What is Archimedes drill?

Alan, Read you talking about an Archimedes drill to seat a
stone…What is it? I have never heard of such but very
interested. Ron Kreml

Alan, Read you talking about an Archimedes drill to seat a
stone...What is it?  I have never heard of such but very

G’day Ron; I felt that I had to jump in here as I have a book
which provides a photo of the thing being used. They are very
primitive and I doubt whether there are many in use right now.
The Maori people of new Zealand (and other primitives) used them
extensively to pierce wood, shell and stone - including NZ jade
(pounamu, greenstone, nephrite jade). The picture should tell
you how it is used, but the early people used a pair of small
stones as the flywheel Sorry if it took a while to download, but
I had to scan it at a decent resolution or it would have been
pointless in sending it Cheers now,.

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        /\      John Burgess
       / /
      / /      Johnb@ts.co.nz    
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    (_______) I often wonder what it is the vintner buys one

half so precious as the goods they sell.

Ron, Go to this site and it will show a picture of one. You turn
the shaft until the string is wrapped around it then you take the
wood section and move this up and down, the string will
continuously rewrap itself and in turn create a smooth release of
inertia in the opposite direction each time. Once you get the
knack a great tool. Not easy to explain… have to be there lol.
http://www.clan.com/CraftCastle/scotland/JoannaThomson/ Best
regards. Neil George

An Archimedes drill is a very primitive yet elegant device found
all over the globe. Native Americans, like other indigenous
people use them to drill holes into stones. Also called a bow
drill the tool has a shaft about 18" long with a hole at the top
end and a bit mounted on the bottom. A wooden cross bar about
12" long with a hole in the middle is slipped over the shaft and
a leather thong connects the two ends of the cross bar. The
middle of the thong goes through the hole in the top of the
vertical shaft. The drill is cocked by turning the shaft to wind
the throng around the shaft, while pulling the cross bar up
toward the top of the shaft. Then one hand with spread fingers
grabs the cross bar and pumps it down, turning the shaft, and
then allows it to wind around the shaft the other way. This pump
action is what makes the drill cut.

The thing about these drills is that they are operated with one
hand and that the control of the bit is enhanced because of the
opportunity to make corrections, control the speed and control
the pressure.

Alan Revere
e-mail: alan@revereacademy.com

Revere Academy of Jewelry Arts
Web site: http://www.revereacademy.com
760 Market Street, Suite 900, San Francisco, CA 94102
phone: 415/391-4179 fax: 415/391-7570

Thanks John for the picture. I always woundered what life was
like befor the flexshaft. What type of chuck did it have to hold
the bits? I just love old equipment. Hows winter going down
there? Thanks again, Ron Kreml