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Tool for making or sharpening Phillips screwdriver tips

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  • Tool for making or sharpening Phillips screwdriver tips

    There was a thread awhile ago about the specification for the Phillips screwdriver, and I proposed that it could be done with a grinding wheel with a 90 degree Vee shape.

    I have been thinking about it for a while and I might try and make a tool that will work for this. Here is the concept, using a 4-1/2" angle grinder disc:

    Click image for larger version

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    The model actually shows a 1/4" wide wheel, but the ones I have are actually 0.15 to 0.19 inches. I will need to make a mandrel for the 0.875" diameter hole, and a way to power it. I will first need to use a diamond dressing tool to get the right shape, which probably should be done at a moderate speed. I have some 1/8 HP 12V DC motors that will probably work OK for this, and I have some XL timing belts and sprockets with which I can get the speed that will work. I had considered doing it on the lathe, where I can make use of the compound to get the 45 degree angles, but I've heard bad things about grinding dust getting into the works and causing problems.

    Another way to do this might be a single point tool, but it would need to be held at a radius of 1" to 2.5" or so. Maybe a flycutter could be set up for the purpose? But I think grinding will be better for existing screwdriver points, as they are hardened.
    Paul , P S Technology, Inc. and MrTibbs
    USA Maryland 21030

  • #2
    A new Phillips screw driver with handle costs less then $10.00


    • #3
      It's amazing how often we face the same tasks. Gonna have to remember that. I had a forging die design for creating the Philips tip in one blow, but it would still need finishing via grinding or filing. I'm simply not satisfied with existing screwdriver designs.
      25 miles north of Buffalo NY, USA


      • #4
        That's a good idea but the cost of a "V" shaped diamond wheel will far exceed the cost of a hundred or so screw driver tips.



        • #5
          True Phillips design screws and drivers are a poor design from the jump. They are designed to cam out before the screw threads strip out a sheet metal hole. The evolution of cross point screws have surpassed the initial offerings and most industries have binned this design fastener.
          I wonder if jigging up to make them would ever be anything but a “can I do it?” exercise.


          • #6
            Resharpening disposable razors and laundering toilet paper are two subjects that seem to be of equal importance.

            But we are a special bunch of people, so let's see how the project progresses.
            WI/IL border, USA


            • #7
              I agree with Michael, there must be more productive ways to use your time, especially at the price of replacements:


              • #8
                I have made screwdriver tips, but that was before the type became available to "civilians", and in once case when I could "get" a tip, but the combination of tip and handle would not fit in the hole, because the holder was too big in diameter..

                Both cases were back when the "tri-wing" drive was first out. The first when they had not been put out as a tip for replaceable tip drivers yet, and the second when I had to fix something that had one of them down 2" in a narrow recess in a plastic molded part. I could not get a regular screwdriver with the tri-wing at any reasonable cost, if at all.

                It worked, but I was pretty much going by eye, I did not have the spec.

                CNC machines only go through the motions.

                Ideas expressed may be mine, or from anyone else in the universe.
                Not responsible for clerical errors. Or those made by lay people either.
                Number formats and units may be chosen at random depending on what day it is.
                I reserve the right to use a number system with any integer base without prior notice.
                Generalizations are understood to be "often" true, but not true in every case.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Bented View Post
                  A new Phillips screw driver with handle costs less then $10.00
                  Actually, no, you can't. The features which I want in a screwdriver are not available in the marketplace. Hence the discussion.
                  25 miles north of Buffalo NY, USA


                  • #10
                    Again, check out the Apex catalog.


                    • #11
                      So you want to make an improved shape? But the shapes provided by the better makers already fit the screws just fine. You might have a good idea for an improved shape. But if it doesn't accurately fit the recess in the screws what's the point?.... pun intended.....

                      So I'm afraid that I don't see what you will accomplish with this project.
                      Chilliwack BC, Canada


                      • #12
                        I have quite a few Phillips screwdrivers that would work much better if properly resharpened. There are many articles and videos about sharpening straight blade "Yankee" slot tips, but the only one I found for Phillips describes using a triangular or square file, which does not produce the correct shape. I agree that replaceable tips are only a buck a dozen, but they do not work when the screw is deeply recessed in a molding or counterbore (although long bits are available).

                        As with many projects, I very likely may never actually start cutting metal, or I may abandon it partway through, but I think it is an idea that deserves some attention. It may be better to design and build a more universal machine that can use angle grinder wheels for various other purposes as well. Maybe I should start with a small bench grinder and make an adapter to fit such wheels, and a work holder that can accommodate screwdrivers.

                        The first challenge may be shaping a wheel for the needed contour. If that proves too difficult, the project may never get off the ground.

                        Thanks for the observations and advice.

                        I found the Apex web page - they do have a nice selection:
                        Last edited by PStechPaul; 12-06-2019, 04:20 PM.
                        Paul , P S Technology, Inc. and MrTibbs
                        USA Maryland 21030


                        • #13
                          Sometimes these projects just happen for their own sake, they don't have to make any sense form a practical or economic standpoint. A significant part of the fun can just be thinking through the possible approaches and seeing where that leads.Keep us posted!


                          • #14
                            Do you have Posidrive in the 'states. The biggest problem with cross heads is selecting the right size and type of driver. It's ok when you have bought a box of screws that has the right size tip provided but when trying to take something apart with a variety of heads it is easy to destroy the slot. The best thing then is that the cross hole guides the drill better than a chewed slot head.


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by nickel-city-fab View Post

                              Actually, no, you can't. The features which I want in a screwdriver are not available in the marketplace. Hence the discussion.
                              What exact "features" do you require?