Flat drill bit.... how old?
Close
Login to Your Account
Likes Likes:  0
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 21
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    St Louis
    Posts
    18,963
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    2249
    Likes (Received)
    3493

    Default Flat drill bit.... how old?

    This showed up in some tooling......

    I have no idea how recently this might have been manufactured..... There is probably no REASON for it in the last 50+ years, but that doesn't preclude it having been made recently, I suppose.....

    Stamp says "mathieson", and there is a logo stamp as well


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Houston
    Posts
    516
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    70

    Default Bit

    The bit is designed to be used in a standard "carpenters" Brace. The tapered square drive is common for wood auger bits.
    JRW

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    St Louis
    Posts
    18,963
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    2249
    Likes (Received)
    3493

    Default

    That part I know.

    The question is, why, in the relatively modern world, say the last 100 years, would anyone want that, when an augur bit is better, easier to use, and goes straight?

    Cost?

    And would anyone have MADE these in the last 50 years or so?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Cumberland, Maine
    Posts
    516
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    84
    Likes (Received)
    127

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JST View Post
    That part I know.

    The question is, why, in the relatively modern world, say the last 100 years, would anyone want that, when an augur bit is better, easier to use, and goes straight?

    Cost?

    And would anyone have MADE these in the last 50 years or so?
    Well, it's not a drill bit - it's a countersink. That should cover the utility part. And they're easy to sharpen.

    Yes, they were made within the last fifty years. I have a 1959 catalog from William Marples & Sons, Sheffield, England that shows them. How much later, if any, they were made I can't say.

    No prices in the Marples catalog, but a 1914 catalog from Edward Preston & Sons, Birmingham, England shows them from 4/6 (1/2", black) to 7/1 (5/8", straw coloured) per dozen. Sorry about the shillings/pence - you'll have to convert. As a comparison, the more familiar rose head design, same sizes and finishes, was 5/- to 8/7 for the 8-flute type and 5/6 to 9/7 for the 12-flute.

    Mathieson was a Scottish maker. Glasgow, IIRC.

    John

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    St Louis
    Posts
    18,963
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    2249
    Likes (Received)
    3493

    Default

    A COUNTERSINK?

    Do you have to start it before drilling the hole?

    I can't see that working well with two flutes, but I can try it and see..... both ways, before and after.

    Tanks....Yuh lern sompin evr dahy

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Houston, TX USA
    Posts
    31,832
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    They made "track" drills (for RR track folks) that looked like that, though I have no idea of how big the one in the photo is.

    John Oder

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Scotland
    Posts
    4,216
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    1019
    Likes (Received)
    474

    Default

    Mathieson also made taps.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Midlothian, Virginia
    Posts
    2,609
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    71
    Likes (Received)
    227

    Default

    Some history on Mathieson:

    http://www.wkfinetools.com/hUK/Recor...822-1926-2.asp

    As John said... "...The firm did however have a large export trade in heavy duty auger bits widely used throughout the world for boring railway sleepers. "

    Here are some Mathieson spoon bits (pic).
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails spoonbits6515.jpg  

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Houston, TX USA
    Posts
    31,832
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Scan from Railway Track and Maintenance (1926). As you can see the lever operated rachet and strong back did not give the drill much choice about drilling holes in this hard stuff.

    John Oder
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails track-drill.jpg  

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Indiana
    Posts
    13,689
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    781
    Likes (Received)
    4491

    Default

    I am more inclined to think it is a bit for drilling holes in metal, rather than a countersink. At any rate, it is similar in shape to metal drilling bits of 80-200 years ago. I have a little collection of them, several obviously hand made by blacksmiths from old files and such. The tapered square shank was used on metalworking bits and does not automatically make it a carpenters' tool. In the days before portable electric drills, holes still had to be be made in metal. Some of mine have shanks that are too big to fit the standard carpenter brace. A not uncommon tool is a chuck to fit this type of bit with a length of chain to wrap around a part and a means of screw-feeding the bit, rather like the rail drill shown above. The chuck could be turned by a carpenter brace or a ratchet wrench. You obviously do not need a screw feed device for drilling wood.

    Larry

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Ft. smith Ar. U.S.A
    Posts
    1,559
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    3
    Likes (Received)
    10

    Default

    Here are some more track bits.



    Ive been wondering if there is a way to chuck em up and use them on a camelback DP.

    Thank you.

    James

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Nerang QLD Australia
    Posts
    160
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    101
    Likes (Received)
    21

    Default

    i Have a box of very similar drill bits, and they are still being made today! watchmakers use these in tiny sizes for drilling acurate hiles in hard steel, by hand. its so much less likeley to jamb than a twist drill, and in a hard railway iron, i think it would be just the thing, with the machine shown..

    my biggest one is about 2mm though, and smalest 0.1mm, so a little different than this i imagine.

    EMMA

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    scotland united kingdom
    Posts
    1,100
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    3393
    Likes (Received)
    780

    Default

    J.s.t,
    I can remember the Mathieson works in the 1957 period across from the barrows market, and the well known Barrowland ballroom in the Gallowgate district of glasgow, Mathiesons were in East Campbell St, Although at that time, the ballroom with all the pretty girls was more interesting to a teenager than Mathiesons, And as i was usually about that area in the occasional evening or Saturdays for finding bargains, Mathiesons, did not come into the equation, ( if they were still in production or just selling off the remaining stock? Although they might have been limping on, as a very well known Glasgow ironmonger & tool dealer par excellence, called Carrick & Craig, still were selling Mathieson tools about that time maybe more old stock?) Mathiesons works were pulled down in fairly recent times, only one small part is left
    You tool we over here call a spade drill, and for slowly going through hard rail or girders, with a ratchet brace were excellent, The old workers, must have had strong arms & shoulders Your mystery tool is a long way from its place of birth

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Metuchen, NJ, USA
    Posts
    5,498
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    4442
    Likes (Received)
    922

    Default

    The other J.R. wrote:

    "The tapered square drive is common for wood auger bits."

    There's a name for that drive. That's called a "bitstock" drive. Tools with such a drive, and there are many, are classed as "bitstock tools"

    There are literally dozens of patents on bitstock chucks.

    The tool with the bitstock chuck and chains to wrap around a pipe or a beam is usually called a "chain drill", although this is somewhat of a misnomer, I think.

    I have quite a few fractional twist drills with bitstock chucks. In addition to fitting in carpenter's braces. these also fit two-jaw breast drills. These are US made and have names of prominent twist drill makers. I actually bought some of these NEW at an old-time hardware store. Some have the standard tip angle for drilling metal, and a few have a 90 degree included angle for drilling wood. The point is, they were quite common in our grandparent's time.

    Some of the early "post drill" handcranked drillpresses accept bitstock tools, although most post drills I've seen take a 1/2" straight shank with a flat or two for a setscrew.

    The quickest way to check to see if the tool in question is a countersink is to check the angle that it cuts.

    John Ruth
    Remember: The carpenter's brace *IS* a cordless drill whose batteries are never dead.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    St Louis
    Posts
    18,963
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    2249
    Likes (Received)
    3493

    Default

    Ok...... the bit is about 4" overall, by 0.437 (7/16) diameter, and has an angle of about 82 degrees, so it must indeed be a countersink...

    A two-flute unguided countersink (unlike the single flute but very well guided ones) strikes me as quite likely to tear and chatter around, as opposed to a rose bit that goes straight and causes no trouble.

    But, .......

    Editing.....

    it does OK..... maybe has some advantages, actually, I confess to being surprised. Crummy pine, C-sinks OK.


  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Cumberland, Maine
    Posts
    516
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    84
    Likes (Received)
    127

    Default

    JST:

    I'm a bit surprised, actually, that it worked that well in soft pine. Try it in some harder stuff, right up to mild steel, and I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.

    For those who think it might be a drill bit, I'd scan a catalog page if my scanner was working, or shoot one if I had a digital camera, but for now you'll have to take my word for it that Marples and Preston sold them as countersinks.

    It wouldn't serve very well as a drill bit. As you sharpened it back, it would lose its diameter. Unlike the track bits, which have parallel sides and keep their size as they are sharpened.

    There are a couple of advantages against the rose countersink. One is in sharpening - all you ever have to file or grind or hone is the bottom surface. Sharpen a rose countersink a few times, and it's not very likely that all cuting edges are still cutting. Another is in the cutting angle - whereas a rose countersink pretty much scrapes the work, this one has a hook to the cutting edge that allows it to slice rather than scrape.

    Hold on - I just found a Mathieson catalog reprint that I thought I had. Alexr. Mathieson & Sons, Ltd., Saracen Tool Works, East Campbell Street, Glasgow. Eighth Edition, 1899. Page 40 has three different countersinks:

    1071 - Countersinks, Cast Steel, Black, Flat Head, for Iron, 4/6 doz.
    1072 - Countersinks, Cast Steel, Black, Snailhorn, for Wood, 5/ doz.
    1073 - Countersinks, Cast Steel, Black, Rosehead, for Brass, 5/ doz.
    Sizes stocked are: - Small, 7/16 full; Mid, 9/16 bare; Large, 5/8 full

    The one JST pictured is the 1071, for iron. The Snailhorn is a full cone like the Rosehead, but with only a single flute curving through it.

    They also show number 1074 Brace Drill Bits, which are somewhat like this countersink but longer and without the hook at the cutting edge. Doesn't specify whether for wood or iron. They wouldn't lose their size quite as quickly when you sharpened them back as would the countersink.

    The crescent with 8-point star was their trademark for Best Quality goods. For Second Quality, they used a crescent with a cross, or Crossmark Keen & Co., Glasgow. For Third Quality, they used a large G with Tertius Keen & Co.

    The Scots pound was worth $5.00 US in 1899. Which made the shilling, at twenty to the pound, worth $0.25, and the pence, at twelve to the shilling, worth about $0.02.

    And that, my friends, is my $0.02 worth.

    John,

    whose great-great-grandfather was a mechanical engineer in the Hutchesontown area of Glasgow just across the Clyde from Mathieson and may very well have worked there

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    St Louis
    Posts
    18,963
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    2249
    Likes (Received)
    3493

    Default

    The mark is hard to distinguish, but it does appear to be a crescent and star, so that must be "best quality"...... no wonder it works well.

    Yes, the hook edge actually curled up a coil of wood as it cut. Didn't try it on metal.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    santa monica, CA, usa
    Posts
    33
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    2
    Likes (Received)
    2

    Default

    this seems like a relevant thread, what are these bits? there must be a name, these are way too heavy for a brace, the thickness ranges from .414" to .356 inches, they are good HSS, I can barely mark one at all with a good hard scribe. They are from the estate of a good friend - what are they? how are they used? I keep thinking they are for some specific operation on heavy iron.
    The longest is 11 inches approx, the smallest is just over 7 inches.20210221_181239.jpg20210221_181232.jpg20210221_181216.jpg

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Apr 2020
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Ohio
    Posts
    900
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    865
    Likes (Received)
    308

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by bill noble View Post
    this seems like a relevant thread, what are these bits? there must be a name, these are way too heavy for a brace, the thickness ranges from .414" to .356 inches, they are good HSS, I can barely mark one at all with a good hard scribe. They are from the estate of a good friend - what are they? how are they used? I keep thinking they are for some specific operation on heavy iron.
    The longest is 11 inches approx, the smallest is just over 7 inches.20210221_181239.jpg20210221_181232.jpg20210221_181216.jpg
    Look kinda like them plastic blades that go in the head of a lawn trimmer. Give them a whirl and let us know.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Oregon
    Posts
    5,586
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    5323
    Likes (Received)
    2089

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by bill noble View Post
    what are these bits? there must be a name, these are way too heavy for a brace, the thickness ranges from .414" to .356 inches, they are good HSS, I can barely mark one at all with a good hard scribe.
    I am speculating here, as I've not seen bits like that before. But I wonder if they were used in finishing bells/bores for musical instruments.


Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •