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Breast Drill ID

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Forum topic by Don Broussard posted 02-11-2014 03:24 AM 1403 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Don Broussard

3023 posts in 1719 days


02-11-2014 03:24 AM

I picked up this breast drill this weekend. It looks a lot like the Millers Falls No. 50 in the colors and the mechanicals with a two-jaw chuck to accept square bits. I disassembled it in the hopes of finding some markings to ID and date this tool. The only thing I’ve found so far is a part with raised letters cast into this piece:

Left hand handle. I suspect that this piece was originally a shaped wooden piece.

Here are a few other pictures:

Two speed gearing. To change speed, the main gear is dismounted and repositioned in the other hole. The slow speed is a 1:1 ratio. The high speed looks to be at least 2:1 I haven’t counted the teeth on the larger ring yet, but all the teeth are intact.

The handle attaches to the back side of the main gear via a dovetail and retaining screw. There is no screw driven through the arm securing it to the gear. I haven’t seen another one with a similar handle mounting.

I need to finish cleaning the drill. I’d like to know what it is before I repaint it to as close as original colors. The large gear has some remnants of red paint and the breast plate and most of the tool have remnants of black paint. I will also need to turn the drive handle and a new steady handle. If you need any specific pics of certain areas, please let me know. I’ll get the requested pics posted ASAP. Thanks in advance for the comments!

-- People say I hammer like lightning. It's not that I'm fast -- it's that I never hit the same place twice!


10 replies so far

View mahdee's profile

mahdee

3555 posts in 1235 days


#1 posted 02-11-2014 03:40 AM

Good find. I like the shoulder rest to apply pressure as needed to make the job come through. These hand-made products truly show how the forefathers made things come through; by sweat and hard work.

-- earthartandfoods.com

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Slyy

2425 posts in 1122 days


#2 posted 02-11-2014 03:49 AM

Got a shot of the chuck?

Edit to say that the arm mounting seems kinda unique to me, not seen a huge number of these, but not seen one attached like that.

Found this similar one?

-- Jake -- "Not only do we live among the stars, the stars live within us." - Neil Degrasse Tyson

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Don Broussard

3023 posts in 1719 days


#3 posted 02-11-2014 03:51 AM

@mrjinx—Thanks. It is very solid and turns smoothly. I am happy with the find too.

I edited the original post to show a better pic of the crank arm mounting to the main gear.

-- People say I hammer like lightning. It's not that I'm fast -- it's that I never hit the same place twice!

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Slyy

2425 posts in 1122 days


#4 posted 02-11-2014 04:00 AM

I found pics of No 29 and No 293 Millers Falls that look very similar Don perhaps one of those?

-- Jake -- "Not only do we live among the stars, the stars live within us." - Neil Degrasse Tyson

View theoldfart's profile

theoldfart

8131 posts in 1918 days


#5 posted 02-11-2014 04:40 AM

Don, a pic of the entire drill might help, front and back. Meanwhile look here

-- "With every tool obtained, there is another that is needed" DonW ( Kevin )

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mahdee

3555 posts in 1235 days


#6 posted 02-11-2014 04:52 AM

Yes, the drill gears were painted in blood red and the shaft in black. the wood was also stained a reddish-brown color. You hold in your hands a time in life that is precious regardless of the condition it is in.

-- earthartandfoods.com

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Don Broussard

3023 posts in 1719 days


#7 posted 02-11-2014 04:59 AM

@Slyy—The pic you posted looks a LOT like mine. Here’s a pic of the chuck:

@TOF—I’ll check out that link you provided—thanks for that. Here are pics of the entire drill, front and back:

-- People say I hammer like lightning. It's not that I'm fast -- it's that I never hit the same place twice!

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Don Broussard

3023 posts in 1719 days


#8 posted 02-11-2014 05:05 AM

@TOF—Mine looks like the Millers Falls No. 19, circa 1915 based on the introduction of the spring-loaded pins to release the main gear for speed changes. It also looks like both handles were wooden, unlike mine in its current condition. Also, the two speed ratios indicated in your link also match mine (1:1 and 3:1).

Now, on to complete the mechanical cleaning and thence on to prep and paint.

-- People say I hammer like lightning. It's not that I'm fast -- it's that I never hit the same place twice!

View theoldfart's profile

theoldfart

8131 posts in 1918 days


#9 posted 02-11-2014 12:53 PM

Don, just be careful of the slot that the handle rides in. The edges break readily if the bolt is loose. I have one that is broken like that. I think the fixed side handle is not original, it should have been wooden not metal. I use mine a lot, they can drive a good size bit no problem.

My family picture

-- "With every tool obtained, there is another that is needed" DonW ( Kevin )

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Don Broussard

3023 posts in 1719 days


#10 posted 02-11-2014 05:56 PM

I cleaned up the chuck by hand sanding with a Scotch Brite pad and some fine sandpaper. I did find Millers Falls markings on the chuck—single line around the chuck. Now I’m looking for vintage Millers Falls catalogs to match my piece with catalog offerings. Initial searches suggest a late 1800’s or early 1900’s model.

-- People say I hammer like lightning. It's not that I'm fast -- it's that I never hit the same place twice!

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