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Forum topic by Ron Aylor posted 10-21-2016 12:58 PM 3542 views 4 times favorited 99 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Ron Aylor

1789 posts in 486 days


10-21-2016 12:58 PM

Topic tags/keywords: hand crank drill press drill press hand drill 18th century design tool making

 
In keeping with the “unplugged” motif, I want to build a hand crank drill press like the one reportedly depicted in Siever’s ‘Il Pianoforte…” 1868.
 
 

 
 
This is most likely a late 18th or very early 19th century design given the fact that steam power was available way before 1868. I’m trying to find more information, photos, and/or drawings on this particular press or perhaps one similar. I have found several variations using “egg beaters” and the like, but I would really like to stay with the brace design. Any insight would be greatly appreciated … thanks in advance!

-- Ron in Lilburn, Georgia.  Knowing how to use a tool is more important than the tool in and of itself.


99 replies so far

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Lazyman

1506 posts in 1226 days


#1 posted 10-21-2016 01:25 PM

The only thing I worry about the design above is that you still have to manually insure that the drill is vertical which is the main reason I use my drill press on wood. Without that, you might as well just use a regular hand brace. Unless you are drilling metal with a hand brace, I don’t see much advantage to having a press for wood. There are some vintage hand powered drill presses available on eBay and I occasionally see them on my local Craig’s List , though they tend to list for as much as a powered one.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

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Lazyman

1506 posts in 1226 days


#2 posted 10-21-2016 01:34 PM

A quick search and I found this link with some examples that might be worth considering.

About half way down the page there is a design that has the 2 vertical rods to guide the press. Perhaps you could could adapt the above design to incorporate this feature somehow?

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

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Ron Aylor

1789 posts in 486 days


#3 posted 10-21-2016 01:42 PM

  ”The only thing I worry about the design above is that you still have to manually insure that the drill is vertical … ”

Lazyman – That concerned me as well. Perhaps this could be aleviated with the addition of a sliding frame to hold the brace (?).
 
 

-- Ron in Lilburn, Georgia.  Knowing how to use a tool is more important than the tool in and of itself.

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Lazyman

1506 posts in 1226 days


#4 posted 10-21-2016 02:49 PM

The version on the left doesn’t give you much height to work with but is the simpler design to implement.

You obviously would have to modify the press mechanism on the version on the right so that it pulls down from the base (or somehow locks the sliding frame in place and use the top screw). Perhaps if the sliding pieces extended through the base, you could attach them to a foot pedal that uses a fulcrum rather than a screw to provide the press leverage. If it was spring loaded or counter weighted, it might also be made to retract the bit as well. The foot pedal approach would also free up a hand to help work the drill or hold the piece you are drilling. The press mechanism would have to designed in such as a way as to prevent racking as you press down on it.

Another thought would be to find a broken planer on the cheap and retask the height adjustment mechanism to work the press mechansim. Just thinking out loud.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

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Ron Aylor

1789 posts in 486 days


#5 posted 10-21-2016 03:09 PM

Sorry for the confusion … I was trying to depict the sliding frame in two positions. The uprights are actually channels for the sliding frame. So not two verions just different views …
 
 

 
 
… if we keep this up I won’t need to find plans!

-- Ron in Lilburn, Georgia.  Knowing how to use a tool is more important than the tool in and of itself.

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Lazyman

1506 posts in 1226 days


#6 posted 10-21-2016 03:35 PM

Got it! The design process is half the fun! I like making but designing is what really makes it fun for me.

Instead of a square track, a V-shaped track might work better. I think that this might help reduce the chance of racking as it slides? I saw this approach in a router lift design in Shopnotes magazine. It also provided a way to fine tune the alignment of the track to make it slide smoothly and perfectly straight but if they are long enough that might not be necessary.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

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Ron Aylor

1789 posts in 486 days


#7 posted 10-21-2016 04:52 PM

Lazyman – The V-shaped track sounds good, but might be a challenge for hand tools. I was acually thinking of sometihng along these lines …
 
 

-- Ron in Lilburn, Georgia.  Knowing how to use a tool is more important than the tool in and of itself.

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Gentile

286 posts in 1657 days


#8 posted 10-21-2016 05:22 PM

Ron, nice concept.
Maybe a trunion of some sort to drill diagonal holes?

“An elephant is a mouse designed by a committee”

-- "I cut it twice and it's still too short"

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Ron Aylor

1789 posts in 486 days


#9 posted 10-21-2016 05:49 PM



Ron, nice concept.
Maybe a trunion of some sort to drill diagonal holes?

“An elephant is a mouse designed by a committee”

- Gentile

 
Gentile – Thanks! Perhaps as to not weaken the uprights further the table might be made to swivel front to back. YES ... back to the drawing board

-- Ron in Lilburn, Georgia.  Knowing how to use a tool is more important than the tool in and of itself.

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Smitty_Cabinetshop

14857 posts in 2457 days


#10 posted 10-21-2016 05:50 PM

Very interested thread / discussion. Nothing to contribute, but love the concept!

EDIT: Scratch the ‘no contribute’ line… I’m wondering if there shouldn’t be some kind of foot-actuated control / riser that allows the brace ‘carriage’ to be lowered with intent. That would keep one hand free to hold the workpiece (the other being busy turning the brace). Either that, or the carriage has to be spring loaded so the foot lever pulls it down to the work.

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

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bandit571

18634 posts in 2522 days


#11 posted 10-21-2016 05:54 PM

Maybe build one of these?

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

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Ron Aylor

1789 posts in 486 days


#12 posted 10-21-2016 06:10 PM



Very interested thread / discussion. Nothing to contribute, but love the concept!

EDIT: Scratch the no contribute line… I m wondering if there shouldn t be some kind of foot-actuated control / riser that allows the brace carriage to be lowered with intent. That would keep one hand free to hold the workpiece (the other being busy turning the brace). Either that, or the carriage has to be spring loaded so the foot lever pulls it down to the work.

- Smitty_Cabinetshop

I’m actually working on that now … rope attached to foot pedal running inside the side channel pieces secured to the frame surrounding the brace. So far no “spring back” mechanism … but I’m thinking about a spring pole attached to the ceiling!!

-- Ron in Lilburn, Georgia.  Knowing how to use a tool is more important than the tool in and of itself.

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Ron Aylor

1789 posts in 486 days


#13 posted 10-21-2016 06:12 PM



Maybe build one of these?

- bandit571

Bandit571 – Too much metal, takes two hands, too portable … and besides … where is the brace? Remember I want to keep the brace!

-- Ron in Lilburn, Georgia.  Knowing how to use a tool is more important than the tool in and of itself.

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ElroyD

20 posts in 427 days


#14 posted 10-21-2016 08:45 PM

I was going to suggest the same thing that Bandit did. I have one of those that I found in my father-in-law’s barn, and it works great. It doesn’t take up a huge amount of space, and can be clamped down if needed.

The blacksmith shop at Old Sturbridge Village has a cool beam-type drill press that uses sliding weights to keep pressure on the drill. I know a tinsmith/blacksmith who works there, and he said it works really well on metal. It does take up a lot of space though.

I’ll look through some of my books and see if I can find anything on treadle-driven brace type drills. Something like that does seem like it’d be a happy medium between the two.

-- Elroy

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Ron Aylor

1789 posts in 486 days


#15 posted 10-21-2016 11:20 PM

Thanks, Elroy … I look forward to seeing what you find! I just left the shop having cut out the members for the sliding carriage as depicted above. I used some 4/4 sassafras … sure does smell nice … masks the smell of the machine oil on the brace!!

-- Ron in Lilburn, Georgia.  Knowing how to use a tool is more important than the tool in and of itself.

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