Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Carbide masonry drills

I was recently reorganizing my masonry drills and discovered a number of both storied and (to me) unfamiliar names. Below, what looks like "Bardu."  I can't find any information on this maker.

Below, "Buck" made in Sheffield.  Again, no information on the web.

A 13-mm "David":


Founded in 1913 as The Sheffield Twist Drill & Steel Company by H.A. Dormer and L. Robertson, the famous Dormer Dovecote trademark was registered in 1917, based on a Dutch agent's suggestion of a windmill with a Dormer window.

The company celebrated its centenary several years ago.  According to The Manufacturer:

"Dormer’s history has been interspersed with industry innovations. Back in 1950, for example, the company was the first drill manufacturer in Europe to introduce the Steam Temper treatment, with its characteristic blue finish, to its products. This treatment proved highly successful and received widespread acclaim from the engineering industry.  
As long as 46 years ago, Dormer was showing its initiative for embracing emerging technologies when it acquired a new computer, leased from IBM, at a cost of £135,000. It needed its own air conditioned room and performed 30,000 calculations per second. A modern 2 GHz processor can perform 2,000,000,000 processes per second. 
And in 1984, the company was one of the first in the industry to make it possible for customers to electronically order products on line at a time when the internet was virtually unknown outside of the academic world."

Dormer was bought by Sandvik in 1992.  In 2007, the Swedish parent closed down the Worksop factory in England, putting 190 employees out of work.  (That factory had been opened in 1957, the realisation of Alex Dormer's vision to build a factory in rural surroundings.) In 2013, plans were afoot to convert the abandoned factory to residential lots and a nursing care facility.

General Electric, under their "Carboloy" brand:

Tungsten carbide cutting technology was simultaneously developed in the 1920's by the German Krupp firm (which called it  widia (from wie diamant, "like diamond") and General Electric, which called it "carboloy."  In 1928, the Carboloy Department of GE was formed.  It was acquired by Sandvik in 1987.

Joran, Denmark:

Joran was founded in Thisted, Denmark in 1944.  In 1994, it was acquired by American Tool Companies, Incorporated, the company founded in 1985 by the Petersen family behind Peterson Manufacturing and its famous Vice-Grip pliers.  In 1993, American Tools acquired Irwin Tools.  In 2002, Newell-Rubbermaid acquired American Tools, and renamed it Irwin Industrial Tools a year later.  Ironically, or perhaps coincidentally, the founder of Petersen Tools was himself a Dane.  

Rawlplug, England.  Not carbide, but a masonry bit nonetheless:

Rawlplug was named after a fibre wall plug patented by John Joseph Rawlings in 1911.  The firm is now owned by a Polish company.


Rex.  No idea where it was made.

Roxite, England.  

It appears that this was a trademark used by Marsh Brothers & Co. of Sheffield which, founded in 1654, seems to have foundered in the 1960's.

1954:  http://www.gracesguide.co.uk/Marsh_Brothers_and_Co

Westa, Germany:

Westa Werkzehau GmbH, Germany was acquired by Vermont American in 1985.

Wickaloy, Canada.   

Wickaloy was a brand of A.C. Wickman Limited, a British firm which had a Canadian subsidiary in Toronto.  

1943:  http://www.gracesguide.co.uk/A._C._Wickman

The company was the oldest manufacturer of carbide in Canada, and was acquired in 1979 by the giant Kennametal corporation of Latrobe, Pennsylvania, the largest manufacturer of metal-cutting tools in North America, and the second-largest worldwide. (Interestingly, Kennametal bought the Canadian company from John Brown & Company of London, England, presumably the same Scottish ship-building firm that made such famous vessels as the Lusitania, the H.M.S. Hood and the Queen Elizabeth 2, and that is featured in the 1961 Academy Award winning documentary, Seawards the Great Ships.)  Not surprisingly, after the purchase, Kennametal slashed workers' numbers and wages.

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