Monday, August 10, 2015

Steadfast handrill

During one of my recent travel, I was given this handrill, by a friend since she knows all too well my fondness for old tool (hum sound strange doesn't it :-)

Anyway, it has some sort of Buck Rogers influence on it, enclosed gears train, uses of the grey color on the body and some sort of hard red plastic for both handle and knob.
That's about where all resemblances end...

It sport a Multi-craft chuck, made in Sheffied in Jolly old England, and it has the name Steadfast cast on the gear cover

Jacobs Multi-Craft chuck
Sheffield England

It is a small chuck, the range given is 0-5/16 or 0-8mm, a smidge bigger (1/16) than a 1/4 in (4/16). Similar to my Buck Rogers No 104 (1/4 in chuck)

MF Buck Rogers No 104, used as inspiration?

A quick Google search did not return anything to sink my teeth in it. So far, all I found is a Steadfast company in England and Scotland making industrial fasteners solutions for the oil drilling industry, mostly it seems.

That handrill has a definite late 50s early 60s style to my eyes.

The gear action is rough and it sound like the gears are skipping?
The knob at the end of the crank handle is not rotating.
The chuck operate smoothly and is obviously liberally covered in oil.

Now lets see what make this thing tick and if we can improve on its operation

Upon closer inspection, the handle bits are not plastic, but some hardwood paint with a thick red coating

The gear train is bathing in a thick grease which is oozing a oily substance all over the chuck.

Both gear trains operated smoothly, as you would expect in such a grease.
So why the jerky movement with the handle?
All three gears surfaces does not exhibits any signs of  wear or miss mashed gears.

Once put back together the crank rotated but not the chuck?? HUH???
That's when  noticed that the chuck gear shaft moves in and out, and depending where it is located, the chuck engage or not. You would think, its best when pulled out near the outside casing, but no, it only seems to engaged while push in a bit. Of course when you do drill, it would push on that gear train ...
Must be some sort of clip missing to secure that drive gear. The other end, the main gear does not have this play. But having everything covered in that thick grease, kinds of obscured everything. Will have to clean her out and inspect closer.
A messy job, I don't feel like this AM so later...

The handle unscrews, and there is a female thread to accept a side handle (MIA as in most handrill found)
The removed handle screws in so I know the size of the threads required.

I doubt very much it was ever used as such, but it does illustrated that a side handle is missing. I'm sure it is a lot smaller...

Although similar to my Millers-Falls Buck Roger No 104 drill, in size and shape, this drill is not as well balanced in the hand, feeling more heavy, and no where as smooth operation. Still I'm intrigued and will have to investigate further.

In the meantime, if anyone has any info on this company or this drill, please let me know

Thank you
Bob,  going to his "drill" when a new tool entered my man cave...


  1. Maybe there will be a name or some numbers in the inside once you clean out the blob of grease in it.

  2. Perhaps, but not looking forward to deal with that mess today...:-)

  3. It's not much, but I did turn up this thread on the Sheffield forum:

  4. Thank you very much, Pete.
    May not sound like much but it gives a glimpse into was more than likely the same manufacturer of my hand drill. Very cool, thanks again buddy.


  5. Hi Bob,
    unfortunately I haven't got any useful information about it and I think you are able to google by yourself ;-)
    But I like these kind of drills and I can't walk past it every time I find one on the flea market.
    Yours are really looking "spacey".


  6. Hi Stefan
    Yes it does kind of look spacey doesn't it ? haven't found much more about it, but thanks to Pete I got some insight into the company that made it. BTW that little table of yours is coming along nicely. Between helping friends, i haven't made much progress in the shop in a while. Hoping to get back in soon, I have a few veneering jobs to do of some of my wife sewing machines cabinets... :-)