Great Gear: Issue 96Comments (0)
This article is from Issue 96 of Woodcraft Magazine.
Hardware finder, back saver
This handy telescoping tool grabs bits, bolts, washers, nuts, or any of the many things that slip from the grip of my buttery fingers. I don’t recall buying it; I think I simply found it my toolbox years ago, and have been thrilled to have it ever since. I don’t need it every day, but when some hardware needs rescuing, nothing else does the trick. Without crawling around my shop floor or even bending over, I can retrieve that #4 3/8" screw from behind a cabinet, under a table, or even from a pile of sawdust.
Inexpensive and handy, the tool starts about the size of a pen (5") but can extend to grab things 24" out of reach. I clip it to my shop apron on the days when I’m installing hardware and working with screws and whatnot that are wont to fall from my bench. Do your back a favor and buy one for only a few bucks at any hardware store.
My grandfather used this tool regularly before passing it to my father. Now I’m the one putting the paint-spattered and well-worn Yankee Screwdriver (Model 30A) to work in my shop. With only an occasional cleaning and a drop of oil, it works like new and has never needed a battery.
Only a few pumps drive screws home as each downward thrust of the handle spins the bit several revolutions. A flick of the side-mounted control reverses the rotation. Yankees are also ratcheting and can lock to function as traditional screwdrivers. To increase the tool’s functionality, I purchased an adapter to fit modern 1/4" hex bits. Now I can use my Yankee to drive screws with Phillips, Allen, square, and even Torx recesses.
Garrett Wade sells new Yankees that work with hex bits for $100. But if you already have a Yankee deep in your toolbox or can find one on the used market, pick up the adaptor at Lee Valley for about $9.
You must be logged in to write a comment. Log In