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Make Your Own Gear - A Thumbscrew for the Steripen Adventurer
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Addie Bedford
(addiebedford) - MLife

Locale: Montana
Make Your Own Gear - A Thumbscrew for the Steripen Adventurer on 07/07/2009 14:18:59 MDT Print View

Companion forum thread to:

Make Your Own Gear - A Thumbscrew for the Steripen Adventurer

Tad Englund
(bestbuilder) - F - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Make Your Own Gear - A Thumbscrew for the Steripen Adventurer on 07/07/2009 14:54:23 MDT Print View

Roger, thanks for the article, especially the screw sizes, it makes it much easier having the correct sizes before going to the store, without trying to size everything at the hardware store.

BTW, have you tried just epoxying a something to the supplied screw? I thought about this but my screw is still loose enough so I just push down on my thumb to turn the screw (I don't over tighten it- I don't have to tighten it too much to get it to work then I just remove the batteries when I'm finished).

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: Make Your Own Gear - A Thumbscrew for the Steripen Adventurer on 07/07/2009 16:33:52 MDT Print View

Hi Tad

> have you tried just epoxying a something to the supplied screw?
One of the options I showed involved making a knob out of a toothbrush handle to mate with the groove in the supplied screw, then gluing that in place. However, I am not sure whether epoxy will hold toothbrush plastic very well. Some cyano-acrylates (forms of super-glue) will bond OK.

But yes, of course you could epoxy something else to the existing screw. I would recommend giving it a bit of a mechanical test before heading out though: some forms of epoxy does not always adhere very well to plated metal (and won't adhere to copper or brass at all). This is why I machined my 'real' version out of black nylon: better strength.

Cheers

Tad Englund
(bestbuilder) - F - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Re: Re: Make Your Own Gear - A Thumbscrew for the Steripen Adventurer on 07/07/2009 16:55:06 MDT Print View

Thanks again Roger, I thought that epoxy was tougher and would thus hold better then the superglue- you again saved me some time.

Howard E. Friedman
(hefriedman)

Locale: New York/New Jersey
thumb screw on 07/08/2009 08:44:24 MDT Print View

I have been using the Steripen for about 3 years and twice the screw has become irretrievably stuck or stripped. I had to send it back for extraction/repair. This looks like a good fix.
Howard

Noel Hong
(arborrider08) - F

Locale: SouthShore of Lake Superior
Thanks! on 07/08/2009 09:01:35 MDT Print View

Thanks Roger! Like Howard managed to strip the nut or screw. Need to drill out the screw and probably retap the nut. Thanks for providing options and guidelines for the repair and IMHO improvement.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Thanks! on 07/08/2009 17:50:39 MDT Print View

Actually, I think the 'nut' which holds the screw is just that: a conventional nut. I haven't looked at replacing it, but it may be possible.

Cheers

Howard E. Friedman
(hefriedman)

Locale: New York/New Jersey
battery comment on 07/08/2009 19:36:53 MDT Print View

by the way, I tested the battery issue by running a one liter cycle once a day until the batteries died. I started with two fully charged lithium rechargeable batteries. The entire test was indoors at 'room temp.' The batteries lasted about 30 days. Of course, in the field, you would be running more than one cycle a day.

David Drake
(DavidDrake) - F - M

Locale: North Idaho
Cutting groove for circlip w/o a lathe on 07/11/2009 10:28:17 MDT Print View

>"In the middle of the second photo you will see a small circlip: this goes over the shaft of the silver screw in a special groove to stop it from getting lost. It is unlikely that you can re-use this idea unless you have access to a lathe. But there are alternatives."

I've used an electric drill and a triangular file or hacksaw blade as a quick and dirty lathe alternative for this sort of application: cutting a groove on a rod to hold a circlip. Just chuck the rod or screw in the drill, clamp the drill in a vice in such a way that the workpiece turns toward you, lock the drill on and then press the file or saw blade against the spinning screw, while pushing against the direction of spin. Unless the screw is hardened steel, you should be able to machine a nice groove with this method. It isn't precision work, but good enough to hold a circlip.

Edited by DavidDrake on 07/11/2009 10:30:55 MDT.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Cutting groove for circlip w/o a lathe on 07/11/2009 16:07:23 MDT Print View

Hi David

Thanks for the idea. Yes, it will work, but please anyone who tries it: be very careful! Make sure everything is tight and secure, and don't use high force.

Cheers

Craig Price
(skeets) - MLife

Locale: Melbourne, Australia
my 5c worth on 07/15/2009 16:06:57 MDT Print View

Roger, for interest I weighed am actual 5c coin (a nickel is close in size for the US guys). The coin only weighs 2g, and works just fine to untighten and re-cinch the screw. Some countries use a very light alloy for their small coins, for which the small coins come in at less than 1g. Of course, the coin has to be put somewhere you can find it. Just a thought.

M G
(drown) - F - MLife

Locale: Shenandoah
5c coin on 07/15/2009 16:24:09 MDT Print View

How not to lose it: Drill a hole in it and put it on a string around your neck. I can use the coin to pop open my bearikade too so it's multi-use....

Carol Crooker
(cmcrooker) - MLife

Locale: Desert Southwest, USA
Nite Ize s-biners work to unscrew steripen on 09/07/2009 11:22:46 MDT Print View

The Nite Ize biners work great in the steripen.
The size 1 weighs .14 oz.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Coins and s-biners on 09/07/2009 16:34:10 MDT Print View

All good ideas, but having actually used coins and other things in the field, I think I will stick with my plastic thumbscrew. Yeah, lazy, I know :-)

Cheers

Stuart Steele
(sbsteele) - F

Locale: North Central New Jersey
Another Option on 01/14/2010 20:44:04 MST Print View

You could take a piece of aluminum with thickness to fit the slot or smaller. Size based on torque needed - surface area to grasp the screw. Epoxy it in place after material mating preparation. Finish filing edges and size modification to complete.

robert gamble
(rgamble70)
My 1 cent's worth on 03/15/2011 21:20:55 MDT Print View

After reading through Roger's fine article, I realized I was essentially too cheap and lazy to seek out a metric thumbscrew for my new Stripen Traveler. So I drilled a 1/8" hole in a penny, and another hole in the hypotenuse of the Steripen cap; tied a stopper knot in a 6" length of light guyline, threaded it out of the cap and tied a loop through the perforated penny. three minutes, three cents' worth of materials, and the tool stays with the unit always.Robbie Gamble

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: My 1 cent's worth on 03/15/2011 23:34:54 MDT Print View

Hi Robbie

Yeah, neat idea. I hadn't thought in that direction.

cheers

alex Miller
(aowenm) - F
Any advice for removing the old screw? on 08/14/2011 20:20:35 MDT Print View

Any advice for removing a screw that won't unscrew. This fix looks great if I could just get the screw undone and take the battery cover off