"YANKEE" spiral ratchet screwdrivers - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum

 
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post #1 of 6 Old 02-06-2011, 12:14 AM Thread Starter
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"YANKEE" spiral ratchet screwdrivers

I worked at Oswald Tillotson Co. (N. England) as an apprentice truck cab/body builder (wood construction) from 1947-1950.

Just about every craftsman and apprentice there had a No. 131A "YANKEE" Heavy Pattern Screwdriver in their tool box. It was a bread and butter tool and, although other makes and models were available, this was the one favored by far. It was the widespread use of screws in the hard woods used for building cabs, and especially truck bodies, that made the heavy pattern screwdriver so popular.

The rapid return feature that facilitated one handed driving of screws could be disabled by removing the spring accessed via the large base screw in the handle as needed. This heavy pattern screwdriver was available without the rapid return feature as No. 31A but I don't recall seeing any of those in use at Tillotson's, probably because it was so easy to remove and replace the spring in the No. 131A and the fact that the No. 31A was shorter than the No. 131A by 2.5" (due to the space occupied by the spring) thus providing less turning torque.


Top: No. 131A "YANKEE" Heavy Pattern Screwdriver
Bottom: No. 31A "YANKEE" Heavy Pattern Screwdriver


Close-up of regular bit and Hex Adapter with Phillips head bit


Location of "YANKEE" stamping on wooden handle


Stamping on barrel of Screwdriver

"YANKEE" No. 131A
NORTH BROS. MFG. CO.
PHILA. PA. U.S.A.
--------------------
MADE IN
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

After acquisition of North Brothers by Stanley in 1946:

"YANKEE" No. 131A
®
NORTH BROS. MFG. Co.
DIV. OF STANLEY TOOLS
PHILA. PA. U.S.A.

NOTES:

1. The No. 131A "YANKEE" Heavy Pattern Spiral Ratchet Screw Driver is featured here for that was the tool most used at Tillotson's. I used a No. 130A "YANKEE" medium pattern Spiral Ratchet Screw Driver for a short while as that was the only model I could find at the time. I found it to be not robust enough for the work I was performing. I presently use one fitted with a Hex Adapter for drilling screw pilot holes:


Top: No. 130A "YANKEE" Screwdriver fitted with Hex Adapter and screw pilot bit
Bottom: No. 131A "YANKEE" Screwdriver fitted with Hex Adapter and Phillips head bit

2. The Hex Adapter can be obtained from Lee Valley Tools at a cost of $6.

3. The No. 130A "Yankee" Medium Pattern Spiral Ratchet Screw Driver was also available without the rapid return feature as No.30A.

4. Pilot holes were drilled for all screws driven into hard wood and the screws in turn were lubricated using screw wax/grease.


James

Last edited by jamesicus; 02-06-2011 at 02:09 PM. Reason: corrected information
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post #2 of 6 Old 02-06-2011, 03:18 AM
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Had one of these 60 years ago. If were not careful, a heavy push, the bit came off the screw head and a deep gouge in the work piece. This was the days before cross head screws.
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post #3 of 6 Old 02-06-2011, 04:30 AM
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I have a lot mostly just sit on mantle for show. I discovered they can be dangerous too. One of My little guys got a hold of one an discovered he could close it push the side button and make it fire forward. I caught him just before he went after his brothers
When I worked for an all wood boat company we could use any power tools. I used to use it to put in slotted bronze screws PIA but was efficient once you got the knack. Pilot holes helped done with the same era egg beater type hand held drill
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post #4 of 6 Old 02-06-2011, 04:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MastersHand
I have a lot mostly just sit on mantle for show. I discovered they can be dangerous too. One of My little guys got a hold of one an discovered he could close it push the side button and make it fire forward. I caught him just before he went after his brothers
When I worked for an all wood boat company we could use any power tools. I used to use it to put in slotted bronze screws PIA but was efficient once you got the knack. Pilot holes helped done with the same era egg beater type hand held drill
Edit could not use power tools
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post #5 of 6 Old 02-06-2011, 05:40 AM
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Yankee Driver Show and Tell

WE had a thread a long time ago on these drivers. It was BC, before cordless: Yankee Drivers Anyone??

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specfic. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo
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post #6 of 6 Old 02-07-2011, 05:24 AM
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Yeee-up,very nice!

Gotta bunch around here,right dang useful in certain places.Adapter ends can be made to accept hex's and scockets for close quarter speed wrench's on MC's......we almost always remove spring.BW
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