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Screws - why oh why can'tm they keep things simple?

Posted: 5 Nov 2019, 9:55pm
by rmurphy195
So I'm setting-up a handy "recharge" spot in my garage.

My bike section is about 3 meters away from the nearest socket.

The simple way is to use one of my stock of 4-way extension leads, which has a 3 metre cable on it. But the socket unit has no switches.

I do have another 4 way with a short lead, and the sockets have individual switches each with an LED indicator.

Now of course we don't want to dasiy-chain extension leads do we - so the answer is simple - remove the 4-gang sockets from the long lead, and replace it with the 4-gang switched thing.

Easy peasy - so out comes the bits, and the screwdivers for a cost-free 5-minute fix - now the problems start

One of the 4-gang heads is held together by slotted screws with a dimple in the middle.

The other is held together by odd-looking screws which, with a bit of research, turn out to be "TriWing" screws.

And among my screwdriver bits I have flat screwdrivers of various sizes, and Torx, and Pozidrive, and philips, and uncle tom cobley and all that I've bought over the years as new screw and bolt heads have appeared on various items.

But nothing to fit these damn things. So instead of a quick cheap fix, its a bodge, or daisy chain, or go and buy some more screwdrivers tomorrow. Or do the job proper and spur-off a wall socket to where I need it. Neither of the latter are zero-cost options 'cos I don't have the necessary parts.

it was only going to be a 5-minute job ...

(Daisy-chain it'll be, and hide the lot when the electrician calls to inspect the house wiring!)

PS still trying to figure out the logic behind "Security" screws when you can buy a set of bits for a fiver that fits all of them - not much security there methinks!

Re: Screws - why oh why can'tm they keep things simple?

Posted: 6 Nov 2019, 9:17am
by Cugel
Long ago I stopped the kind of frustration you're currently suffering - with the proliferation of standards that means things are no longer standard - by obtaining a set of bits for all known fixings. The so-called security bits are usually the culprits in a how-to-loosen-this scenario. Here's a posh set. There are many to be found that are similar - even more comprehensive - for less money at the various on-line tool emporiums.

https://www.axminster.co.uk/proxxon-1-4 ... set-474753

It's very satisfying to be confronted by a queer screw head (often in the hands of a neighbour's item) yet able to unscrew and rescrew it easily with a bit you use once every ten years. :-)

Cugel

Re: Screws - why oh why can'tm they keep things simple?

Posted: 6 Nov 2019, 9:27am
by PH
They don't want people altering their products, for the same reason everything now comes with a plug attached. They don't think everyone's an idiot, but they also know that some are, so your inconvenience may stop someone else burning the house down, that's how it is.

Re: Screws - why oh why can'tm they keep things simple?

Posted: 6 Nov 2019, 12:28pm
by Cugel
PH wrote:They don't want people altering their products, for the same reason everything now comes with a plug attached. They don't think everyone's an idiot, but they also know that some are, so your inconvenience may stop someone else burning the house down, that's how it is.


Well! I don't see why I should be inconvenienced or prevented from unscrewing mysterious things by just the possibility of a few burning houses! I mean .... next you'll be suggesting we don't allow the accelerator pedal in cars to be accessed 'cos some eejits will only press them too hard and kill or maim those in their way! :-)

It does beg the question, though - that reason for difficult screws you offer. Why are they screwed at all and not glued? Does anyone ever return them to a qualified manufacturer's mechanic for a fixin'? Surely most such black boxes are despatched to the landfill, especially if we buyer-mugs can buy a new! improved! version.

Cugel

Re: Screws - why oh why can'tm they keep things simple?

Posted: 6 Nov 2019, 12:54pm
by profpointy
Standards are great - so let's have lots of them !

Re: Screws - why oh why can'tm they keep things simple?

Posted: 6 Nov 2019, 1:50pm
by rmurphy195
PH wrote:They don't want people altering their products, for the same reason everything now comes with a plug attached. They don't think everyone's an idiot, but they also know that some are, so your inconvenience may stop someone else burning the house down, that's how it is.


Not really, that kind of idiot will always find a way, the rest of us just have to put up with the inconvenience!

Re: Screws - why oh why can'tm they keep things simple?

Posted: 6 Nov 2019, 4:53pm
by PH
rmurphy195 wrote:
PH wrote:They don't want people altering their products, for the same reason everything now comes with a plug attached. They don't think everyone's an idiot, but they also know that some are, so your inconvenience may stop someone else burning the house down, that's how it is.


Not really, that kind of idiot will always find a way, the rest of us just have to put up with the inconvenience!

You could be right, but the manufacturer will have taken appropriate steps to discourage it.

Re: Screws - why oh why can'tm they keep things simple?

Posted: 6 Nov 2019, 6:15pm
by kwackers
They're an IQ test.

If you can match the screw to the bit then you've passed and get to open up Pandora's box.

Re: Screws - why oh why can'tm they keep things simple?

Posted: 7 Nov 2019, 8:48am
by bogmyrtle
It's annoying having to buy pack of 30 to do a job that needs 2 very specific and useless for anything else screws.

Re: Screws - why oh why can'tm they keep things simple?

Posted: 7 Nov 2019, 9:00am
by Cugel
bogmyrtle wrote:It's annoying having to buy pack of 30 to do a job that needs 2 very specific and useless for anything else screws.


Think of the future jobs needing the other 28 (eventually). Also the previous jobs that fsailed 'cos you didn't have the right bit.

I have a box or four of screws, brackets, nuts, bolts and all sorts of other thingies, many of them mysterious as to their intended purpose. Some of these things are 40 years old! Every now and then I find one that's just right for summick or other.

Some of the "antique" (aka junk) shops in West Wales have such boxes of things, some of the specialised, such as a floor-joist brace & bit drill I bought with a bag of matching rusty bits shorter than the average B&B bits. The bits cleaned up after a soak in a bag of oily stuff and were easy to sharpen. The B&B itself cleaned up nicely too. Just three days ago I employed it to put holes of three different diameters into my workbench, to take metal inserts grasping a hold-down thing. The short B&B with short yet large diameter bits was perfect for the job, as a powered drill wouldn't have enough power to drill a 75mm diameter hole through three inches of hard maple (or, if it did, would likely break your wrist).

Is this the hoarding gene-meme in disguise? Perhaps ... but it's a useful one sometimes.

Cugel

Re: Screws - why oh why can'tm they keep things simple?

Posted: 7 Nov 2019, 10:52am
by pete75
It's the same with carb adjustment screws on strimmers, chainsaws, hedge cutters etc. Not so long ago all you needed was a flat screwdriver now they have small D large D, pacman, various splines etc. Truly ridiculous.

Re: Screws - why oh why can'tm they keep things simple?

Posted: 7 Nov 2019, 5:54pm
by merseymouth
Hi Cugel :D , Not many folk have set eyes on the Joist B&B tool :shock: , a nice piece of timeless kit. Even a ratchet variant of the Bit &Brace would be novel to many folk.
I love laying hands on rabbit & bull-nose planes, very much of their time. How many folk would set out to make their own tongue & groove boards, or mould by hand a nice piece of skirting board? One of my late uncles was a specialist in that beautiful decorative plasterwork found in buildings from the Adams & Regency Periods!
Nice to to see a re-birth of a number of almost extinct crafts, bravo. IGICB MM

Re: Screws - why oh why can'tm they keep things simple?

Posted: 7 Nov 2019, 6:56pm
by rjb
Shhhh! keep quite chaps, once we all have those security bits they will come up with a new design to make us all buy the next version. :shock:
I prefer the "birmingham" screwdriver, opens all sorts of items, and good for inserting screws. :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Re: Screws - why oh why can'tm they keep things simple?

Posted: 7 Nov 2019, 7:09pm
by brynpoeth
Yes, a hammer, I tried that but I got a bad one, it kept missing, took it back for a refund :wink:

Re: Screws - why oh why can'tm they keep things simple?

Posted: 7 Nov 2019, 8:12pm
by Cugel
brynpoeth wrote:Yes, a hammer, I tried that but I got a bad one, it kept missing, took it back for a refund :wink:


Had you mounted the hammer-aimer correctly upon the right bit of the shaft? I suspect you put it on upside down and that this was the source of your fat thumb.

Do you realise also that there are many kinds of hammer, each intended for one special kind of hitting of just a few special kinds of hammer-fodder? Another possibility is that you selected the incorrect hammer for the thing wot you wished to hammer upon.

Perhaps you might consider making your own hammer? I have four made by me, each with a specific purpose. There's a vast beech mallet for hitting big chisels; a small walnut & brass plane hammer for setting plane blades; a rounded small but dense (ekki) carving chisel mallet and a small metal item with one hide face and one plastic face, for tapping complex joints until they align properly.

DId you just get a-one o' them claw hammers? They are for nailing (and de-nailing) only. They're all bad-tempered, them.

Cugel