Unhandy Man

Using the proper tool is key for any project.

Unhandy Man

I love doing projects around the boat and house but have found my skill doesn’t equal my enthusiasm. Getting a radio hole level or a rod holder straight seems to take more than one shot for me. And, Lord forbid I ever get a screw in and snug in the pilot hole without stripping the head.

One of the fun things I get to do in BoatingLAB and in some of my contributions to Boating is to test tools in various projects.

Like trying to screw a stainless steel rub rail insert onto the deck in the motor well. This snug little spot isn’t wide enough to permit a drill or driver but I found a tool that would convert the straight shot drill and screw action of my driver to a right angle system.

The Rockwell 90-degree Right Angle Drill attachment snapped into the chuck on my drill and then I could drill a pilot hole and set the screw. Fait accompli! Learn more about the right angle driver at rockwelltools.com or buy it at amazon.com.

Sometimes a power drill is too much torque for a job or a job is too small to warrant tracking down the charger and stuff. Worse, the screw is hiding behind the lip of a cabinet—as in the case of my VHF radio cabinet on my boat. Enter my new Swift Driver. It has a flexible shaft that gives just the right angle on the tucked-away screw head. It comes with several bits and sockets but here's the cool part. The driver is ratcheted and so when set to drive, keep the bit in the screw head, hold the collar with one hand and twist the handle with the other. The ratchet action means the screw is twisted with both right and left hand turning motion, speeding the process and reducing the "slipped the bit off the head" annoyance of a fixed bit driver. You can find the Swift Driver at truevalue.com.

I’m still clumsy, but just like a good fitting golf club, I look better with better tools.