Ultra thin screwdriver

Hi folks,
I am looking for a flat screwdriver with an exceptionally thin blade, for use on clock mechanisms. The blade needs to be at least 3/16" long,
but no more than 25/1000" thick. Does anyone know of a source for such a screwdriver? UK sources are preferred, if anyone knows of them.
I know I can try grinding my own, but I'm not convinced I can do it neatly.
Follow-ups set to rec.crafts.metalworking.
Many thanks,
Chris Tidy
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0.025" is actually quite thick. Hollow ground clock and watch screwdrivers are available from the likes of H S Walsh, Cousins Material House, and Meadows & Passmore.
Cliff Coggin.
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Chris, Do you mean .025 wide?
John
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John wrote:

I'm only talking about the tip, not the shaft or handle. I need a screwdriver with a tip with dimensions at least 3/16" by at most 25/1000".
Best wishes,
Chris
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Chris Hi, I can't quite match your specification but have one that is quite close that I modified when I was "playing" with model helicopters. It has a blade which is 4mm wide (long?) so a few thou short for you and I reduced the tip thickness a little on mine to 0.028" to match a particular adjustment screw slot.
I started with a set of "precision screwdrivers" from Maplins, like (but not exactly the same, as I bought mine some 10 years ago) the ones shown here, JM30H is the stock number:
http://www.maplin.co.uk/Module.aspx?ModuleNo=4201
On the largest flat, the tip was a little thicker than you need and as I didn't trust myself on the grinder at the time I reduced the tip thickness (measured this morning at 0.028") on an oil stone. Although a cheap tool (£6 a set of six) mine is still in regular use for a variety of jobs. The handles are not the best but the tip is hard and has survived a good deal of abuse. As supplied the tip was not hollow ground so as I remember it was a bit of a laborious task to reduce the thickness and get a parallel tip but a modern diamond file might make it a quicker.
I also seem to remember that Snap on did a range of very thin screwdrivers that our instrument makers were fond of but do not have access to any now to measure the tip thickness. It might be worth a look at their range if you are feeling flush.
Regards
Keith
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Cliff Coggin wrote:

I tried these three places, but none have a screwdriver with a blade tip 3/16" long.
Best wishes,
Chris
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So cut one down to the length you want, or make one from scratch.
Cliff.
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On Thu, 16 Oct 2008 07:33:57 +0000, Christopher Tidy

Then why don't you just make one.... it's a simple enough exercise. You don't need a grinder... all you need is a piece of steel, an oilstone, and some patience.
Frankly, (and bluntly) if you can't make a simple screwdriver then perhaps you need to stick to gluing 'airfix' kits together.
25thou is neither 'small' or 'fine' in horological terms.
Ian
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A little blunter than me, but of the same mind
Richard
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wrote:

And a little less blunt than me but of the same mind. Struth, if I spent a week and god knows how much in petrol going round tool shops trying to find something as simple as a small thin flat blade screwdriver when I could knock one up in 5 minutes on the grinder from an old thicker one I'd never get anything done. I've made nearly half the lathe and mill tooling I use myself including some fairly complex stuff like valve seat cutters, boring bars and grinding fixtures. I can't really conceive of anything much simpler to make than a flat piece of steel to a given thickness.
--
Dave Baker



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Dave Baker wrote:

If you can't see why I might wish to buy a screwdriver which is the right size and has a neatly finished tip, instead of trying to modify one on a bench grinder, there's no point in me trying to explain it to you.
I'll take it that no one knows of a source.
Chris
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IEB wrote:

Did it not occur to you that I might rather spend my time on a genuine project, and so would prefer to buy a suitable screwdriver if one is available, instead of trying to make one which could prove to be less than satisfactory?
From that point of view, my question is a sensible and legitimate one.
Chris
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I would agree if we were talking about a special tool or something that was difficult to make, but in this case I suspect you have probably spent as much time searching for the ideal purchase as you would have done in making a screwdriver or modifying an existing one. Perhaps we could suggest alternatives if we knew why the tool had to be so short or you explained why a standard screwdriver is not practical.
Cliff.
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Cliff Coggin wrote:

It's very simple. A standard screwdriver doesn't fit the slots. The slots are too narrow.
I think I'm going to have to make one, as it just doesn't seem like they're available.
Chris
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Fair enough, but I find it strange that you can't locate a suitable ready-made screwdriver. I repair dozens of clocks every year and can't remember the last time I had to make or alter a screwdriver. I have screwdrivers that go down to 0.040" wide x 0.005" thick
Cliff.
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PG1D/PA-11Ψ12 wrote:

Are the small ones strong enough to use on screws? I thought they were for lightweight lens retaining rings.
Many thanks,
Chris
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On Fri, 17 Oct 2008 14:58:24 +0000, Christopher Tidy

...no ... not for one second... but it did occur to me that you're too damned lazy to make things for yourself, and that you even wanted others to do the searching for you to save you the bother of having to do something constructive.

As suggested ...stick to the plastic kits, they even have some that don't need glue.. you just press the parts together.
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IEB wrote:

Could you make a screwdriver that is as neatly and accurately finished as a top quality factory made one, using a bench grinder? If the answer's no, that's a fair reason why someone might want to look for a screwdriver which is already the right size.
Yes, it is probably possible using an oilstone, a suitable jig and a lot of patience. But as it's going to take time and money, it doesn't seem unreasonable to look for a ready made one.

I've never made a plastic kit in my life. Perhaps I'm a perfectionist, and perhaps that's something you don't understand, but it doesn't indicate a liking for plastic kits. In fact, as you keep bringing up the subject of plastic kits, it rather suggests that it's you who is interested in them. Or that you're just trolling.
Next time you think about contributing to a thread, ask yourself if you have anything constructive to say first.
Chris
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On Sat, 18 Oct 2008 12:16:41 +0000, Christopher Tidy

....actually ... yes I can, and did do as part of my training in horology. The problem with you is, contrary to your claims of being a perfectionist, you are in fact just lazy and unskilled for the task in hand.
Don't judge others abilities by the pathetic level of your own.

No, ... you do not need a 'jig', and it is not only 'probably possible' but fully achievable by anyone with determination, patience, and a smattering of hand-eye co-ordination. (As many others on here can testify having made much more demanding items than a stupidly simple device to unscrew a clock screw).
But as it's going to take time and money,
...no where near as much time as you've wasted of your own and others in this pathetic 'request' for a screwdriver.

No, ... then that's probably the problem.... you even lack the patience and ability for such. If you were to try that first, rather than pretending to be capable of clock restoration/repairs, then perhaps you might just some of the basic elements of patience required to make things in the real world.
Perhaps I'm a perfectionist,
... no.... as written before ... your lazy. That's not the mark of a perfectionist. However, it is possible that you are deluding yourself into thinking that 'Obsessive Compulsive Disorder' is a mark of perfectionism. If you believe that you have to have the exact size of particular screwdriver to slacken of every size of screw you're likely to ever come across, then I suggest having a word with you local 'medico'.

... ditto ... friend. only in your case make it a constructive request rather than just a banal and lazy one.
END OF STORY as far as I'm concerned.
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Gawd I hope it is <G> 20 messages here and 58 on rec.crafts.metalworking all about a pi**y arsed screwdriver.<G>
Richard
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