Chipbreaker Screwdriver (Pecan Handle)

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Project by Brandon posted 01-27-2012 07:38 AM 4407 views 2 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is a project that I’ve been meaning to do for awhile, but just recently got around to it. Chipbreaker screws are wide and usually the only screwdrivers that fit them well have very long shanks. I previously had been using an old flathead screwdriver with about a 10” shank, which isn’t ideal. I wanted a nice, short screwdriver that I could easily put my palm around (see last picture). Both Lee Valley and Lie-Nielsen make screwdrivers for this and I almost purchased the one from Lee Valley (it’s beautiful and only $15, but I always forget to get it when I order something else). So when I was at Harbor Freight they had this enormous screwdriver on clearance for three bucks, I knew I could use it to make my own chipbreaker screwdriver.

I cut the shank down to about 3 1/2”, which itself was more of a challenge than I expected. The hacksaw barely scratched it, so I broke out the angle grinder with a diamond blade and that still took a bit of work, but it got through it. Once the screwdriver was cut in two, I went looking for a piece of wood for the handle. I originally started with a nice piece of padauk, but I got a chisel stuck in it and had to break the handle to dislodge my chisel. Whoops! Then I decided to use some pecan that I obtain from my neighbor’s tree. The limb had been dead for some time and so we cut it down and I had a large piece of it drying for about a year—large enough for handle turnings but that is about it.

I think it turned out alright. Now I don’t have to use a precariously long screwdriver for working on the chipbreaker.

-- "hold fast to that which is good"

14 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


117203 posts in 3697 days

#1 posted 01-27-2012 07:40 AM

Nice work

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View thedude50's profile


3603 posts in 2597 days

#2 posted 01-27-2012 09:32 AM

where is mine bro did you forget me hehehhehe

-- Please check out my new stores and

View Ken90712's profile


17570 posts in 3308 days

#3 posted 01-27-2012 10:54 AM

I like it, looks great and functional!

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View lysdexic's profile


5256 posts in 2742 days

#4 posted 01-27-2012 02:35 PM

Nice Brandon. Do you have a lathe or did “turn” a drill press?

-- "It's only wood. Use it." - Smitty || Instagram - out_of_focus1.618

View Brandon's profile


4152 posts in 3071 days

#5 posted 01-27-2012 03:53 PM

I have a lathe, sorta. It’s a vintage Atlas/Craftsman metal working lathe that does okay with some woodworking projects. I mostly use it to create handles and small objects. I don’t have a proper tool rest for it, but I make do. It has a drill attachment that goes in the live center and that’s how I drilled the hole through the piece. My actual drill press is a piece of garbage Harbor Freight that has trouble with nearly every task I ask it to do.

-- "hold fast to that which is good"

View Don W's profile

Don W

18938 posts in 2687 days

#6 posted 01-27-2012 05:21 PM

looks like you made a really nice short screw driver and a really long burnisher.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View ShaneA's profile


7022 posts in 2718 days

#7 posted 01-27-2012 05:27 PM

Well done, looks like you are getting a few projects out of that lathe. Custom plane knobs/totes on the horizon?

View Brandon's profile


4152 posts in 3071 days

#8 posted 01-27-2012 05:38 PM

LOL, Don—- I’ve been wondering what I can do with the rest of the screwdriver.

Shane, I do like having the lathe around for tool handles etc, but with my current set up I don’t enjoy it too much. I’ve made a couple of plane knobs already—one I just finished for a scrub plane that had a rosewood knob, so I made a new knob out of beech. The K5 that I restored has a knob that I made in addition to the tote:

-- "hold fast to that which is good"

View jusfine's profile


2422 posts in 3045 days

#9 posted 01-27-2012 06:35 PM

Sharpen the end and you have another screwdriver… :)

Well done, it looks great!

-- Randy "You are judged as much by the questions you ask as the answers you give..."

View Brit's profile


7450 posts in 2962 days

#10 posted 01-28-2012 02:00 AM

Nice job Brandon. Much better than a long one. I picked up one of the Lee Valley ones a couple of months back.

-- - Andy - Old Chinese proverb says: "If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it."

View Brandon's profile


4152 posts in 3071 days

#11 posted 01-28-2012 02:24 AM

Thanks, Andy. What do you think of the Lee Valley one?

-- "hold fast to that which is good"

View Brit's profile


7450 posts in 2962 days

#12 posted 01-28-2012 02:27 AM

What can I tell you Brandon? It unscrews and it screws. LOL. Seriously though, I think it is a great little screwdriver for the money. Well made and it’s a good fit on the chipbreaker screws.

-- - Andy - Old Chinese proverb says: "If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it."

View Michael1's profile


403 posts in 2779 days

#13 posted 01-28-2012 06:32 AM

Great Job. There is no comparison to a tool that you custom make. They just seem to fit better in your hand and are much more pleasurable to use. Great Work!!

-- Michael Mills, North Carolina,

View kiefer's profile


5619 posts in 2786 days

#14 posted 01-28-2012 11:13 PM

I want all my screwdrivers to look like that!!!!
Great job .


-- Kiefer

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