Walnut handled screwdrivers

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Project by sepeck posted 06-03-2016 03:57 AM 1592 views 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My entry into the screwdriver swap 2016 went a bit different then I planned. I had a completely different idea when the swap first started, then had some others, then while making some test handles was also derailed by a post from BigRedKnothead who wasn’t even in this swap.

In the 5th picture are my test pieces on the handle material. I made the top and the bottom one out of a 4in1 to see how it felt and worked and then saw Red’s post and figured, what the heck. Those are maple with 3 layers of shellac on them as I was experimenting with finishes (I have recently realized I don’t know what I am doing in regards to finishing so playing around more). The walnut round they are on is a piece I got from a local miller who gave it to me. I had posted in the swap thread he was a recent find and I was going to visit and because I want him to be successful (and nearby and available). Turns out, 3-4 days before my visit, someone followed up on that link, as a result, I got that piece for free which is what I made the handles out of.

As a starting point for handle shapes, I put ‘wood handled screwdrivers’ in Bing image search. Since I got a few extra of the Grace shanks as my wife said she wanted her own set of whatever I made, she was a primary feedback tester for fit and feel in the hand. Several people at work were also drafted into my preference survey. It ended up as a variation on the Studley screwdrivers.

This was the first time I have turned wood this figured, it’s fortunate I got my sharpening setup back together. I turned each stock round between centers before putting the blank in the chuck and drilling it out. I shattered one blank at the ferrule join because of to much pressure. For each size, I made a little template out of cardstock once I had the first handle turned and just made the next ones a touch bigger. I drilled out the hole on the length and then used the heat and burn in method to seat the shanks and ultimately epoxied them in. I think with some more experimentation I could have just pressure fitted them but life events happened which ate a chunk of time.

The finish is Danish oil, ‘natural’ with a coat of lacquer. I was experimenting with various things on the turning blanks when I realized our local Woodcraft had a class on finishing. It wasn’t quite what I expected but I learned quite a bit for a good foundation and the instructor recommended the Danish Oil.

I will note, bonus items are in no way expected, but after learning a ton in my first three swaps I felt it was time to reach for it. The marking knife is maple and based on the shape of one I received from oh… hmm.. BigRedKnothead in the dovetail making swap (I am not stalking you… yet) and the re-sharpenable surgical blades from England that were discovered in that thread. Honestly, that thing was my bonus item and I use it pretty much every time I am in the shop, also, my wife wants a yarn tree using that shape as the basis.

I learned a lot, including how to ship to Canada, I now have a whole new area of things I don’t understand (finishing) but now that I am aware of it I can make progress in getting good in them. I have a ton of new ideas (and “wish I’d thought of that’s”) I want to try from the other submissions as well.

I got my item from wahoo609, it’s awesome and it’s mounted on the wall in easy reach to use. In twist of fate, I believe wahoo609 got the item I made in the very first swap I participated in.

If didn’t know about the swaps, go look into them, if you’ve held off because of whatever, then give one a try. You’ll learn a ton!

-- -Steven Peck,

4 comments so far

View ToddJB's profile


8837 posts in 3470 days

#1 posted 06-03-2016 04:16 AM


-- I came - I sawed - I over-built

View Mark Kornell's profile

Mark Kornell

1172 posts in 3871 days

#2 posted 06-03-2016 06:55 AM

I’m the very pleased recipient of these drivers (and marking knife). They fit very nicely in my hand; the prototyping paid off. And it is very handy to finally have a set of.drivers at my hand tool area instead of being my mechanics toolbox 20’ away.

-- Mark Kornell, Kornell Wood Design

View jeffswildwood's profile


4991 posts in 3317 days

#3 posted 06-03-2016 11:59 AM

You did a great job on these. I really like the handle shape.

-- We all make mistakes, the trick is to fix it in a way that says "I meant to do that".

View waho6o9's profile


9135 posts in 3917 days

#4 posted 06-03-2016 02:14 PM

Your efforts paid off with a fine set of screwdrivers for Mark Kornell, & with a marking knife
to boot.

Great job on the 4 in 1 drivers!

Thanks for mounting the case to the wall buddy.

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