HOW TO make DIY security bits

Johnathan writes “Now that volume 4 of MAKE is hitting newsstands, I have posted my article from volume 3: “DIY Security Bits”. Figured it might be a good way to give blog readers more of a taste of the magazine content (though the existing sample PDFs are obviously the first stop for that.) The article details a method for making your own security bits for tamperproof screws, whose drivers are often ridiculously priced and just as ridiculously scarce.” Link.

14 thoughts on “HOW TO make DIY security bits

  1. You can also use Fimo or Sculpey clay – the kind you bake – to make the impression of the screw head. Bake it, and spray it with Pam spray, then impress it again, and bake that part. Now you have a durable imprint of the screwhead and of the tool you need to make. More durable than spackling compound, at least.

  2. Actually, if you just baked the first impression, wouldn’t you have something capable of removing the screw?

    ShapeLock might also work. It’s a thermoplastic that melts in hot water and is solid at room temperature. Just melt some, blob it on the screw with something embedded in the blob for leverage. Then wait for it to solidify and rotate the screw. Might work.

  3. The wonders of sculpey and especially shapelock were, in the case of the latter unknown to me at the time, and in the case of the former not immediately at hand, but you are of course both correct. On the other hand, spackle does the trick in a pinch, and I think of Make’s DIY situation as being very much about doing tricks in pinches. :)

  4. Seems like the simplest way would be to simply use your dremel to cut a flathead screwdriver slot into each screwhead. That is, you have so many screws that it would take less time to make a jig.

  5. Can’t always get to the screw head to mod it to fit your tools, but that’s the simplest way for one or two screws. Recessed screws require the right driver bit, however.

  6. This is a neat technique which is handy for really strange fasteners, however for the common security fasteners, a set of bits is definitely not “ridiculously priced” or “ridiculously scarce”

    A basic 32 piece set, $14.95:
    (I have this one, was on sale for $8. Haven’t managed to break any of the bits yet.)

    There are other sets available on that same site as well as other companies that specialize in electronics service/repair.

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