Thumb Screwdriver. Quick and Effective

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About: 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 direct a registered Industrial Design Company.

Intro: 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

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

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.

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    14 Discussions

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    gcai_fwb

    3 years ago on Introduction

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

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    scarecreaux

    3 years ago on Introduction

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

    Great instructable! Thanks.

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    artworker

    5 years ago on Introduction

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