Sunday, November 20, 2011

A metalworking idea that panned out, or

How to work on a screw with somewhat less cursing.

A: You may well have noticed that small parts like some screws have an ability to fall and vanish into the aether; this starts the process.
B: A screw with a small, fine-thread shank with a wide head that needs a bit of reshaping is a problem*: how to hold the shank without damaging the threads. You can wrap a couple of turns of tape around it, but if you use a drill or something to spin it you can still wind up with enough pressure to ding the threads.
C: The Idea: get out the dremel**. It uses collets to hold the different bits, and the collets are made of aluminum. Use a collet the shank will just fit into and snug it down; it'll hold tight and keep things centered without danger to the threads, and using low speed and a fine file and suitable grit wet/dry paper you can either shine up or profile the head and then polish it very nicely.

Yes, I did manage to drop the screw once taking it out of the collet; language practice was performed.

*Ok, a couple of problems, but let's focus on the big one right now.
**Yes, I know Dremel™ is a trademarked name and you're supposed to say 'rotary tool' unless it's theirs; hell with that, I've always called them 'dremel tools'. If Dremel™ wants to bitch at me about it, well, if that's the worst problem I have...


Gerry N. said...

OR, you can look in your Brownell's catalogue, you do have one don't you? For what they call their "Screw Holder Gizzie". I got one thirty years ago, and have used it many, many times saving damaged fingertips, pliers, and of course, screws. As I remember it cost about a buck. Absolutely wondrous value for money expended.

Firehand said...

Have one; but needed to reshape the head, and the gizzie didn't cut it for that