Cobbled Nut Driver Set!

Salvage, Mergers and Acquisitions

For some nearly 25 years now I've had exactly two nut drivers.  I've used them fairly regularly, but it never occurred to me that I could just get more sizes.  Never occurred to me that is, until a visit to my favorite used tool store, The Tool BoxEvery time I went to that ol' place I'd see this big box of nut drivers, but didn't give it much thought 'til my last visit when it finally occurred to me to cobble together a set.  I got 6 drivers for a buck twenty!

What's a Nut Driver Anyway?

This one's pretty simple, let's see how complicated I can make it!  Nut drivers look like a screwdriver, but have a socket attached to the end and are used for tightening or loosening nuts and bolts.  The socket fits around the entire head of the fastener making for a secure fit. They provide more contact to the bolt head than an open-end wrench, so the socket is less likely to slip off the bolt.  That was simple enough!  

Cleaning Up

The group of nut drivers I both inherited and picked up at The Tool Box, were old, dusty and in some cases flat out grimy.  Clearly they needed to be cleaned up, so with the salad bowl I bought several years ago for moments exactly like this, the drivers soaked in Dawn for a couple hours.  Then I polished them up with some plastic polisher and just like that, they looked practically new.  The shafts weren't in bad shape, so I left them the way they were.

Dateline: Childhood
No idea the year, but dad had his old pickup in the driveway to work on it. It must have been summer because I remember he wanted my help, and I was pissed because I just wanted to go play baseball. Anyway, I had to sit behind the wheel while dad had his head beneath the hood. There was the occasional command to press the brake...slow this time...slower...all the way down... You know how those orders go. At one point, playing with the steering wheel in boredom, I accidentally hit the horn. Of course, dad startled and hit his head on the hood followed by some choice words about paying attention. I knew better than to try and explain that it was an accident, so instead I just baseball and now I'm getting yelled at for an accident. So, there I sat behind the wheel, dad under the hood. Yeah, you guessed it. I waited a few minutes for dad to get busy and distracted then, with that little revenge smirk on my heart, I gave the horn a quick hit! Dad came out cussing like a sailor (not bad for an Air Force guy) and told me to "get the h@&& outta here!" Off I went to play ball, feeling somewhat guilty. Funny thing is, years and years later I confessed to dad my intentional impudence and, dad being the good sport he is, just chuckled and shook his head. That's the cool thing about mom and dad both - they've always been the forgiving type!

The Storage Rack

For some time I pondered on how I wanted to store the drivers.  I think most people put them in their tool box but that's not really my style.  I like to have certain things out in the open, otherwise I might not think of them.  I love my screw driver rack, originally made by Mr. Mosher and expanded on by me a couple years ago.  Here's a little artsy shot...

So I decided to use a piece of scrap wood to make a rack for the drivers.  First I laid out the drivers to figure out a consistent distance between the holes.  Then, I got to use some of my Kreg tools for the first time in quite awhile! I think the last time I used any of them was with the radiator cover back in December of '19, which makes sense because it wasn't much after that when the pandemic hit.

Then I had an idea.  I wanted to label the size of the driver on the front of the rack.  I really need that because I don't have that innate ability to tell the size of a driver, bolt or screw just by looking at it.  

I might me mythologizing a bit, but I'd swear dad could look at or feel a nut or bolt and just say, "gimme a quarter inch socket," or whatever size he needed.  Sometimes he'd have to search around and test sizes, but more often than not, he was spot on.  I think it came from a lifetime of working with his hands - on planes, cars, boats, you name it!

But I digress.  The point is, I wanted the driver sizes on the front of the rack and pondered the best way to do it.  I settled on blocking off some squares with tape before I stained the rack.  You'll see the end result shortly.

And Here We Are

This was such a quick project it almost doesn't even qualify as a project.  Cleaning and polishing a few tools, cutting, drilling, staining and hanging a little piece of wood - and done!  I mentioned earlier that I got to use a couple Kreg tools, and here's the context...I used pocket holes to affix the rack to the board on the wall.  That's a bit of an odd sentence, but hang in there.

I wanted to include this picture because I'm a bit tickled about how these handles turned out.  They cleaned up so bright and translucent!

And all in a row...

For whatever reason, I don't often show this end of the workbench, but I wanted to show the rack and my "new" drivers in their natural habitat!

Thanks for stopping by!
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