I have a spiral ratcheting screwdriver like the one shown below. I want to adapt it to use with all kinds of bits. This basically means putting a 1/4" hex socket on the other end.

Fig.1. Yankee spiral ratcheting screwdriver and bits

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Fig.2. Closeup view of bit system and adapter

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It works like this. It's an amazing and fun tool to use.

My goal is to make it usable with all kinds of bits. This basically means having the outbound end of the driver shaft be able to receive a 1/4" hex shank (the standard bit fitting).

The driver comes with what's called a "step and notch" bit system. See Fig.2. lower right. Problem is, it's outdated. They actually sell adapters on ebay. Again, shown in Fig. 2. The problem is, they are "sized" and only fit a specific size driver. Plus, they cost more than the tool itself (at least from my sources) by several multiples. So I'm seeking a more creative and universal solution. I hope any solutions might be simple, effective and cheap enough to replicate or reuse (as I have several of these drivers).

Does anyone have any ideas how I can engineer a solution to essentially copy what the adapter does in Fig.2.? I currently have a Phillips head bit in the driver right now. I was thinking some combination of gripping the existing bit with a collet or chuck (or maybe even threading the bit shank) then somehow attaching that to a quarter-inch hex socket. What would be perfect would be a double-sided chuck or collet that could grip the bit with one chuck end and the socket with the other. Know where I can find one? Or do you have a better idea?

Any thoughts or ideas would be most welcome.

  • I would take an old bit and a 1/4" adapter and braze the adapter on the bit. I don't see any way to make the bit reversible because of the flat & dimple that holds the blade in place.
    – Ed Beal
    Jan 1, 2018 at 23:12

1 Answer 1


I'd try to join one of your existing bits to a 1/4" socket. Maybe the slot will fit nicely into the 1/4" drive side of the socket? A bit of file work should get you to something pretty firm. Then apply liberal amounts of 2 part epoxy and you should be good. (Bonus if you can find a thin rare earth magnet to sit in the bottom of the socket to hold your bits better.)

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