1474: "Screws"

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1474: "Screws"

Postby chris857 » Fri Jan 16, 2015 5:08 am UTC

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Alt: If you encounter a hex bolt, but you only brought screwdrivers, you can try sandwiching the head of the bolt between two parallel screwdriver shafts, squeezing the screwdrivers together with a hand at either end, then twisting. It doesn't work and it's a great way to hurt yourself, but you can try it!

If you encounter a hexagon-shaped hole, use an Allen key. If you encounter a hex bolt, please at least get pliers.

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Re: 1474: "Screws"

Postby StClair » Fri Jan 16, 2015 5:50 am UTC

I have (encountered) so many cursed screws. Including a couple of Allen screws whose holes have become nearly circular.

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Re: 1474: "Screws"

Postby PinkShinyRose » Fri Jan 16, 2015 5:53 am UTC

Is there a functional difference between the flathead and the "uranium" one?

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Re: 1474: "Screws"

Postby ManaUser » Fri Jan 16, 2015 6:04 am UTC

PinkShinyRose wrote:Is there a functional difference between the flathead and the "uranium" one?

The slot in a uranium screw goes all the way across. This allows it to be used with a wider variety of flathead screw drivers, which is helpful since it means you don't have to stand around getting exposed to the radiation for as long while you find the right one.

I am, of course, totally making this up, although that's what the picture seems to show.

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Re: 1474: "Screws"

Postby Allenwr » Fri Jan 16, 2015 6:08 am UTC

ManaUser wrote:
PinkShinyRose wrote:Is there a functional difference between the flathead and the "uranium" one?

The slot in a uranium screw goes all the way across. This allows it to be used with a wider variety of flathead screw drivers, which is helpful since it means you don't have to stand around getting exposed to the radiation for as long while you find the right one.

I am, of course, totally making this up, although that's what the picture seems to show.


My guess is that because of the shape, they are likely to explode and send your screw driver flying every time you attempt to tighten and or break it free.

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Re: 1474: "Screws"

Postby Envelope Generator » Fri Jan 16, 2015 6:18 am UTC

Is this referring to a particular Phillip?
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Re: 1474: "Screws"

Postby kodiac » Fri Jan 16, 2015 6:19 am UTC

ManaUser wrote:
PinkShinyRose wrote:Is there a functional difference between the flathead and the "uranium" one?

The slot in a uranium screw goes all the way across. This allows it to be used with a wider variety of flathead screw drivers, which is helpful since it means you don't have to stand around getting exposed to the radiation for as long while you find the right one.

I am, of course, totally making this up, although that's what the picture seems to show.

I have seen screws like this "uranium" one in consumer products, but never heard them called that.
They do allow a wider variety of flathead screwdrivers, but smaller screwdriver heads slip about in the slot, so the screws take longer to either insert or remove.

The Wikipedia page titled "List_of_screw_drives" shows a few more screw types that I've never seen.
"Hex socket" screws seem very common in furniture that the buyer has to assemble, but "Allen key" is the only name for that screw type I had heard before today. Also, before today, I assumed the spelling was "alankey", and didn't know it came from a company name.

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Re: 1474: "Screws"

Postby Eutychus » Fri Jan 16, 2015 6:23 am UTC

Don't all standard flat-headed screws have a slot that goes all the way across?
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Re: 1474: "Screws"

Postby RealGrouchy » Fri Jan 16, 2015 6:24 am UTC

[Envelope - no, it's a pun on "Phillips"]
[Kodiac - you could make an xkcd 181 type chart out of Allen/Hex key/wrench related terms]
[Eutychus - my observations match yours re: flat heads all the way across.]

Lol, Randall does such a good job making you think he has an international view, but then you get something like this one which leaves out Robertson screws*, which are hands-down the best and most reliable type of screw head out there. They're square headed, but tapered, which leads to a very strong surface area, without the stripping common to hex heads (especially small hex holes on corroded bolts on bicycle parts that have been through a winter or two).

I recently had one gripped on so strong the interchangeable bit came out of the screwdriver before it came out of the screw!

Anyone who knowingly manufactures, sells, or distributes screws with a slot that goes all the way across the top deserves to be shot. The only appropriate time to use them is if you're restoring antique furniture. Or if you want the person using it to cut themselves trying to screw/unscrew the damn thing.

(* I realize he was primarily making a joke about Phillip's Head, but the title of the comic is "Screws".)

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Re: 1474: "Screws"

Postby opal » Fri Jan 16, 2015 6:36 am UTC

Everyone has had some nasty experiences with mostly propriety screw heads.
- Phillips is not a Phillips but a old-Norm Cross (which still is out there a lot, and why shouldn't it ?) (Also I don't get the Phillip's head joke at the end)
- Cursed -1 Phillips might be a Phillips, a ruined Phillips or a Pozi
- Flat heads with open End Gap ("Uranium screw", funny) are the Norm, the 1st flat head is the special one , don't know the name. The advantage of flat head being that one can use a slightly larger then screw screw driver, the disadvantage being that you can easily hurt yourself esp. with some drill-with-a-bit-maneuver.
- oh i don't get if the 5-pointed-star is mocking the wide spread Torx (6-Pointed) or any and all special screws manufacturers use to keep us out of "their" hardware (try opening Nintendo devices or power plugs sealed with rivets or "one way" screws)
- I like Alen Key and Torx as they work fine, but i think their's far to many different screw heads out there, it should be no more then 3 (e.g. Phillips-> to be opened by everyone, Torx OR Alen Key -> to be opened by electrically trained people and e.g. security torx -> for devices that require special knowledge like piping under pressure etc.)

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Re: 1474: "Screws"

Postby azule » Fri Jan 16, 2015 6:42 am UTC

Envelope Generator wrote:Is this referring to a particular Phillip?
The Phillip of Phillips head screws. He invented this sex position in the 1970's. You insert and slowly rotate the rod. Because of the rotating, only the head stays inserted. It's not that pleasurable for the woman, but it is fun to watch on video.
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Re: 1474: "Screws"

Postby Wildcard » Fri Jan 16, 2015 7:18 am UTC

opal wrote:i think their's far to many different screw heads out there, it should be no more then 3

Maybe we can come up with one special kind of screw head that will cover everybody's use cases!

I think phillips are okay, but actually I like hex head better—especially those that can also be handled with phillips head bit. For one thing, in many cases you can screw them in or out just using a bit holder, because the size of the hex head is the same as the back ends of standard bits.

Flat heads are just annoying. I never use them. If phillips head screws had been invented first, I don't think we ever would have had flat head screws at all.

One of the most secure screw types I've seen is in the center of the top row of this diagram. Can't comment on ease of use/lack of stripping risk because I've never actually put them in or out myself, but they damn sure can't be removed without the right bit.

(What a dirty thread; discussion of screwing, stripping, head—add water and mix with the dirty minds of the forumites. Yes, I'm looking at you, azule.)
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Re: 1474: "Screws"

Postby azule » Fri Jan 16, 2015 7:54 am UTC

Wildcard wrote:One of the most secure screw types I've seen is in the center of the top row of this diagram. Can't comment on ease of use/lack of stripping risk because I've never actually put them in or out myself, but they damn sure can't be removed without the right bit.
Those are the fucking worst! I had to take one out to fix my PS3. But, the bit is too short to make it from screwdriver to the screw. So I'm sitting there trying to shove it in the hole with only my fingers. Then, it's in, I THINK, and I gotta get pliers to rotate the screw. Slip, put back in, turn, slip, screw. Finally it comes out. *relief* I left the fucker out. I might replace it with a normal type screw someday.

P.S. None of that was dirty. Minds out of the screw holes, peoples!!!

(What a dirty thread; discussion of screwing, stripping, head—add water and mix with the dirty minds of the forumites. Yes, I'm looking at you, azule.)
:| :oops: :P :twisted: 8-) :mrgreen:
Also, yep. I really only thought that in reply to the comment. When I saw the comic, I had no thoughts of the kind. *contemplates*
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Re: 1474: "Screws"

Postby keithl » Fri Jan 16, 2015 8:03 am UTC

I just hammer the suckers in.

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Re: 1474: "Screws"

Postby Eogan » Fri Jan 16, 2015 8:07 am UTC

Meanwhile in Canada:

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Re: 1474: "Screws"

Postby eviloatmeal » Fri Jan 16, 2015 8:07 am UTC

And if you encounter a Torx, you might as well throw the entire item out the window.

Spoiler:
Or, keep an entire set of Torx headed screwdrivers around, and they double as Allen's in a pinch, if you enjoy stripping.
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Re: 1474: "Screws"

Postby Arancaytar » Fri Jan 16, 2015 8:20 am UTC

I have in fact turned a hex screw by wedging a Philips and a flat head together. I couldn't get it very tight, but it screwed easily enough until then.
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Re: 1474: "Screws"

Postby sotanaht » Fri Jan 16, 2015 8:25 am UTC

opal wrote:Everyone has had some nasty experiences with mostly propriety screw heads.
- Phillips is not a Phillips but a old-Norm Cross (which still is out there a lot, and why shouldn't it ?) (Also I don't get the Phillip's head joke at the end)
- Cursed -1 Phillips might be a Phillips, a ruined Phillips or a Pozi
- Flat heads with open End Gap ("Uranium screw", funny) are the Norm, the 1st flat head is the special one , don't know the name. The advantage of flat head being that one can use a slightly larger then screw screw driver, the disadvantage being that you can easily hurt yourself esp. with some drill-with-a-bit-maneuver.
- oh i don't get if the 5-pointed-star is mocking the wide spread Torx (6-Pointed) or any and all special screws manufacturers use to keep us out of "their" hardware (try opening Nintendo devices or power plugs sealed with rivets or "one way" screws)
- I like Alen Key and Torx as they work fine, but i think their's far to many different screw heads out there, it should be no more then 3 (e.g. Phillips-> to be opened by everyone, Torx OR Alen Key -> to be opened by electrically trained people and e.g. security torx -> for devices that require special knowledge like piping under pressure etc.)


If you'd dealt with enough "cursed" phillips heads you would probably also be after Phillip's head.

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Re: 1474: "Screws"

Postby HES » Fri Jan 16, 2015 8:36 am UTC

Security torx are on most game consoles. You can get a driver for little over a pound (orders of magnitude cheaper than having someone else repair your controller)
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Re: 1474: "Screws"

Postby sfmans » Fri Jan 16, 2015 8:41 am UTC

Envelope Generator wrote:Is this referring to a particular Phillip?


I'm guessing it's a European king who got his head chopped off by some disgruntled subjects.

I can't think of one off the top of my head (pun unintentional), and thus far I've failed to come up with a Google search on the subject that doesn't trigger our corporate content scanner's 'terrorist content' filter ...

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Re: 1474: "Screws"

Postby Tyris and Cortle » Fri Jan 16, 2015 9:00 am UTC

kodiac wrote:The Wikipedia page titled "List_of_screw_drives" shows a few more screw types that I've never seen.
"Hex socket" screws seem very common in furniture that the buyer has to assemble, but "Allen key" is the only name for that screw type I had heard before today. Also, before today, I assumed the spelling was "alankey", and didn't know it came from a company name.

The Allen key would be the hex-bent-prism bit of metal that serves that screw type as a screwdriver (and probably also ones that look more like a standard screwdriver, in common usage). If the screw was going to be an Allen anything, it'd be an Allen screw.

opal wrote:- Cursed -1 Phillips might be a Phillips, a ruined Phillips or a Pozi

Probably a ruined Phillips. The "-1" gives an obvious hint that we're meant to be thinking in D&D terms, and the chief attribute shared by all cursed items in D&D is that you cannot easily remove them.
Unless we extend the joke so that a pozidriver is a Remove Curse spell?
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Re: 1474: "Screws"

Postby jgh » Fri Jan 16, 2015 9:04 am UTC

Aren't they all just crinkle-cut nails?

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Re: 1474: "Screws"

Postby Steve the Pocket » Fri Jan 16, 2015 9:15 am UTC

I always wondered why nobody ever thought to invent a screw head that's just two slots, all the way to the edges, forming a cross. That way it won't slip out, it won't strip, it doesn't particularly matter if you don't use exactly the right size, and it's backward compatible with slot screwdrivers while everyone scrambles to upgrade their tool kit.
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Re: 1474: "Screws"

Postby Netzach » Fri Jan 16, 2015 9:36 am UTC

Steve the Pocket wrote:I always wondered why nobody ever thought to invent a screw head that's just two slots, all the way to the edges, forming a cross. That way it won't slip out, it won't strip, it doesn't particularly matter if you don't use exactly the right size, and it's backward compatible with slot screwdrivers while everyone scrambles to upgrade their tool kit.

That exists, and it is called a "cross". http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_screw_drives#Cross

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Re: 1474: "Screws"

Postby Caffeine » Fri Jan 16, 2015 9:45 am UTC

Tyris and Cortle wrote:
opal wrote:- Cursed -1 Phillips might be a Phillips, a ruined Phillips or a Pozi

Probably a ruined Phillips. The "-1" gives an obvious hint that we're meant to be thinking in D&D terms, and the chief attribute shared by all cursed items in D&D is that you cannot easily remove them.
Unless we extend the joke so that a pozidriver is a Remove Curse spell?


I took it more to refer to the standard phillips screwdriver sizing scheme, i.e. #0, #1, #2 etc.

-1 sized would definitely ruin your day, #0 is tiny!

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Re: 1474: "Screws"

Postby Flumble » Fri Jan 16, 2015 10:14 am UTC

Arancaytar wrote:I have in fact turned a hex screw by wedging a Philips and a flat head together. I couldn't get it very tight, but it screwed easily enough until then.

There have been a few times that a hex screw got loose and I didn't have hex keys around, so I had to use an actual key. Worked pretty well.


Today I learned: both "Allen" and "Inbus" (the name used in Germany and the Netherlands a.o.) are the names of hex screw companies. And the Danish and Norwegians refer to yet another company "Unbrako".

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Re: 1474: "Screws"

Postby da Doctah » Fri Jan 16, 2015 10:27 am UTC

I remember having a relative over to help me install a bathroom sink, countertop and cabinet, and showing him the assortment of screwdriver bits in my new toolkit: X sizes of slotted, Y of phillips, Z of Torx, etc. He snorted and said I'd probably never use any of the Torx.

About half an hour later, we needed a couple of long wood screws to secure the cabinet frame to the wall joists, and I fished out of my spare-fastener drawer two that were each about three inches long.

With Torx heads.

I don't think he ever made fun of my toolkit again.

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Re: 1474: "Screws"

Postby 314159 » Fri Jan 16, 2015 11:09 am UTC

I'm a little surprised the one labelled as 'rivet' wasn't a reference to the Screw head type that is just a completely smooth surface. It's a special type of security screw, and it requires a special powered screwdriver, that perfectly matches the size, then heats the screw head and uses the thermal expansion of the metal to make it grip the head tightly enough to screw it in. It's like the ultimate security screw, as there's no markings in the head at all to take it out.

Sometimes you just need security screws. Maybe you're fitting something in a place that's prone to vandalism, or maybe you're fitting part of a lock into place. Mostly however, if you see them on electronic devices, it's due to some variation of CE compliance. There's a rule that end users shouldn't be allowed to access anything that's live. But it also states you shouldn't be able to use "improvised tools" to get in. So if you had a flat head screw, you could maybe use a nail file, so by some interpretations, it's not CE compliant any more. That's when you get things like security torx, or three wing screws.

Regular torx, as much as some people here don't seem to like them, are enormously useful. Compared to flat head, cross, or phillips, they're much less likely to have the head slip out, and far less likely that allen key heads to round off if they're stuck when you're trying to undo them. If you've got to screw in or unscrew a lot of something, you want a torx, as you can just put the bit in an impact driver (usually) and power through without stripping all the heads.

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Re: 1474: "Screws"

Postby The Chosen One » Fri Jan 16, 2015 11:11 am UTC

The story of Phillips, Allen, and Robertson is actually the most thrilling account of corporate espionage I've ever heard:
Spoiler:
No, not really, that would be ridiculous.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RJrLTLASdck#t=70
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Re: 1474: "Screws"

Postby TechMav » Fri Jan 16, 2015 12:38 pm UTC

The star shaped one on the top row is an actual bit... it's used on T56 transmissions commonly used in Fords, and the only place that has those bits, is the company that puts the transmissions together. You can't get the driver from any of the tool companies, or from the manufacturer. Standard procedure (that's listed in the Form shop manuals) is to weld a standard hex head bolt onto it and use that to remove it, then replace it with a hex bolt with an o-ring gasket under it.

Makes me glad I don't work there anymore. I used to rebuild one of those every week, it seemed.

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Re: 1474: "Screws"

Postby chalkie » Fri Jan 16, 2015 12:43 pm UTC

314159 wrote:Regular torx, as much as some people here don't seem to like them, are enormously useful. Compared to flat head, cross, or phillips, they're much less likely to have the head slip out, and far less likely that allen key heads to round off if they're stuck when you're trying to undo them. If you've got to screw in or unscrew a lot of something, you want a torx, as you can just put the bit in an impact driver (usually) and power through without stripping all the heads.


Phillips were originally deliberately designed to "cam out", the idea being that you'd damage the driver instead of the screw head. You can go fetch another driver, but until you've got the screw out you can't replace it. In my experience the marginally damaged driver gets put back in the toolbox, and lives to kill another screwhead next time. Also in my experience neither screwhead comes off well in their encounters. I hate phillips-head screws. The ony good thing I can think of is that the driver self-centres on the head. An impact driver (we always used to call that particular tool a "pointed stick") becomes absolutely necessary. Whack that sucker with a 4lb club hammer and most screws will submit to your will. (Even though the equipment being serviced may not survive).

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Re: 1474: "Screws"

Postby pkcommando » Fri Jan 16, 2015 12:50 pm UTC

I always wanted a set of Allen keys in high school and thought that would be the coolest thing to carry around. Total coincidence that all of our desks & chairs were held together w/ hex screws - honest. And it certainly did not have anything to do w/ a desire to have a spare hour or two of unsupervised wanderings through the school after-hours.


And forget all of this screws nonsense. If you can't hold it together w/ nails, glue, and/or duct tape it's not worth having.

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Re: 1474: "Screws"

Postby Neil_Boekend » Fri Jan 16, 2015 12:55 pm UTC

For most things I prefer allan/inbus/internal hex or torx. They don't slip.
Philips and pozidriv were designed to have an "internal torsion limiter". They are designed to slip before the head broke in case of idiots who overtighten screws. Internal hex and torx were designed for either idiots with torsion limiting tools or non-idiots.

The trick is the angle of the sides. If you really look at an phillips or pozidriv the sides where the force is transferred from the screw driver to the screw you'll see that they are not vertical. They are slightly angled. This means that excessive rotational force on the screwdriver doesn't transfer fully to the screw, but also pushes the screw driver out of the screw head.
In internal hex screws the sides are vertical. This means that the force of the screw driver is fully transferred as rotational force to the screw head and the screw driver is not pushed out of the head.

It also means there is no cheating in size. Usually with phillips and pozi a screw can be tightened with a size too small or a size too big, assuming you don't mind a bit of additional wear and tear on your screwdrivers. Not so with internal hex or torx.
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Re: 1474: "Screws"

Postby gingersnatch » Fri Jan 16, 2015 1:15 pm UTC

how about the apple screw aka pentalobe?

[seems like the new account i just created won't let me post links or images...]

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Re: 1474: "Screws"

Postby Fungus » Fri Jan 16, 2015 1:27 pm UTC

opal wrote: I don't get the Phillip's head joke at the end


You need to learn what an apostrophe is.

They open up a whole new world of expressiveness and meaning in writing.

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Re: 1474: "Screws"

Postby messydesk » Fri Jan 16, 2015 2:01 pm UTC

Also omitted was the sonic-head screw.

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Re: 1474: "Screws"

Postby cellocgw » Fri Jan 16, 2015 2:03 pm UTC

Randall's been ninja'd by at least 50 years here. When I first joined a "big company," one of the mech engineers gave me a cheatsheet with pictures of a couple dozen screw types. It included screws with two heads for holes that were drilled wrong and then fixed, screws with heads at an angle to the shaft for holes that were drilled off-vertical, etc etc.

I bet this sheet is posted somewhere on the intertubes but just as the whatif guy was too lazy to go to the bowling alley for his mass data, I'm too lazy to search for it.
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Re: 1474: "Screws"

Postby Michael.K » Fri Jan 16, 2015 2:28 pm UTC

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Re: 1474: "Screws"

Postby orthogon » Fri Jan 16, 2015 2:33 pm UTC

Fungus wrote:
opal wrote: I don't get the Phillip's head joke at the end


You need to learn what an apostrophe is.

They open up a whole new world of expressiveness and meaning in writing.

Even with this knowledge of punctuation, it's not totally clear. I had to go to explainxckd to find out that the picture was supposed to be a bag (containing a head). When I read the caption I was expecting to see a straightforward severed head, and then thought maybe I'd misunderstood the joke when I actually saw what looked like a turnip. And even the explainxkcd guys are a bit bemused.
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

Paphlagon
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Jan 16, 2015 2:45 pm UTC

Re: 1474: "Screws"

Postby Paphlagon » Fri Jan 16, 2015 2:50 pm UTC

Required reading:
One Good Turn: A Natural History of the Screwdriver and the Screw
Witold Rybczynski
(I'd put a link to the book here, but the forum thinks it's spam if I do.)

A fun, geeky, screwy little trip.

If Randall hasn't seen this one, he's missing out!


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