Screw the Star of David (Jewish hardware in the art room)

screwdriver pokes in clay

screwdriver pokes

Torx screws are wee Stars of David. Have you seen them?  If you’ve peed at a urinal you have. Or if you’ve waited for your preschooler inside a public loo. (In both cases, the screws are at about eye level). Torx screws are part of most public bathroom installations because they are fabulously functional. Torx don’t “strip out” as easily as do Phillips or slotted screws, because the design resists torque. There’s more to grip and less room to slip.

This anti-slip head design just happens to be a 6-pointed star: the Mogen David.  Who knew the logo on the shield of an ancient king of Israel would be so darn practical? Pretty, too: the screws and their drivers. I first noticed these hexalobular beauties at a hardware store last month.

You know how the Jewish education world talks about seeing the world through Jewish lenses? (Figuratively speaking. For literal Jewish lenses see my note below.) Mine are always on, and a stroll down the aisles of a hardware store usually ignites Jewy upcycle-repurpose ideas. When I first saw these Torx screwdrivers at Harbor Freight, I went weak at the knees. True, I was also woozy from rubber tire off-gas, but the screwdrivers were an absolute thrill.

snuck into the boy's room to bring you this pic

snuck into the boy’s sherutim to bring you this pic

The screws come in two flavors: outies and innies. By that I mean some have an internal pin, which is a tamper-proof measure for screws that hold together stuff that might otherwise kill us or at least nullify our warranty—like brake systems and hard drives, respectively. This is easier to show than to describe. Let me Google that for you: Torx at Wikipedia.

wee stars of David

wee stars of David

Starry screwdrivers can be awfully useful in an art room or a Maker home. Poke them into soft stuff or punch them into softish stuff to leave impressions or holes.
Clays of all sorts (including playdough)
Craft foam
Soft plastics
Metal sheets (foil, copper, etc.)
Wood (soft, like balsa)
Fondant (I presume. I haven’t fiddled with it yet)
with rubber stamp ink pads, they can leave inked designs on paper:

tiny stamps

tiny stamps

Stars also appear in hardware stores as bits that fit inside handled drivers.  Like this:

screwdriver bit set, with handle

screwdriver bit set, with handle

After my hardware store epiphany, I opened up the socket set I’ve owned for 20 years, and discovered a set of star bits.

Check your stuff, too. You might have stars galore.

Do let me know if you come up with more arty uses for these tools.

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Other hardware and car-part upcycle projects at Bible Belt Balabusta:
Socket menorah
PVC menorah
Hub Cap Seder Plate
Distributor Cap menorah

Note: See my post about actual, literal Jewish lenses (holographic spectacles that convert every point of light into a Jewish star), and some legitimately educational ways to use them:

Star of David specs

Star of David specs

3 responses to “Screw the Star of David (Jewish hardware in the art room)

  1. Hey Joanna,

    I’m a little confused. How often do you pee in urinals?



    • HA! I did sneak into the boy’s loo to take a picture of a Torx fastener, but that is the extent of my knowledge and use of a urinal. And that, lemme tell you, was enough.

  2. You are so creative! Another well thought-out craft! 🙂