Introduction: Old Hand Drill Restoration

About: Engineer who loves diy projects.

This restoration project is a gift for my father. My father was the first person who showed me how to use tools of the trade, projects ranging from basic car maintenance to home remodeling. He always reminded me when he was growing up that power tools were not readily available as they are today and you should never take them for granted. For the longest time, my father always wanted an old functional hand drill that reminds him of his childhood. Every antique store I visited over the years either did not have any in-stock or had broken hand drills that were beyond repair. But lucky enough I was randomly visiting a small old town with my girlfriend and I found two decent looking hand brace drills.

Step 1: Background Information:

Both of these old hand drills are improved half-boxed ratchet braces with a McCoy bar-and-slot jaws. First things to inspect on a ratchet brace hand drill are the ratchet mechanism, drill bit jaws, and the ratchet collar control. Check if the pawls shift when the ratchet collar control is turned clockwise or counter-clockwise. Next, check if the drill bit jaws are even included with the ratchet brace drill (most antique stores I have visited had this component missing) or if the drill bit jaws spring is broken. Also most importantly, check how severe any rust damage is to all components.

Step 2: Materials & Tools Needed:

1) Multi purpose oil

2) Brillo pad

3) Flitz polish (this does wonders for any home project, highly recommended!)

4) Wipe on polyurethane (for wood handle and head)

5) Sand paper (320 grit)

6) Rubber gloves

7) Shop rags or towels

Step 3: Put Some Gloves & Get Your Hands Dirty

Put on some protective rubber gloves on and place an towel or rag on your work surface. Remove the hand drill chuck by unthreading it and pull out the drill bit jaws. Apply polish to one component at a time and start wiping continuously with the brillo pad and remove any rust or gunk. Do not let the metal polish dry on any metal components, this could damage the metal. Use the multi-purpose oil to remove any polish after use and to check your progress every so often. This polishing process will need to be repeated multiple times on all metal surfaces (amount of time spent doing this depends on a case by case basis). Do not apply polish on any wood surfaces.

Step 4: Sand Wood & Add Finish

Sand all wood surfaces with 320 grit sandpaper and wipe off any dust with a rag/towel. Then apply polyurethane to the wood surfaces with a rag in a well-ventilated area and allow time to dry. ( I repeated this step twice for each hand drill)

Step 5: Finished!

I finished both and ratchet brace hand drills and both of them actually work! I don't think I could ever give up my battery powered hand drill, but this could definitely come in handy in a situation where you don't have any power left on your electric hand drill. But all that aside, my father loved this gift and definitely reminded him of a time from his childhood where he was working on diy projects.

Thank you for taking the time to read and look over my project. Please vote for me on this project and on any of my other projects, any support would be very much appreciated. You can check out other projects my girlfriend and I are up to at #eatmakedo ( ).

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