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Some words about screwing


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Non-VOC Member
Of course I used that title to get your attention.
How many of you fellows buggered the slot in a case screw and cussed yourself out? Raise your hands: mine's up!
Part of the problem, if not all of it is we do not treat the flat headed screwdriver as a precision instrument which is certainly is.
You want a screwdriver to fit the screw exactly. Just nearly as wide as the slot... almost the same width as the screw, a dead flat bottom with sharp non-rounded
edges where the slot is addressed.
A hollow ground screwdriver is best because there is no taper and the sides of the hollow-ground screwdriver address the complete side of the screw.giving maximum traction.
As a good set of Swiss or German hollow ground precision screw-drivers can easily run $800 or more.... I believe I'll pass and do it myself.
You need good steel.... and hardware stuff just doesn't cut it. But oddly enough an antique wooden handled one on eBay for ten bucks does....... they didn't believe in cheap steel
back in those days. And you are going to be shaping and sharpening the tip rather like dealing with a dull knife.
So, just for fun, build yourself a case-screw and noting but case screw screwdriver.
Getting the width right is easy with a really sharp file. And then you thin the sides parallel with a stone inspecting the tip of the blade carefully to check if you are keeping the big flats
parallel There are inexpensive tools with wheels that hold the screwdriver at the right angle as you remove metal from the flats.
The last step is to flatten the bottom which doesn't take much.
Do not be tempted to use an electric grinder as the generated heat would ruin the temper of the blade!


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VOC Member
And you are going to be shaping and sharpening the tip rather like dealing with a dull knife...
Or, take the lazy person's approach and buy a set of 40 bits in small increments of thickness and width, like I show in the restoration of a magneto at:


This set satisfies all of your criteria: it has something that fits any screw exactly, nearly as wide as the slot, almost the same width as the screw, and a dead flat bottom with sharp non-rounded edges.


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Non-VOC Member
I have a gazillion replaceable small bits down to .4 mm wide.... and no they do not fit everything and have to be dressed to do so. They need touching up after a few uses too.

greg brillus

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VOC Member
Hi there Rip, sorry to interupt your thread but thanks for the pics of the Aero engines....I'm sure you've most likely heard the sound of an Allison or a Merlin on full song at take off, and usually pulling around 3000 rpm.....the sleeve valve Napier engines use to pull 3700 rpm at take off..!!! Can you imagin the sound....I just love the sound of big piston aero engines.....To stand out on the edge of a taxiway and watch a P51 mustang do a low level pass on full noise has to be one of the best sounds ever....and equally as good but Oh so different is a genuine ME 109 With it's original Daimler Benz engine, the sound of it's externally driven centrifugal supercharger under the sound of the inverted engine is really something else. My father who was born in 1936 and grew up north of London, said he could always tell the difference between the British and German aircraft dogfighting overhead, by the sound of their engines.


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Non-VOC Member
Greg... it is my pleasure that you and maybe some others enjoyed those engines. I envy the fact that you have been able to hear these brutes speak! I never have .... I wish I had. Although going off topic is considered wrong I have never-the-less learned some great
stuff when this has happened. What does "the Griffin Growl" sound like I wonder?
I have built a little collection of what I consider iconic fighters of WWII, and it my doing so learned of a plane I had never heard of. Built in small numbers it had the respect of all the pilots involved in the conflict. And it's a beauty! The Macchi MC.205 Veltro.
Benze power but totally under armed.... the Veltro pilots were delighted when, after a long wait, it was finally fitted with a cannon. I read an account of an old Veltro pilot who's patrol of five Veltro was jumped by no less than 80 Spitfires. They must have done well
as he lived to tell the tale! Englishmen, be not slighted ... the Spits were flown by Greeks.


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How about a Bugatti...........??
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