Sunday, May 24, 2020

Millers falls No 1980 ratcheting hand drill

A pure luck hazard, the sign says no yard sales until further notice but there was this guy out standing in the field.... and this is what I found :-)

There were three models of two speed hand drill from Millers Falls, they were
the Model No 98, 980 and 981
The differences being in the handle
The other two speed models introduced in the MF line up came from Goodell-Pratt.

No 98
Flat top handle like a No 2

No 980
Same but bulbous handle

No 980D
Same as No 980 but first model that came with twist drill bits
Handle shown is a different vintage variation
Notice the addition of a third idler gear (1917).
The 2 above illustrated, only had 2 gears (1913-1916)

No 981
Came with a detachable breast plate
Drawings above from oldtoolheaven site

Later on they introduced a ratchet feature .  Adding a 1 in front of the models Nos turned them into the ratcheting models No 198 (1913-1922), No 1980 (1914-1944), No 1981 (1914-1917)

My model is the No 1980

MF No 1980 ratchet hand drill.
Probably the smoothest running hand drill I ever picked up.  
And there are three set of gears meshing 1921-1944

Millers Falls, Mass address 1914-1930
Driving wheel red 1915-1944

The patent No 1,063,984 was submitted Feb 26 1912 and awarded 10 June 1913
It covers both the ratchet and the speed selector (Fast/Slow)

Patent show a slider for switching speed, actual production models
 had a bulbous twist knurled sleeve instead

These two sets of gears are always engaged.
The two speed selector is the knurled cylinder in the middle.
 Pins within determined which gear would be driving the drilling shaft

The ratchet selector feature

Pull, turn, reengage down.

The plate under has square holes, and the spring loaded shifter pin has a square edge on one side, 
a bevel on the other.  Depending on orientation it ratchet or not

Pretty simple ratchet mechanism

Handle is bent

There are no front wiper to keep gear engaged  (meshed)
Replaced by the addition of a 3rd gear, idler
1921 -1944

Handle is fixed, non removable

and has no hollow storage.

3 points chuck operate and align just fine
Ryther's chuck 1922-1944
0-3/8 inch capacity

Side handle is present

and removable

Accordingly my model was fabricated between 1925 and 1930

The speed selector is currently stuck, but I'm working on it
I don't really want to take it apart, but will If I have too
See inside the mechanism   Model shown is No 980, without the ratchet feature (which would made it No 1980)

Finally here is a size comparison

As a rule hand drills are usually less than 15 inches.
At 15-3/4 the No 1980 fall in between a hand drill and a Breast drill

From Top - Bottom
MF No 1  10-1/2 in
MF No 5  12-7/8 in
MF No 2  14-1/2 in
MF No 1980  15-3/4 in
MF No 012 Breast drill  17-1/2 in

He said he had another I may be interested in, came back the next day, he shown me a MF No 012 breast drill, I already have 2 so I passed :-)
Bought a screwdriver instead Moore & Wright ratcheting screwdriver

Bob, where the picking is getting slim...

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

The draw knife and the slick

Lastly, the two final pieces.
A draw knife stamped EC Co and a slick stamped R R.
Of which I found nothing about...

There were about 4 drawknifes, this is the one I picked.  It had the most usable blade left.

Its a good 10 inch blade

One handle is cracked but still solid

Hard to see but the metal cup washer to peen the end is present

On the other handle, the peen end is sticking out a bit, handle is a bit loose

That is because the cup washer is MIA.
For some strange reasons, I have yet to find one draw-knife 
with nothing wrong handles... And I now have 5, sigh!

The blade looks pretty good on both sides
Nothing serious.  And that is where I focus my attention on when looking.
Handles, can always be replaced.  I can turn new ones.
Which I am overdue to turn some handles... Need a few.

There are no serious rust issues that need to be attended to.  I just ran it under the wire wheel.

The marking CET Co pops out, only stamping I can see.

Had a look on line, did not came up with anything on this stamp. 
If anyone knows anything, please let me know.

They both got a quick pass under the wheel to find some markings.


I know someone who has been impatiently awaiting to see this one :-)

It is a monster, the edge is 3-5/8 in wide X 14 inches plus the handle.  Yap, its heavy.
The Binford 2000 of the chisel world :-)

Slicks are oversize chisels used mostly in the log building industry.  
Think paring mortise and tenon for a good fit on logs used as beams.

R R is the only markings I found.
NO clue what it stands for.

Gave it a wire wheel looking for more, none found.

Soak the cutting edge overnite to assess condition of edge

Next morning looking at the edge after brushing and rinsing under running water

Pretty good condition, some pitting but nothing serious.
We have lots of good metal. 

Back side of blade
After the wire wheel

After a quick pass on the 80 grit runway

Did not took long to raise a detectable burr, this thing could be made wicked sharp :-)
The back of the edge as a small back bevel on the back 
 and a couple shiny high spots shows up on the back

Yes, it is cutting wood.  Need more work obviously, but I am satisfied that it is capable to being a fine worker.

So why did I say earlier that I knew someone was was impatient to see it?
Because I intent to swap it with him for some other tools :-)

I will leave the final prep work to him, his tool, his choice.  I would gave it a full soaking in Evaporust if I was to keep it, but would require taking apart the handle which is solidly fixed.
I don't really want to remove it, would have to dunk it standing up.

But whatever he decide, I will clean and sharpen it or gave it to him as is.

Bob, taking a break from tools, so many other things calling me.... Squirrels :-)

A chisel, a jeweler drill and a surform blade

Continuing in my series:
A few small tools

Wood Chisel

That little chisel spoke to me from a distance, its overall shape was saying, I'm Swedish.
And sure enough it is stamped ESTEEL Sweeden.

Swedish chisels (and scrapers and saws plate and etc) are prized for their steel.
There are various steels around the world named from their origins: Sheffield England, Soligen Germany etc, the differences being in the alloy and the quality of the iron ore used. 
Fun fact Sheffield England steel contain Swedish iron ore.

The resulting steel properties are what make the difference in how sharp and edge you can raise and how tough and resilient that edge would be.  Too soft it sharpen fast but does not keep a sharp edge long.  To hard, hard to sharpen and edge break easily.  It is a balancing act.

Swedish chisels have a well deserved reputation for being excellent performer in that regard.

some rust spot mostly where stamped

Bit of a label left
but unable to read much??

1/4 inch chisel

about 8-1/2 in long


all cleaned up.
The edge, as found is sharp, it cuts.
Oh, need a good touch up to bring it up to my standards but well care for that one

Archidemes, Archimedean drill, Double spiral drill, Jeweler drill, Push drill  

All these names described essentially the same tool.
They all have a double twist spiral on a central shaft.  Pushing down/up a bobbin or a side handle cause the drilling implement to rotate CW on the down push and CCW on the return pull.

They came in various forms, some with some sort of weight to give it spinning momentum.

Some variations of the tool
Notice the early spear head bits
Pic from Dictionary of woodworking tools by RA Salaman

The smallest ones, never had them, flywheel or side handle. These would be the jeweler types, such as I found.

From Top to Bottom
Craftsman (Millers-Falls) push drill, fully enclosed mechanism
The one I found, now cleaned up.  Driven by the bobbin.
My previous jeweler drill, a miniature push drill

The driving bobbin is simply kerf in each corner (metal insert) to let the rod twist 
when bobbin is pushed down or reverse when pull up.
The indent in the bobbin would allow the use of a small bow to drive it.
Incidentally the Bow drill is considered one of the more ancient drilling tool, 
the pump drill coming after.

The rod at the top is secured by a screw in nut cover which thread over the captive metal threaded receptacle

Taken apart, notice the nice pointy and shiny end to the rod

That crimp ring retain the nut captive

As far as the nut will go.
The pointy end serve as a friction bearing, just metal on metal contact, 
hence why so shiny :-)
Put in a dab of grease on reassembly.

The business end has a small mandrel 

which seems to be lead soldered to the shaft (?)

The jaw fully close
De-rusted, cleaned, lubricated, works like a charm ??

Hold on, they can be tricky to use for the un-initiated.
Let me explain.

Unlike today's drilling implement which always rotate in the same direction (FWD or REV) on some power tools, these push drills rotate one direction, then reverse direction, while you are still maintaining cutting pressure, but nothing seems to be happening fast...why??

Wrong drilling implement is the most glaring reason, they can cut pretty fast with the right dill bit, in the right material.  NOT necessarily wood!!

First question is, what size bits will it take.

5/64 fits well, next size up I have is 3/32 (6/64) barely fit, tight, not forcing it.
Too small to take my 5/64 push drills Z bits

Because the cutting action can happens in both directions (FWD & REV) a normal twist metal drill such as I have chucked in, is not very efficient.  Ever try to drill with your power drill in reverse?  Not very good is it ?? :-)

Some of the original drill bits would had been spear head,

This 19 century brace bit is a modified form of the ancestral spear bit

The opposite angled groove on each side, makes it cut with 
 more of a shearing action than a scrapping action.
This bit was marketed as a countersink bit for soft metal and iron objects, 
accommodate 90 degree taper screw heads.

and later superseded by more efficient implements: Enter the Gouge bits or the more modern Z bits especially designed for push drills.

Later Stanley would replace those and supply regular twist drill bit on a Yankee shaft.
A good indication that by then they were not the hand tool powerhouse they once were 
and forgot everything they used to know about tools :-(

The differences, they both cut in both directions, as opposed to the spear bit which is more of a scrapper action.  The spear bit is probably one of the most ancient drill implement.

If you only used a push drill with the ubiquitous metal twist drill bit, you have no idea how well and quickly this thing can drill.

Top, bigger hole drilled quickly with a Z bit.  Had to stop before I drill through :-)
The other hole, with metal twist bit used in the bobbin driven jeweler drill, did cut, but a lot slower, and nowhere as deep with roughly the same amount of driving forces.  
I would had run out of juice before I went thru that pine...

There is the Z bit secret. Two cutting edges, one for each directions.  
YES, that push drill is secured in the newly restored Starrett vise, and NO I am not worry about marring or scratching it.  Does not take much force to grip it securely, its a Starrett :-) 
And I can see the start of rust on my drill chuck.  Damn you rust, don't you ever sleep?? :-)

And finally in comparison, the other smaller jeweler drill.
with the same drill bit used in the bigger jeweler drill.
It barely made a scratch...

Why is that? It is not designed to drill wood but rather thin composite, plastic, metals and etc.  
I used it a lot to drill my own PCBs back in the days, for which a regular twist drill is fine, and even a nail would work (acting like a spear bit).  But you do not have the rotational forces nor can put on as much down pressure to it compared to the bigger jeweler drill which managed thru the wood, albeit nowhere as efficiently as the Z bit.

Of course they are limitations on how small a gouge or Z bit you can make...

One last thing, do not confuse these double spiral drills with the more common Yankeee Automatic screwdrivers.  They both works similarly, pushing down cause rotation, except a screwdriver does not rotate on the up stroke, otherwise you will be screwing and unscrewing.  You have to reverse a mechanism to unscrew.  Biggest tell tale are the spirals on both tools.  Henceforth not all bits found to fit your spiral drill are drilling implements.

STANLEY Surform blade

One of the most exciting  for me was perhaps, the less expensive of the pieces I picked up.
An original Stanley Canada Surform blade still in its original cellophane wrapper.
How old is it?  We have a few clues on the package

Stanley operated the Canadian branch at Roxton Pond from 1907-1984
Pat No shown is 2769225  awarded Nov 1956.
That Patent makes it just about as old as I am :-)

Well preserved for its age, just like me :-)

Original price sticker from Simpson's store
Was Robert Simpson, Simpson, Simpson-Sears, Sears Canada.
The price Cdn $1.70 sounds like late 60s

That one is staying put inside its cellophane wrapper, as is :-)

Bob, running out of rusty implements?? Have no fear !! :-)