Menushopping cart
Tools for Working Wood
Invest in your craft. Invest in yourself.

JOEL Joel's Blog

Split Nut Screwdriver

11/05/2007

Split Nut Screwdriver 4In the 19th century a standard set of 36 brace bits included a forked turnscrew bit - which was used for tightening split saw nuts. It was an important bit to the carpenter because with changes in weather it was (and is) not unusual for a handle to loosen. So having a standard bit to tighten it up made for good sense and much more satisfying sawing.

When we decided to make a dovetail saw with split nuts we knew that we also had to offer a driver for the screws, mostly not for routine maintenance (due to some design tricks we don't expect the nuts on our fully made saws to loosen.) but for the kits. However we didn't like the idea of a costly separate tool. So in keeping with the tradition that the saw nut driver is just one more bit in a set of bits we decided to make the driver part of a modern sets of tools that just about everyone has - a 1/4" hex driver. So here it is. Split Nut Screwdriver 3 One real bright side is that by just having a driver, we save a lot of money of handles and things so it will be cheap enough so it can be a low cost accessory not a major tool purchase (under 10 bucks). Since it makes sense to store it with all your other 1/4" drivers there is even a chance that you will be able to find it when needed. It will of course fit our saw nuts, I don't know about other makers but I suppose you can always thin the tip if it doesn't fit.
PS - The catalog picture is from an original 1908 Tyzak catalogue in my collection.
Join the conversation
11/13/2007 Chuck Nickerson
So what other bits are we currently missing that were in that 36 bit brace set?
from Marples 1909 catalog:

9 shell bits 1/16" - 7/16"
sash bits 3/16", 1/4"
14 center bits 1/2" - 1 1/2"
Jennings auger bit 1/2"
flat, rose, Snail countersinks
dirll bit 1/4"
plain and forked (split nut) turnscrew bits
Taper bit
Square Rimer
half round Rimer.

Maples lists kits from 12 - 60 bits. the 36 bit kit is the smallest that has the turnscrews. the 1889 Sheffield trade list shows the same bits only it's rinder insteat of rimer. I don't know enough to understand the details I would call the bit a reamer.
Comments are closed.
The opinions expressed in this blog are those of the blog's author and guests and in no way reflect the views of Tools for Working Wood.
Subscribe
JOEL Joel's Blog
BREN Video Roundup
EVT Classes & Events
BEN Built-It Blog
WORK Work Magazine
Newer Entries...
JOELBooks on Business - 02/25/2008
JOELOlson Bros. Mach. Tool & Saw Co. Inc. - 02/04/2008
JOELWhat Do You Know about Arthur Price? - 01/13/2008
JOELMerry Christmas to All and to All a Good Night - 12/23/2007
JOELVacation! (Time Off for Good Behavior) - 12/15/2007
JOELStop Chamfers - 12/09/2007
JOELHow to Saw a Circle with a Circular Saw. - 11/27/2007
JOELMy Tool Box Part 3 - 11/18/2007
JOELPOPULAR WOODWORKING's 2007 Best New Tools - 11/09/2007
JOELSplit Nut Screwdriver - 11/05/2007
JOELWhere is My Iron Ore? - 10/28/2007
JOELNorris Saw Collecting - 10/21/2007
JOELMy Tool Box Part 2 - 10/15/2007
JOELMy Tool Box - 09/29/2007
JOELLook at This! Look at That! - 09/05/2007
JOELHow to Use a Marking or Mortise Gauge - 08/25/2007
JOELSharpening your way to better woodworking - 08/18/2007
JOELSaw Filing - Poorly - 08/10/2007
JOELPostscript - 08/02/2007
JOELMove update - 07/28/2007
Older Entries...