November 5, 2011

The [drill] doctor will see you now

I've been on the hunt lately for hand drills.  I've never owned one, first used a brace and bit at WIA 2010.  I did pretty well and really think it's a good skill to have in a hand tool shop.  I'll likely fall back on my corded friends purely because they're so much more convenient, but I love to learn new skills.

I shopped around for a while and pulled the trigger on a Millers Falls No. 5.

While I don't want to spend too much of my time and money rehabbing old, rusty tools, I'm not sure you can find a quality hand drill anymore.  I  picked one up off of Ebay for less than $30.

It was a little tough to turn when I got it and, after taking the easy-to-remove bits off, I discovered a decent layer of schmootz on it.

I took out some WD-40, paper towels, a flat head screwdriver and an abrasive pad and spent the next half hour or so scouring what I could out of the nooks and crannies.

I dripped a bit of oil in the lubricating holes and behind the upper pinion to loosen things up.  A little really does go along way.  I wasn't brave enough to bang out the pins to totally disassemble the drive shaft, gears, and handle.  When I get my hand on some ball bearing grease, I may take on that task to really make it a smooth mover.  The only problem I have with it is that it predates a spring assisted chuck.  Upon advancing the jaws, they hold plenty tight, but releasing said pressure doesn't always let go.  I actually have to manually push a pin or 2 back a bit to release the bit.  Not a biggy, I really don't think I'll be doing any major drilling with this.  The 3/16" max opening limits is use a bit.

While it's nothing like what wktools produces, It'll work just fine in my shop.


Tim Charles said... Best Blogger Tips

My dad has a hand drill in his shop. I couldn't figure out who made it. I think I will be snatching it from him sometime though. Your drill cleaned up real nice Sean, have fun with it.

SeanW78 said... Best Blogger Tips

Thanks, Tim. It works a lot smoother than when I got it. I'm on the hunt for a larger one, as this one has such a limited capacity. Go grab that drill. There weren't a ton of makers of this type of drill and don't think any were of severely poor quality. A few screws takes most of them apart for cleaning and lubrication.

Dyami said... Best Blogger Tips

Looks like an easy clean up. How hard is it to keep the drill perpendicular to the wood surface while turning the handle? Does it sway back and forth as you do?

DavidJ said... Best Blogger Tips

Hey, Sean. Neat post of fixing up an old tool. I've got one of these as well and it needs some TLC. My handle wiggles A LOT, which makes drilling with it no fun at all. Any suggestions on fixing a wiggly handle?



Sean Wisniewski said... Best Blogger Tips

Sorry for the later reply. Mine's got a little wiggle in it too. Understandable since it's where a lot of wear and tear can happen. The only way I can think of fixing it would be to drill it out and replace it with another peened rod. You could try to whack it a few times with a ball peen hammer to mushroom the head a little more to tighten the play. Let me know what you come up with.

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