The Zen of Woodworking #3: Adventures with my power drill

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Blog entry by BigAxe posted 03-15-2015 02:16 PM 1255 reads 0 times favorited 1 comment Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: Steps Part 3 of The Zen of Woodworking series Part 4: My adventures with #4 planes »

I have a Black & Decker power drill that I inherited from my father who passed away about 20 years ago. It doesn’t get a lot of use but it is my go to tool for many projects around my house. The drill must be a least 25 years old and it still works fine. It was made in Canada with the label in french and english printed in the USA. It replaced an earlier power drill that died on me for reasons I forget.

The first project I attempted with this drill was to repair my bed. The mortise and tenon joint joining the post with the foot board was separating. I decided to drill a hole through the post and tenon and insert a wooden dowel to hold the joint together.

The bed was made of hard maple and I had never worked with maple before so I figured drilling this hole may be more of a challenge than most. I put in a bit and began drilling. The drill probably went in about a 1/16 of an inch and couldn’t get it any more. I decided my bit was too dull for hard maple. I went to my local hardware store bought the best bit I could find.
I returned to the drilling this time laid into the drill. Smoke was coming out of the hole, but I managed to get the hole drilled another 1/4”. This is hard word. Decided to go for coffee.

When I came back I surveyed the job. I must be doing something wrong. I studied my new drill. It was then I found the small switch on the back of the drill labeled F and R. The switch was in the R position.
Who new they made reversible drills?

1 comment so far

View ruddhess's profile


117 posts in 1816 days

#1 posted 03-16-2015 05:12 PM

Ha, ha! Nice! I have a B&D drill just like that! It was the first power drill I ever bought way back so many years ago. I dropped it once while working on a roof and it busted a big chunk out of the outside cover at the front so that now you can look inside there and see the aluminum metal “fan” looking part and some of the gears (don’t stick fingers in while drilling, LOL). That drill is part of my “Three Drill Wonder System”: Drill No. 1 is an orange Wally World special B&D drill that I fried the bearings on trying (succeeding! with steel willed determination and casting aside all concern for the well being of body and tools) to drill a door knob hole through a new hollow metal door with the NON-metal cutting hole saw – this drill is the one that drills the pilot hole for screws; Drill No. 2 is a very old (brand? prolly B&D) small silver solid metal body 1/4” shaft drill that is chucked up with a very dull ancient countersink bit (it came with the drill, and grandma’s been dead many years now); Drill No. 3 is the “F and R” B&D that you describe (except mine is all “cut away” view at the front now) that has an embedded phillips head driver chucked up so permanently that no force in the universe can now dislodge it – I even broke the chuck that came with that drill (it’s a different size than any other drill I have and is unique to some of those older drills I guess) trying to loosen the chuck (I gave up – it’s just the drill I use to drive phillips head screws with now (I have the most speed control with this drill however, and can sink a screw with perfect precision – not too deep, not too shallow). Navigating the power cords on the Three Drill Wonder System feels like wrestling an octopus. I usually end up with a very pretty non-uniform braid at the end of any assembly. I love looking at old drills at second hand stores and flea markets. There are a million out there.

-- Rodney, Arkansas

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