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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
From that point of view, my question is a sensible and legitimate one.
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.
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
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
As suggested ...stick to the plastic kits, they even have some that don't
need glue.. you just press the parts together.
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.
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
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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