Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Tweakers

Quite a few years ago, probably 2002, I was at a Rocky Mountain Smiths Conference and saw a tool in the silent auction labeled "Tweaker." It was a nicely forged and finished tool which had a blade similar to a slotted screwdriver and a "t" handle. It looked handy and when I returned home I forged several from 1/2" 5160 coil spring stock.

Sometime later I heard Tal Harris use the term "tweak" and question whether he should, for correctness, say "tweakify."

I checked a dictionary to confirm that tweaking refers to fine-tuning or adjusting. Tweaks are any small modifications intended to improve a system. Also think, alter, modify, refine, etc.

For the group image, I laid out the three tools at my primary work station. There are several others throughout the shop. Honestly, I will have to say they are mostly just used to pry something loose rather than adjust. I find them one of the most useful small tools and haven’t damaged a screwdriver blade in a long time.

The coil spring steel has held up well. The tips have been made in several shapes, oval, flat and pointed and the blade thickness varies. Originally, I probably made each when doing some specific repetitive project. The tips of some have been dressed a few times.

As I recall, most were made with torch heat. A little ten minute job which seems well worth the effort.

Happy Tweaking or Tweakifying.

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