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View Full Version : Long hex screwdriver for Compact Macs



Philcogrump
January 13th, 2006, 12:48 PM
When I got my Mac Plus from a friend, it was the first time I really had to "crack" it open and the most difficult tool it needed was the really long hex screwdriver for the two screws on the top under the handle. I came up with a trick of fabricating one very easily without spending extra money, and I thought it might be a useful trick for others here.

Ever see those "all-in-one" screwdrivers, with different tip attachments, which includes striaght-edge, philips, hex, etc. of various sizes? I simply took one of those hex screwdriver attachments and took a Dremel to grind out a notch in the base of the attachment (it doesn't ruin the attachment, it still can be reused for the original tool). A long standard screwdriver is much easier to obtain and I had one on hand so I simply put the screwdriver's tip into the notch of the hex attachment and put some tape around it (it still was thin enough to fit through the hole). It is stronger than you might expect, and it worked perfectly for unscrewing and screwing those hex screws on the Plus.

Terry Yager
January 13th, 2006, 03:36 PM
Well, hell! If you have a Dremel, why didn't you use it to hack-out the plastic to get at the screws? At least then it would be a permanent fix. (Of course, if you ever needed that handle thinggy again, you'd have to fabricate one outta duct-tape or sum'n).

--T

carlsson
January 14th, 2006, 09:55 AM
Some equipment use very uncommon or special designed screw patterns so no bits or tools found in the hardware store will work to full satisfaction. I've recently heard about the Nintendo screw used in Gameboys and that some web shops sell special screwdrivers for insane amounts to let owners open the unit themselves, if preferred.

Terry Yager
January 14th, 2006, 10:45 AM
I remember that Apple used to sell a "special" tool to open up a Mac. The tool cost some ridiculous price, so of course, creative hackers figgered out a way to accomplish the same task using a twenty-nine cent Bic pen & a 1/4" hex bit.

--T

Philcogrump
January 15th, 2006, 07:17 PM
Well, hell! If you have a Dremel, why didn't you use it to hack-out the plastic to get at the screws? At least then it would be a permanent fix. (Of course, if you ever needed that handle thinggy again, you'd have to fabricate one outta duct-tape or sum'n).

--T

I could have literally cracked open the case, but it was a vintage Mac Plus. I would regret this 20 years from now.

Funny you mention the bic pen and the hex bit, I tried something like that but it didn't grip very well. The notch in the back of the hex bit works much better with a screwdriver.

Terry Yager
January 15th, 2006, 11:35 PM
I could have literally cracked open the case, but it was a vintage Mac Plus. I would regret this 20 years from now.

Funny you mention the bic pen and the hex bit, I tried something like that but it didn't grip very well. The notch in the back of the hex bit works much better with a screwdriver.

Yeah, well, I gotta admit, I like your idea too (I've used it myself on a few occaisions).

--T

eprimetime
December 13th, 2007, 05:38 PM
I know this is an old thread, but thought I'd throw this out there.

My dad worked in a maintenance shop for a company, and he bought a standard-length T15 (I think, or was it T10?) Torx screwdriver. He then had a buddy of his take that screwdriver, cut the shaft in half, and weld in a length of steel rod that was the same size around. By the time he was done, there were just two barely-discolored sections, on either end of the new steel rod, that gave any clue that the screwdriver had been tampered with. He really did an amazing job on it, and I've still got that thing around somewhere in storage.

I realize that very few people have the capability to cut and weld in a new piece of rod like that, but if you have all the supplies (screwdriver, right-sized rod), you might be able to go in and really politely ask a muffler shop or similar that uses welding equipment to do the work for a couple dollars. A 4-foot length of round steel rod should run less than $3 at most major US hardware stores.

Anonymous Freak
December 13th, 2007, 07:33 PM
Sears used to sell a Torx with a long shaft that was perfect for opening a compact Mac. I don't know if they still do, though. When I get home from my vacation, I'll find the exact model number for you.

Micom 2000
December 13th, 2007, 09:47 PM
Back in my Mac+ days, for some reason I had in my bike-shop one of the long barrelled RS Torx-15 which barely reached the screws in the Mac+. RS must still be supplying these without the efforts of welding a longer barrel to a T-15. This has long been a topic of discussion on old computer forums. At that time I didn't even know what a TORX tip was.

Lawrence

Dwo Shwoom
December 14th, 2007, 11:35 AM
hmm, maybe this helps?

click this and on the page click the cartridge cleaning link! (http://www.raphnet.net/electronique/nes_mod/nes_mod_en.php#cartridge_cleaning)

just another way to make a drill bit/ridiculously long and skinny screwdriver.

carlsson
December 14th, 2007, 11:43 AM
You mean using a lighter to heat up a plastic rod, and then put the melting plastic into the screw and let it cool down? One would have to be careful so the plastic doesn't break or melt apart completely, or you have one difficult screw filled with plastic gunk. But it is worth a try in unusual conditions.

Dwight Elvey
December 15th, 2007, 06:15 AM
I remember that Apple used to sell a "special" tool to open up a Mac. The tool cost some ridiculous price, so of course, creative hackers figgered out a way to accomplish the same task using a twenty-nine cent Bic pen & a 1/4" hex bit.

--T

Hi
Other than the long screw driver was the special cracker tool.
It had two thin blades the you'd push into the slot between the
two halves to pop them appart.
It was found that there was a large document clamp that one
could get from the stationary store that worked as well.
I do believe the Mac use a Torx and not a hex allen bit.
Torx are metric sizes.
Dwight

Dwo Shwoom
December 15th, 2007, 11:10 AM
You mean using a lighter to heat up a plastic rod, and then put the melting plastic into the screw and let it cool down? One would have to be careful so the plastic doesn't break or melt apart completely, or you have one difficult screw filled with plastic gunk. But it is worth a try in unusual conditions.

Just found it, so that's as far as I know about it.

lenegade
December 16th, 2007, 06:35 PM
A local store called the North Cobalt Flea Market was were I got the t-15 TORX driver you need to open the old macs. It has a 15" shaft. I can see if there are still any available if you or anyone is interested. Just pay the postage.

Druid6900
December 16th, 2007, 07:20 PM
North Cobalt? Damn, you ARE up there, aren't you?

I think Micom 2000 might be a little north of you, but, probably not by too much.

Sharkonwheels
December 16th, 2007, 10:18 PM
Um, why wouldn't you just go to Sears, and buy the 12-14" driver they have, like I did? It has the hex socket, to use different bits in...

No sense in re-inventing the wheel....
Should be findable on eBay, as well.

Granted, I bought it 10-15 years ago, but, I see no reason why you wouldn;t be able to find one.

T

billdeg
December 24th, 2007, 05:34 PM
Me too...bought one at Sears. I took the Mac to Sears and tried a bunch of screw drivers until I found the one I needed. This was only three years ago.

SunDown79
December 29th, 2007, 04:09 AM
I bought my torx tool on ebay from a person selling car parts and tools.
It seems they use them in cars too and has a nice thick handle, works super great.
So no diy for me, just a normal off-the-shelf tool ;)