Reply by Finnberg

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Posted on Miller Falls #1 Eggbeater questions

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3 posts in 2671 days

#1 posted 02-27-2014 02:17 PM

I have cleaned up close to fifty hand drills and I am stll learning new ways to improve the process.
First things first. There is always some movement in the spindle which connects with the chuck. So unless the chuck rotates in a unbalanced or uneven manner this is no cause for concern. The spindle is not attached to the frame and is only kept in place because it is attached with a small pin which runs through the pinion wheel.
Your drill looks like it has the springless chuck. Although I have encountered one MF chuck where one of the jaws were damaged these tend to be just fine. But they are almost always covered in grime.
So remove the chuck, carefully unscrew the little screw in the shell and tighten the chuck in a wise padded with aluminium or plastic jaws and then carefully remove the chuck housing. This chuck has a slot in the chuck base and although most tools won’t grip this slot I have had success with the help of a steel bar or such.

Next step would be to soak the chuck, shell and jaws in warm soapy water and clean them with a sponge. In fact I would use this treatment for most parts of a hand drill. Sure, you can add WD40 or any other cutting liquid but it will make your hand drill smell, it wil make it leak dirty oil onto yourself and your unprotected wood and it still won’t solve your problems. WD40 or other oils are lubricants but they will never clean a tool. And hand drills need to be clean in order to work properly.
I always start by removing all the parts I can, including chuck, gesr qheel, pinions if possible and then clean every part properly. The most important parts are the gear wheel, pinions and chuck as well as the inside of the chuck shell.

The gear wheel and pinins tend to be covered with hardened geime which you can soak and loosen up in water but not removed thusly. So the next step will be to use a small brass wire brush and/or a small scraper made out of hardwood. The action of a hand drill will improve immensely once the teeth are clean.

The inside of the chuck shell is easily cleaned with a small wire wheel attached to a drill. Alternatively you can cut a piece of scoth brite and attach it to a dowel which you chuck into a drill. The inside of the chuck is eveey bit as important as the jaws themselves because if the chuck walls are covered with rust and grime your jaws will struggle to move freely.

Once you have cleaned up everything and reassembled you can add oil through all the small holes in the drill. But don’t use WD40. It runs lke water, smears everything and escapes the drill. Use one or two drops of thick vegetable oil. This won’t stain you, the wood or anything else and it will make your drill spin like a top.

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