Size comparison From L-R
Millers Falls No 12, North Bros No 1545, Millers Falls No 5
As picked by Rudy in the line up :-)
It is sized like a breast drill and accept different handles, either a large bulbous wooden hollow top (like the one I found) or a metal arc shaped breast plate.
Very solid attachment. But good luck trying to find
a replacement handle...
Side handle attached
Side handle removed, often found missing
It used the double gears pinions to offset side loading and remain smooth and true under pressure, but where its funkiness really outshines them all its with the amazing little 5 positions slider selector switch.
YANKEE No 1545
North Bros Mfg Co
Phila PA USA
Pat. Nov 2 97- Jul 28 08
Nov 02 09- Aug 23 10
It the first position: PLAIN it works like any regular hand drill, you spin CW so does the chuck, spin CCW and the chuck does the same
In the second position: LH RATCHET
In the third position: RH Ratchet
In the fourth position: RH DOUBLE It is really funky, no matter which way you crank, the chuck only advance (turn CW) to drill. Oh and it also ratchet so you can take small side crank motion
In the fifth position: LOCK The gears are all locked, facilitating tightening or removing the bits
Here is a video of the drill in action showing off the 5 positions slider
Add to all this a lever to select Hi or LO speed for more torque and you can really use this thing anywhere on just about anything, wood or metal.
Speed selector set to HI speed
PAT. DEC 15 08
Now that is one sweet drill! And being made by North Bros you know it is built solidly and will outlast us all.
it sport a big 3/8 chuck
North Bros MFG
Philada USA Pat Mar 5 10
That patent date does not work in DATAMP, not sure if I read it right??
but thankfully here is a page that list all the patents they held So it look like it was Mar 15 1910
Here's what Chris Schwarz think of this hand drill family
Here is a primer on how to disassemble if required.
There is also a message board dedicated solely to Yankee tools
Lets have a look at the patents identified on this tool
Pat No 593,157, Nov 2 1897
The funky 5 positions selector switch
Pat No 894,673, Dec 15 1908
The ratchet mechanism, that does funky tricks
Pat No 939,042, Nov 02 1909
Pat No 952,320, Mar 15 1910
The North Bros version of Millers Falls protected spring chuck design
Pat No 968,372, Aug 23 1910
The adjustable ball bearing race near the chuck
Pat No 1,059,132, Apr 15 1913
The hollow detachable handle.
A very sturdy, bullet proof mechanism
All these patents point to a tool made post Apr 1913
North Bros Manufactured tools from 1878 until purchased by Stanley in 1946, which continues manufacturing some of their tools in Philadelphia until 1956-58, at which point they were gradually manufactured in New Britain, Stanley home turf and stamped Stanley only. At which point the quality started to declined.
Their tools have a long reputation for being solid performers, they are serious tools!
There was a series of these handrills numbered as such
1540 uses a 4-1/2 in dia large gear wheel
1545 uses a 4-1/2 in dia large gear wheel, 3/8 in, 3 jaws chuck
1550 uses a 5-1/4 in dia large gear wheel
1555 uses a 5-1/4 in dia large gear wheel, 1/2 in chuck
And also the similar models
540 uses a 4-1/2 in dia large gear wheel
545 uses a 4-1/2 in dia large gear wheel
550 uses a 5-1/4 in dia large gear wheel
555 uses a 5-1/4 in dia large gear wheel
The biggest difference between these models is in the chuck model and capacity
So all that to say that if you ever come across one, grab it you wont regret it, it is some sweet drill.
And now I pack it up and send it off to a friend in Namibia... :-)
I know you will enjoy it Gerhard, have fun with it.
I could go on and on but some one need my attention...
Bob, taking Rudy out for a walk