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Old Hand Drill refurbish completed (I think...)

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Blog entry by jasondain posted 08-13-2013 01:13 PM 1098 reads 0 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This summer while on vacation in NH, we made a stop in Maine to hit some woodworking stops. First off we hit Christian Becksvoorts shop in New Gloucester then we went to Lie Nielsen tools and finally stopped at Liberty tool in Liberty ME. I had heard about this place in magazines and online and those didn’t even come close to preparing me for the number and variety of tools they had there. If you are in the area, I highly recommend stopping in. I know I will be making another trip there this fall to find some more old tools to fix up. This is my second operation and I really enjoy reading about the history of old tools and making them work again.

I got this hand drill that was unmarked for a few bucks and figured I could tune it up. I did all kinds of research and determined it was likely a Millers falls #2 or #5 or some knock off from the time. The cast iron was a bit beat up and rusty, the knobs were a bit busted up and the handle had been replaced by the owner years ago.

I fully disassembled the drill and cleaned up all the metal parts with a wire brush on my drill and that worked quite well. I then used WD-40 and a tooth brush to clean out any grime in the gears etc. My friend Richard graciously offered to help turn new handles for the drill and we made them out of Cocobolo and used Ferrules from Lee Valley. They turned out really nice and I’m very pleased with how they look. I decided to make the handles a bit larger than the original as I found them too small in use. Unfortunately, this has made me want to get a lathe so I need to manage that as my tool allowance on the home front is pretty limited unless we get another pet and I don’t want to go there as we have 3 cats and a dog already.

My final conundrum is whether to paint or not. The original drill had a gloss black enamel on the frame and the inner part of the wheel was glossy red like this I actually prefer the raw cast iron so will likely just wax and call it day and use it in my next projects. Thanks for reading.

Original Drill;



10 comments so far

View Don W's profile

Don W

15030 posts in 1223 days


#1 posted 08-13-2013 01:30 PM

My vote would be to not paint it. It can’t get any better looking than it is now. Beautiful job on the restoration.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

9918 posts in 1274 days


#2 posted 08-13-2013 01:35 PM

What Don said; it’s beautiful as is, nice job!

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive

View JayT's profile

JayT

2277 posts in 867 days


#3 posted 08-13-2013 01:37 PM

Wow, very nice!!! +1 on not painting. It looks great now.

-- "The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money." Alexis de Tocqueville, 1835

View Bluepine38's profile

Bluepine38

2876 posts in 1741 days


#4 posted 08-13-2013 02:00 PM

Great job on the drill, now you have to buy that lathe and figure out how to make the threaded handle
to hold the bits for this little jewel. I have a Miller Falls that I got from my father and it is a wonderful tool
for drilling pilot holes when you just do not want and sound but your own thoughts in the shop. Thank
you for sharing.

-- As ever, Gus-the 75 yr young apprentice carpenter

View Handtooler's profile

Handtooler

1084 posts in 788 days


#5 posted 08-13-2013 06:23 PM

Super re-furb. Yes, don’t paint, but keep oiled or waxed to keep rust down as newly cleaned steel/iron tends to rust again quickly.

-- Russell Pitner Hixson, TN 37343 bassboy40@msn.com

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

12290 posts in 2753 days


#6 posted 08-13-2013 09:35 PM

Well done. Looks very similar to a Miller Falls #5 I picked up over the weekend.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View DaddyZ's profile

DaddyZ

2401 posts in 1696 days


#7 posted 08-13-2013 09:39 PM

No Paint here also, Nice Job !!!

-- Pat - Worker of Wood, Collector of Tools, Father of one

View Mauricio's profile

Mauricio

6819 posts in 1807 days


#8 posted 08-13-2013 10:24 PM

Wow that is sexy! I think I’m going to go out and strip the paint off of mine!

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

View theoldfart's profile

theoldfart

4248 posts in 1107 days


#9 posted 08-13-2013 10:47 PM

Jason, Liberty is a dangerous place. You should also stay away from the Tool Barn at Hulls Cove on MDI! Both are part of our annual pilgrimage to Maine. Great job on the restore.

-- "Aged flatus, I heard that some one has already blown out your mortise." THE Surgeon ……………………………………. Kevin

View freddyaudiophile's profile

freddyaudiophile

58 posts in 706 days


#10 posted 08-26-2013 09:18 PM

Skip the paint… Paint would ruin it… Look at that warm grey colour!!

Wow… I’m partly interested in refurbishing some old tools now…

-- freddyaudiophile, Fredericton, NB, Canada

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