Great Gear: Issue 96

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This article is from Issue 96 of Woodcraft Magazine.

Telescoping magnet hardware stores, under $10

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.

—Chad McClung

Yankee screwdriver Garrett Wade, $98.80 Hex bit adaptor Lee Valley, $8.90

Yankee ingenuity

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. 

—Bill Schnieder


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