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Other Vintage Household Electrical or Electromechanical Items For discussions about other vintage (over 25 years old) electrical and electromechanical household items. See the sticky thread for details.

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Old 7th Mar 2020, 3:31 pm   #141
yesnaby
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Default Re: Show us your drills!

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I was using my original B&D D500, 290 watts drill outside in the sun this (yesterday now) afternoon, with the orbital sanding attachment fitted, powered through the isolation transformer of course. This is the drill that previously had the circular saw attachment fitted for the last four decades.
Yes, the orbital sander. I also had one of these but it has 'disappeared', along with the drill. I guess the drill must have failed some time in the past and then I had no further use for the sander. What a shame.
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Old 7th Mar 2020, 10:45 pm   #142
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I came for the Smiths electric clocks and will stay for the valve radios, but in the meantime here is my favorite drill - a Baier Combi 2N. My father-in-law brought it with him to Australia from Germany in 1992. It has a pleasing weight in the hand, which is also a timely reminder that using it needs a firm grip.
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Old 21st Mar 2020, 12:27 pm   #143
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Hello all, was using this today for the first time this year. Did exactly what was needed
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Old 24th Mar 2020, 12:50 pm   #144
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However much I enjoy the look and sturdiness of these old drills, I must admit that I never felt comfortable using metal cased drills. I have such an old drill myself but much prefer the later plastic ones.

Sure, I do have many other metal-cased electric items at home as well, but a drill tends to lead a harder life than say a kettle or a toaster. And you often hold a drill with a firm grip, sometimes with both hands and sweaty palms.

They sure are beauties though.
Yesterday, I got out some of my old drills and their safety supplies for a photo opportunity in the sun. So there's absolutely no need to worry about the likelihood of being electrocuted by your old metal cased drills when used as shown below, with either a generator or an isolation transformer.

The vintage generator shown below has a bit of a story. I'd been thinking of buying one for some time to use in the vintage caravan, which only uses 12 volt battery power. A chap who I knew from off 'the radio' said he had an old one that he hadn't used for years and would now no longer start, but that if I wanted to get it running, I could borrow it. I didn't get round to taking him up on this offer at the time, but a year later I asked him if the offer was still open and he told me that he'd just bought a brand new one and I could have the old one if I wanted to come and pick it up. I went to collect it and he told me that he'd had it for around 30 years and that he'd tried to start it a few years ago and it wouldn't go. I got it home and spent about a day on it. The petrol had dried out and left the usual brown gunge in everything. Someone had at sometime tried to fit a spark plug that was too long which not only had marked the top of the piston where it had come into contact with it, but had also taken a small chunk out of the very top of the cylinder, luckily not where the rings swept. It now runs perfectly and its original owner reckons it probably hadn't had any more than around eight hours use in its entire life. It's actually a genuine 240 volt output, unlike a lot of ones now, which I think are only 220/230 volt outputs at most. It's not very powerful being around 400 watts, unlike modern ones of a similar size, but it'll be a lot better made being genuine Kawasaki and not badge engineered, as many are today and it'll run all the power tools shown below. Its previous owner has since found me the original manual for it and a special cover for running it outside when it's raining, but I think that this cover is rather of ex-military origin, than actually made for that generator.

Shown below are a selection of old power tools using both the generator, which is actually running in that picture, although obviously you can't tell it is, and the RS mains isolating transformer as the other option. The generator, being vintage is full of asbestos, made at a time when items like this could still be sold so long as an asbestos warning label was stuck on to the outside of the case, perfectly safe for outside use, though!

Although the generator may seem to some to be 'off topic' for this thread, it is actually very 'on topic', as it's the ultimate safe way to run all your dodgy old power tools if you're at all worried about doing such things in a safe manner
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Old 24th Mar 2020, 1:21 pm   #145
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I`m not quite sure why running power tools off a generator that produces 240 volts at sufficient current to run a decent size motor is safer than running them off the mains with an earth leakage trip?
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Old 24th Mar 2020, 1:35 pm   #146
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Default Re: Show us your drills!

The Earth leakage trip gives NO PROTECTION WHATSOEVER if your house is on PME. A break in the neutral concuctor between your house and the substation allows your earth structure to be driven to high potential via whatyever loads are turned on in the total of houses affected.

An RCD will switch off L and N if it detects some but not all types of fault, but you are still holding a live-casing drill because you get the current up the earth wire.

Similarly an isolating transformer is no good if it still connects the earth of the drill to the eart from the house.

Please be very careful. These things are counter intuitive and in this respect RCDs and isolating transformers can give a completely wrong feeling of safety.

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Old 24th Mar 2020, 2:04 pm   #147
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The Earth leakage trip gives NO PROTECTION WHATSOEVER if your house is on PME.
Similarly an isolating transformer is no good if it still connects the earth of the drill to the earth from the house.

Please be very careful. These things are counter intuitive and in this respect RCDs and isolating transformers can give a completely wrong feeling of safety.

David (Chartered Electrical Engineer)
Exactly! That's why I was particularly 'pushing' the generator as ultimately the safest way to run these tools
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Old 26th Mar 2020, 11:25 am   #148
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Default Re: Show us your drills!

Presumably the actual genny ac output is completely isolated from its metal frame earthed by its sitting on the (possibly damp) ground?
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Old 29th Mar 2020, 3:30 pm   #149
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This is my old B&D circa 1970. Two speed selected by turning the "flag" shown. I thought I'd binned it after I got a hammer drill years ago but this thread prompted me to search the garage and hey presto! It still works very well but will probably go back into storage due to the lack hammer function. On that subject, does anyone know when domestic hammer drills first appeared in the shops?
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Old 29th Mar 2020, 6:01 pm   #150
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Default Re: Show us your drills!

Good practice when using an independent genny is to knock in an earth rod for it.

I have one of those orange B&Ds. A friend borrowed it, destroyed it and put it into the old B&D service centre in Edinburgh. He never told me what it cost, but boy did they do a good job. It was smoother and with less play than new. A spare drill like this with a big wire brush cup in place of the chuck is jolly useful, I find.

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Old 30th Mar 2020, 1:26 pm   #151
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Default Re: Show us your drills!

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Good practice when using an independent genny is to knock in an earth rod for it.
Genny is fully isolated from the ground. so no worries, but worth thinking about for some applications.

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I have one of those orange B&Ds. A friend borrowed it, destroyed it and put it into the old B&D service centre in Edinburgh.
My original blue B&D drill shown in several previous posts, burnt its armature out in the early days of my ownership while doing excessive sawing when I was a young teenager and when we were visiting relatives in Uddingston near Glasgow, a little electrical shop in the town was recommended for spare parts. I got a new replacement armature from this shop in Uddingston and it was immediately apparent that it was of far superior quality to what the original one was and it's the one that is still going strong in the drill to this day, although I think it cost at least half the price of the original complete drill - can't remember the name of the shop, though.
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Old 1st Apr 2020, 1:46 pm   #152
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You would have to hold BOTH terminals of the generator output to be killed, rather than just one (and earth) on the mains.
Which does make it slightly safer.
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Old 1st Apr 2020, 1:56 pm   #153
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It makes it one heck of a lot safer!

Do a proper 'risk assessment' and look at all the 'real world' possibilities of what's likely to go wrong, then have a rethink on the 'slightly' comment
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Old 2nd Apr 2020, 8:38 am   #154
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It makes it one heck of a lot safer!

Do a proper 'risk assessment' and look at all the 'real world' possibilities of what's likely to go wrong, then have a rethink on the 'slightly' comment
Yes, thanks. I don't need to do a 'risk assessment'. I'm simply pointing out that 240v from a generator is still lethal, a point which surprisingly many people seem oblivious to.
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Old 3rd Apr 2020, 7:34 pm   #155
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Techman, your first picture has a small Wolf drill plugged into the generator. This style was available as a 24v version and supplied to the GPO for use down pavement sumps and general outside work. They were connected through a two pin "Niphan" plug to a 24v 600watt gas powered Swan portable generator. I have a slightly larger Kawasaki generator similar to yours, that can be dual -fuel petrol or gas powered, the latter uses a large gas regulator that connects to a propane cylinder, it's about 30 years old and has run less than an hour.I hope this hasn't already been talked about upthread as I haven't read it all

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Old 11th Apr 2020, 2:42 pm   #156
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Default Re: Show us your drills!

I don't have any old drills but found an ad from a 1936 Electrical Engineer magazine while scanning other stuff. The attachment is very small so I've uploaded a better one here.
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Old 27th Jun 2021, 3:07 pm   #157
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Default Re: Show us your drills!

Re-opened at the request of the OP.

Cheers

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Old 27th Jun 2021, 3:15 pm   #158
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A great car boot session this morning, all sorts of small tools at next to nothing, including a couple of lovely Rabone steel tape measures. AND a nice wrist breaker, looks like a Black and Decker, but the id plate is worn and the model is not visible. Bearing in mind safety considerations it fired up, brushes seem very good. It's had a life. This looks tougher than the usual B&D's.
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Old 27th Jun 2021, 5:19 pm   #159
barrymagrec
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I have recently inherited a very similar Black & Decker to yours, possibly a smaller version as it only has a 5/16 chuck. It says it is a model N, serial number 36.

It was originally my Grandfather`s and has come to me via an Uncle and my Dad.

It still works perfectly which as you say suggests it`s tougher than more modern B & Ds
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Old 27th Jun 2021, 6:33 pm   #160
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Thanks Barry, it's good to have an idea of the model. Mine seems to run very sweetly, which is a surprise as it looks so battered.
I am wonder if latex or nitrile gloves would be a worthwhile safeguard when using these beasts?
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