Beech handle screwdivers

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Project by ChrisinOttawa posted 11-07-2010 02:07 AM 3072 views 6 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

A few years back, I purchased a set of English beech handled slot screwdrivers from Garret Wade. I’ve never found the other screwdriver tip styles with beech handles. Lee Valley now sells various chrome vanadium screwdriver shanks for a few dollars each. Hopefully these will last a lifetime. The tapered brass ferrules were machined from brass bar stock on a 1942 Logan lathe. You need a tiny chisel or modified jig saw blade to cut the 2 grooves on either side of the hole in the handle (for the tangs on the screwdriver shanks). Letter drills for the holes are handy too.

-- Chirs in Ottawa

7 comments so far

View mafe's profile


13204 posts in 4256 days

#1 posted 11-07-2010 02:22 AM

Wauuuu, a set you will love to use.
Really beautiful, this is on my to do list.
Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect.

View AttainableApex's profile


347 posts in 3999 days

#2 posted 11-07-2010 02:30 AM

nice job, wish i had some.

-- Ben L

View Loogie's profile


100 posts in 4946 days

#3 posted 11-07-2010 03:25 AM

Wow! Very nice! I’m loving those ferrules! I think you could sell those if you wanted to. How did you attach them to the wooden handles? Are they threaded inside or just friction fit? Those are really sweet. Nice job. Are you planning on doing the flathead ones too? I’d be interested to see how you manage the ferrules on those.

-- Mark

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 4282 days

#4 posted 11-07-2010 03:40 AM

very niiice set you have made


View ChrisinOttawa's profile


45 posts in 4277 days

#5 posted 11-07-2010 05:54 AM

Mark, the construction method is the same as your screwdrivers. The ferrule is press-fit to a tennon cut in the cylinder. It would be faster if you could use a plug cutter to make the tennon. Faster still if I had a CNC lathe… The first thing the guy at Blue Spruce Toolworks did was build a CNC lathe to cut his handles. I can see why.

-- Chirs in Ottawa

View Roz's profile


1707 posts in 4953 days

#6 posted 11-07-2010 06:08 PM

Fantastic! Now i wish I had a metal lathe.

-- Terry Roswell, L.A. (Lower Alabama) "Life is what happens to you when you are making other plans."

View docholladay's profile


1287 posts in 4225 days

#7 posted 11-08-2010 04:29 AM

I bought that same set from Lee Valley and made a set of these. I really like your handle design. Now I want to make another set. For those of us that do not have a metal lathe, you can make very nice brass ferrules from a common compression nut found in most any hardware store of home center in the plumbing section. Also, if your lathe tools are High Speed Steel or carbide, you can easily turn them on a wood lathe. You just need to play with the speed to figure out what works best. I prefer to use a scraping technique. Also, using files is an effective thing. Chris, you mention sawing slots for the tabs on the screwdriver shanks, on the Lee Valley website, they tell you to just drill the appropriate hole (they are actually metric in size) for the shank and then simply drive them in. With a proper fit ferrule, the wood will not split. That is the way that I did mine and it makes for a very tight fit.

-- Hey, woodworking ain't brain surgery. Just do something and keep trying till you get it. Doc

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