Sponsored By:
The Eastwood Company
(800) 345-1178

The bulk of the work on any garage project comes by way of handtools. All of us have an array of power tools, maybe some welding equipment, maybe even some paint guns, but the reality is the “heavy lifting” comes down to all of those many handtools hiding in various toolbox drawers.

This month’s Workshop is dedicated to three such simple tools. Odds are all of us have used them even if we don’t own them—hot rodders like to borrow (and return!) an assortment of tools. This month we are going to look at a handful of screwdrivers, and everyone has a drawer full of them; little ones, big ones, and even some without handles, having broken off long ago. The others have to do with pounding on metal—rubber and metal mallets and hammers.

All of us really do have a drawer or drawers full of screwdrivers accumulated over the years. Most are standard (also called flat, flared, or straight) and Phillips (X-shaped) blade tips. All screwdrivers are made up of a tip, blade, shank, and handle, and there are 15 common types of screwdrivers. Yet our screwdriver collection is probably 95 percent standard or Phillips blade in varying lengths—stubby, standard, and extra-long lengths, and with many different handle compositions—plastic, wood, or coated (rubber or other material). (Torx and spanner are two more common to the hot rodder’s toolbox.)

The Eastwood Company, as any tool company does, has a wide assortment of screwdrivers but it’s their professional screwdriver set (PN 70290; time of printing $17.99) made from chrome vanadium steel blades that go through the handle with a steel end cap that we are featuring. These screwdrivers are also capped with a steel cap that provides a surface to tap against, giving the screwdriver added value and versatility. The handles are made from a transparent, strong cellulose acetate that can withstand chemicals. The blade is made to ANSI specification, and has a chrome-plated with black magnetized tip.

The seven-piece set (PN 70290) consists of standard (slotted) screwdrivers; 3/16 inch by 3 inches, 1/4 inch by 4 inches, 1/4 inch by 6 inches, 5/16 inch by 8 inches; Phillips screwdrivers #1 by 3 inches, #2 by 4 inches, #3 by 6 inches.

We stopped by one of our favorite hot rod buddy’s, Colin Radford, shop in Rigby, Idaho, Radford Auto Body. If you want to see how many ways you can use a screwdriver, hang around a body shop for a day and you will be amazed. Of course, one long weekend in any rodder’s garage will also yield some interesting uses.

We found that removing old gasket material and used silicone was a simple procedure by tapping the cap on the top of the screwdriver handle, turning your handy everyday screwdriver into a dual-purpose tool. Oh, and they work fine setting an idle, adjusting floats, reattaching interior trim, and removing door handles.

Slot-headed Screwdrivers and Screws

Blade Size Screw Size
3/32 inch O and 1
1/8 inch 2
5/32 inch 3
3/16 inch 4 and 5
1/4 inch 6 and 7
5/16 inch 8 to 10
3/8 inch 12 to 14
7/16 inch 16 to 18
1/2 inch 18 to 24

Phillips-head Screwdrivers and Screws

Blade Size Screw Size
0 O and 1
1 2 to 4
2 5 to 9
3 10 to 16
4 18 to 24

Panel Beater Sandbag with Teardrop Mallet

The Eastwood panel beater bag (PN 28030) and set of six mallets (PN 28123) is round and teardrop and provides an excellent addition to your metalshaping tool drawer.

The panel beater bag measures 18 inches square and comes with a hook-and-loop fill opening. You can use dry sand or steel shot; we filled our bag with dry sand to provide a malleable filler within the suede cowhide, all-leather construction with double-stitched glued seams. The bag provides an idea foundation to support metal, and the rubber mallets allow you to shape. The process is simple: By using the mallet and striking the metal the bag gives way under the mallet blows, allowing the metal to be formed into shape. You can shape metal to make quarter-panels or hood blisters. This type of hand-formed metal working yields a panel without nicks or gouges and with minimal stretching.

The mallets are constructed of ultra-high molecular-weight plastic to prevent marring, with a fitted handled. The teardrop mallets come in a 2-, 2-1/2-, and 2-3/4-inch round face; and, three round mallets with diameters of 2, 2-3/4, and 3-1/4 inches. As a metalforming tool, you can’t “beat” Eastwood’s 2-1/2-inch teardrop mallet that’s included for panel beating and metal shaping.

Eastwood Tech Tip:

When replacing brake calipers or drums, use Eastwood’s brake gray or other brake fluid–resistant coatings to keep them from rusting. The factory coatings on these are usually poor and will begin to rust in a short period of time.

Eastwood Company
263 Shoemaker Road
PA  19464