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Screwdrivers dressing

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Hello Blktps

Don't know if you are a pro or a tinkerer like me but either way that looks like a good polisher and it is good to have you join up, looking forward to your postings, don't forget we feed off the pictures of work in progress and don't be afraid to post any tips you can give or requests for help there are some good folk in here.



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  • 1 month later...

Sorry Legarm for stealing you're topic, as I told in an other topic, I'm fresh and green in all the things u do here.

Although i'm not new on buying tools, the size is somehow different.

As I started many many years ago repairing my Jeep, ended years later as complete overhaul, one of the first things I learned was buying tools.

Sure I tried cheap stuff, learned the hard way and know good tools cost money. Lots of it..

No problem, the more I respect my tools.

(Skip 20 years blablabla -->)

But, and again I'm a real beginner in this, I bought my first set Horotec screwdrivers. Not the worst in the market I hope?

Taking apart my first movement, sorry, i don't know how to explain in good English language, only the (almost) smallest size fit, no matter how big (diameter) the screw is.

If I try the right size (diameter) it just wont fit. Does this mean I have to sharpen a fresh set of Horotec's or is this common and nothing to worry?

The set I have now is: .60 .80 .100 .120 .160 .250

The movement disassembled only using .80 but some screws are much larger diameter, the larger screwdriver wont fit.

As I have read several times to use the right size screwdriver for the right screw (not new to me) this is somehow strange to me as the right size screwdrivers just don't fit.


So getting back on topic, do I have to sharpen my fresh Horotec's right out of the box? Or is this common and nothing to worry about?

And i still don't know what is the name of the 'slot' of the screw, sorry for this....

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The Horotec screwdriver tool is indeed a little over kill, and will only give results of a cutout screwdriver tip, not exactly what most watchmakers want, or should I say need.  Stick to the trusty roller sharpener, and get up close, and personal to each of your blades with a loupe, it becomes second nature over time, honestly.

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  • 10 months later...


When I first started in this hobby, I decided not to go cheap on the tools so bought really good quality tweezers and screwdrivers, etc. This leads me to my question on screwdrivers which is that as  the screwdriver set I bought (there are 9 of them in a rotating holder) and came with multiple replacement blades for each size, I assumed then that when a blade chipped, I just junked it and put in a replacement blade, however due to my inexperience I found I was replacing them really often, and in fact soon had to order more of the smaller sizes so:

1). Is this the right approach, i.e., just junk any damaged blades and replace them with new ones and if not, why not considering how cheap the blades are?

2). If I should be sharpening them, can I use a diamond stone as I already have a set of these that i use in my furniture making hobby? I also have water stones - would these be better?

3). I watched a YouTube video yesterday from the AWCI, which stated that not only should a screwdriver be just the right width for the screw slot, it should never bottom out in the slot but rather sit just above it so that the screwdriver actually jams up against the slot walls, which will prevent it slipping out and damaging the screw and/or screw hole. Is this correct because I assumed that the screwdrivers, especially given how expensive they were, would be inherently designed like this? Does this mean that even replacement blades should be adjusted on a stone to assure that they do not bottom out, and what if some screws have shallower slots than others for a given width, should I then customize the screwdrivers to ensure the correct fit?

I should mention that, although I'm getting better at it, I still have screwdrivers slipping out of the screw slots and wreaking havoc, well at least on my ego, if not the movement itself.

Should you have any other advise regarding the maintenance of screwdrivers, I'd love to hear it.

Thanks from sunny Edmonton, which is now being subjected to a plague of mosquitoes thanks to recent heavy rains. And we thought we were going to escape that pleasure this year!

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I regularly repair my blades with a stone and oil. I use a small device to hold the blade at the correct angle - widely available on ebay and other places for a few bucks. Not sure if a water stone would give same results.... I find #3 interesting. It makes perfect sense that you would not want your blade to bottom out - but I've never thought about it like that. Don't know how practical that is, but I'm going to pay attention to that detail from now on. I always seem to run into some nice blued screws with a particularly wide slot - and those things are quite slippery!!!



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screw driver sharpening is a art.   you want 100% contact between the blade and the screw slot - otherwise you wil bugger up the screw head " look up tool and knife sharpening"  it takes  practice.   basicly,  the  tip is hollow ground,  on a grinder then  flattened to size on the wetstones (  3 grades available).it takes time to do a good job. a video would be nice.   vinn

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For sharpening the blades I always used an arkansas stone with a little 3 in 1 oil with the same tool that sstakoff has posted. It takes a lot of practise to get it right. If you're like me when I first tried I messed up many. Make sure you have the correct size blade for the screw again its practise, first make sure you hold the screwdriver dead upright and not leaning to a side, master that and your screwdriver won't slip out of the screw slot.

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Like others on here I don't restrict myself to just one set of screw drivers. I have one set ground to a thinner profile, and another set ground to a slightly fatter profile. I also have numerous screw drivers ground to extra thin and extra fat.

As a rule I find that Swiss screw slots are thinner than Japanese, Quartz movements tend to have a few have extra fat slots, very old pocket watches seem to have extra thin slots.

This sounds like an expensive investment in screw drivers but I have probably spent less on my multiple sets than many others have on just one as I have picked them up second hand and in job lots from all over the place. They are good quality, vintage, French or Swiss. They don't necessarily have the silkiest smooth ball bearing tops to them but they are perfectly functional.

If you generally work on the same type of movements (pocket watch, or Japanese, or Russian for instance) then one set of screw drivers tailored to that specific family of watch movements is all you need.

As for throwing away old blades it does seem a bit of a shame. Generally speaking all that is needed to bring a chipped blade back into trim is 5 minutes on a stone (or decent quality wet & dry paper on a sheet of glass, or your diamond stones).

If you find that you are regularly suffering from chipped blades then it might well be worth exploring the possibility of adjusting the temper of the blades. If you get it right you not only get more resiliant blades which are less likely to scratch movement plates, but you also gain an understanding of heat treatments for steel on a macro or even micro scale. Useful stuff.

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