Graphical Construction Glossary >> Woodwork. >> Hand Tools >> Breast Drill

Breast Drill
A hand operated drill with a pad on the end which can be place against the chest to increase the force applied. The drill operates through a wheel and pinion gearing, so it is possible to have a range of gearing. Two speed drills are common.

an old breast drill

Superceded for the most part by cheap electric tools, these drills date back to the industrial revolution. They work on a simple geared wheel and pinion mechanism and because of this where more often than not used for drilling steel.

It is easy to see that one turn of the handle turns the drill bit quite a few times. Compare this to a carpenter's brace which is in one to one ratio.

Note also that the crank arm is adjustable for length. Shorter allows faster speeds and longer gives more leverage and power.

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