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Question About Making My Own Slotted Screw Drivers

Discussion in 'QUESTIONS & ANSWERS (Get Help Fast Here!)' started by Mutt, Dec 17, 2016.

  1. Mutt

    Mutt United States Active Member Active Member

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    Sears hates me. I've been bringing back their screw drivers for decades. They suck in my humble opinion.

    I guess I'm not into big business/big money, but I can see absolutely no reason for making a tapered freakin' slotted screwdriver, except it is "universal" (it FITS nothing in the universe !!!) Most brands tips are too brittle too.

    I restore antique motorcycles, 1930's thru 50's, for a living. Tapered screwdrivers tear up screw slots. I want to make a set of my own. I can't find enough sizes to cover all the different size screw slots I use. I like them to fit snug and cover the full length and full height of the slot.
    So my questions are, has anyone made their own hollow ground screw drivers, what type of steel is best for them, how hard on the Rc scale is hard enough, but not too brittle and and how did ya go about doing the grinding?
     
  2. 4gsr

    4gsr Global Moderator Staff Member H-M Supporter-Premium

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    This may be stupid to ask, but have you looked at the Chapman screwdriver kits?
     
  3. dpb

    dpb United States H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Check out Brownells. Good sets of hollow ground gunsmith screwdrivers. They're pretty hard.
     
    4gsr and george wilson like this.
  4. Mutt

    Mutt United States Active Member Active Member

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    haven't heard if them. I'll check them out. Thanks
     
  5. eeler1

    eeler1 United States Dang, buggered that up too!! H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Yeah, what they said. Plus, for special size and shape needs, you can buy older, decent US made screwdrivers and then grind them to the shape you need. Garage sales are loaded with candidates. Cheap.
     
  6. ELHEAD

    ELHEAD United States Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Reground many over the years. Not the square shanked ones . Just the round. Just don't over heat.
    Dave
     
  7. RJSakowski

    RJSakowski H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    I sometimes regrind my screwdrivers as hollow ground. My favorite one is a hollow ground regrind of an old Sears Craftsman screwdriver.

    Regarding breaking tips as opposed to corkscrewing them, I prefer them to break. At least I haven't messed up the screw if the driver fails. If you find them prone to breaking, you can always retemper them, A deep straw to bronze color when drawing the temper should be about right.
     
  8. Mutt

    Mutt United States Active Member Active Member

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    So what's the best way to hollow grind them?
     
  9. george wilson

    george wilson United States Global Moderator Staff Member H-M Supporter-Premium

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    i have a set of
    brownell's screwdrivers. You can get them in any width and thickness of tip. And,they are guaranteed for life-if it's worth sending a screwdriver bit back for a new replacement !

    They are the ONLY screwdrivers I will use on my expensive guns as they do not burr the slots if you select the tip that fits the screw.
     
  10. EmilioG

    EmilioG United States Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    I've put some 1/4" insert screwdriver bits on a drill press vise then into a Kurt vise for custom grinding.
    I put a small Dremel round grinding bit in a collet and grind down the thickness to what I need.
    It's not always easy to find the correct width/thickness of hollow ground screwdrivers for every slotted screw.
    European slots can be very narrow., so I just grind my own. Can be a bit tricky to avoid faceting.
     
  11. eeler1

    eeler1 United States Dang, buggered that up too!! H-M Supporter-Premium

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    I don't know, have never done a 'hollow ground '. Maybe RJ can elaborate.
     
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  12. bobshobby

    bobshobby Australia H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    just do as EM suggests, be careful not to overheat, Also try some snap on bits and regrind as required they are pretty tough.
     
  13. Tony Wells

    Tony Wells United States Vice President Staff Member Administrator

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    I use a Wheeler gunsmith set. Seems to be a very good quality and excellent size selection. Guns are finicky about screw slots, and you don't take chances messing them up.
     
  14. whitmore

    whitmore United States Active Member Active Member

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    The chrome plated screwdrivers are slippery, go with the unplated ones (I like Irwin brand). After sharpening, peen the end; that forms a bit of a burr, so the tips bite the
    slot sidewalls and don't cam out.

    When there's damage to the tip, heat the last inch or so cherry red, and
    hammer it thin, then grind to the familiar wedge shape to get it back to nominal
    width and thickness. The hammering slightly work-hardens the tip.
     
  15. tq60

    tq60 United States Active Member Active Member

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    We needed to modify jewelers screwdrivers for working on atmos as their slots are tiny but deep.

    Build fixture to allow square holding of driver in a vise for DP or mill.

    Mill is preferred but an X Y table for a DP can work.

    Place an understanding mill or stone in the machine and using table have the OD of the cutter just kiss the leading edge of the tip and bring the blade straight in.

    Shift over and do opposite side.

    Have spare screw to test fit as the setup should not be changed until finished as that will insure parallel faces

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I337Z using Tapatalk
     
  16. rgray

    rgray Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    It's a large radius. I use a 6" bench grinder.
     

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