THE following may be worth while to many, as it was to those it concerned, when it happened. I was working in a railroad repair shop one day when I observed two machinists working a ratchet drill in order to make holes in a piece of iron about 12 feet long, with one end bent up about 8 inches. The holes were being made in the short part (see illustration). The shape of the iron to be ' bored or Drilling an awkward piece in a milling machine. drilled prevented it from being done in a drill-press or lathe. The men had the iron and ratchet drill with its holder clamped to an iron table and were working hard for a considerably long time to make the holes. I asked the foreman if there were many jobs like that in the place. “ Yes,” he said, “ we have had to make quite a number of them in the last three years, and we will have many more.” Then I said: “ I suggest that you drill those holes by using that milling machine” (pointing to one which was used very seldom). “ Well, well,” he exclaimed, “ I never thought of that before, and neither did the machinists who were told to perform the job.” After that the holes were always drilled in the milling machine by one man and naturally in very much shorter time than it used to require two men with the ratchet drill. How to Make a Ratchet-drill THE ratchet drill here illustrated will bo found extremely handy around the house for quick repairs. Take an old milling machine cutter that has seen its best days and anneal it. This will make as good a ratchet wheel as you want. A ratchet wheel, A, should be keyed on the drill carrier or spindle B. Then bend a piece of strap iron ratchet wheel, A. ' While drilling a hole the drill is fed into the work by means of a feed screw, H, which is provided with four pins as shown in the head of the screw, thus making it easy to feed the drill into the work. The feed screw, H, has a female center which fits over the center of spindle, B. The ratchet held in this way will be held very rigid. The spindle Is made so it will take any size of drill having a No. 1 shank.
This article was originally published with the title "Drilling an Awkward Piece, How to Make a Ratchet-drill" in Scientific American 105, 6, 124 (August 1911)