• Originally published May 17, 2018.

On May 16, 2018 I started my retirement. I’m not sure what I’ll be doing with all of my time but one big part will be woodworking. The first thing I finished is this cap iron driver.

The cap iron sitting next to the driver was made in the late 1800s and still in great shape. I want to keep it that way and normal modern screwdrivers will damage it. You can buy drivers made for this but they are fairly expensive. I decided to make my own.

I started with a cheap set of spade bits hoping they would not have been hardened very well. This turned out to be true as the point of the bit came off easily with a hack saw. Then I ground it to a rough shape with my hand-cranked grinder and finished it with files and sharpening stones. I slowly thinned the tip until is was a very tight fit.

The wood is walnut and the ferrule is copper. The shape of the handle is patterned after a Clay screwdriver I have. It was mostly shaped by hand. The finish is Boiled Linseed Oil. I will need a few different sizes and I’m glad these are quick, easy, and cheap.

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