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Saturday, April 7, 2012

Grace in the USA

A reply on another blog turned me on to a source for affordable custom made screwdrivers:  Grace USA.  Grace made their name in drivers for gunsmithing and is looking to expand into woodworking.  What makes them so special?  I'm glad you asked.  Grace USA dresses the tip of the driver so that they are square to the sides of the screw which is referred to as hollow ground.  Engaging the entire surface of the screw slot resists marring or destroying the screw.

I ordered three custom screwdrivers (in decimal inches) for my woodworking tools: .045,  .032, and .050.  The first two are for saws, new and old.  The third is for planes.  I found that the .050 size will fit nicely on every screw on my vintage Stanley bench planes.  Grace USA charged ten dollars for each custom screwdriver and shipped on their dime; a sweet deal in anyone's book.

The screwdrivers arrived quickly and well packaged for their journey.
Fresh out of the padded envelope

Hollow ground Tips
My photography skill, or lack thereof, is again on display in this picture of all three of the hollow ground tips.  The edges are crisp, sharp, and not to be taken lightly.

Size stamped
The size of each custom screwdriver is stamped deeply in the side of the tool.  Look at the top driver, .050, in the photo captioned "Size stamped".  See the smudge outside the first zero?  I value that smudge.  That tells me the maker took enough care to darken the number stamps by hand to aid legibility.  Use will wear that smudge off in no time.

Close tolerance
The photo captioned "Close tolerance" is an example of how well the screwdriver fits a saw screw.  The driver and screw (nut, actually) are propped up on a square and saw so I could get the picture.

Grace has three sets of screwdrivers to offer woodworkers.  The largest is a set of seven drivers designed to fit slotted screws numbered 2 through 14.  The set of 7 retails in the $60 range.  Next in line is a set of 4 Phillips head screwdrivers followed by a set of three for square drive screws. UPDATE:  The Best Things carries the Grace USA full line of screwdrivers.

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