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.
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 (=A36 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.
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.
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.
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.
On Fri, 17 Oct 2008 14:58:24 +0000, Christopher Tidy did e-scribe thusly...:
...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.
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
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 did e-scribe thusly...:
....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.
Gawd, is it on there too? Maybe he just wants someone to talk to him. There's a nice sequence in Crocodile Dundee when Mick Dundee has been brought to New York and goes to a dinner party at Sue Charlton's dad's house. He chats to someone he later finds out is seeing a shrink - like nearly everyone else in NY. I can't remember the exact words but it was along the lines of.
Dundee: Struth, if I'd known he was a nutter I wouldn't have made the crack about the lunatic asylum. Sue: He's not a nutter. He just goes to a psychologist to talk about his problems. Dundee: Doesn't he have any mates?
I think that pretty much sums it up.
Bloody brilliant film that btw. I watched it again for the umpteenth time earlier this year but fancy downloading it once more. Maybe just for the bit where Sue strips off at the lakeside before filling her water bottle and getting attacked by the croc. An arse to die for.