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.