Monday, 30 September 2013

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!!!!


  1. Hi there. Nice article (and drill!) I not long ago purchased one my self, although it doesnt have the variations like yours does. I was wondering if you could provide me with some information regarding the thrust washer assembly, as mine is completely cactus. All I have left is a very worn disc that contacts the down feeder, the top washer for the thrust bearing, a very worn thrust bearing, a whole heap of chewed metal (presumably the lower washer for the thrust bearing) and the split washer that locates in the drill spindle. My question is whether I am missing anything else that needs replacing? Any info would be much appreciated.

  2. HI Ryan thanks for visiting.

    There were two variations. One has a fibre washer which basically acted as a clutch plate.
    The second variation the two steel plates had a very slight groove and a bunch of small ball bearings in some thick grease.

    Basically two matching discs (Top & Bottom), Either a fibre dis or bunch of ball bearings. Then two half moon washers which hold the spindle inside the coupler.
    These both can be replaced with a modern thrust bearing case. There is a replacement bearing available. Part no. 51102 from many suppliers around. I have replaced some of mine with thee.