This is the second part of a series in which I restore a Millers Falls no. 5 hand drill. You can find the other posts here:
Mf no. 5 hand drill restoration – part 2 of 3
I’ve been meaning to post this for a week, but I’ve been dealing with a car accident that totaled one of our vehicles (nobody was badly injured). I have been planning for some time to buy a small blasting cabinet, which would facilitate cleaning up the frame and main wheel of this drill, as well as speeding up future projects, and I was waiting on that to post the second half of this project. Now it’s looking like that might be a little while down the road, so I wanted to go ahead and post this bit in the meantime.
I had sanded down the handle, handle cap, and crank knob, so my next task was to finish them. The wood on those parts was attractive already, so I just applied a few coats of water-based polycrylic and some paste wax. I started using a little cheap crayola brush to apply the poly and I have been very satisfied with the control I have with it. I like to have a Bob Ross episode running in the background while I finish parts. His soothing voice makes me worry less about “happy little accidents.”
The side knob on the MF no. 5, as well as on MF no. 2A, Craftsman 107.1, and Goodell-Pratt 5 1/2B (that I know of) is threaded at the non-standard thread pitch of 5/16-20. Happily, 5/16-20 is very, very close to the metric thread pitch of M8-1.25. It’s actually close enough that you can thread a M8-1.25 bolt into the frame, and you can thread the side knob into a M8-1.25 nut. I built a drill adapter using a bolt and a coupling nut that allowed me to chuck the side handle into a drill without mangling the threads.
As an aside: you can locate 5/16-20 taps ($8.50 in 2016) and dies ($11.50 in 2016) made in HSS at Victor Machinery Exchange. I haven’t done business with them, but they seem to have what would be needed if you wanted to tap your shop-made replacement handles.
Ok, all for now. Told you this would be a short blog. I’ll update it with the frame and wheel blasting and paint job as soon as I can.