The Right Tool

righttoolMany years ago, after Alice’s Dad passed away, I inherited several of his tools. This one has been sitting in the screwdriver drawer in my shop for almost 30 years. It is designed to allow the manipulation of a screw in very tight corners. I have several cheap versions of this tool that is essentially a bent screwdriver blade, and I’ve used those for various jobs, but never really needed or understood this tool until today.

The project I’ve been spending the past 3 days on has been to remove the old microwave and exhaust hood from the motorhome, and replace it all with a convection/microwave. I bought this unit because the bottom of it is an exhaust hood and it even has a little light. It was designed to be installed over a stove.

convectionThis was not a simple installation. But the final screw was a corker. With Alice’s help, after about 3 tries, we managed to get the thing hung on its wall bracket, and tightened up the screws that partially hold it into place. There were two additional screws to be installed from the top that would make the whole thing rock solid. The first screw went in without any trouble. The second screw, not so much

I had barely enough room to get the middle fingers of both hands into the tiny space. I managed to get the screw started several times, but for some reason it wouldn’t go all the way in. I finally took it out, removed the oven one final time, and compared the screw that worked with the one that didn’t. One was 32 threads per inch, and the other was 24. This tiny difference can make installing any screw impossible. Once I got the correct screw, it went in, but it was a struggle, probably because I’d bunged up the threads trying to force the wrong screw in. It took me over 4 hours to get that screw done.

tightBut the small tool in the picture above was what really made it possible. The driver blades are all offset relative to each other, and by finding the slot, giving it a twist, switching to another end, refinding the slot, twisting again, and repeating this 8 times, I was able to move the screw down 1/32″. I had about an inch to go when I started. It took me a long time, but I did finally get this screw in. I told Alice if I ever have to remove this oven, I’m using my acetylene torches!

One Response to “The Right Tool”

  1. Chris Moore says:

    Old tools are still really useful as well as valued.

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