In April I bragged about an amazing tool discovered at an Oregon metal scrap yard. By June, the tool was disassembled and restoration underway. Six months later, it is back together and ready to show off.
You can see a manually powered drill at the right. You can’t see the mechanism to advance towards a rim. A pair of handles on the other side are squeezed together by your right hand as you turn the drill bit with your left. The rim is held on a very crafty fixture that grips with four arms that are gear-driven outward, fixing the rim in place.
Another view of the drill. Hard for me to take eyes off it or stop wondering how much effort and passion went into its creation.
One of its cleverest features is an auto-indexing system for hole count: 24, 28, 32, 36, or 40 hole. A spring loaded lever is moved to the appropriate slot so its other end will index the correct circumferential set of stops.
Time to demonstrate the function. There’s no way to appreciate this system except to watch it used. Here, I do my best!
A close look at the rim support.
I’m serious about learning more about this machine, the designer and foundry in Keene, New Hampshire where it was made, how many were produced, for how long, how much did it cost, what type of rims were drilled, and details about operation. There are tricks yet to discover. Anything learned I’ll surely share with you.
When I sleep tonight, can you can guess what I’ll be dreaming?