for the shaft to fit properly.
Next came the turning, I thought I could just mount the handle between centers (not having a 4 jawed chuck) but I didn’t have the proper centers to turn the handle safely. To solve this challenge, I put the shaft back into the handle, and mounted it on the lathe (shopsmith) with the drill press attachment. That, plus the live center in the tailstock worked like a charm!
I turned away just enough material on the business end to fit on the ferrule (bit of copper pipe from the plumbing dept!) which will help keep the handle from splitting if my nephew tries forcing open up a can of paint, or other such task we rely on screwdrivers for.
Next came time to turn the handle to shape. I pretty much let my muse and whim guide the design. I wanted something small enough to fit in the hand (and toolbox) nicely, not to chunky, but not fragile either. (but perhaps small enough to discourage improper use, and prolong the tools life?) At the time I had just started trying my hand at home-brewing. In fact I had just bottled my first batch the same day I took to the lathe. Looking at the bottle shape that just appeared, I guess my new hobby was pretty fresh in my mind.
Unfortunately, I lost the other 2 orange handled screwdrivers I picked up. I also can’t seem to find the older one I’ve been using for years, perhaps they’re afraid of their fate… if only they could see how great they’ll look after a quick makeover! If they don’t turn up in time for Fathers day, or perhaps next Christmas… I may just try my hand at one of those kits, and save myself a little running around for parts! If I had my druthers I’d have used a shorter pipe (or eq.) for the ferrule. I’m happy with the bottle design – I’ll be sure to use it on a sister piece, a bottle opener perhaps?
This was my first attempt at making a screwdriver. No other prototypes or failed attempts. Lucky, considering I only started a couple weeks before Christmas. The handle is a salvaged (but new) mahogany remnant from my mother and father-in-law’s deck (built by my dad). Finished with Howard’s orange feed and wax.