I’m not sure how unusual tools find me, but another has landed on my lap. This time it was an odd-looking drill press. I spotted it in a local antique shop and knew it was some sort of drill press with its flywheel and depth handle, but it was a drill press like I had never seen before. I could tell it was for drilling through pipe because of the claw like clamping pads that could wrap around pipe after adjusting the bottom arm.
I brought the drill press home and after cleaning it up, I clamped one of my bar clamps across my workbench and attached the press to one end of the pipe.
After studying the press a little bit, it dawned on me that I actually clamped the drill press upside down. The arm clamps down on top of the pipe, then the user turns the flywheel while pulling up the depth adjustment arm drilling a hole.
I realized it was upside down because of a small level on the bottom of the press which guides the user to place the tool level.
Here’s another view of the press in its rightful state.
Luckily, there was a maker’s plate on the back. The tool was made by The Skinner Irrigation Co in Troy, OH. I googled the company name and found they were a turn of the century company that specialized in laying irrigation systems. Apparently this tool was used to tap into pipes to attach some sort of nozzles in a direct line with each other. Also, on the plate there was a patent number 893667 so I googled that as well. I found out that the tool was patented July, 21, 1908. You can read about it here. http://www.freepatentsonline.com/0893667.pdf\
The bit that came with the tool looks like a broken threaded tap. You can see that the collar doesn’t have a chuck so this must be a very specialized tool to do one specific job.
Who knows how many of these hand drilling devices were made, but I’m glad this one found me.
2 thoughts on “The Skinner Irrigation Co Hand Drilling Device”
In looking at your drill press and judging the size of the pipe and holes, I would guess this is for drilling holes for misters like we used to have in the propagating house for poinsettias. In order to get the cuttings to root one had to have a frequent source of mist which was supplied from overhead pipes set up with solenoids on timers. Each year we would disassemble the misters and pipes to soak the misters in muriatic acid as the water was very hard causing a lot of lime build up.
Sounds like you know exactly what this thing was used for. I figured it had to be for some sort of nursery or greenhouse for irrigation. Thanks.