Monday, February 13, 2012

Purty Tools Just Plain Work Better

Well, not really. But they are more enjoyable to use. At least for me. Inspired by the little restored Millers Falls #107 drill I picked up a few weeks ago at the RATS tool sale, I decided to take a shot at doing a little refurb on my Millers Falls No.2. I've had this drill for a while and use it quite a bit. They are very handy for smallish drilling jobs and I highly recommend that you pick one up if you don't have one. The MF No. 2 is one of the more easily found egg beaters, and I believe, one of the better ones.

I didn't do a full on, strip to the bare bones restoration on this one; mainly because I didn't quite know how everything came apart and I didn't want to screw up my perfectly functional drill. I removed the chuck, the main drive gear, and the handles. I stripped painted parts on a wire wheel and sanded the wood the best I could. Then I polished the chuck, the handle arm, and the parts of the main body that were nickel plated. Taped up the rim and teeth of the main gear, and all the parts on the body that didn't get painted and laid on a couple coats of Rustoleum gloss red and gloss black enamel. The finish on the wooden parts were so burnished and hardened from use that I really couldn't get them stripped down as much as I'd have liked so I'm not thrilled with the finish on those. Did the best I could, slapped on a little bit of stain and some clear poly and called it good. It's not on par with the $160 restored ones you find on eBay, but I'm happy with it, it didn't cost much, and it was a fun little project. And I could swear it drills just a little better with a fresh coat of paint.

Since I finished this drill, I came across a write-up that a fella did on one of the forums detailing a fully stripped restoration that he did on a No.2. After picking up a few pointers from him, I think I'll be on the lookout for another candidate to restore, taking the next one all the way. You know, because there's just not enough on my "to do" list now. :)

Anyway, the before and after pics:


7 comments:

Lee said...

Would it possible to know the link of the posting of the write up you mention. I'm looking of doing the same restoration.

baconj said...

Hey Lee. This is the write-up I was speaking of: http://www.sawmillcreek.org/showthread.php?180952-Millers-Falls-5-hand-drill-restoration There is also some pretty good info here: http://www.wkfinetools.com/hUS-borTools/MillersFalls/tools/No2HD/No2-1903-Anatomy/mfHD-No2-1903-Anatomy-01.asp Hope this helps. Let me know how you make out with yours.

Anonymous said...

Looks good to me:)
Mom

Bob Easton said...

Very nice! Beautiful results!

A complete disassembly probably wouldn't have made it any prettier, nor work any better.

These are great old tools and, I think, worth the time to preserve and USE.

In case you ever run across a Goodell-Pratt that you want to restore, I show a nice one here.

upriver said...

Would you explain a little bit about how you polish the chuck etc? I've tried a bit using a dremel polishing tip and red compound, it works, but very slowly and not very satisfyingly. Thanks for any pointers!

baconj said...

Upriver,
I just used some red compound on a stitched cloth wheel on my bench grinder. Really polished up quickly with this set-up.

baconj said...

Thanks Bob! That's a very nice Goodell-Pratt ya got there. May have to set my radar on one of those. Nice design and great job on the restoration. Looks like there was just a LITTLE bit of interest in that blog post too; 59 comments! I've never seen that many comments to a blog that didn't have the name Schwarz attached to it. :)