Aficionados of twisty, drilly things in
particular ... (tm, George Langford)
SWMBO and I had planned a little trek
this weekend to the Shupps Grove Fall Extravaganza for several
months, and we managed to make it part of today's tour of various
places in the SE Pennsylvania countryside. Didn't turn out
quite as hoped for me, but she found everything she was hoping for
save the one item she has been searching the country for nearly two decades. No reason to
expect that to change, I guess.
But anyway, arriving late
morning on the last day of a three-day flea market usually leaves me
picking through the leftovers but sometimes provides modest bargains
from anxious sellers. By the time we left nearly three hours
later, most everyone was packing up. Just before leaving I had
one gentleman offer me a complete and very nice Sargent equivalent
to a Stanley No. 55 in its box, and I did think about it.
Another regular had several 55's and 45's complete in box at prices
that were generally 3-4x what this guy was willing to take (and
maybe 2x market), but I didn't bite, to the offerer's chagrin.
Quite a few folks were indicating it hadn't been a good Extravaganza
Cloudy, cool, humid weather and
gasoline prices are high are my guesses as to why.
One of the first tool tables I did come
to, however, had a rusty metal tool box with about eight items in
it, a wife anxious to pack up and leave, and a hubby off doing
something else somewhere else, to her annoyance. Things fell into
I picked up a push drill or two and quickly realized
they were devoid of lubricant, then a Millers Fall No. 5 drill,
played with that a few moments, and the wife says - he'll take $45
for the toolbox and everything in it. Um, I don't need a rusty
toolbox, but I could use one of these in good condition, too bad the
side knob is missing a piece off of it. Ohhh, well OK, I guess I can
sell them separately.
OK, well these pushdrills here, I have one of
those that needs bits, and they are real hard to find, and these
things are not worth much at all without bits. These two pushdrills
seem to be in rough shape, but they have some drill bits in the
handles ... see, you can hear them (rattle). OK, well, I think he'd
take $2 each for them. Well, I only want them for the bits if the
mechanisms are stuck - see, this is supposed to go in and out and
this ring here is supposed to loosen the bit, but they don't move.
OK .. how about all three for $3? Hmm,
mebbe, says I. What do you want for this drill here (the No. 5)? Oh,
he wanted $5 for that. Uh-huh, seems a bit worn, and doesn't turn
well at all, but the chuck looks good and it has one bit in the
storage space in the handle - how about $3? OK, I'll do that. I
really don't need two of these hand drills, so you can keep that
smaller one. But that's most of the good stuff in the box, so I
guess you're close to being able to trash that piece of rust, eh?
(Laughter). Yeah, finally! - In fact, how about you take this other
drill too - free - since I know the rest of this stuff isn't worth
anything at all? OK, so $6? Yep, let me put that stuff in a bag. Why
So, three pushdrills
a Stanley 41Y (Bell System) with a plastic magazine divider
(so that one is relatively new), complete with 3 good and 1
broken straight flute bits
a Goodell-Pratt with good nickel, a 1915 patent date and 4
good straight flute bits in 8 slots complete with sizing holes,
a North Brothers No. 40 sans all bits.
Shot all three with WD-40 and then
lubed them with light machine oil, and suddenly all three work just
fine, and are nice additions to the MF #81 I already have and use.
I was more interested in the eggbeater
drills. I knew what this No. 5 was, and this one is a decent user
example. 5% of the black, 90% of the red japanning left. Cleaned and
lubed, it works smoothly. In the magazine was a single straight
flute bit - the 1/16th size. The one that is always missing because
it is so easily broken. The other eggbeater remains a bit of a
puzzle and is the one I was actually a bit more interested in out of
tool slope curiosity. It is smaller than the No. 5, and has Goodell-Pratt Company, Greenfield Mass" and "pat'd Aug 13, 1895" on
the small three-jaw chuck. No other markings. Had a pair of modern
twist drills in the magazine (5/64ths & No. 49, both useful). Single
pinion. Operates sweetly now.
Moderately ornate cast frame and gear
wheel, suggesting pre-WWII for sure, maybe pre-WWI. Most interesting
part is the combination of the frame and the handle / bit storage
magazine. Very different from the usual eggbeater. The upper end of
the cast iron frame is male thread, and mates to what appears to be
an expansion-formed brass magazine / handle that is internally
machined to thread onto the frame. Frame has traces of black
japanning, maybe 2% of original left. No evidence the gear wheel was
or was not japanned. No mention of this model on Randy Roeder's,
George Langford's, or Chuck Zitur's sites.
DATAMP suggests the date refers to an
H. Landfair chuck patent assigned to Goodell, no. 544,411. This
eggbeater is center right in this picture:
Research so far suggested that having Greenfield Mass identified
as place of manufacture may date this one to the 1930's, but that's
the only clue to narrow down the dating. Ideas or identification,
ladies & gentlemen?
Reply from Chuck Zitur:
Charlie has a good day at the flea market and asks about a
Goodell Pratt hand drill.....
According to my 1922'ish GP catalog that is a #49 which did not
show up in the 1905 catalog. GP drills have always been my favorite
although I can certainly appreciate the seniority of Millers Falls
(that is, that Goodell Pratt was Johnny come lately in comparison.)