Lee Valley Tools    Woodworking Newsletter
   Vol. 6, Issue 1
   September 2011
 
   Handling Screwdrivers
 

Screwdriver set with custom-made handles
Fine tools deserve finely crafted handles such as these.

I like fine tools and use them every day. Fine tools inspire me to do fine work. I handle them carefully and deliberately, and the respect I give them is returned in their performance. However, it's difficult to find premium versions of some tools, and some are so utilitarian that it's difficult to justify the expense of a custom-made one. That's how I felt about screwdrivers.

I have a couple of sets of the standard variety with plastic handles in bright colors. They work fine, but I've always longed for a set with traditional wooden handles. Unfortunately, I've never come across a single one, let alone a complete set. So when the shafts became available, I jumped at the chance to make my own. I decided to work with beech for my own set and walnut for a set I made for my father-in-law. Both have brass ferrules.

Blank marked out and cut to size
A blank marked out and cut to size
I began by getting a feel for as many screw-drivers as I could find and used the most comfortable as a starting point for the shape and dimensions. I then selected a piece of stock large enough to yield all nine handles to ensure the color and grain matched. If turned work is to be both strong and beautiful, the grain of the wood used must run as straight as possible. I laid out lines on the stock parallel to the grain and bandsawed to these lines. These faces became my references after jointing.
 
 
               
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