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One of last year's find at the Covered Bridge Festival yielded one of my prized push drills now that I have it operational. A Millers-Falls, Model 100 (aka Buck Rogers). Found it in a pile of stuff but no price. I finally found the vendor and asked how much for this...He replied "I don't even know what that is...how about $3.75?" I couldn't get my money clip out fast enough...I didn't know how many bits were trapped inside, but it had an original tube which contained several I could tell. Mom's illness came shortly thereafter, then all the trips & time to the hospital, the nursing home, then eventually her passing, many things were placed on the back burner for some time. A few weeks ago, I decided it was time to figure this thing out so here's the journey. Thanks for looking... As purchased...you can see the Red Tenite has the typical "mold" from age, and exposure. It really stinks too. Bits in the tube turned out to be straight shank probably for an egg-beater style. Not for this drill or any of the Stanley style either. After some internet searches, I finally found some information on how to disassemble the 100. Soaking with WD-40 still would not free up the Red handle portion to rotate easily to remove the bits in the handle. The multiple layers of blue masking tape provided a gripping area where I could use gripping pliers without damaging the aluminum. I had tried strap wrenches with no success. Even at this stage, I still could not get the handle to rotate easily or to further clean. NOTE: The wood plunger. This one appeared to be turned from maple. You can also see the "gang green" transferred from the brass. I had pre-cleaned the Tenite handle first using a nylon scraper, then green Scotch-Brite. Cleaned the plunger with Acetone, Scotch-Brite, then 3 or 4 coats of Johnson's Wax. I added another layer of painters tape to the plunger barrel to remove it from the spiral drive. Handle was cleaned with Simple Green & water mix then buffed on the lose sewn buffing wheel and Blue Compound specific for plastic...yep it still stinks. The adapter on the right by the plunger barrel incurred some damage to the internal spirals as well as the shoulder during removal. I had to use an Easy-Out.; spent a lot of time with jewelers files to repair, but getting it out let me finally get the handle free. I chose not to to remove the brass tube from the end cap fearing I would collapse it trying to get a firm grip. A lot of cleaning and polishing with the Dremel, hand polishing with 240-400 grill wet/dry and also final buffing with different compounds at the buffer. I made a flap sander from a 1/4" bolt shank by cutting a slot in the shaft to wrap sand paper arse a way to flap and enlarge the ID of the handle some. I guess the Tenite either shrinks (it certainly stinks) over time or maybe the WD-40 had an adverse effect on it. Anyway, after ever thing was cleaned and polished, it still would not rotate freely on the brass sleeve without flapping. Sub-assembled with white grease to lube all the internal moving parts; The reveal after tape removed and everything cleaned and polished. Oh yeah, it was worth the patience & work as all 8 original bits with minimal surface rust were in the handle turret I don't think this had been used much and some bits not at all. All bits were buffed with the Dremel and scrubbed with Johnson's and a toothbrush. The non-matching bits will get a new assignment to one of my egg-beater drills. Ready for it's new luxury dwelling. Thanks for looking.
Beginning the 2nd Friday of October each year and running for 10 consecutive days, Parke County, Indiana holds their annual Covered Bridge Festival. This little county of ~18,000 has and maintains 31 covered bridges, proclaims itself as the "Covered Bridge Capitol of the World" and is home to the single largest Festival held in Indiana. In the festival's heyday, estimated crowds for the ten day run were in the 1-1.5M range with people traveling from all over to attend. Some of the covered bridges are located in or very near extremely small communities. At least two of the communities still have operating mills powered by water wheels. You can learn more HERE During the festival, these small communities swell in size and commerce with vendors selling everything imaginable including many hand-crafted items. In addition, access roads to, from & near these areas often have fields, lots etc. where vendors gather. Large garage, barn, and yard sales are also the norm. However, the last 4 or 5 years it seems the popularity has waned somewhat. While I don't venture into the mass gatherings every year like I once did...(LOTS & LOTS of walking plus the traffic on narrow 2 lane highways, very narrow & winding county roads and even some gravel), I do attend some of the flea markets closer to home and along the main route (US 41). While I didn't take any pictures of the markets, below are the items I saved by paying their ransom. The ratcheting spiral screwdriver is a GlobeMaster (Made in Japan). For those who have been around the block a few times, you probably recall seeing GlobeMaster Tools at your local hardware, lumber yard, farm supply store and even in the aisles of some grocery stores from the late 1950's to the mid/late 1970's. The tools were knock-offs at the time, usually in a bin or rack with signage GLOBEMASTER. Anyways, this spiral is very similar to the Stanley it mimicked. The #2 straight bit would interchange with the Stanley's. I'm guessing this one is late 60's to early 70's. Marked a buck and was in the $1 bin pile. On the left (red) is a Millers-Falls No 100 (aka Buck Rogers), push drill. Also in the $1 bin as was the (black) Millers-Falls No 188A. The top plane (bottom in pic above) is marked BL, but may be a Dunlap, or Millers-Falls thumb plane similar to the Stanley 101?? It has some heft to it. The bottom (top above) is marked 102 and I immediately assumed a Stanley 102. It's identical to the Stanley 102 and the Defiance 102 (made by Stanley) I have...but.?.? ... the blade is marked "Lakeside." From what I know, Stanley made a line of planes for Montgomery Ward identified as "Lakeside." The thumb plane has only some surface rust on the body but the sole needs some work. The Lakeside (102) needs a soaking in Evap-O-Rust, probably a re-paint and sole work. Edges aren't to bad; neither appear to have been resharpened; a good soak in Evap-O-Rust, then we'll go from there. The 100 needs some TLC. I know thereis at least one bit in the handle; maybe more, but the body is stuck and it will not rotate. Worse than the one I bought last year. It's soaking now. The 188A needs TLC too, however, I did get it disassembled (I'll post a How-To/Refurb thread on both soon). There were no bits with it. It appears to have been disassembled before. The chuck jaws are missing the the return spring but I think I can match something up. The guy had $10/each on the planes and a $1/ea for the drills & screwdriver. He came down to $15 for the two planes + the $3 on the others. I offered $15 for the lot...he took it. Next up, different vendor, were these four treasures. Prices marked were not what I paid. As marked, total is $15...I paid $7.50 Sorry pictures is a bit fuzzy; middle item above is an Irwin 900 screw starter. Should clean-up nice. The two spiral, ratcheting screwdrivers taped together. The 133H is a North Bros, but after Stanley acquired their business. Just a later version of the 33H. Works fine and has an original #2 bit, albeit a bit chipped on the tip. Yep, the North Bros. Mfg. No 33H has the shaft broken. What remains is bent. IDK, someone must have used it as a jack handle. What a shame. This pre-dates Stanley's acquisition of North Bros. Note: Patent Pending in picture above. This is one of the earliest North Bros. Yankee Handyman tools of this type. Oh, well, it was worth 50 cents. The ratchet works...I may try to swap with the 133H And finally...a Taintor Mfg. Co, Positive No. 7, 5 position Saw Set in excellent condition with minor surface rust. The (P) in Positive sort of disappears due formed hole in the handle for a spring seat. Hard to see all here but marked with five Patent Dates beginning May 5, 91; May 24, 92; Jun 18, 93; Oct 23, 1900; July 30, 1907 Better here... It all works. Anvil is in great shape. I just need a good saw vise and oh, a lighted magnifier, then maybe I can tune up some saws. I'll practice on some old beaters first. Well, there you have it. Another Covered Bridge Festival pick in the books. A side note: I typically make a couple of trips but this year other commitments and the weather was less than favorable. Cold, rain and the last weekend we had the 60+ mph winds. Most probably packed up their tents & trailers before then. I went on Wednesday, a sunny day, cool, but comfortable...two days after the rain. I've gone to this site for years now. The total number of vendors were down 30-40% over previous years. Some had already left, others had items out, but covered with tarps and no one attending the space. A few of the long time vendors were not present this year either. It used to be a mecca pick site depending on how much you wanted to spend...Not so the past couple of years. Times have changed. I probably have too. Thanks for looking. I'll post some pictures once all have been reconditioned...may be next spring or summer though.
Ok, so this year at the Covered Bridge Festival yielded a new vendor. Somehow he convinced me to abandon my self-imposed ban not to exceed $5 for a push drill purchase unless it was a pristine, mint, all bits model...Well this one met most, OK some, alright, resembled that criteria...I was unsupervised while there and was debating to purchase a $5 Lemon Shake-up...cost avoidance on the Shake-up provided cash flow for this... A Craftsman (no model number nor has my inter-web searches yield a model number for this one) Push drill with the (3) bits shown by the handle. It uses Stanley-Yankee style bits versus the Goodell-Pratt/Miller Falls style. I also bought a near full set of Stanley bits, although th 1/16" is slightly bent. Total as shown was $13...I offered $10 and he said "OK"....so technically the drill did not exceed my personal limit of $5...I have yet to establish a max limit on bits. Very similar to the Millers-Falls #100 "Buck Rogers"; In fact the same person designed both. Disassembly was much easier and more logical than the M-F. The wooden plunger in this one is turned from white oak versus the maple in the M-F 100. Again cleaned it with acetone, Scotch-Brite and 4 coats of Johnson's. Dremel work on the rest. The turret cap is not Tenite on this one but still had some of that odor. It was faded from UV or ??? exposure. Some time at the buffer with various compounds brought it back to life. I chose not to attempt to remove the body from the see-through magazine. It appears was pressed to the aluminum body during initial assembly. The body is some type of aluminum alloy and has a good deal of heft to it. Much heavier than any of my other push drills. I decided to keep the natural patina on the handle too. there was some rust staining in the magazine windows,; I used some Simple Green and automotive window cleaner (non-ammonia) with a nylon brush and was able to remove most. White grease on all the moving parts and back together. As mentioned, very similar to the Millers-Falls #100. Actually, I like the feel and bit storage delivery design better on the Craftsman. Both are keepers... Tuned up and ready for it's new home too. Modified my storage container design some. Thanks for looking.
Getting in a rut....another road trip to pick up the Fighting GrandBRATS....might as well have a little fun on the way to get them... Stopped in Brandt, OH again.....was after one item, wound up with two... Cheap drill and a small saw = $11 out the door. Saw is a Warranted Superior 4" x 24" backsaw for a miter box. The drill? Millers Falls No. 104, aka "Buck Rogers" this is the smaller of the two they made. I thought it would go nicely with another tool.. Millers Falls No. 100, Buck Rogers push drill. Lets see, on that saw....very faint trace of an etch.....was missing one bolt in the handle, nothing bent or broken, or even a crack. Drill...Handle did not have it's supply of bits....no biggie. The No. 100 I had picked up last year.... Not too bad a day?