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I Forge Iron

Neat drilling discovery

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In trying out the notion of drilling out a hammer head before drifting (to save my arm a little wear and tear) I decided to keep alive the old school character of my shop by acquiring a ca. 1900 hand powered drill press. It is a Silver Mfg. Co. (Salem, Ohio) model 1 1/2 and it tore through the 1” square 4140 bar that you see here. With right hand cranking the handle and the left hand slowly tightening the top wheel I was ripping out what looked like pretty impressive wood shavings. At my approximately 60 rpm rate the bit, which I kept lubricated with oil, stayed cool and the entire job took less than 5 minutes. As efficient as an electric drill press? No, but lots of fun seeing this old machine do its thing so well. 




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