I recently acquired for the princely sum of Oz$2.00 a common or
garden variety of Stanley (made in England) breast drill.
Everyone knows the type, generally about 17" long with exposed
crown and pinion two-speed gearing, the crown wheel being about
5" in diameter.
numbers and such cast into the inside face of the crown wheel
but I would not have a clue whether they are batch numbers or
model numbers or whether the foreman moulder just happened to
have a thing about numerology.
These things are pretty common
around the fleas I frequent which may explain why it would seem
that I may have taken six or so of these reasonably identical
artifacts into safe custody for posterity. It seems that every
man and his dog in Queensland once owned one and a jolly good
thing it was, too. It is my modest boast that every one of the
six or so in my, ah ...., custody comes fully furnished with its
side handle. This contrasts favorably with the usual state in
which their smaller brothers, the hand drills, are usually
found. I expect, one day, to discover the equivalent of an
elephants' graveyard for side handles for hand drills.
The particular purchase in question
exhibited the usual signs of long disuse, rather than neglect or
abuse. Grease and particles had moderately gunked up the
gearing, the paint or varnish or colored shellac had partly
flaked off the wooden handles as they shrunk over time and the
chuck and its thread were slightly gunked and stiffish. No
problems that twenty minutes with brushes and solvent could not
put to rights. It was pleasing to note that a common malady with
such items, missing chuck springs, did not afflict this fine
example of true British workmanship. No need to freeze the chuck
for a couple of days, bang it around slightly, disassemble it,
wind new springs from my five-lifetimes' supply of piano wire
(his executor had known the deceased for many years but was
quite unaware that he had played the piano or the banjo until,
on taking inventory, he discovered the piano wire in his shed)
and reassemble it.
BUT, on reassembling the beast upon
completion of its toiletries to have it spin like a well-oiled
Dervish in top gear, a rather fat fly presented from the
ointment when we dropped a cog to first gear - the dreaded
gear-skip and stop. Crown wheel was removed and both its sets of
teeth minutely inspected - all O.K. Pinion gear was discovered
to have very slight deformations on the leading edges (when
drilling) of some teeth. No worries. A suitable file had the
teeth looking like new in no time with the removal of miniscule
amounts of deformed metal.
Give'em another whirl in first. Everything is fine whilst the crown wheel is pressed towards the
frame during turning but gear-skip occurs as soon as the
pressure is released. Crown wheel shaft is re-engaged with top
gear hole and it is noticed that the end of the shaft is held by
the sprung gizmo which protrudes into the shaft's slot slightly
prouder of the frame than when the wheel is clicked into low
gear. Stick 'er back into first gear and, sure enough, the crown
wheel's shaft protrudes beyond the frame the same distance which
it protrudes in top gear when the wheel is pressed towards the
frame but the protrusion decreases when the pressure is removed.
Moment of brilliant insight. The
gizmo which holds the shaft in place in first gear has been
slightly displaced by some means or another.
Moment of despair. How in Hell can
the displacement of the first gear gizmo be corrected, given
that such gizmo appears to have been, after final assembly,
riveted in place? Filing off the riveting may require consequent
modifications to this gizmo's whole shooting match to permit a
somewhat perilous re-riveting.
Tentative thoughts on the matter.
The crown wheel's shaft, whilst in its first gear position, had
received a not inconsiderable whack on its protruding end
whereby the shaft's slot had distorted the piece which held it
in place. Obvious answer. Give the shaft a hearty whack at its
other end to restore the previous status quo. Hang on a minute!
That "other end" is attached to a cast wheel with its first gear
cog resting against the pinion gear. The most likely distortion
to occur as the result of whacking the "other end" is the rather
permanent one of a cast crown wheel resolving itself into at
least two parts.
Now this little duck is in need of
some serious advice, the thing being that he is yet to have
undertaken the separation of the crown wheel's shaft from the
crown wheel. He "thinks" the shaft may be screwed into the crown
wheel, or is it splined? Removal of the turning handle does not
enlighten him in this matter. Attacking the removal of the shaft
on the one assumption will be, clearly, a trifle disastrous if
the facts speak otherwise. If the shaft is threaded to the
wheel, is it a left hand or a right hand thread? He has brought
his formidable forces of logic to bear on this question and has
arrived at the very firm conclusion that it could be either way.
Or is it simply a force fit and, if so, what are the mechanics
of holding it in place?
Once the answers to these questions
are garnered it is his intention to use the separated shaft as a
sort of a drift to re-distort the holding gizmo to its rightful
place in the scheme of things. Of course, he could simply use a
drift to bang away at the thing on a trial-and-error basis but
feels, perhaps, quite unreasonably, that restoring the holding
bit with what distorted it in the first place is likely to
reduce the chances of overkill. The great alternative in all of
the circumstances is, of course, to leave this drill forever in
top gear with some sort of a sign inscribed on it to that
effect. However, in a thousand years time the then-current owner
of the thing may not be able to read English and will bother his
fellow Ferrousoxidites with all of the above.