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Scouseget

Screwdriver Sharpening

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On 21/06/2016 at 10:33 AM, Scouseget said:

Hi. 

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!

What I do is I polish mine and look at them under a loupe when they're on the screw head with good lighing I sometimes mark my screwdrivers. I sometimes have another set. Polish them and mark them for the movement I use them on. Between the 2 sets I adjust them if the tolerances are slightly off. I despise scratched or nicked screws. And I've worked on many watch movements that careless jewelers have serviced before 

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I bought the following three products from CousinsUK, and by following the instructions in this video it has been working extremely well for me.

Bergeon 2461 • Can hold screwdrivers with body up to Ø6.95mm
Rectangle Aluminium Oxide Combination, Norton
Oil 3 in 1 Small 100ml

As I have A*F screwdrivers, which I'm happy with, I first tried this A*F Screwdriver Sharpener with Stone but it worked extremely poorly. Only the smallest screwdrivers fitted the hole in the "roller". Plus, the screwdriver is held in place by a screw in the roller which is tightened against the shaft of the screwdriver twisting it so that it doesn't end up parallel with the stone. Also, the stone is very soft and deteriorates easily, like if it was made of compressed fine sand. Stay away from it!

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On ‎2018‎-‎01‎-‎15 at 7:39 PM, jdm said:

You can buy that kind of tool on AliX for $2.48, shipping included. Not much less than £3.30 on Cousins.

Right, as the included stone from Cousins is useless, hench worth... nothing! ;)

I never shop from AliX as I prefer CousinsUK for my watch tool needs. Usually they never fail my expectations, with the mentioned screwdriver sharpener kit being the only exception (so far).

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2 hours ago, VWatchie said:

Right, as the included stone from Cousins is useless, hench worth... nothing! ;)

From A*F, Swiss brand 6x times the price that the same product from the same factory.

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On 8/16/2017 at 12:45 AM, vinn3 said:

if the screw driver tip does not touch the bottom of the slot,  you are driving a wedge in and might spread or break the screw head. have you ever seen a screw head with one side broken off?  to prevent making a wedge the blade is "hollow ground".  the tip touches the bottom - and  99.5% contact with the sides of the slot.   i hate to see a watch with distorted  screw heads.   use "blueing"  to view the contact.   vin

Hi vinn3 All agreed, it works for me.

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On ‎1‎/‎13‎/‎2018 at 9:04 PM, Eckehardt said:

What I do is I polish mine and look at them under a loupe when they're on the screw head with good lighing I sometimes mark my screwdrivers. I sometimes have another set. Polish them and mark them for the movement I use them on.   Between the 2 sets I adjust them if the tolerances are slightly off. I despise scratched or nicked screws. And I've worked on many watch movements that careless jewelers have serviced before 

"carless jewelers' ?  I say - amateur  mechanics !  it happens in cameras also.  so, get your money back  and

 

learn how to sharpen a screw driver. vin

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On 10/12/2016 at 12:23 PM, TimFitz said:

I spent the day literally watching paint dry. I was using black lacquer to fill in the engraving on a pocket watch case to make it stand out. I will send pictures when it is finished.

In the mean time I was looking for screwdriver sharpening stone holders on the net. The sticker shock was amazing.

So i said to myself, "Self" your only watching paint dry, make your own, you have a sharpening stone and some wood. So I made this from scrap wood while watching paint dry. I'm happy with it & it cost nothing. It is perhaps not as pretty as Bergeon but they have enough money. 20161012_110004 (Small).jpg

Nice sharpener.  Apparently, watching paint dry can be a productive use of our time.

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Please don’t get fixated on hollow grinding. With our small gauge screwdrivers, to achieve a concave grind of correct geometry would require wheels of a few mm in diameter. A readily available small diameter dremmel wheel would effectively have a ‘flat’ circumference on the tiny contact area being sharpened. So, hollow grinding is in theory ideal, but not practical. I use a fine oilstone and 3 in 1. With practice I am achieving good driver contact and no screw damage.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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47 minutes ago, Deggsie said:

Please don’t get fixated on hollow grinding.

Seems a good point to me.

BTW we have a dedicated section where most new members like to to introduce themselves.

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Gunsmiths have run into this problem a lot because external screws are decorative.  In order to protect the top edge of the screw's groove you don't want a tapered screwdriver or a hollow ground screwdriver you want a parallel ground screwdriver.  At the size you guys are working with this may be a moot point as Deggsie has said but it's valuable to know what you are going after.  Tapered and even hollow ground screw drivers can engage the top or leading edge of the notch which is it's weakest point, this is what causes deformation of the screw notch.  Ideally you want to engage the whole slot, or the base of the slot, not the top edge.

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On ‎1‎/‎18‎/‎2018 at 6:40 AM, vinn3 said:

"carless jewelers' ?  I say - amateur  mechanics !  it happens in cameras also.  so, get your money back  and

 

learn how to sharpen a screw driver. vin

   it is quite sad to see a valuable watch, camera or clock.    with "upset screw heads"

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1 hour ago, milotrain said:

Gunsmiths have run into this problem a lot because external screws are decorative.  In order to protect the top edge of the screw's groove you don't want a tapered screwdriver or a hollow ground screwdriver you want a parallel ground screwdriver.  At the size you guys are working with this may be a moot point as Deggsie has said but it's valuable to know what you are going after.  Tapered and even hollow ground screw drivers can engage the top or leading edge of the notch which is it's weakest point, this is what causes deformation of the screw notch.  Ideally you want to engage the whole slot, or the base of the slot, not the top edge.

   what ever it takes to get near 100%  contact in the screw head,  including the top edge.   another good subject is "restoring" screw heads.    vin

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you can also harden the tips. after heating them on your kitchen stove till they glow a bit, dip them in motor oil. this will increase the carbon content of the steel , hardening the surface. they seem to last a little longer between sharpenings.

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On 6/19/2018 at 2:17 AM, vinn3 said:

    another good subject is "restoring" screw heads.    vin

I would be interested in that.

'Chewed' screwheads irritate me, I'm not set up yet to restore screws in watches, but its on my list of things to get set up to do.

Feel free to start a topic on restoring screw heads, I certainly would be interested.

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1 hour ago, yankeedog said:

you can also harden the tips. after heating them on your kitchen stove till they glow a bit, dip them in motor oil. this will increase the carbon content of the steel , hardening the surface. they seem to last a little longer between sharpenings.

I am going to try this.

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6 hours ago, Tmuir said:

I would be interested in that.

'Chewed' screwheads irritate me, I'm not set up yet to restore screws in watches, but its on my list of things to get set up to do.

Feel free to start a topic on restoring screw heads, I certainly would be interested.

   there is an excelent post on bluing screw heads someware on this forum.   the bad thing about it is buying a watch with pre "chewed" heads and having to say "I dint do it" !  vin

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On 2/5/2018 at 2:07 PM, mhorlogerie said:

The best way to adjust drivers is with an abrasive stone. You can use a holder but it is also possibly to do it by hand. I prefer a Norton India stone, I have tried diamond stones and those work as well. 

Norton stone ?  The very best.

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7 hours ago, oldhippy said:

Sometime ago I went through how I would tidy up and blue screw heads for clocks. If you want that, I can go through that again. Just ask.

I know how to blue screws, but I am interested in how you get screws back to a state ready to be blued

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1 hour ago, Tmuir said:

I know how to blue screws, but I am interested in how you get screws back to a state ready to be blued

  well,  put them in a lathe,  resurface them,  put them in a mill and enlarge the slot.   best buy new ones.  vin

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Cleaning screws and blueing.

I cleaned clock screws up using a lathe, but you can also use a screw head polisher. Take the rough edges or burr off by using your needle files or small bench file. Then use various emery sticks finishing with the finest to produce a very fine finish. You then need to burnish the complete screw head. You then need to clean the screws; I used an old watch cleaning machine with old cleaner and rinse.

I used to blue the screws using an old copper penny in a hand vice which was over a spirt lamp (you don’t want a long wick) the hand held was then held in a bench vice. The trick is to blue all the screws to the same colour blue. If you fail, then clean the blue off and start again. As soon as the screw has turned to the required blue quench the screw in oil, this makes the screw shine. Clean the screws again in the cleaning machine, dry and cool. If you are successful, all the screws will be an even colour blue. It takes a little practise.

There are a few ways of bluing screws. My master taught this way me.    

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