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I spotted the following hand drill being offered for sale at $18 in an online Shopping Mall accompanied by this description:

"Vintage hand drill has a wood handle that unscrews at the end opening to the storage for drill bits in the handle. This is a fun and functional drill that would be great start for a young wood worker."

Whenever I see a "grungy" Millers Falls No. 2 hand drill (which this obviously was) with the adjustable friction roller offered for sale I always check it out for I know it is pre-World War II production and may be a desirable early type. So I purchased this one.

In this instance I sensed that the failure of the orange paint to adhere to the wood surfaces very well was because the wood was Brazilian rosewood or cocobolo - both notoriously difficult to paint - even with very careful preparation - due to their dense and oily surfaces.

So it was off to my local Ace hardware store for advice on paint stripper selection and use. The paint department lady in charge has proven to be very knowledgeable in the past and I trusted her advice implicitly.

I had not purchased any paint stripper for many years and found the voluminous selection quite daunting. Without hesitation the paint lady recommended the product depicted below - "fast, easy to use and absolutely effective" she asserted - "just follow the directions on the can and the paint will be removed in a jiffy".

And so, armed with a can of this magical potion, a pair of chemical resistant rubber gloves and a stiff nylon brush I sallied forth confident and anticipating about an hour or so of stripping (paint that is).

Then an unexpected, but pleasant, surprise! I applied the stripper to all the painted surfaces by wiping it on using a rag. I waited a few minutes as prescribed by the stripper instructions, then wiped it off, again using the rag -- I didn't even need to use the stiff bristle brush. Presto -- all of the paint came off with very little rubbing.

All that remained was to remove the paint residue from the nooks and crannies and that I did using a pointed wooden stick dipped in stripper. I then rinsed off the stripper residue per the instructions. Total time required to strip off the paint -- less than thirty minutes!

All that was needed to restore the original beauty of the wood surfaces was a brisk rub-down using a soft dry rag. The surfaces soon took on that warm soft glow of polished exotic hardwood. And now another pleasant surprise -- the main handle and crank handle were rosewood, with the side handle being stained hard wood. Surely this couldn't be an early, circa 1910, No. 2 drill marked with the Millers Falls five pointed star trade mark? ( George Langford's Group 2J, Type F).

The answer came when I carefully removed the accumulated grime and light surface rust from the metal surfaces (mostly using 00000 steel wool dipped in oil). Revealed on the crank was:

After application of light machine oil to the appropriate lubrication points and adjusting the friction roller the drill runs freely and smoothly albeit with the usual handle wobble.
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