Saturday, March 4, 2017

Vanished tool makers: Solar Manufacturing Company, Germany

A cute little drill hand-operated drill press I picked up somewhere. Nice for very small projects where you want slower speed and complete control, such as drilling small plastic parts.  As the name doesn't say "West Germany", I suspect that this tool was made pre-WWII.  The only other tool I can find made by this company is a ratcheting brace, which turns up sometimes on eBay.  (There also seems to have been an American firm of the same name that made levels and copies of Stanley planes. I don't know if the German and American firms were related in any way.  Below, from a level being sold online.)

From the images below, these kind of drill presses were more commonplace in the days before electricity.  Interesting to see that some where built with an alternative bush for horizontal drilling. Curious--the whole point of a drill press is that you bring that work to it, not it to the work. I guess you'd have to move the drill press close to where you wanted to do this, then screw its base down onto something.

Low-Tech Magazine has an interesting history of hand-powered drills in general.

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