Create a Triangle Screwdriver for Disposable (mcdonalds Happy Meal) Toys Out of a Hex Key.

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Create a triangle-head bit out of a hex key for use in taking apart disposable or really cheap toys.

This instructable requires:
  - safety gear :-) 
  - a hex key ( 1/8" works best )
  - a benchtop belt sander
  - a cheap toy to disassemble.

The advantage to using a hex key is that the size is right to begin with, and one just needs to sand down three points to be left with a triangle.   (See sketch in the third image).
Pick a point and begin sanding.  Be sure to wear your safety gear, as sparks and chips may fly at any time.  The key may also become quite hot, and there is potential to end up with a sharp point.

When the three hex points are ground down and seem to form a triangle, try out your new bit.   I found that I needed to fine tune my triangle a few times, and then once again once I got the first screw out of the toy to ensure a good fit.

Done!  :-)

Note that some toys use a mixture of screws, clips, and glued (or plastic-welded/melted) pieces.  Even with all visible screws removed, there is no guarantee that a toy can be disassembled easily.

Reassembly for any toy is an exercise left up to the user. :-)
This Instructable submitted by the Rabbit-Hole Maker Space as part of the Instructables Sponsorship Program.
This tool was used in the creation of the mazzmn electric slide whistle.

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7 Discussions

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Alex in NZ

5 months ago

This is a really neat trick. Thank you for sharing it :-)

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AnT5

4 years ago on Introduction

can you share how to disassemble happy meal toys? as i know the toys are glued very strong. Do you have a trick to weakened or remove the power glue effect? @_@

1 reply
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willschmAnT5

Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

(apologies if this double-posts)..
I don't have any special tricks for removing glue during disassembly. Fortunately, most of the toys I've disassembled recently have been just screws, or have easily popped apart.

I typically

- remove all the screws I can see, (comparing sizes and keeping track of what goes where if there are different sizes).

- gently begin to pry things apart, using a small screwdriver, or paint scraper as a wedge. If things are sticking, look closer for a hidden screw. quite often they hide under a sticker.

- if things are still sticking, make the decision whether to press on and break things, or not..

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weirdos

5 years ago on Introduction

Is it weird that the toy pictured is the one I wanted to get into...

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TheZuke!

5 years ago on Introduction

In times past, I've used tang end of a triangular file. At a couple of tool stores, (i.e. Horror Fright and Northern Fools) I've seen a $10 set of "security" bits that include the triangles as well as crows foot bits.

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willschmTheZuke!

Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

"Horror Fright and Northern Fools" ;-)

Yeah, historically I've had a large stash of 1/8 hex keys so those are an obvious sacrificial object for this purpose.

Thanks for the comments. :-)