Sorry this is late folks. Rough week. Also, last edition of
Tidbits for two weeks. Closing for holidays. I wish you all the
happiest of times, and a most wondrous New Year.
The Pump Drill
When I started out in this business I was apprenticed to a very
fine diamond setter by the name of Albert who taught me the
trade. I became, and still am, for those of you interested, an
exceptional pav=E9 setter. I used a Foredom or a Pfingst motor, and
in the beginning I drilled holes in German Silver and in my
fingers. I would be hard put, today, to tell you which I drilled
more of at the onset of things…my fingers or the metal. I like
to believe it was the metal. Albert and I remained good friends
throughout the years, till his death. But some of his stories
linger on…and on…
He would tell me how easy I had it, using electric motors and
handpieces. In the old days, he said, they used a pump drill.
Yeah yeah. I was nineteen, and I’d heard the story a thousand
times. You used to have to pump the drill up and down by hand in
order to make holes in which to set the diamonds. Yeah yeah.
Albert, as it turned out, began to make more and more sense as I
got older. Eventually, I forgot the story of the pump drill.
Fact of the matter was, I didn’t really much care how they
drilled holes in the old days. That was then and now was now, and
never the twain would meet. Hey, we got electricity now Albert.
And running water. And indoor toilets. So you can take your pump
But this week, as I browsed my library for a Tidbits topic–not
always and easy thing my friends–I came upon a picture of (oh
you’re never going to believe this) but I came upon a picture of
and old Pueblo Indian using a pump drill to drill holes in
turquoise beads. And I looked at the mechanism. And I marveled.
It was so simplistic, and so insanely clever. A stick, with
twisted leather thongs attached at the top. When you push down,
the thongs unwind, turning the central pole, and the bit attached
I did not scan the old Indian…just his hand and the pump
drill. There is a large history surrounding turquoise and the
Indian bead makers who created jewelry from this gem. But that’s
for another time. For today…for this last issue before the New
Year, I present you–in memory of my old friend Albert–the pump
You know how to view it. To my home page, down the table menu, to
the box that says Tidbit Graphics, and click on pump drill. And
again…Happy New Year folks.
And there ya have it.
That’s it for this week folks.
Catch you all next week.
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