At work I found a hand push drill from Yankee Handyman. Unfortunately it was missing all but one drill bit, and it was bent and broken. I decided that I had to have one. I went to Rockler with my Grandpa looking for one, and it turned out that they haven’t been made for a long time.
When we got back to the house my Grandpa took me out to the garage and to one of his older toolboxes. He pulled out a Yankee Handyman drill, with four bits still stored in the handle.
This beauty belonged to my great grand father. Both it and the drill from work were dirty and slightly rusty. So I decided to clean and oil them. First up was the work driver.
All it took to dissasemble the driver was unscrewing the threaded bit at the front of the handle. As you can see there was a spring inside and below that a wooden peg that the whole thing spins on. It was all covered in dirty oil so first I cleaned all of the grime off with rubbing alcohol and q-tips.
Next up I oiled all of the moving parts and threads, as well as the bit since it was bare metal and a little rusty.
One neat thing about this drill is the bit storage area. Too bad I don’t have any bits to fill the other slots.
The threads on this driver only go in one direction. When you push it in the bit spins clockwise, on the way back out the bit spins counterclockwise. This probably explains the unique design of the drill bit.
Next up was cleaning my driver.
The shaft of this driver has threads in both directions. It can spin in either direction.
The driver had an amazing mechanism to allow it to spin in one direction, and then release freely in the other.
As you can see there was quite a bit of grime on the inside, and rust on the bits.
Getting inside this one was much harder. First I unscrewed the front like the other driver. Then I had to push in the switch on the ratcheting mechanism and slide down the silver cover. This got me into the ratchet. After removing three bits of metal the gears were loose. Next I had to unscrew the back, and then another bit that it screwed into. Even still I wasn’t able to get the shaft out completely.
After a thorough cleaning and oiling both drivers look much nicer, and work better as well. It is much easier to get the bits in and out. With the gunk and rust cleaned off these fine tools are ready for many more years of use.
The drill points (bits) are specific to these tools only in the way they are held in the chuck. The half-notched end to drive the bit and V-shaped notch to retain it was patented by the original manufacturer of Yankee-brand tools, North Brothers Mfg. Co.in 1899. The chuck on most Yankee push drills, like your No.46, is slightly different but basically the same system. Drills (drill bits) w/ two straight flutes predate Yankee-brand drills and push drills generally. Straight flute drills were used for drilling metal and wood in many types of drilling equipment before twist drills were commonly available. Some of the first push drills used straight flute drills (called drill points by most push drill manufacturers), some used diamond-shaped drills (also called spear-pointed or pointed-spade). The diamond-shaped points were sometimes sharpened for right-hand cutting and sometimes for RH & LH cutting. The bi-directional points were likely a carry-over from similar bits used in older hand-held bow drills. Straight flute drills always cut in one direction only. They were the most common type of small, cheap drill (bit) for drilling wood from the late 19th century to almost the mid 20th century.