View Full Version : Rebuilding an Old Drill?

01-18-2014, 06:11 PM
Anyone have any input on whether this old drill may be worth rebuilding? I got it from a neighbor a long time ago, never used it. It looks ancient. The wiring is pretty scary, both at the plug end and inside as well. Would probably also need to brushes and a new chuck. I don't need the drill but having things around that don't work bugs me. And this has been around a while. Hate to throw it away if it could be solid after some work?

I'd probably have to pay someone to rebuild it; I don't really have the time and the cruiser has tons of pending projects.



01-18-2014, 10:05 PM
Probably your best bet would to recycle that old drill, and buy a new one. The new brushes, and the effort to find the right ones as well as the extra work needed would be more expensive than a new drill.

01-19-2014, 07:00 AM
Even if you can't use it...


It can be rebuilt and it would be worth it even if you can't or don't. A gear reduction 1/2" drill is handy if you remodel or do much carpentry. I'm sure someone (maybe even Milwaukee, if that's what it is) makes brushes for it and just about everything else can be cleaned up or fixed.

01-19-2014, 05:27 PM
Probably needs only the cord.
I'd repair it if it were mine. It looks heavy duty.
What kind of chuck is that? That may be the only reason not to rebuild it, if you can't fit your bits.

01-19-2014, 05:51 PM
Thanks for the feedback guys. The drill is a "Van Dorn" and its hard to tell what the chuck is. As best I can make out it says "TC Tool Company" but its been pretty worn down and abused.

I may get some electronics cleaner to get some of the dust out of the inside but a quick look and it seems like the cord replacement would be some work! It doesn't just terminate with an eyelet or a screw, its all one piece that runs right on to part of the motor. Maybe I'll look around a bit and see if there is a shop in denver/boulder/fort collins that does resto's of old tools. Anybody happen to know of a place?



01-19-2014, 07:35 PM
"The Van Dorn Electric Tool Co. was bought out by Black & Decker in 1928. The Van Dorn name was still used into the early 30's before it was phased out"- cool.

01-22-2014, 01:07 PM
That thing is sweet, if you can't get to it right away just hang it up and enjoy it on the wall! Most of the new stuff is not nearly as rebuild-able or designed with that old heirloom quality. Any bearings would probably be standard and even when you can't find just the right brush you can often find a larger universal brush and file to fit.

Cool Tool!

01-22-2014, 03:05 PM
I have a handful of old chucks and keys, but the thread size on the shaft is critical for determining what chucks would fit. If you ever shop ARC or Goodwill or flea market stores, look for a chuck that might fit. Pawn shops also end up with weird old tools. I realize that Estes Park (your apparent location) is a bit short on such shops.

01-24-2014, 12:09 PM
Thanks guys. I think the next step may be to try and pull it apart as much as possible and give it a good cleaning. Get a look at the bearings, wiring connection to the motor, how the chuck attaches, etc. There are a few smaller thrift stores up here but they don't typically end up with lots of tools. I have a different chuck that I also salvaged but it has no threads on it....maybe it'll fit. Only one way to find out I suppose :)

01-24-2014, 06:01 PM
If there is a screw inside the bottom of the chuck, it is likely LH thread. Dewalts are that way.