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Wooden handle screwdrivers

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dannyr

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longslotdrivers.JPG
crossdrivers.JPG
I I do like wood and steel, maybe plus a bit of brass for my tools, including screwdrivers. And although I use posidrive and phillips screws, I actually prefer slotted if they're going to be visible (sounds like I may be a cabinetmaker - I wish, but some of my work is very rough and ready, other is of a better class - I'll say no more).

Furthermore, I like the best classic English turned oval boxwood handle - have a pretty full set - all bought for peanuts in flea-markets etc over many years. But although many swear by carbon steel for edge tools, I actually think some alloys (Cr Mo?) may be better for the needed combo of strength and hardness for a driver as opposed to, say, a chisel.

Anyway the chain of thought and new topic was kicked off by seeing a new tool in the Dictum online catalogue, namely a wood-handled screwdriver from Vessel of Japan of the 'Perfect' or 'Tank Crew' type (forged end-to-end with scales of wood) price about £40 for a 150mm blade length and £50+ for 200mm - nearly fell of my armchair.

So what's in the pix?

Top one shows turnscrews of average 450mm total length -- top to bottom boxwood turned oval cabinetmaker's by Clay of Sheffield, flat blade London pattern (different catalogues call different patterns 'London') by Roebuck Sheffield, 'Perfect Pattern' by US maker, a Spiralux (also sold as Spear and Jackson) from about 2000 - very nice handle and screw fit but may be over-hardened - one chipped on me, and finally a rather rough and ready but absolutely indestructible - blade through handle and leather top - no idea who made it, been used as a lever, crowbar, cold chisel, punch and even screwdriver - no bends, no damage.

The bottom pic shows drivers about 250mm long - from the top a Spiralux Posi, Melco (Sheffield) UK Phillips (also a nice handle), a Vessel (Japan - about 25 years old? US Phillips), another 'Perfect' and finally a last 'Perfect' found today at a local shop for 50p (a little larger than the £50 Vessel from Dictum - not so pretty, but blade just fine and it'll clean up).

Back to the start - how do folks find the old carbon steel drivers in use?

ps - the quality of old Stanley wood/cabinet handles is quite good - especially the later ones which I think are chrome-moly (?) and their cabinet handle is nice but the black paint is awful (looks and ageing).
 
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SammyQ

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The 'terminal.bulb' on those old handles makes them among the most ergonomic and comfortable ones I use. Gives you a superior grip, because they lend themselves to your little finger getting a good curl around the handle. That is the finger of greatest priority for a plastic surgeon after a digit-damaging accident, as proportionately, most force in a grip comes from.it. DAMHIKT.
Sam
 

AndyT

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I am now old and experienced enough to say that I too find them comfortable and practical.

Here among friends I can remember how, as a teenager buying his first tools, I thought my dad's old screwdrivers - which looked just like Danny's - were old-fashioned. I wanted modern plastic handles. :mad:

So Dad's tools were mostly chucked out when he died. I've since seen the error of my ways and now have a useful selection myself :)

One good idea, learned on here, I think from @Pete Maddex , is to take the handle of an old, damaged screwdriver and araldite a magnetic bit holder into the end. You then have the proper handle and you can cope with screws that aren't simple slotted head ones.
 

clogs

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Vamos, Crete, GREECE.......
I have a few of tem, diff sizes and makes.....I really never use them......they look good in the toolbox tho.....
everything I do is either Phillips, Torx or square drive now.....
I only kept the brass flathead screws from stock all the other flathead screws were either given away or dumped on my last house move.....
they just never got used so why drag 50kgs of useless stock across Europe.....
can u still buy steel flatheaded screws anymore....?
I just dont have the strength any more.....
the only flat head screws I use would be brass for looks but in cases of corrosion resistance I use Stainless mostley...
a bit soft and putty like....like brass screws drive a normal screw in first......
I do have a couple of perfect Stanley pump screwdrivers, long and short, modded to take modern magnetic hex bits....
they get used every once in a while to stop them seizing up.....
I now use either Hitachi or Milwauki to drive screws .....
I never make anything delicate enough to use hand screwdrivers.....
if I take anything apart with flat heads I just bin em and use Phillips.....
 

dannyr

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Thanks for the replies.
Clogs - I see where you're coming from, but I finished up going back to hand screwdriving unless it's a very high number of screws (for a medium number I sometimes go for the yankee).

It could also be one of those exercise vs repetitive injury questions.

AndyT - yes, the araldited hex bit holder works well and makes use of a nice handle or, like clogs, a yankee.
 

dannyr

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One further comment - Wiha seem to have taken much of the market for 'quality' drivers. But I tried one of their wood handles (new, recently) - useless tiny handle, slathered in deep gloss varnish and bent tip on first use - I know their hex bits are good - I hope the plastic handled drivers have a better quality than the wood.
 

Pete Maddex

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One good idea, learned on here, I think from @Pete Maddex , is to take the handle of an old, damaged screwdriver and araldite a magnetic bit holder into the end. You then have the proper handle and you can cope with screws that aren't simple slotted head ones.

I turned my own handle and pressed a bit holder in, 1/4" hex shaft fits very snugly into a 1/4" hole.

2nd July by Pete Maddex, on Flickr

I have been collecting wooden handled turnscrews as I have loads of brass screws from v small to v big.

DSC_6336_zps7ad0ed89 by pete maddex, on Flickr

Pete
 

Sideways

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Wooden screwdrivers. Hate 'em !
They can look pretty - even beautiful but I don't find them ergonomic and they take a polish with use that doesn't aid grip.

Wiha screwdrivers are the most comfortable I've ever used and I have maybe three sets of their mechanics / electricians drivers. Superior to Wera.

I also have a handful of Vessel screwdrivers in flat blade, pozi and Japanese standard blades and will vouch for their excellent quality and good range - but not the wooden ones.
 

Cabinetman

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Definitely wooden for me, and on good furniture, definitely slot head, and yes s/steel slot head are readily available doesn’t stop me reaching for the pozydrive and rechargeable screwdriver/drill at the drop of a hat though.
Funnily enough I was going through my brass screws yesterday and came across an old box of nettlefolds? Anyway they were 2 1/2 inch sevens bought at a Boxing Day sale of old stock in the mid 70s, (50p) I think I’ve only used four of them and I had to drill out so much to stop them snapping it was a complete waste of time. Ian
 

dannyr

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that's a beaut, Pete - I was about to show my equivalents, they're not bad, but glad I didn't
Sideways - glad to hear Wiha's plastic handled drivers are good. re wood taking a polish - yes, but I tend to remove varnish and just use a little linseed + turps - stays matt for a long time and easily sanded if takes a shine. Maybe I'm a bit romantic about these - but one of the reasons I like woodworking is the look of the wood, so why not in the tools as well, as long as they work OK?
Vono - I knew Clay made old-fashioned drivers until recently, but it's surprising to see the MoD still buying them in 1998.
 

bobblezard

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That's a very nice collection of screwdrivers.
+++ for wood handles though that may be more a case of what I like rather than what is most efficient.
The old Mills of Sheffield on the left has been my favourite for more than thirty years. It's not pretty but fits perfectly in my mitt.
I've been playing around with turning handles too, these are the ones I haven't given as gifts.
IMG_20201023_200508.jpg
IMG_20201023_200516.jpg
 

Bm101

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I turned my own handle and pressed a bit holder in, 1/4" hex shaft fits very snugly into a 1/4" hole.

2nd July by Pete Maddex, on Flickr

I have been collecting wooden handled turnscrews as I have loads of brass screws from v small to v big.

DSC_6336_zps7ad0ed89 by pete maddex, on Flickr

Pete
Everytime I click on your photo stream I'm blown away Pete. Truly. You have the ability to highlight the right details. Rare talent.
 

Ollie78

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I really like the old style bulb handles, I find the Wera ones can be too small, they are good if you have a perfect angle but awkward if not.
A while ago I bought some screwdrivers called Elementry. They are a traditional shaped handle with a bit holder on a nice hex shaft, I got a big one and a useful stubby one. They are a great idea.

Ollie
 

Heath Robinson

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There's a recent video by AvE on youtube that's up this alley, while not talking about turn-screw style drivers specifically he's singing the praises of unvarnished wooden handles in the oilier workshop.

It's not something I've conciously thought about, but it's beginnig to look like my subconcious is cleverer than me, as during a recent sorting-out of the places I keep nice old tools I've acquired, it's become evident I've actually got quite a few nice old turn-screws!
 

workshopted

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I really like old turnscrews and this post has prompted me to dig out a few pics of some in my tool chest. I think the longest example here is
17492734_1688667931148506_6283836263189185722_o.jpg
about 25''.
 
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