Metalworking (rec.crafts.metalworking) Discuss various aspects of working with metal, such as machining, welding, metal joining, screwing, casting, hardening/tempering, blacksmithing/forging, spinning and hammer work, sheet metal work.

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Old May 19th 05, 08:10 PM
Grant Erwin
 
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Default mystery tool

This is another one from my neighbor's basement. It looks pretty much like
a screwdriver, except the shank is tubular, about 3/8" OD, with a quick
disconnect chuck on the end. The end of the handle screws off to reveal a
bunch of bits. These are not screwdriver bits. They are like drill bits but
they aren't twist drills. From the end they look quite a bit like a twist
drill but only the end has helical relief. On the sides are two straight
flutes, no spiral at all. The tool is self-twisting, i.e. when you push it
into the work it twists. The only lettering says "YANKEE".

Anyone know what this tool is, and what craft uses it? The bit sizes range
from about 1/16" to about 3/16".

GWE

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Old May 19th 05, 08:19 PM
Dave August
 
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Grant,

I remember those from my childhood, my ole man had 3 in different sizes the
he got from HIS ole man. They called them "Yankee screwdrivers" (real
original name huh). There is a little sliding thingie that will make it
turn left or right or lock it. The ones my dad had came with several
different straight and philips bits and IIRC the bigger one did have a
couple of those drill bit like you've described. I don't think these were
for any special trade or craft, but was just the first 'automatic'
screwdriver invented. And I think my brother still has them.

A bit of googeling has turned up the fact that Stanley bought the name a
while ago and was makeing up until a few years ago. I imagine that all
battery powered screwdrivers and drills have made them pretty mush obsolite.

Thansk for bringing back some good old memories.

Dave

This is another one from my neighbor's basement. It looks pretty much like
a screwdriver, except the shank is tubular, about 3/8" OD, with a quick
disconnect chuck on the end. The end of the handle screws off to reveal a
bunch of bits. These are not screwdriver bits. They are like drill bits
but
they aren't twist drills. From the end they look quite a bit like a twist
drill but only the end has helical relief. On the sides are two straight
flutes, no spiral at all. The tool is self-twisting, i.e. when you push it
into the work it twists. The only lettering says "YANKEE".

Anyone know what this tool is, and what craft uses it? The bit sizes range
from about 1/16" to about 3/16".

GWE



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Old May 19th 05, 08:22 PM
Leo Lichtman
 
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"Grant Erwin" wrote: (clip) Anyone know what this tool is, and what craft
uses it? (clip)
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Yep. The answer is right on it. It's a Yankee screwdriver. If the toolset
in the handle were complete, it would include a couple of screwdriver bits,
along with the drill bits. It supposedly would be used by people in the
wood crafts, like carpenters and cabinet makers. I have seen them in
collections, tool sales and flea markets, but I have never known of one
actually being used. As a screwdriver it's not too good, because the bit
tends to slip out of the slot as it spins, and when it does, the rest of the
stroke drives it into the wood.


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Old May 19th 05, 08:56 PM
 
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Grant, it sound like a "Push Drill" to me, particularly since the bits
have two straight flutes as was then the common design.

At a glance, the tool iself looks like the classic Yankee Screwdrive,
and employs a very similar rotation mechanism. I believe that Yankee
may have even manufactured push drills as well as screwdrivers. The
push drills were much faster to use than the conventional variety of
hand-cranked screw drivers that were still the major alternative.

Both of these tools pretty much vanished from the market after battery
operated drill/screwdrives made an appearance, but through the late
1950s both were found in most cabinet makers and carpenters tool boxes.

They were particularly popular with storm window and door contractors,
because they needed only one hand to operate, freeing the other to hold
the storm window or door fram in place.

Harry C.

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Old May 19th 05, 09:01 PM
[email protected]
 
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Whoops... I posted:

"hand-cranked screw drivers"
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

What I meant to post was 'drills'.

Harry C.

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Old May 19th 05, 09:23 PM
Boris Beizer
 
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"Grant Erwin" wrote in message
...
The tool is self-twisting, i.e. when you push it
into the work it twists. The only lettering says "YANKEE".


Yu-up. It's a "Yankee-Handyman" screwdriver, sonny boy! If you have it
working right, there's a little slide gizmo. Slide it to one side it goes
clockwise, to the other side, counter-clockwise, and in the middle, it's a
regular screwdriver. I was delighted to get a repairable one a few month's
ago for about 25cents. Contrary to what some may believe, it is definitely
not obsolete. When you have some delicate stuff to do, such as putting a
screw through a glass mirror, I find that the Yankee is the tool of choice.
Much better feel than setting the clutch on my Makita. I've got the middle
size and will be on the lookout for the smallest and the largest. I like
the Yankee so much that I've adapted other shanked bits to its use.

Boris

--

-------------------------------------
Boris Beizer Ph.D. Seminars and Consulting
1232 Glenbrook Road on Software Testing and
Huntingdon Valley, PA 19006 Quality Assurance

TEL: 215-572-5580
FAX: 215-886-0144
Email bsquare "at" sprintmail.com

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Old May 19th 05, 09:39 PM
[email protected]
 
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Boris Beizer wrote:
I like the Yankee so much that I've adapted other shanked bits
to its use.


I have one in my camping gear. There's an easy modification
that really increases their adaptability: Take a magnetic
bit holder for an electric screwdriver, grind the shank round,
then grind in the step and retaining notch. Or it you wanted,
you could probably weld up something using a worn out Yankee
bit. This gives you access to all the modern interchangable
hex bits...

I still see them regularly at my favorite used tool store, and
the proprietor usually has a tray full of the bits on hand as
well.

You can help reduce the slipping problem by holding the collar
of the bit chuck (which rotates) tight against the screw while
you work the handle with your other hand.

--Glenn Lyford

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Old May 19th 05, 09:45 PM
Ed Huntress
 
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"Grant Erwin" wrote in message
...
This is another one from my neighbor's basement. It looks pretty much like
a screwdriver, except the shank is tubular, about 3/8" OD, with a quick
disconnect chuck on the end. The end of the handle screws off to reveal a
bunch of bits. These are not screwdriver bits. They are like drill bits

but
they aren't twist drills. From the end they look quite a bit like a twist
drill but only the end has helical relief. On the sides are two straight
flutes, no spiral at all. The tool is self-twisting, i.e. when you push it
into the work it twists. The only lettering says "YANKEE".

Anyone know what this tool is, and what craft uses it? The bit sizes range
from about 1/16" to about 3/16".

GWE


A Yankee push drill. I have two of them. They're great for things like
hanging Venetian blinds, drilling holes through 1/4" plywood for
boatbuilding, etc. I prefer them to electric thingies for lightweight jobs.

Of course, I also use my two Yankee screwdrivers, so maybe I'm just an
antiquarian at heart.

--
Ed Huntress


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Old May 19th 05, 10:02 PM
[email protected]
 
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Grant Erwin wrote:
This is another one from my neighbor's basement. It looks pretty much

like
a screwdriver, except the shank is tubular, about 3/8" OD, with a

quick
disconnect chuck on the end. The end of the handle screws off to

reveal a
bunch of bits. These are not screwdriver bits. They are like drill

bits but
they aren't twist drills. From the end they look quite a bit like a

twist
drill but only the end has helical relief. On the sides are two

straight
flutes, no spiral at all. The tool is self-twisting, i.e. when you

push it
into the work it twists. The only lettering says "YANKEE".

Anyone know what this tool is, and what craft uses it? The bit sizes

range
from about 1/16" to about 3/16".

GWE


This is the push-drill, not the screwdriver. I have all three sizes of
the Yankee screwdrivers, plus a couple of the drills, all inherited.
There's some rather rare bits so you can use the push-drill as a
screwdriver, they're smaller shank-size than the regular Yankee bits.
I think it's McFeeley's that sells the 1/4" hex shank adapters for the
Yankee screwdrivers, apparently the Amish use them instead of anything
electric. The hex bits are certainly a lot cheaper than the real
Stanley bits. No battery to die mid-job, either.

The push-drill was used by a lot of different trades, my dad used one
for putting up electrical fixtures in the pre-portable tool era. It
was a lot faster than trying to use one of those old eggbeater-type
breast drills. Good for doing things like kitchen cabinet hinges, too.
The only downside is the special drills used, they're quite expensive
to replace although the local hardware store still carries them, along
with the Yankee screwdriver blades. For drilling pilot holes for
woodscrews, the push-drill is probably as fast as a cordless, if not
quite as effort-free.

Stan



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