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Dehn0045

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Mar 19, 2017
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I've been meaning to try putting a wood handle on one of my cheap harbor freight screwdrivers. I got one free my last time there, so decided to have a go at it. The ferrule is a piece of 1" copper pipe. The wood is some mesquite that I didn't know that I had in my stack of scrap. I learned a few things, and my next one should turn out better, but I'm happy with the first attempt. (Note: definitely not an original idea, several examples on IAP, I got the idea from a YouTube video - there are several)
 

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mecompco

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That looks great. I'm assuming you broke off all the plastic and used the shaft retaining hardware? I've looked at the kits, but free is always better!
 

Dehn0045

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That looks great. I'm assuming you broke off all the plastic and used the shaft retaining hardware? I've looked at the kits, but free is always better!
Yeah, I put in a vise and used a chisel. The plastic was surprisingly hard. The bushing is a hex head that is slightly larger than 1/2" (maybe 13mm). I don't have a 9/16 drill bit, so I drilled it at 5/8 and it was a little loose to my liking. Next time I am going to use 1/2" and use a chisel to match the hex head. I used gorilla glue for the bushing and ferrule, which I think was a good choice. Also, the extended hole for the shaft is slightly smaller (I can't remember what I used). One thing that I didn't think about is that if the bushing is not centered and true then the driver tip doesn't spin true with the hand (a little is not a problem, but a lot of wobble is a problem).
 

mecompco

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That looks great. I'm assuming you broke off all the plastic and used the shaft retaining hardware? I've looked at the kits, but free is always better!
Yeah, I put in a vise and used a chisel. The plastic was surprisingly hard. The bushing is a hex head that is slightly larger than 1/2" (maybe 13mm). I don't have a 9/16 drill bit, so I drilled it at 5/8 and it was a little loose to my liking. Next time I am going to use 1/2" and use a chisel to match the hex head. I used gorilla glue for the bushing and ferrule, which I think was a good choice. Also, the extended hole for the shaft is slightly smaller (I can't remember what I used). One thing that I didn't think about is that if the bushing is not centered and true then the driver tip doesn't spin true with the hand (a little is not a problem, but a lot of wobble is a problem).
Thanks for the details. Would it make sense to drill and install the bushing first, before final turning to ensure concentricity of the shaft?
 

Dehn0045

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Thanks for the details. Would it make sense to drill and install the bushing first, before final turning to ensure concentricity of the shaft?
Michael, that's definitely a good idea. I made another one today and tried a few different things, unfortunately didn't read your comment before hand. Here's a summary of my adventures:

Changed material to Texas Ebony, the hard material definitely added some challenges. The first attempt I drilled the hole for the bushing at 1/2" and enlarged using sandpaper. I then inserted the holder rod into the bushing. I then used my tailstock with a center to press it in. Unfortunately the handle cracked and the rod got stuck in the handle, total failure.

My second attempt with the Texas Ebony I drilled with the 5/8" like I did with the mesquite one. I used a similar procedure for pressing in, but put the holder rod 90 degrees offset so it is on the bushing but not completely inserted. This allowed me to remove the rod with very little force so I didn't risk gluing the rod in the handle (or pulling the bushing out), but I was more sure of the alignment. I still had to use some sandpaper on the hole because the holder rod wouldn't insert freely.

In hindsight, I probably would have had things much easier if I had glued in the bushing first. Also, with a softer material I probably could have drilled at 1/2" and chiseled the excess like originally planned. If done correctly, I think this would also help with centering and alignment of the bushing. Lastly, I'm thinking 2-part epoxy might be a better choice compared to gorilla glue. The gorilla glue foam out on the inside which was a hassle to clean out.
 

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dogcatcher

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I make screwdrivers using the "hex shank magnetic quick release screwdriver bit holder" I drill a 1/4" hole about 1" deep into the blank, turn, sand and finish. Then insert the bit holder. https://www.ebay.com/itm/10x-1-4-Hex-Shank-Magnetic-Extension-Socket-Drill-Bit-Holder-for-Screwdriver-H1/192339050062?epid=3011215687&hash=item2cc84cfe4e:g:9BAAAOSwJmVb1wRI:rk:7:pf:0&LH_BIN=1

Most of these were give aways, I would make up a few dozen for some of my better customers. I used cutoffs and scraps for the handles, so I had less than a dollar tied up in them. For ferrules I used copper pipe that I drilled and pinned in place.
 
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