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4 in 1 Screwdriver Kit Class

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Creating a 4 in 1 screwdriver by Router-Jim and Stwoodie

Welcome to our Screwdriver Kit class. As part of the Woodworkers Zone's series of classes featuring shop tools, it is our pleasure to present a class that involves making a custom screwdriver from a kit, using wood and a handle design of your choice. It is our hope that you enjoy being creative, and that you'll finish the class with a unique screwdriver you or someone else can cherish for years.

Let's get started.

Materials needed

1. Screwdriver kit

2. A block of wood measuring 1 3/4" x 1 3/4" x 6". This can be either solid or laminated.

Both Steve and I purchased our 4 in 1 screwdriver kits from Rockler. [1]


Feel free to laminate pieces in order to obtain the required size.


You can also be creative and inlay a contrasting wood:


TIP* Check your scrap pile. Often the small piece that contained a knot also contains some nice figuring around the knot

The next step is to square up the ends of your blanks, then find the center by drawing a line across opposing corners. Use a center punch or an awl to mark the center.

The knurled insert included in the kit requires a 5/8" hole. The kit instructions call for drilling a 5/8" hole, 3 3/4" deep. Steve and I have found it best to drill the 5/8" hole 1 5/8" deep using a Forstner bit, then use a 1/2" brad point bit to finish reaching the necessary depth. This gives the insert a shoulder to rest on, and allows an additional 1/8" of material to customize your handle.


Some of you may choose to drill the hole on the lathe, but we found it easier to do on the drill press.

Turning the handle

Next you need to insert a 5/8" dowel into the hole. You will need about 2" of dowel, and turning your own will help you find the center of it.


Using the live center, mount your blank on the lathe.


Turn the blank round, then measure the length of the brass ferrule and transfer that measurement to your handle.

Steve used a Jacob's chuck on the headstock and turned his tenon on the left.


I used a drive spur in the headstock, a live center in the tailstock, and turned my tenon on the right.


Find the inside diameter of the ferrule and turn the tenon to match that measurement. You will want a tight fit, but if you remove too much stock, you may be able to save the handle with a little quick-setting epoxy. There is also the chair maker's technique of planing a piece from similar stock and wrapping the curled shaving around the tenon.

Next remove the blank and use a mallet to position the brass ferrule. 'Note:' the ferrule has a small bevel on one edge that should go to the outside of your handle. I found it easy to do this and still protect the dowel by using a faceplate as a backer.


Remount the blank and resume turning. The shape is completely up to you. Turn a shape that is comfortable in your hand, but be conscious of the fact that there's a 1/2" hole thru the center of your blank.

TIP* Check old tool catalogs and handtool sites for different design ideas.


Finish and assembly

Once you are satisfied with the shape of your handle, sand it smooth. Start with 100- 150 grit and sand up to at least 220. You can also sand the brass ferrule with 600 grit or higher if you like, just don't use the same paper on the brass and the wood as it will embed micro particles of brass into the wood and make it appear blackish.

Now it is time to apply the finish of your choice. An oil is nice for bringing out figure in the wood, and wax is nice for durability. The traditional finish for many handles is beeswax. I dissolved one part beeswax beads in one part turpentine and mixed that into a paste.


The beeswax paste, like most finishes, can be applied and buffed while on the lathe.

When you are satisfied with your finish, it is time to part off the handle. After lightly sanding the handle tenon, apply your finish. Position the knurled insert in the hole, making sure the boss slots are facing out, then use a mallet to install it. The insert should be fully seated.



We hope you have found the class helpful and enjoyable. We invite you to post a project log of your build in the open forum. We would also ask that each of you post a picture of your finished handle in our Screwdriver Gallery.

Everyone who finishes gets an A+


Jim and Steve

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