Introduction: Thumb Screwdriver. Quick and Effective

Picture of Thumb Screwdriver. Quick and Effective

I was working on my alternator on my old mercedes, and needed to remove 2 screws to swop out the voltage regulator. The guy at the auto spares shop said I could change the component without having to remove the alternator. This was good news, until I was under the bonnet and misjudged that the exhaust was only a palms width away from the screws.
I went to the hardware store and bought a short stump nose screwdriver and hoped that it would suffice.
Sadly not...

I went back to my collection of random tools and foraged...

I came up with this quick and easy assembly which worked perfectly. Keep it in your idea bank if you are ever stuck between an exhaust and a hard place. If there is a specialist tool which you are able to just buy from any of your convenience stores, that doesn't always help. In Johannesburg here, there are only a select number of tools you can easily get hold of.
Make do with what you've got. 

Items required:
2 thrust washers.
2 small screwdriver bits.
One nut.
One bolt.

Step 1: Assembly

Picture of Assembly

The assembly is extremely straight forward...
The only confusion may be as to "why are there two bits?"
This is to allow for the washers to be forced against the parallel sides of the screw bits, whilst remaining parallel. You can imagine that if only one bit was placed between the washers, the washers would angle and the bit would easily slip out.

The images show the few steps of assembly.

Step 2: Additional Notes

Picture of Additional Notes

The assembly could possibly be arranged in many different configurations however this was the quickest solution. No cutting, gluing, and all the components were fully usable after they have fulfilled their function.

I could bond this assembly with Epoxy resin to create a more permanent tool, but the job is now done.

Not too shabby for a 40mm long Thumbsize Screwdriver.


ranker777 (author)2014-12-30

now thats a brilliant job

ranker777 (author)2014-12-30

now thats a brilliant job

ranker777 (author)2014-12-30

now thats a brilliant job

ranker777 (author)2014-12-30

now thats a brilliant job

gcai_fwb (author)2014-12-14

great lateral thinking! now I can take tools with me when I travel - stupid airline regs be damned!

andy.knote (author)2014-12-10

Wow, brilliant!

chuckstake (author)2014-10-29

nice thank you put in my bank for later

stroland (author)2014-10-21

Good job, very creative.

SparkySolar (author)2014-10-20

Thank you so much for this nice Instructable.


chrisdp (author)2014-10-11

Really nifty, neighbor. "a boer makes a plan"

scarecreaux (author)2014-10-11

If you used a thumb screw it might make it a little bulkier, but it would make the tips quickly interchangeable.

Great instructable! Thanks.

corporatelab (author)2013-10-01

Very impressed, Martin. Amazing.

keepintouch (author)2012-11-03


artworker (author)2012-10-31

Super cool! Can be a part of mechanic's altoid survival kit! Had someone made that?

About This Instructable




Bio: I am a qualified Industrial Designer based in Johannesburg, South Africa, and UK Citizen. I currently am working as a researcher, Industrial Design Lecturer, and ... More »
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