Thursday, 14 November 2013

Tool Making

Made me some tools biatch!

Tips haven't been honed here

I prefer this shape over the two smaller ones with the rounded lip.. The large brass head on the big one also gives it some decent heft.

The olive wood little marking gauge was a gift. The brass headed carvers mallet was the first tool.  Followed by the bird cage awl. Most recently I made the thin kerf dovetail saw.  Can't get the steel here so it was imported from the UK. Even the bolts are hand made split nuts. Filled to 18 PPI and I hate setting saws I find that process very tedious.

Monday, 30 September 2013

Rusty Iron it is a sickness!

Since restoring the old dawn I have become quite interested in the old post drills and I seem to have acquired some.

What I also forgot to mention was the Dawn 611 is believed to have been a copy of the Buffalo Forge model 611. Us bloody convicts even stole the model number.  The parts on my drill that are different to the versions of the 611 owned on mass actually closely resemble the Buffalo Forge Drill.

As you will see below the similarities are many.

My new acquisition is an old Silvers No# 1½

 It is a more basic design but is far more difficult to operate.  It basically requires three hands all at once.
One hand to drive the crank and one hand to manually feed the drill down, a third hand is needed to hold the work. Yes the work could be clamped to the table. However these were used to drill holes in the rims of wagon wheels which is what the Y shaped yolk is for, and the able is slid out of the way for this process.

THe Dawn on the other hand has an auto feed in the form of the ratchet mechanism and this must have been seem as a huge benefit.

Resurrection. of a Dawn 611

 Back to almost fully operational. Just needs new thrust bearing to be fitted (on order) a new timber handle, and the pawl to be replaced.

In the restoration I wanted to preserve the antiquity of the drill rather than make it look like new which in my opinion would just make it look like a reproduction item rather than a genuine piece with history.

After some research this particular post drill is quite unique, and having spoken to a number of collectors it is believed to most probably be an original prototype.

The Dawn 611 post drill was made for 30 years and in that time there was one main modification which is on the shape of the cam on the drive gear and the length of the spindle which changed with the bearings going from a fibre washer (clutch plate) to a loose ball bearing thrust bearing. My drill clearly resembles the early cam version and has the Dawn Manufacturing co and 611 cast into the main body.  However there are many variations in my post drill that are not seen in any other 611 know to date.

  • The lug on which the ratchet is adjusted is flat not angled.
  • The feed wheel is spoked not solid and has a separate cast handle which is bolted on rather than being part of the wheel casting as one piece.
  • The Drive Gear is held on with a large bolt, not the standard shaft and pin arrangement. The Gear also doesn't have the T shaped slot which allows the pin to be removed.
  • The gears are recessed and not solid.
  • The coupler on the spindle has a large embossed A in the casting and doesn't have the boss on the side of it found on all others.
  • In the coupler and main body it is missing the oiler holes.
  • There are also differences in the diameter of shafts etc.

So It may just have been worth the time and effort to preserve.

Long live the POST DRILL!!!!

Near Miss!

The good news & the bad news.
I finally got the drill apart!

Which lead me to the bad.

While cleaning the spindle in the lathe the end of it grabbed my sleeve and pulled me in up to the armpit. before I could shut it down. I had a hell of a time getting myself free and although badly bruised and lacerated, (I do now have some scars) I was glad to have walked away from it with my arm still attached.

The Process

After the molasses and a bit of a scrub.

Rehabbing the post. With a run on the 8" grinder & wire wheel then a light sand in the lathe it has cleaned up but is still pitted in sections. I can live with it in the condition it's in. Can't look like new, needs a little life to show in it.


Main body in the Electrolysis bath.  Took several days, removed and cleaned then put back.
The spindle, and main gear are still stuck fast, Tighter than the proverbial Nun's C#$%

 Molasses and Electrolysis gave similar results the difference being the time factor. Neither will affect areas which have heavy grease and dirt build up. So a good scrub and degreaser is required first.

On the other hand a wire wheel rips into it.