Post Drill Repaired

Another piece of Canadian history is restored to working order and finds its place in the Island Blacksmith workflow.

Vancouver Island Blacksmith: Hand Forged Knives.

I have had an old hand powered post drill for about twenty years now, but have never made a hole with it. My long term list of things to do included refitting a modern keyed chuck to fit in the original half inch straight shank chuck, but I never found the right bolt to bridge the gap. The original drill is a Canadian Blower and Forge Company, Kitchener, Ontario, model 612 and has a broken feed counterweight, missing work support yoke, and a d.i.y. electric motor adaptation. It worked fine except could not take modern drill bits.

Recently I found another at a garage sale and couldn’t pass it up. It is very similar but a slightly different model. Along with 614 cast into the frame are the words, “Can. Blower & Forge Co. Ltd. Kitchener, Ont”, and it is painted red. The only issue with it is a cracked and attempted weld on an ear of the clamp on the work support yoke, but I have set it up where the work can be supported on a plank between two work benches. With a little cleaning and work, it cranked fine but again the original chuck could not take modern bits.

I have been carrying the “new” chuck around in the truck for many months in the event I found a place or person that had a half inch bolt with a fine thread, and just the other day was the day. A friend, Mitch, whom I was visiting to pick up an anvil for the resident handmade metal button maker happened to have his tap and die set on the workbench and was more than happy to recut the stripped threads and supply me with the correct bolt for the job.

Today I cut the head off the bolt, ground and filed a flat for the key bolt, and just like that, I was drilling holes in steel with human power for the first time ever! An oval pot rack was in process and became the test project for the newly revived drill. A great success, takes more cranking but far less pressure and exertion than hand drilling in steel for a net win in terms of time and energy, not to mention operator happiness.

Canadian Blower & Forge Co. Ltd.
Kitchener, Ont.
Model 614 (operational) and 612 (backup)
Manufactured 1914, 1912

In 1903 the Canadian Buffalo Forge Co., Ltd. was established in Montreal as the Canadian subsidiary of Buffalo Forge Co. The company relocated to Berlin, Ontario in 1914. “Berlin” was not a popular name during the Great War, so in 1916 the city was renamed to Kitchener. At some point early on, the name was changed to Canadian Blower & Forge Co., Ltd. See the entry under Buffalo Forge for some of the subsequent history.

Drill presses from Canadian Blower & Forge are identical to those from Buffalo Forge, except for labeling. Manuals are available under the Buffalo Forge Co. entry, “Publication Reprints” tab.

The bits the original was designed for:
Vancouver Island Blacksmith: Hand Forged Knives.

The bolt made into a shank for the keyed chuck:
Vancouver Island Blacksmith: Hand Forged Knives.

Old chuck, meet new chuck:
Vancouver Island Blacksmith: Hand Forged Knives.

First hole in progress:
Vancouver Island Blacksmith: Hand Forged Knives.

Clean and simple, ready to be riveted to the pot rack:
Vancouver Island Blacksmith: Hand Forged Knives.

All original paint and parts, as far as I know…except the new chuck:
Vancouver Island Blacksmith: Hand Forged Knives.