Vintage Tool Rehab Projects #8: "Rehabistoring" of a Goodell Pratt Eggbeater Drill

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Blog entry by Brad posted 02-18-2012 04:52 AM 15787 reads 2 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 7: Restoring a Skinner 6” Brace Part 8 of Vintage Tool Rehab Projects series Part 9: Filling a hole in my saw nest: Rehabbing a panel saw and converting it to rip »

I was poking around in my favorite tool dealer’s booth when I came across a couple of smaller eggbeater drills. One was a Millers Falls and one was a Goodell Pratt. I gave the MF drill a good long look. The crank rotated very smoothly with the merest sound of hummingbird wisps as gears interlaced at high speed. Unfortunately, the chuck jaws failed to work properly so I put it back on its shelf with a heavy heart and a frown.

The Goodell Pratt drill also had a smooth rotating action, though it was noisier than its iconic brethren. I attributed that to the previous owner who clearly had lubed the piece up for a good ole fashioned pig chase. The chuck functioned properly…all the parts were there…and there were brass appointments as well. At $9.95, I couldn’t go wrong.

Here’s what I brought home.

Tuning up my GP
I resolved to do a minimal restoration. In fact, I wanted to do a part rehab, part restoration—a rehabistoration. I would remove rust and polish metal surfaces where possible (restoration) and leave existing paint and wood finishes (rehab) because they added some nice character. That was the plan. The plan didn’t unfold the way I thought it would.

I decided to do a basic break down. Basically, I only removed the main crank and unscrewed the chuck. Since the chuck works ok, I decided not to take it apart and risk tinsy springs boinging all over hell’s half acre never to be found again. Or worse—risk breaking one of those springs and having to fashion a new one. Boy, reading the thread about one guy’s spring-making chuck-restoration experience was enough to make me break into a cold sweat.

As for the pins holding spindles and such—screw that. They stayed right where they were. No pin pinging for me on this project.

That left the body with rust spots and the crank. I chucked up a new brass wire brush from my Arizona tool hunt into my Dremel and removed what rust I could. Then I wiped down the spindles with a toothbrush and mineral spirits. This I followed by a good polishing of gear teeth, metal shaft and brass pieces on my bench grinder’s cloth buffing pad (no rouge).

Next, I turned my attention to the crank.

I gave the disassembled crank the mineral spirits/toothbrush treatment before putting it into an Evaporust bath to remove the rust spots here and there. The next morning, I discovered that the Evaporust had also removed all the original paint! Damn it! I didn’t know Evaporust would do that. Shaking my head, I upgraded the crank’s rehab to a restore.

I used the brass Dremel brush to polish up the crank gear teeth as best I could and called it good.

Have you ever built a model airplane? Or perhaps painted a miniature tank model to play war games? For those of you who haven’t, you can find books and instructions crammed with excruciating detail about which specific, German-Western-Front-Tank-Track-Grey paint to use where.

When it comes to Goodell Pratt painting manuals, well there aren’t any. I scoured and Lumberjocks but there’s scant little information about what paint colors to use. I did glean that some guys had used Rustoleum Sunrise Red to good effect on their Millers Falls eggbeater restoration projects. It was worth a try.

Now the most time-consuming part about painting a wheel crank isn’t the painting. It’s the taping of the parts you don’t want painted. That includes each of the crank gear teeth and a few other zones. Which zones? Fortunately, I took many photos before the crank went into the paint-killing Evaporust. From those I was able to piece together where to mask and where to paint.

I used blue painter’s tape to mask most of the pieces. But the gear teeth proved tricky.

The blue tape did not have sufficient adhesive to stay in the tiny gear valleys. So I used masking tape. And I used the back of an Exacto knife blade to press the tape to the metal surfaces. I also cut a small arc in 1/2” strips of tape at a time to mirror the rounded crank shape.

I started by pressing masking tape to the top of a gear tooth then pressing masking tape to the inside wall of the tooth, the bottom of the valley then to the opposite side wall. I made sure the tape was securely attached to the side wall and fully seated in the valley before tapping down the tape on the opposite tooth top. Otherwise, the tape would be pulled from the valley to leave a fill-me-with-paint gap above the tooth. This laborious process took about a half hour.

With the piece masked it was time to paint.

I’ve heard of people who create a hard painted surface by baking the finished pieces in their ovens. My research turned up spotty instructions on what temp and how to do this…at best. Witkor Lutkov “bakes” his crank and chassis paints but he doesn’t share the finer details about how to actually do that nor what colors he uses. So I opted to let nature take its course and dry each light coat overnight before adding the next one.

To prevent runs, I painted one side, let the coat dry overnight, then flipped it over and painted the other side. Three total coats took six days.

With the respective parts completed, reassembly took two minutes. The “hardest” part of this step was determining how tightly to screw on the nut that holds the main crank. Initially I tightened it too much and the crank was hard to turn. I progressively loosened the nut until it was too loose (the crank would wobble) then tightened it down until it stopped wobbling.

Here’s the before after collage:

...and some before/after crank shots

...and some before/after crank detail shots

...and finally some before/after body detail shots.

Testing and adding to my tool kit
I chucked up a small bit (13/64”) to test the drill in a scrap piece of 2” x 4”.

It started easily and drilled through easily. The action was smooth. A bit quieter than before I cleaned and polished it but still audible as the gears rotate. More like raven’s wings flapping.

No matter. She performs well, and I’ve added her to my tool kit.

-- "People's lives are their own rewards or punishments."

14 comments so far

View swirt's profile


3674 posts in 3241 days

#1 posted 02-18-2012 05:19 AM

That’s a really nice restoration. Great before and after shots. I am surprised by the evapo-rust eating the paint, I have not run into that before. It must be something specific to the kind of paint used on these.

-- Galootish log blog,

View Brandon's profile


4152 posts in 3221 days

#2 posted 02-18-2012 05:42 AM

It cleaned up very nicely! I’m sorry to hear about the paint, I’ve never had a problem with japanning and evaporust, but I guess paint is another story. You got a great deal on an egg beater and one that should serve as a nice user.

-- "hold fast to that which is good"

View Tyrone D's profile

Tyrone D

314 posts in 2602 days

#3 posted 02-18-2012 09:39 AM

Good job on the restore!

-- --Tyrone - BC, Canada "Nothing is ever perfect, we just run out of time."

View Don W's profile

Don W

19092 posts in 2837 days

#4 posted 02-18-2012 01:13 PM

Nice restore Brad.

swirt, I think typically if evapo-rust removes the paint, it means there was rust under it. Same with electrolysis. It goes after the rust and separates the paint.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View racerglen's profile


3112 posts in 3050 days

#5 posted 02-18-2012 02:29 PM

Well done Brad, and nice blog, I’d agree with Don on the rust UNDER taking out the paint, had that happen too.

-- Glen, B.C. Canada

View Brad's profile


1140 posts in 3009 days

#6 posted 02-18-2012 03:35 PM

Ah! Rust under the paint. That makes sense. The paint was chipped and worn away at several spots so rust could have seeped in through those entryways.

I got a kick out of using this drill the other day. I drilled a hole to slip my coping saw blade through to cut an arc in some material. There’s nothing like using a tool you’ve nurtured on an actual project.

-- "People's lives are their own rewards or punishments."

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 4569 days

#7 posted 02-18-2012 04:40 PM

Nice job of restoring, I have one similar, but an old Japanese version. It wouldn’t help trying to restore a piece of junk!

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

View bfergie's profile


83 posts in 2586 days

#8 posted 02-18-2012 08:29 PM

Nice rehab! Your timing is great for me, I just dug out some of my Dad’s old tools that need refurbishing. He got them in trade and I inherited some time ago . One is a Pexto Eggbeater Drill. Don’t know anything about it but it seems it pretty good shape.

-- Fergie in CO

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3384 days

#9 posted 02-23-2012 07:40 PM

great restoring .-)
and with that old paint job be glad the evapro got rit of it
since it didn´t look good.. even though you may have try´d to save the history in the tool

and thank for the reminder of the boydays when making models :-)

take care

View Brit's profile


7634 posts in 3112 days

#10 posted 02-23-2012 08:11 PM

Dennis – Thanks for posting on this because I somehow missed this when Brad first posted it.

Brad – Wow! Great restore. I like that Rustoleum Sunrise Red. I’ll give that a go when I come to restore my Millers Falls hand drills. Back in the 1980’s I used to do watercolor painting and when I didn’t want the wash to go on a certain area of the paper or I wanted a hard edge to a shape, I used masking fluid to protect that area of the paper. Masking fluid is a rubberized solution. You just paint it on with a small brush and let it dry which doesn’t take long. Then you can paint around it and even over it. Once the surrounding paint is dry, you just peel off the masking fluid leaving white paper underneath. I don’t know if it would work on metal, but I don’t see why not. I’ll have to give it a try because it has to be easier than messing around with masking tape on the fiddly bits.

-- Andy - Old Chinese proverb says: "If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it."

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3384 days

#11 posted 02-23-2012 09:17 PM

glad to be helpfull Andy … LOL
and thanks for the reminder of the masking fluid ….. now I just have to stea… RRRHH borrow
the bottle from the wifes painting box …............ if I dare :-(


View Kessler's profile


1 post in 2348 days

#12 posted 09-16-2012 08:19 PM

Do not be afraid of the chuck. Look into the end of the chuck while it is opened to accept a large bit….see three springs? If this is a 9 piece chuck, meaning the outside housing, three springs, three jaws, screw off end cap and a alignment “plunger” that fits on the shaft, then it is pretty easy and simple to take apart and reassemble.

Remove the chuck, unscrew the end cap, sit chuck on table with bit end up, use a wooden dowel or unsharpened pencil and insert gently and pust each jaw to the table, slightly lift the chuck and push a little further, the plunger, the jaws and the springs should be on the table by now. Clean them up.

To reassemble, insert a spring into one of the jaws while sitting on the table pointed jaw side up. Insert the other end of the spring into another jaw and so forth. I use a round toothpick to lift the spring up to the jaw as my fingers are too big. Use a very small bit of grease in each spring hole if you must, but I don’t. Once you have all three springs back in the jaws, take the chuck housing and place over the jaws and gently press down until the chuck housing is on the table. Slide a piece of paper under the chuck and invert. Now, use your finger and gently push all three jaws into the chuck. Now, screw the end cap of the chuck back onto the shaft until about a half inch protrudes and sit the plunger on the end of the shaft and then the chuck body and screw it together.

It really is pretty easy, I can take one apart and put it back together and have it working in under five minutes. If you need springs, Stanley makes a chuck jaw & spring set and the springs work perfect for this drill. Cost about .80 plus shipping, pretty cheap, huh?................Good luck!

-- Kessler,....... I used to be indecisive, now I'm not so sure.

View Brad's profile


1140 posts in 3009 days

#13 posted 01-12-2013 08:55 PM

Andy, I like the masking fluid idea a lot…as in “I like gold coins,” and “I like turkey with all the trimmings on Thanksgiving.” If it works it will save a lot of time and I can focus on rehabistoring versus “modeling” masking tasks.

Kessler, thanks for the chuck tutorial. That’s just the inside information that we need to complete a successful repair/cleaning. And the source for for a chuck jaw and spring set is priceless.

-- "People's lives are their own rewards or punishments."

View Woodknack's profile


12520 posts in 2649 days

#14 posted 01-15-2013 07:32 AM

Nice job, big improvement. I have a couple Goodell Pratt tools to paint and like you I’ve been debating various colors. There is a Rustoleum engine enamel called Chevy-red-orange that seems to be close but I haven’t seen it in person yet. And I was curious about baking it in the oven, might try that while the wife is away.

-- Rick M,

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