Hand tools are becoming evermore popular and eggbeater drills seem to be near the top of the popularity list lately so I thought that it would be a good time to finish the Miller’s Falls #2 eggbeater chuck rebuild. In a previous post I showed how to make new springs for this chuck (see 11/25/2012). It is the Ryther’s Patent chuck that was first introduced in 1922 and has been in use through the 1940’s and later. This chuck was made in three sizes and I think this is the middle size. It will hold a 3/8″ drill bit. The picture above shows the chuck removed from the drill. It is in as found condition, rusted, pitted and barely working.
The first step, after removing the chuck from the drill, is disassembly, and the first step to disassembly is removing the collar from the chuck shell. This is the part with the threaded hole that mounts to the drill spindle. The picture above shows my method. Put the chuck in a bench vise with soft jaws. If you don’t have soft jaws for your vise you can use a couple of pieces of soft wood such as poplar or pine. Hold the chuck high up on the body near the collar. This is to prevent distorting the chuck shell which is thin and easily squashed by the vise. The collar is threaded into the chuck shell with a right hand thread. Turn it counterclockwise to remove. Put some penetrating oil on the joint between the collar and the shell and let it soak in. If the chuck is badly rusted you can invert it and set it in a small container of penetrating oil to soak. This chuck collar has two holes, one on either side of the spindle hole, that are used to unscrew it from the shell. Find two nails that fit snugly in these holes with very little sloppiness and grind the points off. Hold the nails in the holes and use an adjustable wrench on both nails to twist the collar out of the chuck shell. You may need a third hand to tap the wrench to break the collar free and sometimes I have even used some heat from a torch. Once the collar is free unscrew it from the shell and the hard part is done.
If you are fortunate inside the chuck you will find a carrier with three jaws dangling from it, held by three bent wire springs. I say if you are fortunate because often the springs are missing or broken. If you have missing or broken springs refer to the post mentioned in the first paragraph for instructions on making new ones.
Wash all the parts in hot water and a strong grease cutting detergent. I like the “Amazing” spray cleaner from the Dollar Tree store. Dry the parts thoroughly to prevent more rust. Then use your favorite de-rusting method. Over the 25 years I have been dealing in antique/vintage tools I have tried most de-rusting methods and have settled on electrolysis and Evap-O-Rust, available in most auto supply stores such as AutoZone. For this project I used the latter. The picture above shows the parts as they came out of the de-rusting solution. You will notice the absence of the springs in the picture. I don’t de-rust springs. They can sometimes become brittle and break in any de-rusting method. Instead I clean springs manually and oil them.
After de-rusting I polish the parts using a non-woven abrasive wheel on an electric motor, but you can also use 0000 steel wool and a good metal polish such as Brasso. Polish the conical surface inside of the chuck shell, where the jaws ride using silicon carbide paper and your finger. I start at #180 grit and go up to #400 grit.
All that remains to do is lightly grease the moving parts and reassemble your chuck. The chuck now looks and works as good as or better than when new.
If anyone is interested this chuck is for sale. SOLD
As always thanks for stopping by and please feel free to leave a comment.