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 The cast iron was a bit beat up and rusty, the knobs were a bit busted up and the handle had been replaced by the owner years ago.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.