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 In Shop Blog, Techniques

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Hand Drills

While many people get warm and wet feelings about their smoothing planes, I have those emotions about my hand drill.

Maybe it’s because I use a hand drill almost daily for nails and screws, especially after building a ton of campaign furniture with all the inset brasses.

So this summer I gave away my hand drill to a friend who didn’t have one and thought: “I’ll just buy another on eBay. They are so common.”

They are common, but I got snookered four times. On all four of the drills the chuck was messed up in one of the following three ways:

Hand Drills

This chuck had wonky springs. Even with new springs, the jaws wouldn’t hold tight.

  1. The jaws had been abused so they would not close tightly on a small bit.
  2. The jaws were missing springs. And replacing the springs turned out to be an adventure in spring purchasing. And even with working springs, I encountered problem No. 1 above.
  3. The jaws closed tightly and had their springs, but there was so much runout that the drill was unusable.
Hand Drills

This chuck had jaws that had been damaged and refused to hold a 1/16″ bit, even after judicious filing.



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