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  • New Trick

    Well, for me anyways. I was putting up new light fixtures on the ceiling this morning in the never ending renovation of our bungalow. The screws supplied had a very shallow Phillips head in them, and ther was just no way they would stay on the end of the screwdriver while I perched on a stepladder and reached over my head trying to screw them through a new light support and into the octagon electrical box. After dropping the screw half a dozen times, I went and got some masking tape out of my engineering office, poked a hole in the center of a 2" long piece and shoved the screw through from the sticky side. Then I stuck the tape to the shank of the screwdriver. Problem solved!!! When the screw was tightened in place, there was ejnough adhesion between the tape and the screwdriver that the screw stayed in place and the tape all came away with the screwdriver. I just can't figure out why its taken me damn near 66 years to figure this out!!! I guess that living in Canada, and most of our screws being Robertson heads, Ijust never ran into that problem before.

    Brian Rupnow

  • #2
    I have done that on bolts when using a socket before. I normaly used the black electrical tape, but as long as it comes off any will do. You can also use the electrical tape on a loose swivel joint that goes on a ratchet. Just wrap a layer or 2 around and it will keep it from flopping around but still be flexible enough to still swivel properly.

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    • #3
      Good, inexpensive trick.

      I run into shallow Phillips-head screws often enough that I have a couple screwdrivers that I've taken to the grinder and ground off the point a little.

      After this they fit those screws TONS better and it puts the contact point, and therefore the torque, out at a larger diameter where you need it, which also reduces stripping out the screw head too. The altered point works wonders for helping to remove tight screws as well.

      Might be worth a shot.

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      • #4
        I tend to use that grey clay like stuff which electricians use for sealing holes in your house where the power conduit goes in. A little dab will keep a screw on.
        VitŮŽria, Brazil

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        • #5
          Originally posted by davidwdyer
          I tend to use that grey clay like stuff which electricians use for sealing holes in your house where the power conduit goes in. A little dab will keep a screw on.
          That would be "duct seal"...not to be confused with "duck seal" which is used to make a ducks butt water tight and allow them to float...
          Location: Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada

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          • #6
            Assuming a steel screw, a 1cm neodynium magnet stuck to the screwdriver, right near the tip, usually holds it in place.

            John

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            • #7
              Originally posted by GadgetBuilder
              Assuming a steel screw, a 1cm neodynium magnet stuck to the screwdriver, right near the tip, usually holds it in place.

              John
              I have used Bryan's masking tape trick and this magnet one for years now. A dab of grease can also hold the screw on the driver. All of these work for all types of screws and drivers, not just Phillips.
              Paul A.

              Make it fit.
              You can't win and there is a penalty for trying!

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              • #8
                Good post Brian and others.

                Those screws have gotta be the cheapest crap, had some so soft that the star center will just shear out!! Garbage.

                Yup, the Robertson is still the best.

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                • #9
                  Great idea, thanks for sharing.

                  It will also be useful for those bolts and screws physically too-small to hold.

                  Is there a sticky or FAQ we can drop this idea into?
                  Hemi-proprietor,
                  Esoteric Garage

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                  • #10
                    The trick is to put the screws into the box before mounting the fixture. The fixture should have large holes to fit the screw head. Then just twist and tighten the screws you're done.

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                    • #11
                      ...yet again one reason to avoid those Phillips heads and the like, they are a PITA.
                      Amount of experience is in direct proportion to the value of broken equipment.

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                      • #12
                        I use the magnet on the screwdriver - works well even up to speed with power driver:



                        Where clearance is tight, or for nonmagnetic screws, a drop of superglue holds the screw on the bit securely and doesn't interfere with future use.
                        Cheers,

                        Frank Ford
                        HomeShopTech

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                        • #13
                          Screw retainers

                          There are the split-wedge style
                          http://www.leevalley.com/en/wood/pag...=1,43411,43417
                          that are useful for slotted screws. Also, I have a set of these:
                          http://www.canadiantire.ca/AST/brows....jsp?locale=en
                          that accept slot, square & philips.

                          Usual disclaimers

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                          • #14
                            Not seen the question asked yet, is it Phillips or Posidrive, two totally different animals.
                            .

                            Sir John , Earl of Bligeport & Sudspumpwater. MBE [ Motor Bike Engineer ] Nottingham England.



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                            • #15
                              My dad used to have some screwdrivers that had spring clips on both sides of the blade to hold the screw in place. I don't know if they still make them or not. I have never seen them in a store of in a catalog.

                              Probable too many people found that tape, putty, glue, etc. would do the same thing using a regular screwdriver.

                              Brian
                              OPEN EYES, OPEN EARS, OPEN MIND

                              THINK HARDER

                              BETTER TO HAVE TOOLS YOU DON'T NEED THAN TO NEED TOOLS YOU DON'T HAVE

                              MY NAME IS BRIAN AND I AM A TOOLOHOLIC

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