Intro: Upgrade a Screwdriver
A few years ago I decided that I needed a screwdriver I could change the tips of and that has a small handle. I couldn't find one that I liked, so I decided to make my own. It's worked great for me, so I decided to make an instructable how to do it. You just need a handle that you like and a bit tip holder. And of course the proper tools. (See the steps on video here: https://youtu.be/gQqWGmcMdX4)
You could use a magnetic drive guide, or a regular magnetic bit tip holder. Or really just about any other type of tip that you want to use.
I'm going to show how to make one similar to the one I already made, and also one for a stubby screwdriver. Before starting, you need to decide how deep you want the bit tip holder mounted. For the stubby screwdriver I want it to go deeper that the other screwdriver, so I'm checking to see how deep I need to drill for that. Same for the other screwdriver. I can get tips to make them the length I need.
- Vise (optional, but recommended)
- Candle (or Torch)
- 1/4 inch Drill Bit
- 5/16 inch Drill Bit
- 3/8 inch Drill Bit
- 7/16 inch Drill Bit
Step 1: Remove the Existing Screwdriver Blade
We need to start by removing the existing screwdriver blade. If your screwdriver has a loose blade it will be easier, but these are new so I need to heat them up then pull them out. Try using a candle first and see how it goes. It could take a couple minutes to heat the blade enough to loosen it from the plastic. When you think it might be hot enough, grab the blade with your pliers and try twisting it or pulling it out.
If you can't get the screwdriver blade hot enough with the candle, try using a torch to heat it up. Remember to be careful with the blade once you remove it, it will be hot. The first time I did this I burned myself on the removed blade.
Step 2: Drill Into the Handle (Preferred Way)
Now that you have the blade out, you need to drill a 1/4 inch hole in it where you took the blade out. If you have a vise or something to hold the handle in, use it. I don't happen to have one though.
Hold the bit holder next to the drill bit to see how deep the bit needs to go in. If you have some tape, put some on the drill bit at that depth. Next, drill into the handle to the depth that you need to go. If you don't have a vise to hold the handle in, be careful and drill slowly. The drill bit is going to grab into the plastic and try to rip the handle out of your hand.
Even though the bit holder has a 1/4 inch drive shaft, it won't fit into a 1/4 inch hole. Use a 5/16 inch bit to make the hole a little bigger. As you can see in the picture, now it fits almost perfectly. It is a little loose, but once we glue it in it will be tight.
Step 3: Drill Into the Handle (Backup Plan)
If you have a 1/4 inch drill bit but not a 5/16 inch one, another way to make the hole a little bigger is to bore it out with the drive shaft of the bit tip holder. Put the bit holder into the drill backwards and use the 1/4 inch drive shaft to bore out the hole. This works by melting a little bit of plastic, so you need to apply a bit of pressure to get it to go.
It's not the best way to do this, but it gets the job done. It also doesn't clean out the hole as well as the drill bit does, so if you need to clean it out you can use the 1/4 inch drill bit to do that. This is where I remembered that I wanted the stubby screwdriver to go in deeper. Not all the way through the handle, just to the hole that's already going through sideways.
Step 4: Going a Little Bigger for the Smaller Handle
The thicker part of the bit holder doesn't come close to fitting the 1/4 inch hole I just drilled, so I grabbed a 3/8 inch drill bit and made it a little bigger. Like before, I see how deep I need the bit to go before I start drilling again.
It still doesn't fit close enough, so I grabbed a 7/16 inch bit and drilled it a little bigger. Now I put the bit holder into the drill and try again. This time I can get it to go in. But all that extra drilling plugged the end of the hole I drilled earlier, so I had to drill it out again.
I put the bit holder into the drill backwards to put it into the handle. This is just a test fit, and since it's a tight fit I have to spin it with the drill to get it in. It looks good, so now all I have to do is glue the bit holder into the handle.
Step 5: Gluing It All Together
If you have a good glue that holds strong to plastic, or a good 2-part adhesive, that's what you want to use.
Put some of the glue on the shaft and some into the handle. Then insert the bit holder into the handle, spinning or twisting the bit holder as you do. This will help spread the glue where it's needed.
You'll probably have some of the glue push out, so have some paper towels handy to clean it up. Sometimes a little pressure will build up as you push the bit holder into the handle. If the bit holder starts to push itself out when you let go, you may need to tape the bit holder in place until the glue sets.
Step 6: And That's It!
The last step is to let the glue set completely before you try using your new screwdriver.
If you want to see the video version of this instructable, you can watch it here: https://youtu.be/gQqWGmcMdX4