American Woodworker

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Tool Nut

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I've made over 600 screwdrivers. Does that get me into the Tool Nut club?

It all started with a handle I turned for a file. I enjoyed this work so much that I started making handles for other tools, too. Now I specialize in screwdrivers. I'll buy a bunch of plastic-handled tools, remove their handles, and make new ones. Forty species later, I can't seem to stop.

Screwdrivers make great calling cards or gifts. One friend uses one of my screwdrivers for adjusting his snowboard. Another keeps his in the tool kit for a remote-control airplane. My wife stores one with her sewing machine, and my daughter has one in her dorm room.

I've tried several finishes, but the best finish is one that can't be bought. It's the oil from someone's hands, which shows that the tool I made is well-loved and often used.

Tim Heil