LumberJocks

screwdriver #1: Admit it, fix it, and move on... (now with pix!)

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by scottb posted 03-04-2007 05:11 AM 956 reads 0 times favorited 29 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of screwdriver series Part 2: replacement »

First the bad news, just after my Bro-in law rec’d his homemade 6-in-1 mahogany screwdriver for christmas (and my nephew asked if he was really going to use it) it broke. Apparently the fact that I made it was a miracle, as I misjudged and left the wall closest to the business end very thin. First attempt was only a success in working out all the details in getting it on the lathe, and then off in one piece. Another second and It would have exploded on me.

Like any good customer service dept, I had him send it back to see what I could to to repair it, and after staring at it everyday for a month a solution presented itself. All I needed to do was take a tip from penturning, and put a tube down the center to epoxy both halves back on to, and create a patch piece (wood, ray-crete or ???) to go between. In the end, I decided on turning a new handle to match up to the “business end”. I was hoping to salvage the metal components, and reusing that portion seemed to be the only way.

Am I just a cheap lumberjock, or a frugal yankee that I’ll spend more money and time in repairing this, than just dropping another $4 on a new screwdriver to start over? Or perhaps I just won’t let this beat me, and starting over with new parts is to admit defeat?

Last night I redrilled out the center hole to 5/8ths to fit the copper piping and epoxied that in place. Fitting on the bottom of the original handle proved trickier. the fit went from tight and off center to loose very quickly. While checking the fit the original handle cracked. (and I was able to get the copper pipe off. A few strokes of the chisel freed up the nut, and now a repair job has turned into a do-over. The good news, I can take the lessons I learned and put that into a new tool, and while the repaired piece would have come out good, some of the logistics, or rather the (cross your fingers and hope the glue holds factor) can be avoided.

What did I learn. Use a straight grained (or rived) piece of wood. (there was some twist down at the bottom at the second fracture point). Rather than drill out the center channel to accept the shaft of the screwdriver to match the size of the hole in the ubiquitous orange handled one, counterbore smaller sized holes, only as big as neccessary. and mostly, do not reduce the width of the handle beyond that of the base. Even if the design tries to convince me to do so.

I first planned this project before kits (with instructions) came onto the market. But now, why haven’t I just gone out and bought a kit (and spent an extra buck or so). I’m a lumberjock, who may just be a glutton for punishment. But in the meantime, I dug out a small piece of maple to make the next one, plus earmarked a couple other hardwoods to make Rob’s replacement.

Sorry brother, but you’re not going to get a piece out of your parents mahogany offcuts – I want Clay to pass the next one down to your grandkids…. But rest assured, the handle will have come from their property, so it’ll still be an heirloom peice for several reasons.

-- I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. - Van Gogh -- http://blanchardcreative.etsy.com -- http://snbcreative.wordpress.com/



29 comments so far

View Karson's profile

Karson

34916 posts in 3153 days


#1 posted 03-04-2007 05:25 AM

I’m with you Scott.

But yesterday I started to repair a stool that my son had loosened up. After taking it all apart and finding all of the dried glue. I asked my wife what it would cost to buy another one. She said $5.00.

The existing one became firewood.

No heairloom here: Just Tiawan materials.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware karson_morrison@bigfoot.com †

View scottb's profile

scottb

3648 posts in 3079 days


#2 posted 03-04-2007 05:42 AM

The old handle is (will be) gonzo. Up in smoke. Could have been saved, but in the end not necc… But why was I so happy to save the metal bits? I could have started over without them.

I’d heard LL Bean’s return rate for his first line of his (now famous) duck boots exceeded 80%. But he knew something about customer service, and it seems to have worked well for him. But still, I’m hoping to do a little (if not considerably) better than that.

-- I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. - Van Gogh -- http://blanchardcreative.etsy.com -- http://snbcreative.wordpress.com/

View Mark A. DeCou's profile

Mark A. DeCou

1999 posts in 3158 days


#3 posted 03-04-2007 05:59 AM

I think if you made a display stand, sort of like a small knife stand, that held the screwdriver like a work of art, he wouldn’t be using it for anything other than as sculpture. What was he thinking?

hang in there,
Mark

-- Mark DeCou - American Contemporary Craft Artisan - www.decoustudio.com

View dennis mitchell's profile

dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 3067 days


#4 posted 03-04-2007 06:05 AM

Better yet mount it to a board in a frame to hang on the wall. That will show him.

View scottb's profile

scottb

3648 posts in 3079 days


#5 posted 03-04-2007 06:24 AM

Yes, tools as art!

-- I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. - Van Gogh -- http://blanchardcreative.etsy.com -- http://snbcreative.wordpress.com/

View frank's profile

frank

1492 posts in 2958 days


#6 posted 03-04-2007 12:46 PM

Hi Scott;
—-yes, I like it! ”....’tools as art’, brought to you by the makers of ‘wood art’....”

GODSPEED,
Frank

-- --frank, NH, http://rusticwoodart.tumblr.com/

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

18615 posts in 2913 days


#7 posted 03-04-2007 01:38 PM

i can relate to the fix it/toss it dilemma. But that’s another story! :)

Maybe the old pieces could have been turned into the stand for the new tool. Or saved to be included in a sculpture: “lost but not forgotten”, including pieces of all the “oops” woodworking moments.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (https://www.facebook.com/DebbiePribeleENJOConsultant)

View oscorner's profile

oscorner

4564 posts in 3063 days


#8 posted 03-04-2007 04:22 PM

Scott, such a mishap is the basis of learning. I’m sure that with the knowledge you gained and shared that the remake and any future tools you make will last for future generations. A chairmaker once said to his students that if a joint fails on a chair that they should investigate why it failed as part of the learning process. Once the cause of the failure was understood, then the process needed to prevent the failure could be learned. I await the new screwdriver.

-- Jesus is Lord!

View RobS's profile

RobS

1334 posts in 3059 days


#9 posted 03-04-2007 05:03 PM

Hey, Why am I the bad guy here? I just tried to use the tool for the intended purpose…While it is a piece of art, should I own two of everything, one to mount on the wall with a plaque and the other to actually use? I think not.

Scott, I appreciate you efforts and you customer service, please don’t let me interfere too much with the progress of the lilac lamp. I’ll have to print off these blogs/posts to pass along the story to my grandchildren along with the new tool, er, uh or art….
Thanks!

-- Rob (A) Waxahachie,TX

View scottb's profile

scottb

3648 posts in 3079 days


#10 posted 03-04-2007 05:06 PM

Yes, perhaps this is why new restaurants “practice” on friends and family. At least they’ll come back!

Ok, I’m not tossing the old pieces, thanks for planting great idea seeds!

-- I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. - Van Gogh -- http://blanchardcreative.etsy.com -- http://snbcreative.wordpress.com/

View scottb's profile

scottb

3648 posts in 3079 days


#11 posted 03-04-2007 05:09 PM

Oops, posting at the same time Rob. You’re not the bad guy… that old rusty screw (and my less than thorough product testing process) was. – Note to self, get some really small calipers. – Just embellishing the history, as it were, for the legacy we’re leaving.

-- I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. - Van Gogh -- http://blanchardcreative.etsy.com -- http://snbcreative.wordpress.com/

View oscorner's profile

oscorner

4564 posts in 3063 days


#12 posted 03-04-2007 08:18 PM

Hey RobS, what were you prying with that screw driver anyway? LOL! ;^)

-- Jesus is Lord!

View scottb's profile

scottb

3648 posts in 3079 days


#13 posted 03-04-2007 08:58 PM

I’ll post photos later, he wan’t prying, the handle just shattered as part of it was barely thicker than paper. The design was to discourage prying. The first miracle of this piece was not destroying it on the lathe, with tool, or sandpaper! felt pretty solid in the hand. I think the grain was a little to blame as well. Didn’t take much force to create new cracks in 3/8 thick wood that was epoxied to the copper pipe!

If only I could have designed that on purpose – you know make gag tools, like the exploding golf balls :)

Wait until you see the work in progress, flimsy is not part of it’s vocabulary!

-- I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. - Van Gogh -- http://blanchardcreative.etsy.com -- http://snbcreative.wordpress.com/

View oscorner's profile

oscorner

4564 posts in 3063 days


#14 posted 03-04-2007 09:00 PM

I was just picking with Rob. No harm meant, Scott.

-- Jesus is Lord!

View scottb's profile

scottb

3648 posts in 3079 days


#15 posted 03-04-2007 09:05 PM

OS - None meant, and none taken. Rob’s a big boy, he can take care of himself.

Of course if he was prying then he’d have felt bad for having voided the warranty, and paid full cost for the replacement!

-- I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. - Van Gogh -- http://blanchardcreative.etsy.com -- http://snbcreative.wordpress.com/

showing 1 through 15 of 29 comments

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

GardenTenders.com :: gardening showcase