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Thread: Overcoming the Annoying Limitations of Slotted Screws

  1. #1
    Supporting Member rgsparber's Avatar
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    Overcoming the Annoying Limitations of Slotted Screws

    When I try to drive a slotted screw with my electric screwdriver, it can be hard to orient the bit so it engages the slot. After all, I can only get engagement every 180. Once engaged, the bit tends to slide off.

    This video explains how to solve this problem using things you likely have at hand.

    This video is not my best effort, but I think you will still be able to see what I have done.



    Rick

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    Last edited by rgsparber; May 5, 2021 at 08:12 PM.
    Rick

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    NortonDommi (May 7, 2021), nova_robotics (May 6, 2021), Sleykin (May 11, 2021)

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    Thanks rgsparber! We've added your Slotted Screwdriver Holder to our Fastening category,
    as well as to your builder page: rgsparber's Homemade Tools. Your receipt:




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    Supporting Member mklotz's Avatar
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    I hate slotted screws. IMNSHO, Phillips heads aren't much better; they cam out easily and ruin the screw slots.

    There are lots of reasons why Henry Ford should be moldering in hell but one of the biggest is his promotion of Phillips instead of Robertson screws.

    Robertsons have a square socket similar to the hex socket on SHCS machine screws. The square driver bit is captured in the socket so driver slip out is impossible. With a magnetized driver bit the screw can be "mounted" on the driver and started with one hand.

    Wherever possible, I use Robertson screws. Of course it's not possible to escape Phillips and slotted. In addition to your suggestion there are commercial versions available...

    https://www.amazon.com/s?i=aps&k=scr...ch-alias%3Daps

    Nevertheless, for homebrews where you have freedom of design choice, think seriously about using Robertson.


    BTW, your frustration level with slotted screws can be reduced a lot with a set of gunsmith screwdrivers. My set is made by Chapman and contains a dozen properly ground inserts to fit slotted screws as well as tips for hex and Phillips.
    ---
    Regards, Marv


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    Supporting Member WmRMeyers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mklotz View Post
    I hate slotted screws. IMNSHO, Phillips heads aren't much better; they cam out easily and ruin the screw slots.

    There are lots of reasons why Henry Ford should be moldering in hell but one of the biggest is his promotion of Phillips instead of Robertson screws.

    Robertsons have a square socket similar to the hex socket on SHCS machine screws. The square driver bit is captured in the socket so driver slip out is impossible. With a magnetized driver bit the screw can be "mounted" on the driver and started with one hand.

    Wherever possible, I use Robertson screws. Of course it's not possible to escape Phillips and slotted. In addition to your suggestion there are commercial versions available...

    https://www.amazon.com/s?i=aps&k=scr...ch-alias%3Daps

    Nevertheless, for homebrews where you have freedom of design choice, think seriously about using Robertson.


    BTW, your frustration level with slotted screws can be reduced a lot with a set of gunsmith screwdrivers. My set is made by Chapman and contains a dozen properly ground inserts to fit slotted screws as well as tips for hex and Phillips.
    Marv, I absolutely love Chapman screw drivers, but I'd like to point out that real gunsmiths hollow grind their screwdrivers to fit perfectly. Not that I am one, mind you. Wheeler makes a set of gunsmith's screw drivers, and a gunsmith's screwdriver torque wrench, which I have acquired recently, that are almost as nice as the Chapman sets. I hope one day soon to buy a Chapman master set. The set my dad gave me 30 or 40 years ago apparently filled up with water in storage at some point, and is somewhat messed up.

    Bill

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    Quote Originally Posted by mklotz View Post
    Wherever possible, I use Robertson screws.
    You Americans have Robertson screws?

  8. #6
    Supporting Member rgsparber's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nova_robotics View Post
    You Americans have Robertson screws?
    Most of my screws are scavenger but I do have a small number of square drives.
    Rick

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    I normally do not use a power tool on slotted(minus) screws. Just do it manually. I do on phillips(plus)screws. But yet if you do not have the proper bit, you will still have issues of slippage and cramming out. Robertsens are great but very limited in what is available. 6 point or 12 point hardware would be better in my opinion.

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    Supporting Member Frank S's Avatar
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    I've ran onto a lot of deck screws lately that are a combination of Philips and Robertson A Philips wont fit them properly and neither will a Robertson because they are actually what is called a Quadrex or Posidrive which looks like a Philips with a really fat thick center but try finding the bits for them at a local Mom & Pop hardware store in a pinch the Philips or the Robertson will get the job done.
    Maybe General Motors had it right in the 40's& 50s with their clutch drive screws
    Never try to tell me it can't be done
    When I have to paint I use http://kbs.justoldtrucks.com/

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    Supporting Member NortonDommi's Avatar
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    Posidrive is like a Phillips but the tines on the driver and the sides of the slots are straight not tapered in an effort to reduce camout. The Robertson is far superior to both but being Canadian I thought wasn't well accepted in USA?
    Quadrex is a different kettle of fish and I agree a bloody pain in the rear. Grinding the tip off a larger size Posidrive sometimes works.
    Last edited by NortonDommi; May 7, 2021 at 04:47 AM.

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    Being in the UK we have a lot of all sorts, though for deck screws Torx is now the most common drive system, and the likes of BMW have adopted Torx and 5 point security Torx to stop home repair and ensure trade for the main stealers.

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