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#51397 - 04/28/05 08:02 PM small screws or "arrruuuggghhhh!!!"
BigB Offline

Registered: 03/31/04
Posts: 725
Loc: Tucson, AZ USA
I have the worst problem with dropping screws and never being able to find them. The worst are cieling fan screws, the ones that hold the light kit on, you can't get them started then they fall and you can't find them. I try to put them in the end of my phillips and hold them with my finger while I attempt to start them with no success. Ballast screws and nuts are another one, trying to start them while you're holding the ballast up with one hand, balanced on top of your ladder. Yes I have big hands, I suppose that doesn't help. Well I just had to rant, I spent the whole day on ceiling fans and ballasts.
Anyone try those screwdrivers that hold on to the screw?

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#51398 - 04/28/05 08:07 PM Re: small screws or "arrruuuggghhhh!!!"
Dave55 Offline

Registered: 05/08/04
Posts: 666
Loc: Crystal Lake, Illinois, USA
I have big hands too, BigB. I have a screwdriver that holds onto a slotted scew by spring pressure. The trick I've learned over the years is to watch the screw when I drop it.

Also, on a smooth floor, get a flashlight and scan low. The screw will cast a long shadow.


#51399 - 04/28/05 08:19 PM Re: small screws or "arrruuuggghhhh!!!"
renosteinke Offline
Cat Servant

Registered: 01/22/05
Posts: 5305
Loc: Blue Collar Country
I feel your pain!

Funny thing is, I usually can find the screw if I HEARD where it went. Failing that, I start "sweeping" the area with a magnet.
I've had mixed luck with magnetic tips, and better luck using a nut driver instead of a screwdriver (where I can).

I don't know why they call 'em 'magnetic' ballasts...they don't stick to nuthin! :-)

#51400 - 04/29/05 03:31 PM Re: small screws or "arrruuuggghhhh!!!"
SimonUK Offline

Registered: 10/15/04
Posts: 50
Loc: Ayrshire, Scotland, UK.
Being a bit of a gearhead with engines dating from as early as 1921 its usually a one off nut or bolt to some obscure old thread standard that I end up dropping on the workshop floor that just happens to be the roughest bit of floor that dropped items just seem to evaporate into.

When I worked for the MOD it was the ****** nuts and bolts that held the hypertac connectors together that drove me crazy. Nearly as bad as BA nuts and bolts.


#51401 - 04/29/05 06:16 PM Re: small screws or "arrruuuggghhhh!!!"
electricman2 Offline

Registered: 11/09/03
Posts: 234
Loc: Thomasville, NC USA
I don't know why they call 'em 'magnetic' ballasts...they don't stick to nuthin! :-)

#51402 - 04/29/05 06:21 PM Re: small screws or "arrruuuggghhhh!!!"
derater Offline

Registered: 03/30/02
Posts: 182
Never use nothing but a magnetic tip, and mostly w/ the cordless.(I hate when you drop them inside those big canopies)Can't remember the last lost one.

#51403 - 04/29/05 08:55 PM Re: small screws or "arrruuuggghhhh!!!"
BigB Offline

Registered: 03/31/04
Posts: 725
Loc: Tucson, AZ USA
Hey Dave I always used to watch them fall too but The older I get the harder they are to see,like Reno said, sometimes I have to hear them.
I decided to get a good set of those retaining screwdrivers, do you know a good brand? I refuse to buy junk tools.

#51404 - 04/30/05 06:39 AM Re: small screws or "arrruuuggghhhh!!!"
russ m Offline

Registered: 02/22/03
Posts: 165
Loc: Burbank,IL,USA
When I can't find a screw I've dropped, I drop a few more on purpose to watch how they bounce. I't works some times.

#51405 - 04/30/05 10:25 AM Re: small screws or "arrruuuggghhhh!!!"
makokiller Offline

Registered: 12/03/04
Posts: 51
Loc: millport, ny 14864
just put the fan together on the ground and hang it as one unit.. works all the time.. no lost screws, and you dont have to work upsidedown..

#51406 - 04/30/05 12:05 PM Re: small screws or "arrruuuggghhhh!!!"
luckyshadow Offline

Registered: 01/04/05
Posts: 305
Loc: Maryland USA
Don't laugh -- if you chew gum you have a "holding" screwdriver ! Old Timer showed this to me. A tiny piece of your chewing gum placed on the screwhead then stick it to the screwdriver. I thought the guy who told me this was "yanking my crank " but it does work.

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