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How to Use a Screwdriver

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This video is a quick introduction to using a screwdriver in woodworking.

This video series was created with the hope of helping you gain a grounding in woodworking.

For quicker work, don't miss our videos on using the hand drill and ratchet brace.

The step-by-step tutorial will tell you everything you need to know to help you master using the screwdriver in your woodwork projects.

Music - Gilles B

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In this video you will learn how to use a screwdriver.

The Screwdriver, as its name suggests, is used to drive screws into surfaces.

Screwdrivers vary on the basis of their tips, as this determines the types of screws that they can turn.

The two most common variations are the Slotted screwdriver and the Phillips-head screwdriver.

The cross-shaped depression in the Philips-head design allows a user to apply more torque than is possible with slot-head screwdrivers.

The different parts of the screwdriver are the shank, the blade, the tip and the handle.

When working with small nails or softwood, hold the screwdriver with your dominant hand, index finger extended.

When working with bigger screws or hardwood, grip the handle fully with one hand and hold the shank with the other to steady your applied force.

Use a centre punch to make a pilot hole.

Alternately, you can also lightly hit the screw with a hammer.

Position the screw perpendicular to your work.

Keep your shoulder in line with your hand, the screwdriver and the screw shank.

Use both hands, one to hold the handle and the other to steady the shank.

Whenever possible fix the work in a vice or clamp.

For brass screws, pilot holes are necessary as brass is more malleable and can twist under pressure.

Choose appropriately sized drill bits.

Drill a pilot hole for the head of the screw.

Go just deep enough so that the head of the screw doesn't protrude from the wooden surface.

Drill a smaller hole for the thread.

Without pilot holes the screw can get stuck half way.

You need to make two holes- a shallow and wide hole to form a slot for the head of the screw and a narrower and long hole in the middle of the first one for the thread.

If the wood is resisting penetration, you can apply some wax on the screw.

Position the scew on the pilot hole with the index finger and thumb of your non-dominant hand.

Place the tip of the screwdriver on the head of the screw with your dominant hand, applying light pressure.

Let go of the screw and hold the shank of the screwdriver.

Turn the screwdriver clockwise.

After two or three turns into the wood, the screw will have caught hold.

Make sure that the screw is upright.

Drive the screw deeper until it is almost entirely inside the piece of wood.

Make the last turns slowly.

Avoid letting the head of the screw sink completely below the wood as it will later on be difficult to remove it.

Place the screwdriver on the screw and apply firm steady pressure.

Twist the screwdriver clockwise and push the screw slowly into the hole.

Avoid working with the wrong screwdriver.

Always use a screwdriver that matches the size and shape of the screw.

A small screwdriver used on a big screw lacks driving force and can slip out of the slot, chewing up the screw head.

If the screwdriver is too wide, you could end up tearing the wooden surface.

You have now learnt how to use a screwdriver.


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