The Season of Loose Nuts
You know that winter has arrived when every handsaw you pick up has loose sawnuts.
This week I’ve been doing a bit of sawing to prepare to talk to the Woodworkers of Central Ohio on Saturday. (If you’re in Columbus, Ohio, this weekend stop by the meeting. Sawmaker Andrew Lunn is going to be there.) And pretty much every saw above my bench has loose sawnuts because the handles have shrunk.
Loose nuts make me nuts. Especially the split nuts, which require a special split driver to tighten them. There are a couple commercial nut drivers available from Lie-Nielsen Toolworks and Tools for Working Wood, but those drivers are not universal. They work best on the saws sold by that company.
To fill in the gaps, I made my own nut driver, and it handles about 90 percent of the saws new and old. Here’s how I did it:
I bought a “Pin-Eez” tool from Ross Tools. This $12.95 device is used to remove hinge pins from doors. And while it works great for that, it can be modified slightly to be a superb nut driver.
The stock Pin-Eez is about 5/8″ wide, which is too wide for most sawnuts for joinery saws. So I took the Pin-Eez to the grinder and ground down the sides until the tip was 7/16″ wide. That’s it.
The Pin-Eez is otherwise perfect for the job of tightening up sawnuts. The tip is already ground to a thin profile, and the recess between the two forks is perfect for avoiding the center bolt. And the steel is excellent , very hard , and it never deforms.
– Christopher Schwarz
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