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Old 06-22-2019, 12:54 PM   #1
rfitzpatrick
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Default Straight Slotted instead of Cross-Point

What's the accepted history behind Henry Ford useage of the slot-head screws over the use of cross-points? Were they cheaper or what? I think they actually look better -- the slot-heads I mean
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Old 06-22-2019, 01:12 PM   #2
MAG
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Default Re: Straight Slotted instead of Cross-Point

The Phillips screw was not invented until after Model A production ceased. Came into use around 1937.
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Old 06-22-2019, 04:47 PM   #3
Joe K
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Default Re: Straight Slotted instead of Cross-Point

Robertson Screws (a square recess) was used on Canadian A's.

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Old 06-22-2019, 05:36 PM   #4
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Default Straight Slotted instead of Cross-Point

rfitzpatrick,

Ford Motor Company of Canada was convinced by Mr. Robertson that the use of his Square Recessed screws would aid during assembly and help speed up things a bit.
Plus, they are a Canadian product.

My March engine number Standard Canadian Phaeton has an interesting mix of mostly Robertson with flat blade screws in weird places.

Darryl in Fairbanks
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Old 06-22-2019, 08:03 PM   #5
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Default Re: Straight Slotted instead of Cross-Point

My understanding of it from Canadian friends is that Robertson invented the square drive in the head of screws and allowed the American companies to use them in their Canadian plants under patent license. There was a deal in those days that said Commonwealth countries deal with Commonwealth countries unless there was no option.The US found itself excluded from about 25% of the world's population for sales (because they tipped some tea into a harbour and were no longer part of the Commonwealth) so some of the American manufacturers set up plants in Canada. Their products then qualified for sale in the Commonwealth. When the US big wigs saw the screws being used in the Canadian plants and how much time they saved, they wanted to use them in the US but Robertson said "No". The US plants had to continue with slotted heads until a guy by the name of Philips came along and the rest, as they say is history.
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Old 06-22-2019, 10:12 PM   #6
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Default Re: Straight Slotted instead of Cross-Point

I like slot heads. You can line them up to a tolerance of plus or minus .005 and then tell everyone it is a show car.
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Old 06-23-2019, 12:53 AM   #7
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Default Re: Straight Slotted instead of Cross-Point

The version I read on this is that Henry Ford wanted to buy out the Robertson Co. so he could use them in US production. Robertson did not want to sell out so in the US, Ford continued to buy cheaper but not as good slotted screws. Ford Canada was free to use Robertsons without needing to own the company.
Canadian Model A's do not use Robertsons 100%, my Tudor has slots in places, but most of the body & trim etc has the Robertsons. From 1932, use of Robertsons ended in Canadian Ford production. Cheers.
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Old 06-23-2019, 02:24 AM   #8
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Default Re: Straight Slotted instead of Cross-Point

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Originally Posted by Tudortomnz View Post
The version I read on this is that Henry Ford wanted to buy out the Robertson Co. so he could use them in US production. Robertson did not want to sell out so in the US, Ford continued to buy cheaper but not as good slotted screws. Ford Canada was free to use Robertsons without needing to own the company.
Canadian Model A's do not use Robertsons 100%, my Tudor has slots in places, but most of the body & trim etc has the Robertsons. From 1932, use of Robertsons ended in Canadian Ford production. Cheers.
Maybe slots were used on the components assembled in the US, then taken to the Canadian plant for use, thus the mixture.
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Old 01-28-2020, 05:36 PM   #9
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Default Re: Straight Slotted instead of Cross-Point

https://youtu.be/R-mDqKtivuI
1.6 M views, someone must be interested.
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Old 01-28-2020, 05:58 PM   #10
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Default Re: Straight Slotted instead of Cross-Point

I believe the Phillips cross head screw was first used by GM on the 1937 Cadillac assembly line. I read this in an older Hemmings publication.
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Old 01-28-2020, 06:39 PM   #11
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Default Re: Straight Slotted instead of Cross-Point

Reed & Prince went heavy into aircraft grade fasteners before Phillips ever went that direction. Now days it all going toward Torx. It's all about putting things together rapidly with self centering tooling. If you work with Richardson stuff you find that they don't center up as easy as the cross recess designs do. It's about the same for clutch head designs. They hold up well with assembly and disassembly but it takes a bit more time to center. I know we're not talking much time but over a long shift, it can add up.

The Richardson square drive and the clutch head design also take a bit more complicated process to manufacture the fasteners. GM used the hell out of the clutch head design for a while but it sort of petered out over time.
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Old 01-28-2020, 06:57 PM   #12
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Default Re: Straight Slotted instead of Cross-Point

Both Phillips and Straight slot suck. Wish we had the Robertson. I have noticed lately if you go to the big box stores it is getting increasingly harder to find straight slot hardware for our old Ford's. Places like McMaster Carr continue to supply what was common.
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Old 01-28-2020, 07:49 PM   #13
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Default Re: Straight Slotted instead of Cross-Point

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Originally Posted by Russ/40 View Post
Both Phillips and Straight slot suck. Wish we had the Robertson. I have noticed lately if you go to the big box stores it is getting increasingly harder to find straight slot hardware for our old Ford's. Places like McMaster Carr continue to supply what was common.
And they have crazy fast service!
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Old 01-29-2020, 09:22 AM   #14
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Default Re: Straight Slotted instead of Cross-Point

Off subject a bit. I lost an eye due to a straight slot screw. I try to stay as far away from them as I can.
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Old 01-29-2020, 09:54 AM   #15
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Default Re: Straight Slotted instead of Cross-Point

I had to buy hollow ground screw drivers to do gunsmithing. It takes a lot of special care not to damage a straight slot screw fastener. Most of my injuries are from safety wiring procedures and cotter pins not quite tucked away well enough but I have poked myself with a screw driver a few times as well.
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Old 01-29-2020, 10:57 AM   #16
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Default Re: Straight Slotted instead of Cross-Point

I replace slotted heads with Phillips heads on my coupe every chance I get. Reduces injury to myself and the car.
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Old 01-29-2020, 02:35 PM   #17
Chuck Sea/Tac
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Talking Re: Straight Slotted instead of Cross-Point

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete View Post
I like slot heads. You can line them up to a tolerance of plus or minus .005 and then tell everyone it is a show car.
Pete, thatís why they wanted the Roberson screws in the US. It was faster to line them up during production.
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Old 01-29-2020, 08:27 PM   #18
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Default Re: Straight Slotted instead of Cross-Point

Robertson screws have become very popular in the U.S. with patio makers (in wood and recycled plastic) and other like uses. The entire boardwalk in Miami Beach is put together with Robertson screws.
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Old 01-30-2020, 05:10 PM   #19
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Default Re: Straight Slotted instead of Cross-Point

I've been given to understand that Henry refused to pay for the rights to use the Phillips head fasteners when they first became available (not un-like his refusal to pay Bendix for the use of the "self-energizing" brake design until '49). I believe Phillips head fasteners began appearing on 1942 Fords. DD
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Old 01-31-2020, 08:48 AM   #20
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Default Re: Straight Slotted instead of Cross-Point

Quote:
Originally Posted by Russ/40 View Post
Both Phillips and Straight slot suck. Wish we had the Robertson. I have noticed lately if you go to the big box stores it is getting increasingly harder to find straight slot hardware for our old Ford's. Places like McMaster Carr continue to supply what was common.
This. I have been a contractor with a minor in furniture building for 40+ years. I will use a flat screw in applications where they are period correct for the furniture, other than that you can have them. Phillips are ok, but when we started using square drive (Robertson) I thought we died and went to heaven. Now just about every kind of screw worth its while is torx. Not sure about the centering, but with more surface area the grip of the tool to the screw is what makes the difference. Much easier to run in a torx than a slot, AND has anyone ever successfully installed a slot screw with an impact driver?
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