This “Old Tools” mini-series has gotten pretty popular, so we went deep down and pulled out a drill from 1947 a Mall Drill Model 143-T one-speed corded drill. This tool was actually purchased when my grandfather got out of the Army right after World War II ended. He used it for his antenna installation business where it was employed heavily up until 1969. After that, this tool saw part time usage for the next 20 years. For the past 20 or so years it has seen only occasional use, mostly due to the advent of cordless technology and variable speed tools with integrated brakes.
But when we fired up this tool, not knowing what to expect, what absolutely floored us was how perfectly smooth and straight the shaft still spins (check out our video below). On top of that, the body has held up all these years due to the alloys used (possibly Magnesium-based). This tool looked great – incredibly well-built and rugged. It had been regularly lubricated and could have used a good tear-down, but the fact that it was still going after 60+ years is a testimony to the work ethic and build quality of American tools (Mall Tool Company was out of Chicago). The other interesting thing about this 1.5-amp drill was that it could run on both AC and DC current, making it extremely useful in industrial environments when access to DC generators was possible and tools could be run in that manner. I also loved the sound of this drill – it’s a machine.
The is yet another really really old, but really awesome, power tool.