View Full Version : Cole Drill

09-20-2007, 10:53 AM
I am looking to buy a cole drill for a job. Does anyone have one they would sell? Is this type of drill being made anywhere? Has anyone made one?
Thanks, Paul L

Herm Williams
09-20-2007, 12:00 PM
We have two at work if you want I can check if one is for sell. Email me;

09-20-2007, 12:48 PM
I'll bite, what is a Cole drill?

09-20-2007, 01:23 PM
I'll bite, what is a Cole drill?

Isn't that what the "cole miners" use when they're drilling for cole??


09-20-2007, 02:10 PM
http://cgi.ebay.com/Vintage-Cole-No-7-Ratcheting-Drill-Blacksmith-Portable_W0QQitemZ220148652278QQihZ012QQcategoryZ1 3869QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

Your Old Dog
09-20-2007, 02:14 PM
I'll bite, what is a Cole drill?

I think they are used in hard to get at places where you can't put any pressure on the bit due to location. Used on ships and boiler rooms and things like that.

09-20-2007, 02:23 PM
They are a wonderful little device that do allow portable drilling in otherwise difficult locations. But they also allow drilling of materials that you really can't even power drill. For instance, you can drill through very hard materials using common bits because of the enormous pressure generated. And you don't even break a sweat doing it. It'll sink a 1" drill through a piece of truck frame in under 30 seconds with no effort to speak of. However, it is a bit bulky, so in some cases, difficult to get into position for the work.

09-20-2007, 10:52 PM
Hmm, seen them before but didn't know they are Cole drills.

09-21-2007, 12:22 AM
So I've heard that they can drill hardened steels etc, can anyone explain how this is possible? I mean I can put alot of pressure on a drill in a press and all it will do is dull the bit against hardened steels.

09-21-2007, 12:28 AM
I have one but it's not for sale. If you're close, you can borrow it! I've used it three times this year and would have been lost without it. The only other option would have been drilling the holes with a cutting torch. Stuff that's too large for a drill press or mill or too remote for electric are ideal candidates for the Cole drill.

09-21-2007, 09:57 AM
PM sent I have one to sell Ken

09-23-2007, 07:34 PM
I have one. Would not part with it for any amount of money. It will drill anything that won't break the drill outright. Glass, Granite, Hardened steel, Grey Cast Iron - right through a weld, all have succumbed to my Cole drill at one time or another. Even drilled a half inch hole through a grinding wheel. Why? To take $50 off a loudmouth willing to bet me I could not do it.

09-23-2007, 08:51 PM
So if I understand it. The bit is held rigidly in the spindle and as the handle is turned there is a thread on the spindle that forces the bit downwards?

Like a tap stand with a thread added to the spindle instead the of tap spindle free spinning.

If that's how it works... what's the TPI of the thread? Would seem to be fairly fine otherwise you'd be taking a hell of a bite, but also needs to take a lot of force. hmmm

09-23-2007, 08:53 PM
There is a rathchet on the downfeed nut so you can dial it in a butthair or hog it in.

09-23-2007, 09:14 PM
It looks like you have to use a big wrench on the downfeed nut? And the spindle slips through the nut. So you tighten the nut, crank the handle, tighten the nut.. etc... ?

I found a brochure here showing some uses for it and it says that it can put 1000lbs of force using a 10tpi thread. But doesn't go in to the operation.

09-23-2007, 10:22 PM
You should be able to turn the nut by hand unless it's all rusted up. It will nearly tighten itself when you crank the handle. There's a 1/2" bore on the business end. They came with a drill chuck mounted on a 1/2" straight shank. They also came with a V-block that could be used to drill round objects. You don't see many that come with the drill chuck or V-block. I got mine at a yard sale for $5 because it was missing the chuck and the guy didn't know what it was. I wouldn't part with it for any amount of money unless I could buy another.

Herm Williams
09-24-2007, 12:14 PM
The drills we have came with the v block and vise/anvil, the vise can be used (according to the instructions) as a big wrench. The vise with a cheater bar would probably weigh in excess of sixty pounds. There is a cole vise on ebay now (not mine)

Thomas Staubo
09-24-2007, 06:21 PM
I had to google it,and found some useful info here (http://www.oldengine.org/members/levans/colevise/).
Looks like a very handy tool.

Excerpt from the sales brochure:

PS. If you click on the link marked "promotional brochure", you are led to a page with several other documents.
One of the most interesting are the one named Flywheel Explosions, it seems that in the steam era it was a fairly common accident.

The writer noticed during one year no fewer than sixty newspaper accounts of serious fly-wheel explosions.
It seems that most of the accidents was caused by damage to, or failure of the governor and speed limit, after which engine raced and exploded wheel by centrifugal force.
Very interesting reading.
Some other quotes from the book:

[Large] segment crashed through roof and into room of a hotel a block away

So much debris is strewn about that it is difficult to determine ehether the picture is right side up

...hurling 8000-pound chunks great distances


09-24-2007, 07:08 PM
Herman, I talked to Ralph today and will be buying a drill from him. Thanks very much for the heads up.
Also Ken thanks for the offer.

Thomas Staubo
09-24-2007, 07:25 PM
I found a brochure here showing some uses for it and it says that it can put 1000lbs of force using a 10tpi thread. But doesn't go in to the operation.

I failed to notice what you said here before I posted, sorry for the duplicate answer.


09-24-2007, 08:06 PM
maybe one of our member would be so kind as to set one up and video it drilling through a 1/2" plate so we can see how easy and fast it is...

post the video on youtube...

09-27-2007, 04:53 PM
maybe one of our member would be so kind as to set one up and video it

That sure would be nice, I'd like to see that also?

09-27-2007, 05:22 PM
How about a file

J Tiers
09-29-2007, 10:40 AM
Does anyone know a patent number for these? I have looked around for patent documents, and have yet to find any.

On the other hand, I could easily have been looking for the wrong name. The very obvious search for assignee under Cole Tool Mfg nets no hits.

Edit: The interest in the patent was simply because I assumed that it had an automatic feed that I was interested in copying. Now I find that may not be the case.......

John Garner
09-29-2007, 02:02 PM
One of the exhibitors at a "living history show" (in the San Francisco Bay area about a decade or so ago) was using a Canedy-Otto hand-operated drill press that appeared to be mechanically identical to the Cole. I can't help but suspect that the C-O design lived on after the demise of the Canedy-Otto company under the Cole name.

09-29-2007, 03:35 PM
I have had one of the Coles drills for close to 20 years. One day an older fellow came around selling them. Along with it he sold a hex to threaded adapter he made to use a power drill instead of the hand crank. With it i drilled many a hardened steel loader bucket cutting edge with 1" holes so a bolt on edge could be used. It might be a little primitive, but you can do a lot of work with one. It's less cumbersome than a magnetic drill to use out of position. A while back we wanted to drill a hole in the target carriers at the rifle club for a lock pin. I was able to drill a 3/8" hole in 2" pipe on all 25 carriers using the hand crank in less than 2 hours easily.