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Thread: How to make a hand cranked post drill

  1. #1

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    How to make a hand cranked post drill


    I wish to start building a hand cranked post drill for my rural metal workshop. I have seen ancient versions of this drill. How do i go about doing this?

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  2. #2
    Supporting Member Frank S's Avatar
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    Frank S's Tools
    A lot is going to depend what your skill set is plus what available hand or power tools you now posses, and whether you are wanting to make it to appear as a vintage machine made completely with primitive tools using materials and tools which would have only been available to a craftsman 150 years ago. Or something more modern using off the shelf steel shapes you can buy at any metal mart then cut and weld them into the frame buy a hand full of gears full length key-wayed shaft, bushings, bearings and a few nuts and bolts.
    if the former, short of setting up a furnace and smelting some iron in a crucible then pouring that into a sand mold myself it would difficult to explain the complete process to any degree for someone to be able to make an entire drill press using that method.
    If you are looking to do it out of modern materials it would be a simple matter of drawing one up.
    Perhaps someone here has already made one and will chime in, or if you can find the Popular Mechanics article on how to make a hand drill press dated somewhere in the 1940's
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    Jon (Aug 17, 2017)

  4. #3

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    If you are interested in a more modern looking but still hand powered drill here are two variations made from iron pipe with a long 1/2"x20 bolt as a spindle, using a couple of bushings into the pipe Tee and a homemade thrust washer by dishing flat washers and adding loose ball bearings. The lift for the work piece on the first one is via a 5/8" SAE threaded bolt that just so happens to also fit in a 3/8" pipe female thread. Welded a handle to the bolt head but a wrench turns it just fine as well. This is an approximation for a "COLE" drill, but is arranged so it can be mounted vertically or horizontally with a pipe Tee and pipe flange. You can move the Tee and flange to the back side by replacing those pipesHow to make a hand cranked post drill-v2-drillwithcrankhandle.jpg
    How to make a hand cranked post drill-pressuredrill.jpg
    The second one has a spring return and would use a lever to press down on the bolt head which has been center drilled for a pivot point.
    Not pretty but simple and can be almost completely duplicated in a majority world village shop with basically a hammer and a hacksaw.

    Another option would be to take a hand powered breast drill mechanism and build it into a frame to provide down pressure via a screw shaft or lever.

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    Jon (Aug 17, 2017)

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