I treated myself to a set of #9600 screwdrivers from Chapman Manufacturing for my birthday, and I just have to take a moment to sing their praises. I should have purchased a set for myself ages ago! These tools are such an improvement over the enormous collection of screwdrivers I had amassed (read: stolen from the garage and squirreled away in the sewing room). But, before I go on, I’d like to add that these are all my own unbiased opinions. I don’t have any affiliation with this company, other than my new love-affair with their products 🙂
What makes me so giddy about screwdrivers, you ask? Well, these bits are engineered to properly fill the screw slot. You can see a great visual of this difference on their website, here: http://chapmanmfg.com/pages/insert-bits. The bit shape means that 1) it transfers the force more effectively to the screw 2) less force is necessary to turn the screw and 3) it is less likely to damage the screw head. Those three things are so so important to vintage machine restoration, but I think any sewist could benefit from them. So many of my VSMs came to me with damaged screws — heck even my modern machines’ show some damage from repeated assault with a traditional screw driver.
When my set arrived I jumped for joy because, well, *pink.* But then I got down to business and put it to the test. There is one machine, a little Singer 20 clone by GRAIN, that I have been working on for over a year. It has remained frozen despite my best attempts with penetrating oil and a hairdryer… until now. I combined the right bit + the “midget ratchet” and pop! I was able to remove the stubborn screws with ease, and without damaging the irreplaceable screws. From there I was able to give it the rough cleaning it so desperately needed. I’m happy to report that the machine is turning freely now, and awaiting her cosmetic spa-day.
And the icing on top? Chapman is a woman-owned company, and their tools are American Made from American Made materials. They’ve won multiple Green Circle Awards from the DEP. Their grounds are even a NFW certified wildlife habitat. And there are cats and the cutest dog in the shop! That’s a lot of icing in my book 🙂
And if you’ve read this far, thank you for bearing with me through my dork fit. Every once in awhile you come across a tool that revolutionizes things, and they deserve to be cheered on. And if you’re interested in purchasing your own set, I found mine here: http://chapmanmfg.com/collections/slotted-flathead-sets/products/9600-starter-slotted-bit-set.
Happy sewing (and tinkering)!