Flea Market Find

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Blog entry by joseff posted 11-19-2010 11:04 AM 1682 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Last Saturday I accompanied my girlfriend to a flea market and while she was looking around, buying trinkets, I browsed through several tool vendors hoping to find a tool I didn’t have.

After looking at the collection of several vendors, I came upon one with a hand drill. It was an old Stanley drill and it was the first eggbeater drill I ever found at a flea market. In my opinion it worked well and would serve my purpose. I held on to it while still looking for another find and, I guess it was my lucky day, I found another one. This second drill has one pinion exposed and looked like it was dug from the earth. There was dirt stuck between the teeth/gears and the frame. Inspecting it a bit more, I found it was marked as a Millers Falls No. 77. So now I was holding two hand drills, trying to decide which one to buy. A Stanley drill that only needed a little spiffying up or a Millers Falls that would probably take me a day to bring back to life? Enclosed pinions/gears or exposed pinions/gears? For a Star Wars fan, it was like choosing between an X-wing Starfighter and a Naboo Fighter.

Eventually I decided on the Millers Falls drill, because I love the challenge and I saw it as a bare and elegantly complex tool, which appealed to me.

I did some research as soon as I got home and found a guide showing how to tune a hand drill. After taking apart the tool, I moistened the surface of each part with tool oil, then started rubbing out the dirt, rust, and grime. Taking out the soil/earth between the teeth with a small file took me half a day, but did a lot of good. I hope I restored the tool enough for it to live longer and serve its purpose.

Here are the pictures before I cleaned the tool.

Below are the pictures after cleaning.

5 comments so far

View therookie's profile


887 posts in 2821 days

#1 posted 11-19-2010 03:08 PM

Very nice find does it have drill bit storage in the handle


View Roger's profile


20928 posts in 2797 days

#2 posted 11-19-2010 03:09 PM

Very good shape.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View canadianchips's profile


2600 posts in 2990 days

#3 posted 11-20-2010 03:46 AM

Cordless too. I LIKE IT (ô¿ô)

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

View swirt's profile


2729 posts in 2965 days

#4 posted 11-20-2010 05:50 AM

That Millers Falls 77 is in good condition and is an excellent drill.
Here is one I refurbed.

I have another that is in better shape with original handles. It actually has the double gears. Don’t be envious, the single gear version I have actually works more smoothly. I use them often, and they just keep working.

If it helps, you made the right choice choosing the Millers Falls over the Stanley.

-- Galootish log blog,

View joseff's profile


44 posts in 2767 days

#5 posted 11-22-2010 01:24 AM

Thanks, guys!!

@Swirt, those are very nice tools you got. It is really amazing these tools keep working.

@therookie, it doesn’t have drill bit storage on the handle. I’m not sure, but I think some Stanley drills have bit storage on the handle.

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