Nothing like getting screwed three times over

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Project by JayT posted 09-05-2016 08:43 PM 4142 views 12 times favorited 30 comments Add to Favorites Watch

When the 2016 LJ Screwdriver Swap was done this spring, even though I was not able to participate, I did take advantage of the opportunity to order a few sets of shanks from Grace Tools and have finally got around to getting the final products done. I’m keeping one of the sets and giving the other two to my father and brother for Christmas.

In between building the screwdrivers and the presentation boxes, MadMark posted his review of an inexpensive laser engraver. After going back and forth, I finally decided to order a smaller one to do maker’s marks for when I build tools and ended up doing some small 3/8in diameter medallions on the screwdriver handles and 1in medallions on the box lids. The perimeter of the 1in medallions has a tool appropriate verse from Psalm 127:1, “Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain”.

All the screwdrivers have hexagonal handles with brass plumbing compression nuts for the ferrules. Each set is made with contrasting woods so that if the screwdrivers are handle up in a tool pouch, it is easy to identify which is a straight blade and which is Phillips. While all are the same basic shape, each set has some differences in the length of taper and the grooves. Finish on the drivers and inside of the boxes is natural Danish oil and wax. The outside of the boxes got a couple coats of Minwax Antique Oil so that they have a bit more sheen.

First set that was made is apitong with soft maple. The same woods were used for the presentation box with a bookmatched lid and hand cut dovetail corners. This one will be going to my brother.

Second set is hickory with walnut. Again, the same woods were used for the box and it also has dovetailed corners. On this one, I decided to do a sliding lid instead of hinged. Since the piece of hickory I had available was much smaller, the lid also got walnut racing stripes to make it wide enough. For this set, which I am keeping, I also made a multi bit driver. My plan is to use this set for gunsmithing, so wanted to be able to custom grind bits to fit different screws.

Final set, which will be gifted to my dad, is walnut with honey locust. The pink/orange of the locust has great contrast with the dark brown walnut and is probably my favorite set. Since I had very little locust, and didn’t want a solid walnut box because I felt it would be too dark to see the screwdrivers well, the box is made from quarter sawn sycamore with a veneer of walnut and locust on the sides. The top is bookmatched walnut. The laser engraved medallions were installed a little differently for this set. They are inset a bit and then covered over with CA glue. Gives a cool effect in person that is tough to pick up with a camera.

Overall, a fun project that ends up with something useful at the end. The Grace screwdriver shanks are far higher quality than anything you can find at the big box or hardware store and it’s nice being able to customize tools for an individual.

Thanks for looking and hope you enjoy.

-- - In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.

30 comments so far

View observer100's profile


473 posts in 1993 days

#1 posted 09-05-2016 08:54 PM

Outstanding! Makes me wish I was a close relative!

-- Seeing is believing.

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

25316 posts in 3988 days

#2 posted 09-05-2016 09:07 PM

Great project and it must be nice to have your own laser!!


-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


16938 posts in 3501 days

#3 posted 09-05-2016 09:20 PM

Wow, awesome work. Love the medallion, both on boxtops and inset to each handle.

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. - OldTools Archive -

View MadMark's profile


979 posts in 2335 days

#4 posted 09-05-2016 09:49 PM

The Gearbest A5 laser engraver with 1600mw laser is under $200 delivered …


-- Madmark - [email protected]

View becikeja's profile


1133 posts in 3696 days

#5 posted 09-05-2016 10:08 PM

Excellent job

-- Don't outsmart your common sense

View MindDesigns's profile


17 posts in 2286 days

#6 posted 09-05-2016 10:56 PM

Very nice. Say, where did you purchase the shanks? Don’t see them on their website.

View JoeinGa's profile


7741 posts in 2890 days

#7 posted 09-05-2016 11:12 PM

EXCELLENT .... Times Three !

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View ShaneA's profile


7085 posts in 3481 days

#8 posted 09-05-2016 11:23 PM

Lots to like about these. They look great.

View Purplelady's profile


88 posts in 1842 days

#9 posted 09-06-2016 12:03 AM

Beautiful! Those are going to be awesome Christmas presents!

-- Marsha, Northeast Ohio

View JayT's profile


6413 posts in 3094 days

#10 posted 09-06-2016 12:09 AM

Thanks for the kind words.

Very nice. Say, where did you purchase the shanks? Don t see them on their website.

- MindDesigns

The shanks are not a regular item. When the screwdriver swap was announced, one of the participants contacted Grace to see about getting some. They agreed as long as we purchased a certain amount and they all shipped to one address. That LJ sorted, repackaged and sent them out to the rest of us. A couple months ago, another LJ organized another group purchase. Keep an eye out, as there is talk of trying to do it again.

-- - In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.

View TheFridge's profile


10861 posts in 2369 days

#11 posted 09-06-2016 12:10 AM

filthy good

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View jeffswildwood's profile


4641 posts in 2860 days

#12 posted 09-06-2016 12:27 AM

Very nice! The swap is over but the beautiful sets keep coming! Talk about a super gift idea, who would not want a custom made set of screwdrivers. Great job!

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

View BB1's profile


1688 posts in 1731 days

#13 posted 09-06-2016 01:01 AM

The thoughtfulness of these gifts comes through. Like the engraving. Really WOW projects.

View HokieKen's profile


15157 posts in 2021 days

#14 posted 09-06-2016 01:13 AM

Awesome JT! Those medallions are a fantastic way to add your mark. I’m still contemplating one of those small lasers. Quit tempting me! ;-P

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View woodbutcherbynight's profile


6297 posts in 3291 days

#15 posted 09-06-2016 01:52 AM

Excellent, have been considering making some with one handle made of different wood for a Phillips bit and the other for a straight bit.

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

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