• “Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple. Dr. Suess

Monday, July 2, 2012


Having been born in Canada,
and having lived there much of my life,
I notice Canadian 'trivia'.

Near the end of May while hiking in Washington state with my husband and son we came across these. Unless you are Canadian you may not even know these screws are common there.

They were screwed into a 'stretching bar' about half way up a steep trail. We had a good laugh - how does a Canadian screw find its way into this simple project a mile up a mountain? Perhaps sensible people everywhere are learning what a good thing they can be (see details below).

My son NEEDED that stretching bar - he hiked that hill backwards!

Robertson screws are common in Canada. Screwdrivers there with interchangeable bits ALWAYS have a selection of Robertson's in various common sizes.
Silly I know, but such things often make me somewhat homesick. I suppose Canada, even in little 'bits' will always be 'home'.

A Robertson, also known as a square, or Scrulox screw drive has a square-shaped socket in the screw head and a square protrusion on the tool. Both the tool and the socket have a taper, which makes inserting the tool easier, and also tends to help keep the screw on the tool tip without the user needing to hold it there. (The taper's earliest reason for being was to make the manufacture of the screws practical using cold forming of the heads, but its other advantages helped popularize the drive.) Robertson screws are commonplace in Canada, though they have been used elsewhere and have become much more common in other countries in recent decades.

Robertson screwdrivers are easy to use one-handed, because the tapered socket tends to retain the screw, even if it is shaken. They also allow for the use of angled screw drivers and trim head screws. The socket-headed Robertson screws are self-centering, reduce cam out, stop a power tool when set, and can be removed if painted-over or old and rusty. In industry, they speed up production and reduce product damage.