I've always liked using a small bit driver for jobs that don't need a lot of torque. The bearing end sits in the palm of your hand and allows easy twist with a degree of precision.
The one I have been using is great, but it's always bugged me that it was just a little small for my hand. I don't have particularly large hands (I'm a Large in the Watson gloves we sell) but the driver was just a fraction short and small in diameter.
I had a look around to see if I could find a slightly larger one to no avail. So I thought "how hard can it be to make my own one?" Turns out harder than I thought ....
The "Dart" bit driver is the result of that project. The end of lots of sketches and mock ups to get a design I was happy with.
I knew I wanted it to be made from brass but don't have a metal lathe or the skills to use one. I managed to find a machine shop in Leicester that had the skills and more importantly understood what I was trying to achieve.
So the driver is made from solid brass stock. It's 100mm long and the area you grip is 14mm in diameter. It weights just under 110 grams and has a nice hefty feel in the hand.
The driver end has been broached to accept standard 1/4 hex bits. These are a standard size and readily available. The driver is supplied with three bits - a 3mm allen head, a PZ0 and a PZ1. These are all relatively small sizes, which is were I find these sorts of drivers the most useful. The end of the driver is magnetic so the bits are held firmly in the driver.
I've also made a very simple wooden holder for the driver and up to eight bits. This also has magnetic inserts to keep everything in place. The wood used for making these will vary depending on what I can get my hands on, but all will have some interesting grain patterns. Don't be surprised by the odd crack or an old insect hole as the wood has likely led a previous life!
Three colour options to choose from:
- bright brass with a brass coloured bearing
- bright brass with a silver coloured bearing
- an "aged" version
The Aged version is darkened using a chemical treatment. This will polish up and develop its own character with time and use. Likewise the bright version will dull off with use, unless you choice to give it a clean with a metal polish.
All three use a 608 bearing mainly used in skateboard wheels. I've chosen to spec a greased version with a seal. This means you get a smoother bearing action .... but not the endless spin of a Fidget Spinner!