Pump Drill

Hi, The pump drill is still extensively used in India…and in
fact all of Asia. Electricity being undependable at best there.

I got mine in Sri Lanka as a stock item from a jewelry shop.

I have seen them at IJS (Indian Jewelry Supply) and Rio has had
them in the past as well…for around $25 usd.

The also work well to start fires …

On another subject…

I have recently been priviledged to get access to the only
Mtoralite to be mined in Zimbabwe, from the 1970’s…Only one
deposit was ever found… Translucent to semi-transparent green
of incredible depth… It is chalcedony with 2% chromium… the
green is truly magnificient and unique. And old stock Bizbee,
Arizona chrysocolla in quartz…gem silica.


will take you directly to the Mtoralite and gem silica page.

What a wonderful year with Orchid…

Thanks to everyone for being so generous and friendly…a true
internet wonder…

All the best in all things,


     I am looking for a source for a type of hand drill that I
believe is called a pump drill. 

I bought a fairly decent pump drill last year in India, it cost
something like 100 rupees; less than three us dollars; I find it to
be the best d rill type around when you are working without
electricity. I’ve seen som e guys use them for pearl drilling that
even have electricity available. If you can’t find a reasonably
priced one in the usa it not much of an a ffair to make yourself: a
double ended pin vise-- one end holding a foot long brass rod the
other end for holding the drill bits… any old spr ocket off a
bicycle would make a fine flywheel and the handle is just an d
wooden dowel anyway.

Its slow but precise, like the control and find it really nice for
drill ing very light gauge (<28 gauge) material. the only tip I can
think to re commend other than lube is to make sure of your
alignment;-- like when dr illing with a flex shaft-- the rod holding
the flywheel needs to be at 9 0 degrees to your work piece at all
times. Using low tech hand tools is oftimes quite fun; frees you up
from power needs and lets you do drill wo rk in places where you
might not get to work otherwise… like sitting at the beach.
have fun… mark Kaplan @mark_kaplan

Another word about pump drills. Also called “Archimedes” drills,
these drills are not anachronistic, crude stone age drills used to
gouge holes in shell or use to start a fire. And they are definitely
not antiquated (meaning too old to use), although they are rarely
seen anymore.

Pump drills are just as effective and efficient as ever, and they
have some advantages over other drills, aside from being wireless
and cool to look at. Anyone who thinks that a demel, a hand drill, a
pin vise drill or a flex shaft does the same thing, does not
understand how to use a pump drill properly.

The key to controled craftsmanship in any discipline, is to break
each operation down into small steps, thereby gaining control. For
example, you are able to get far more detail by slowly whittling
down a piece of wood with care, than by whacking off a chunk with
one cut. The same is true everywhere…more, smaller steps yields
slower more precise control. Because pump drills take a very small
cut with each forward revolution and then glide glide on the back
swing, you are able to control the angle of entry and the speed of
cutting with greater precision than any tool that cuts faster.

When setting diamonds in jewelry, pave style, this kind of control
is very helpful. Getting the tables level and the seats flat is
actually easier when you do it more slowly, as with a pump drill. It
is more difficult to acheive the same minute control with a flex
shaft revving at several thousand rpm.

Alan Revere