Monday, November 26, 2012

$9 Hand Drill

    Garrett Wade offers generally-nice hand tools, photographed for their catalog with the same level of obsessive photographic dedication as the more artistic variety of pin-up calendar.  They usually have a few handy-but-inexpensive offerings, too, picked with care and worth the price.

     The latter group can be a bit of a gamble; their most recent batch of hand drills wasn't all they'd hoped but rather than scrap them, they're selling them at a huge discount: cast iron, single-speed hand-cranked drills for nine dollars American.  Here's the thing: the finish on the wooden handles isn't pretty and the chucks are kinda wonky.  But hey, nine bucks.

     Me, I prefer a keyed chuck even on a hand-cranked drill, at least the smaller ones.  I can't promise you these things have a standard thread, but I have swapped out the chuck for a keyed one (a nice Jacobson, found at Hedlund's Hardware) on a drill very like these and it threaded right on.  Have a look.  They're not giving me a dime, it just seemed of interest.

     (N. B. There are several different standard threads for hand drill/drillmotor chucks -- measure your threads or take your drill along when shopping!)


Unknown said...

Garrett Wade [...] the same level of obsessive photographic dedication as the more artistic variety of pin-up calendar.

Mainly because I like to work on wood projects using non-electric hand tools, I get the Garrett Wade catalog. As far as I can tell, the biggest difference between it and a pin-up calendar is that the catalog is organized (however loosely) by section and page numbers rather than months and days.

BGMiller said...

Their catalog just showed up in today's post and I haven't gotten to it yet.

Now I've got something to look forward to for tomorrow.


New Jovian Thunderbolt said...

That's my biggest complaint with Miller Falls hand and breast drills. (Hey! No snickering back there in the peanut gallery) Hand tightening the chucks is never good enough. So many bits have to be drawn out with pliers.

But that honking 5 speed of mine... The AC installer had a dead battery in his Ryobi, so it would be an hour before he could drill a 1/4" hole in the house masonry and finish the job. Stand aside, young man... 25 seconds later and he was gobsmacked something you cranked could do the job.

I told him we both use rechargeable drills. His uses electricity, mine is recharged with beer.

Now I want to seek out jacobson chucks for all my drills... I had never given serious effort to that endeavor.

Roberta X said...

NJT, the jaw design of most recent hand-cranked drill (other than, say, Schroeder or Stanley) leaves something to be desired IMO, even when they're in good shape. A nicer chuck males a big difference in holding force vs. chucking torque.

New Jovian Thunderbolt said...

My problem is a lot of those great old tool makers went ahead and use the same proprietary and non-ANSI threads. Heck Stanley may have used them throughtout it's existence from the first plane in the Civil War up until MY lifetime. It makes me dread putting a thread gage to this oddball assortment of hand drills I've accumulated. I'll consider myself lucky to score one Jacobson chuck (and key! there almost as many variety of those, it seems...) to fit one of my drills. But that's part of the fun, sometimes, isn't it? The hunt...

mikelaforge said...

The one I have from them is chucking wonky allright.

Roberta X said...

The one I rechucked is one like these and from GW, but many years ago. Well worth the effort; I did the same thing with an old Miller's Falls that I found in a crawl space, chuckless, at another job.