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A "Handy Husband"
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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
When I disassemble something and find slotted screws I trash them and replace with Philips or Torx.

I am to cheap to buy those screw-less cover plates. If I could find Philips screws with white heads I would buy a gross of them. Anybody got a reference.
 

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A "Handy Husband"
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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
When all screws were slotted and everyone had a yanky driver, you used both hands.
View attachment 712687 View attachment 712688

That is Yankee screwdriver, Northerner.


The trade name "Yankee" screwdriver was first marketed by North Brothers Manufacturing Company in ≈16 April 1895, with the No. ≠130 spiral ratchet screwdriver. Yankee soon became and still is a well-known name in automatic spiral ratchet screwdrivers, with several other models, and model improvements patented by North Bros. over a 40-year period.[1]

The term "Yankee screwdriver" is often used to describe push/pull type screwdriver other than one manufactured by North Brothers Mfg. Co. or Stanley Tools, who purchased the rights to the well-known Yankee brand or trade name in the 1940s from North Brothers.[2] North Brothers always marked the tools they manufactured with the Yankee name, and in most cases the North Bros. name and location as well.[1]

All spiral ratchet screwdriver models made by Stanley did have the Yankee trade name on them, or at least until the 1960s when the Handyman trade name became as well known as the Yankee trade name, so Stanley Tools marked certain models with both the Handyman and Yankee brand name on them, and usually the Stanley name was on them as well. The Handyman trade name was not limited to a line of screwdriver models, as the same name was marked on a complete line of planes, drills and other tools specifically marketed to the home user.

Here is the power screw driver I was issued as a telephone installer back in the 60s.
Wood Tool Office supplies Hand tool Metal
 
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sometimes slotted screws are used on purpose so it is difficult to over torque them,

it's easier to get a lot of torque on a robbie or phillips as opposed to slotted
Over-torquing is the least of my worries when I'm trying to terminate a wire in a cramped, dark position with only one hand free. Frankly, I find it a pretty lame excuse.

But it goes beyond just terminal blocks. My nickname for my boat's previous owner is "old flat head" because, based on the fasteners he used, I assume that's the only kind of screwdriver he owned. Most of the screws he installed now sleep with the fishes. They are given a burial at sea, along with a few choice words about his choice in hardware, whenever they are discovered.
 

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JUSTA MEMBER
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Get one of these for those cover plate screws, handy driver.

Takes practice, but you won't want anything else when in a hurry.

ED
 

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retired framer
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We could get a good argument going here; vertical or horizontal?
That's right up there with ground up or ground down.....

Had a customer who we had just finished her new house. Her mother came by to visit and do some re-painting. When I got there she said-- Did you notice that my plate screws are vertical? (Feeling proud of herself) I said did you notice that they were straight before you took them off? lol
 

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A "Handy Husband"
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Discussion Starter · #32 ·

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Usually Confused
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I never considered that there was an aesthetic component to screw alignment on cover plates; I've never noticed nor cared. I keep the typical collection or assorted screws in a bin but, like RJ, I toss anything slotted.

I do have a 'screw starter' for slotted screws. It came as part of a Snap-On tune-up kit and was for getting screws started for points and condensers in distributors.
 

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Probably just based on cost to manufacture. One slot is cheaper than a Phillips.
 

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Guys, they are standard 6-32, 8-32 and 10-32 threads. Feel free to replace all the mounting and cover plate screws with any drive type you want including any of the high torque ones (Robertson, Torx, Hex). Get high security Torx if it floats your boat lol.

Only thing you can't swap is the terminal screws, and the better ones are combo slot+Philipsy+Robertson, and Robertson is plenty good enough.

Between McMaster-Carr and Fastenal, they can get you just about anything.
 

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Visible Screws in "Cover Plates" ?
How archaic !

You may (or may not) believe that it has been demonstrated that it is not "beyond the whit of man" to "come up with" "Cover Plates" (etc.) which do not have any "visible screws" (Slotted, Philips or otherwise.).
Such devices are available in certain countries - while the same manufactures providing "devices" in these countries seem to choose not to make similar products available in other countries !

(For example, see the "wall switches", pictured here https://www.clipsal.com/products/2000-series )
Since "Clipsal Australia" is now owned by "Schneider Electric", that company easily could introduce such improved products in their other countries of operation, including those in North America.

(Edit: The prices shown are only "Recommended Retail".
No one pays anything like that - usually less than half the RRP !
See Clipsal 2000 Light Switches - Neat and Classy 2000 Light Switches By Clipsal )
 

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(For example, see the "wall switches", pictured here https://www.clipsal.com/products/2000-series )
Since "Clipsal Australia" is now owned by "Schneider Electric", that company easily could introduce such improved products in their other countries of operation, including those in North America.
Nice! I like the idea of a clip-on cover, and I especially like the paint protector. No removing face plates or taping. I've never seen that for US switches or outlets. Maybe I just wasn't paying attention.

At any rate, many US consumers (and I count myself among them) prefer the old-style switches with a protruding toggle. I know that the "Decora" style is trendy, and easy to switch with your elbow, but it just doesn't seem "right" to me. Same for those tiny switches in the link above. Like the position of the screw slot, it's not really important. They all work just as well. We simply like whatever we're used to.
 

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Nice! I like the idea of a clip-on cover, and I especially like the paint protector. No removing face plates or taping. I've never seen that for US switches or outlets. Maybe I just wasn't paying attention.

At any rate, many US consumers (and I count myself among them) prefer the old-style switches with a protruding toggle. I know that the "Decora" style is trendy, and easy to switch with your elbow, but it just doesn't seem "right" to me. Same for those tiny switches in the link above. Like the position of the screw slot, it's not really important. They all work just as well. We simply like whatever we're used to.
A side impact of the move from Decora rocker switches from the traditional toggle (besides the cost) was 'fancy covers'. Back when they were trendy, one house we had was full of ceramic cover plates we picked up at fairs and artisan shops, and fancy bronze covers from, I think, Amerock that I really liked. Change houses and we're now in a house with all Decora and I'm not about to change switches (besides, it seems fancy covers are out of style).
 
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