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Thread: Need help with old drill

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2023
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    Default Need help with old drill

    Hello, first time posting here, hope this is the right section.

    I know zero about jewelry making Ö iím a woodworker. On my forums i get a good laugh about some of the crazy questions Ö now iím on the other side.

    I collect old cordless tools. I clean them up, repair as necessary, and then put to use or hang on the wall. I recently acquired this one, i have not started on it yet so i donít see a makers mark, but it appears to be a Fray & Pigg spofford brace from about 1890. What you say Ö thatís not a cordless drill? Of course it is, and itís variable speed and reversible! (Smart alec)

    So hereís my question. As you can see from this page from the 1911 catalog, and the picture from the article, the brace originally had pewter rings on the wrist handle. Mine has twisted copper wire, apparently the pewter fell off sometime in the last 150 years. I want to replace the pewter. I will be breaking down the brace completely, including removing the head (the top knob) so there wonít be anything large in the way to slip rings onto the frame. But is that the best way? How would i get pre-made rings onto the handle? Would it work better to wrap pewter wire into the groove?

    The groove is 1/8Ē wide by about 1/8Ē deep. My thought was to make 2 or 3 wraps of wire, and hammer down to fill the groove, and maybe the hammering will cause the malleability of the pewter to hide the joint in the wire. But i have no idea if this would work. I donít think i can solder or braze the wire because that would char the wood. Or not. I do stained glass work, i am semi-skilled with soldering.
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    Well Old Guy, If you look carefully you will see that this is a jewellery making forum. Dennis.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
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    Default

    All I can add is I have one of those belonging to my grandfather ( born 1898) and it has absolutely no use for making jewellery

  4. #4
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    Mar 2023
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    Gee thanks. No, a brace is not jewelry, but I want to add a jewelry element to it. Embellish an otherwise bland piece of wood. Bling. And since pewter is commonly used in jewelry, and i have no experience working it, i thought i would ask for help.

    And with regard to hand drills being germane, here's a clip from the 1915 Millers Falls catalog showing their small No 4 drill being popular with jewelers.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 4C10C7CD-E1EC-4BE5-91F3-DACF7DECA139.jpg  

  5. #5
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    Pewter isn’t very commonly used for jewellery, we mostly use precious metals, silver gold occasionally copper for test pieces. I’ve no experience of working with pewter, is it not quite soft?

  6. #6
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    CJ .. l have no idea. That’s what the catalog said was originally used, so that’s the direction i was going. I don’t think i want to use silver. I had thought of aluminum electrical wire, i think the end result will look close enough to pass, but it’s not right. Not that i’m going for factory-fresh condition.

  7. #7
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    Good luck with it. On googling pewter jewellery it does seem to be a thing but judging by the spelling I’m guessing it’s more common in the US. There are probably many videos. Caroline

  8. #8
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    Jul 2009
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    Romsey
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    Quote Originally Posted by Old tool guy View Post
    Gee thanks. No, a brace is not jewelry, but I want to add a jewelry element to it. Embellish an otherwise bland piece of wood. Bling. And since pewter is commonly used in jewelry, and i have no experience working it, i thought i would ask for help.

    And with regard to hand drills being germane, here's a clip from the 1915 Millers Falls catalog showing their small No 4 drill being popular with jewelers.
    Well, I've used an egg beater drill for jewellery before, but these days about all it gets used for is twisting wire. I'd love to see a picture of the drill bits they supplied - I've made my own spade bits for my pump drill before (and 0.7mm carbide twist drills for the micromotor, but that's not necessarily the best use of time).

    There's a couple of books around on pewter work for jewellery although the interesting ones seem to be out of print; I've got a fair amount of Royal Selangor (the slightly older stuff, with higher definition than most of the current range), they certainly used to do jewellery too.

    I did find this - https://youtu.be/XX0NyZ-sBx8?t=720 - where the pewter is cast directly into the wood. I'd be certain it would knacker any finish in the area, but the wood should be OK; it's a very low melting point metal. However... There's a slight issue of gravity. I'd experiment with a few layers of thin card to make up a collar, thoroughly taped in place below the groove (or possibly horizontally, with layers of masking tape to form a mould?). You're not using masses of metal, so there's little thermal mass and it'll cool fast. I'd not pile straight into doing it with the final object without a few tests though.

    And then, having blethered on, I found this - which appears to be exactly what's needed: https://forum.canadianwoodworking.co...pewter-accents

    Do let us know how it goes - transferrable skills are a great thing.

    (I did also consider inlaying wire and fusing the ends, which might work but it'll loosen easily)
    Last edited by ps_bond; 28-03-2023 at 06:50 AM.

  9. #9
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    Dec 2014
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    South Australia
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    Don't rush into anything I have contacted a friend who used to have a tutorial on how to do this, waiting to see if he still has it.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2023
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    Wow … that link has a picture of a very similar brace. Thanks very much.

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