Thursday, 9 July 2015

An Archimedes Drill - a barn find



Last week Sue and I went out for a meal in a little village called Alcester, on the way back we visited a large National Trust Dovecote and a small antiques centre. The antiques store has some old aircraft and aviation books but what caught me eye was a box of old tools. This Archimedes Drill was one of those tools.

When I picked it up it was rusted solid and would not move, but by the time I had got it to the till and enquired of the price I had some movement. The drill cost me just £1.00 and as Sue paid, well even better!


When I got home, I used a wire brush and some wire wool to remove the rust. and wiped the whole drill with some three-in-one oil. I can now report that the drill works perfectly.

When cleaning it up I found that it was branded Hobbies - a very old name in the model boat building industry. In fact I'm sure my Father had a similar drill when he built model boats in bottles.

Even after cleaning and oiling, the drill has a fantastic patina.


The drill works by moving the metal collet up and down, this transfers the action to the drill bit which moves first clockwise and then anti-clockwise and bores the hole. It is a very precise drill as the action is slow and less intense than an electric or modern twist bit drill.

I get a great thrill from finding such tools and bringing them back to life. Even better if I know they can be useful to me when model making.

Tony

4 comments:

Paul´s Bods said...

Nice find! I´ve got one, not as nice as yours though, bought from a childrens toy shop. As you say, they are very accurate.

Lasgunpacker said...

Very nice find.

I have a number of hand drills myself, although the all use the more modern bit type. My dad has a very small push drill which uses bits of the type you show here, and it was a favorite tool when I was younger.

Geordie an Exiled FoG said...

Well spotted and fascinating description
Just goes to say that you can always learn something from an old Greek ;)

Lee Hadley said...

What a wonderful find.