Arrrgh...those silly little toys you get from McDonalds and such places have screws with triangular heads. It's fun to take them apart, but not when you have to literally saw through the plastic, like I used to. This was time consuming, slightly dangerous, and often ruined the cool bits inside that I was after. I sought a better way.
I looked all over the internet, and you cannot buy a screwdriver with a head like this. (I KNOW everyone and his brother will correct me on this, and post nine links to sites where you can buy a bucket 'o these for two dollars. So, you cannot easily buy a screwdriver with a head like this.)
As our good friends at MAKE say, If you can't open it, you don't own it.
While primarily found on little toys from fast food restauraunts (not just McDonalds), I've found these little screws on other small figures with leds inside them. This should work with those, too.
Step 1: Gather Materials
- Old screwdriver
- Bench grinder
For mine, I opted to go with regular two-penny nails instead of an old screwdriver. Cheap, plentiful, and no big deal if I mess up. I recommend you make one with a nail before you put the grinder to your screwdriver, to get the hang of using the grinder if you're not used to it, and to make sure you know how to shape it properly.
If you don't have an angle grinder, you could use wet concrete, a la Tim Anderson's hunting knife. It might take a year or three to do it that way though.
Step 2: How to Shape the Head-flatten the End
First, grind off the tip of the nail/screwdriver. It's just as simple as that. Grind the tip flat. WYSIWYG. What you see is what you get.
It's sorta idiot-proof. :-D
A note on working with the grinder: please wear goggles (flying bits of metal aren't fun!) and don't be alarmed at all the sparks this will produce. You can skip the "get startled, think you've caught on fire and jump back from the grinder with an expression of alarm" step. I already did it for you.
Step 3: Shaping the Head - Flatten One Edge
Take the nail and hold it to the grinder. Move it back and forth evenly until you have a flat edge. Remember to stop and check your work often-you can always grind more, but if you grind too much you have to start over.
Step 4: Flatten Two Other Sides
Next, flatten two other sides, to make a triangular shape.
Step 5: Finishing Touches
Now just make sure all sides are even, and take care of any lopsided bits.
I made two of these, and did the shape differently the second time. I found that you want a triangle with nice sharp edges and angles-more like the one on the right, less like the one on the left, with the flattened peak and sides that aren't so sharply angled. Both shapes work though.
Step 6: Handle
You need a handle for your screwdriver so you can grip it tightly enough to be able to turn it.
I just wrapped the top in duct tape for my first one. For the second, I went a little fancier, and baked on a sculpey handle.
I bet you can come up with all kinds of cool handles for this-maybe a rope handle, a squishy gel handle, and ergonomic handle, etc. Customize your very own triangle screwdriver!
To use it, just insert it into the triangle screw hole, and twist as you would any screwdriver. Remember, righty tighty, lefty loosy. Revel in the fact that you now possess the ability to open ANY small toy closed with those Chinese triangle screws! Hahaha! Sing and skip about! Laugh manically! Begin diabolical plans to RULE THE WORLD!
Or at least open small toys from McDonalds.