Machining a Slot-head Screwdriver

I took Metalwork for one year in high school where I learned basic machinery. That was followed by 2 more years of Automotive studies where I learned how cars worked, as well as oxygen-acetylene welding. In university, I assisted in the construction of a human powered submarine. So the point here is: I know basic car maintenance, I know machining, and I know welding. BE AFRAID 🙂

Anyways, lets get to the point of this blog post – a screwdriver. In Gr.8 Metalworks,  I had to make a functioning slot-head screwdriver from scratch. I received 110% on my screwdriver project.

I cut a metal rod (steel?), heated one end over a welding torch flame and hammered it flat. I then took it to the grinder to smooth it out. Keeping it symmetrical while hammering was very difficult.

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The next step is casting the handle. I cut a few small notches at the base of the rod so that the handle wouldn’t slide off. The handle is made from melted aluminium poured into a mould. I put place the rod at the centre of the mould and the teacher poured in the molten aluminium. The molten aluminium was from a bunch of pop cans my class collected, which we threw into this sketchy melting pot in the corner.

So after the handle is cooled off, it looks like a lump of rough silver poop at the end of the steel rod. This is taken to a lathe where I attached it to the spindle and tailstock and start spinning it. While it is spinning, I cut and knurled the handle. This process took me about 2 hours and the finished product looked like this:

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Once the handle is done, I used the lathe to sand down the shaft. There was some rust on there. Prior to submitting the screwdriver in for assessment, I stamped my initials and class number on the bottom of the handle. And VOILA – a finished slot-head screwdriver.

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