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Miller Falls #1 Eggbeater questions

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Forum topic by Ray posted 02-24-2014 02:54 AM 1663 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Ray

119 posts in 1469 days


02-24-2014 02:54 AM

I purchased this a few months ago and hope someone can help. I tried using this with new Rockler bits and found it to be less than I expected. There seems to be a hangup at the same place in the crank rotation. By hangup, I mean that it is much more difficult to turn than before and after the hangup. I checked the gear meshing and the teeth, but could not find any obvious problems.

1. There seems to be a lot of play in the areas indicated on the photo. If this shaft is moving up and down, could it cause the problem? If so, I would like to hear from forum members who have a solution.

2. The small bars that grasp the bit in the chuck seem to float loose, in other words they hang together in the middle of the chuck mouth no matter how far the chuck is opened. Is this normal? If not, any suggestions?

Thanks. I am having a ball learning to work with hand tools, but I am finding that my knowledge of tuning vintage tools is less than required.

-- Creating less fire wood every day


10 replies so far

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

12642 posts in 3563 days


#1 posted 02-24-2014 03:05 AM

Have you tried goggling Millers falls drill restoration. There are quite a few posts about how to go about restoring one.

http://www.walkemooretools.com/restoring-a-hand-drill-cheaply/

http://www.popularwoodworking.com/woodworking-blogs/chris-schwarz-blog/tune-up-a-hand-drill-in-30-minutes

http://www.popularwoodworking.com/woodworking-blogs/chris-schwarz-blog/better-than-new-restored-eggbeater-drills

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

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DocBailey

584 posts in 1826 days


#2 posted 02-24-2014 04:06 AM

let’s start by getting some oil into those oil holes – that thing looks bone dry.
In fact, I’d begin by spraying WD-40 into the chuck (from both ends; unscrew the chuck shell first)

Let it work overnight then oil it up—it’s entirely possible all you’re feeling is dried up old grease.
Either way, diagnosing this starts with getting it running as smoothly as possible first – then you can accurately assess where the problem lies.

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MalcolmLaurel

269 posts in 1089 days


#3 posted 02-24-2014 12:19 PM

Ray, assuming it’s like mine (another old MF, different model), there are some small spring wires inside that hold the chuck jaws apart. These may be broken or missing.

-- Malcolm Laurel - http://MalcolmLaurel.com

View 69BBNova's profile

69BBNova

341 posts in 1682 days


#4 posted 02-25-2014 02:46 PM

I have a Miller Falls No. 1 also, so maybe I can Help…

From what I understand some hand drills have a spring less chuck, mine does the same thing so I’m guessing that’s what we have…

The play in the shaft can be taken out with shims, but its probably fine for now…

There is a driven gear with no second pinion gear to support the other side of the drive gear so instead a thrust pin is used with a lock nut. loosen it up a bit and it should rotate a lot smoother…

Even though I didn’t shim mine yet with the thrust pin adjustment and oil mine is very smooth to operate…

Hope this helps.

Give to The Billy Fund (me), Give generously, I don’t take checks…lol

My friends use to throw change at a shelf in my garage, decades later I bought some hand tools, it was a little bit funny.

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MrRon

3926 posts in 2709 days


#5 posted 02-25-2014 08:30 PM

It looks to me from the photo that the spindle ihas a slight bend.

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Ray

119 posts in 1469 days


#6 posted 02-27-2014 02:11 AM

Update-

Thanks to all who posted

“It looks to me from the photo that the spindle has a slight bend.”
Actually the “bend” is caused by a fair amount of play which goes away when a bit is locked in.

“From what I understand some hand drills have a spring less chuck, mine does the same thing so I’m guessing that’s what we have…”
You are probably correct, but I will do a little more research. The pins seem to be behaving themselves after a good cleaning and oiling as suggested by Docbailey. The surface tension of the oil seems to hold them place.

“The play in the shaft can be taken out with shims, but its probably fine for now…
There is a driven gear with no second pinion gear to support the other side of the drive gear so instead a thrust pin is used with a lock nut. loosen it up a bit and it should rotate a lot smoother…”
I found a nylon washer with the correct id, sanded it to a thickness that seemed perfect, split one side and inserted it. Unfortunately it was still too thick. I will try again. The thrust pin was already fairly loose so that didn’t make a difference.

Thanks again

-- Creating less fire wood every day

View Finnberg's profile

Finnberg

3 posts in 1687 days


#7 posted 02-27-2014 02:17 PM

I have cleaned up close to fifty hand drills and I am stll learning new ways to improve the process.
First things first. There is always some movement in the spindle which connects with the chuck. So unless the chuck rotates in a unbalanced or uneven manner this is no cause for concern. The spindle is not attached to the frame and is only kept in place because it is attached with a small pin which runs through the pinion wheel.
Your drill looks like it has the springless chuck. Although I have encountered one MF chuck where one of the jaws were damaged these tend to be just fine. But they are almost always covered in grime.
So remove the chuck, carefully unscrew the little screw in the shell and tighten the chuck in a wise padded with aluminium or plastic jaws and then carefully remove the chuck housing. This chuck has a slot in the chuck base and although most tools won’t grip this slot I have had success with the help of a steel bar or such.

Next step would be to soak the chuck, shell and jaws in warm soapy water and clean them with a sponge. In fact I would use this treatment for most parts of a hand drill. Sure, you can add WD40 or any other cutting liquid but it will make your hand drill smell, it wil make it leak dirty oil onto yourself and your unprotected wood and it still won’t solve your problems. WD40 or other oils are lubricants but they will never clean a tool. And hand drills need to be clean in order to work properly.
I always start by removing all the parts I can, including chuck, gesr qheel, pinions if possible and then clean every part properly. The most important parts are the gear wheel, pinions and chuck as well as the inside of the chuck shell.

The gear wheel and pinins tend to be covered with hardened geime which you can soak and loosen up in water but not removed thusly. So the next step will be to use a small brass wire brush and/or a small scraper made out of hardwood. The action of a hand drill will improve immensely once the teeth are clean.

The inside of the chuck shell is easily cleaned with a small wire wheel attached to a drill. Alternatively you can cut a piece of scoth brite and attach it to a dowel which you chuck into a drill. The inside of the chuck is eveey bit as important as the jaws themselves because if the chuck walls are covered with rust and grime your jaws will struggle to move freely.

Once you have cleaned up everything and reassembled you can add oil through all the small holes in the drill. But don’t use WD40. It runs lke water, smears everything and escapes the drill. Use one or two drops of thick vegetable oil. This won’t stain you, the wood or anything else and it will make your drill spin like a top.

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DocBailey

584 posts in 1826 days


#8 posted 02-27-2014 02:40 PM

Finnberg -

The thinness of WD-40 is precisely the point here. As someone who has restored dozens of eggbeaters and braces, I have arrived at WD-40 as the perfect solvent for such a task. It flushes decades of accumulated grime and hardened grease from areas which would otherwise require disassembly.
Next it acts to draw the machine oil into the newly cleaned clearances.
Your description of it making a giant mess causes me to question your technique more than it does the properties of the product.
Here is a MF #1 that I recently resuscitated. It did not turn when I got it, but now spins effortlessly. (it was not disassembled)

You are correct in stating that the #1s use the McCoy springless chuck—in other words there are no springs pushing the jaws back into place.

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Finnberg

3 posts in 1687 days


#9 posted 02-27-2014 04:31 PM

DocBailey.
I don’t think we disagree a whole lot. But I prefer to dismantle the hand drills if possible and I want my drills clean. I also try to stay with solutions or methods which are as environmentally friendly as possible. I don’t think WD40 is good enough for cleaning and I don’t think it is a solution for gear wheels, chuck jaws or chucks. Yes, I agree that W40 is very good when it comes to freeing up stuck areas and it is excellent when it comes to penetrating stuck screws. It certainly works in housings. But my point is that a chuck will not work properly unless all parts a are removed, cleaned and then put back together. Just adding WD40 will not remove all the dirt, not in a housing, a chuck shell, on the jaws or on the teeth.
Yes, you don’t have enter the housing to make the spindle turn. But in order to make a hand drill work as well as possible there are many parts which need cleaning, for which WD40 will not be enough.
That is my opinion and I will stand by it.

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DocBailey

584 posts in 1826 days


#10 posted 02-27-2014 09:19 PM

Well stated – and I thank you for your civility.

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