Perfect Handle and
Consider the lowly screwdriver
Screwdrivers get no respect. No
respect at all. These most useful tools are mistreated more than any
other. Yet we'd all be lost without them.
I say it's time for re-evaluation of this workhorse. Time to throw a
little well deserved light onto our trusted companion. Who is with
me? Vive 'la drivers of the screw!!
This first one is rosewood with cast
pewter. The pewter was cast directly into the wood, same as the center
handle rings on the brace.
Casting pewter this way was kind of
a lost art. I've been trying to rediscover how they did it and put it
back into the toolmaker's bag of tricks. So far several of my friends
have tried it too.
H D Smith first produced the perfect
handle pattern for many tools. Recent research points that
it appears he bought the patent from someone else.
Smith many other companies came into the business and you can find
perfect handle tools, but mainly screwdrivers, from several
countries. The heyday of popularity seems to have been the
decades before and after WW1 mostly.
Some Chinese Perfect Handle
drivers are around right now. So far the ones I've seen were
round topped, have light colored wood grips and invariably the
whole thing is covered in an orange lacquer or other finish of
Below is a group of Perfect Handle pattern drivers.
The smallest sizes were still waiting for new handles and
finishing when this picture was taken.
The handles are all fitted
the same way as the ones on the awl page.
Walnut, purpleheart, maple, koa and cherry are just a few
of the woods used.
Below is a heavy duty mechanics model with
spalted maple burl grips. It was made as a present. I believe only Smith
and co made the square shanked drivers. .
Screwdriver below is a custom driver for the screw that
holds the chipbreaker, or subblade onto the blade of a
Stanley or similar bench plane. The handle scales on
this one are tulip wood.
|If you look
in the middle of this pic you can see the first set of
ph drivers I ever put together. I made the handles from
black walnut and maple in alternating sizes for easy
reference. The walnut driver have polished frames and
shafts while the maple are blued steel for even more
contrast. These are probably 20years old now.
Notice the rack they are hanging from. I make these for
screwdrivers and pliers. If you measure the distance
between the holes of pegboard, you can build racks that
use ordinary pegboard hooks to attach them. This makes
them easy to move around when you want to. Just glue the
hook into the rack with a spot of epoxy or so.
This last one is the smallest
Perfect Handle size I've been able to find. Have you seen smaller?
Guess what? I have made a smaller Perfect
Handle driver and here it is.
It came to me broken and short so I
reforged and drew it out to the shape and reduced the handle to be proportional
Here is the smallest PH
driver ever made. I made it from scratch.
Speaking of perfect handles, check out
the crate tool. This was a gift from my friend Rob. I used some drop dead curly
black walnut for the