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Thread: Tmberframe beam drill

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
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    Mountain City, TN
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    Tmberframe beam drill

    I spotted this beam drill today. I plan to do a timber frame carport in the next few years

    For the those who are familiar with these, is this one worth $125?

    I've looked at the prices on eBay, but since I know nothing about these drills, I don't know if I'm comparing apples to apples.
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
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    If you're going to timberframe a building in a reasonable length of time, power tools are much more practical than muscle power.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
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    Fairbanks AK
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    I have been tracaking these for a while. The main thing is the gears, usually cast iron. If the gears are missing teeth you got a door stop. If all the gears have all the teeth the shafts and bearings and chuck can all be fabricated, repaired or replaced.

    A Millers Falls beam drill in good working order is going to be about $800 plus shipping. Swan brand will get a bit of a price premium as well, but not quite as high as Millers Falls.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    You're buying a robust antique with no source of repair parts. $125 is a fair start on a powered chain mortiser. Not mentioned in your search is a corner chisel, which I found invaluable.

    ****


    If you've done this before, forgive the repetition of what you already know.

    Working in green 8x8 each bore will take you approximately 25 seconds to depth.
    Figure three bores, minimum for each pocket you need to cut.

    Each pocket must then be cleared and squared with a proper chisel and slick.

    The first will go slowly, but you'll pickup speed as you get practice.

    This was the limiting step for me as my hands cramped after two hours.

    Figure ten-twenty minutes per mortice - longer for any mortices cut on an angle.
    Build a stub tenon as a template to test rough fit.

    If you're raising more than three bents, not only is this a time sink - it's also the source of twist to throw the assembly out of square.

    I would recommend the Makita chain mortiser. Once your finished it can be resold at a large fraction of your purchase price.
    Last edited by Jim Matthews; 09-19-2020 at 7:57 AM.

  5. #5
    Timberframing is one of the things I do for a living and I would love to have one of those. Properly set and calibrated they are quite capable and enjoyable to use. If you can get through the frame with it, it willl save you a lot of money vs a chain mortiser though it's slower. Speed ought not be a concern for a small, DIY project.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    Good point - but the OP didn't spec how many pockets need excavating.

    I did mine with a straight up mortising chisel. In green local pine, it was a dawdle.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Mountain City, TN
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    526
    My plan is to build a carport, so I don't want to buy a chain mortiser. I'm in no hurry to get it done as I will be retiring soon. Our property has plenty of trees that need to be harvested, so my material costs are low. I even has a friend who will let me borrow his sawmill.

    I will hire a professional to drop the trees. They are too close to the house for me to do it.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Bukovec View Post
    My plan is to build a carport, so I don't want to buy a chain mortiser. I'm in no hurry to get it done as I will be retiring soon. Our property has plenty of trees that need to be harvested, so my material costs are low. I even has a friend who will let me borrow his sawmill.

    I will hire a professional to drop the trees. They are too close to the house for me to do it.
    I was assuming a standard carport though you could well have a 24 car, exotic sports car collection you want to protect. In which case a chain mortiser may be a good idea....and a boom truck. ��

    But seriously, if the drill is functional, the bits sharp they are a delight to use and IMHO a cooler thing to keep around on the shop shelf than a chain mortiser. Keep us posted on the tool and build.

    B

  9. #9
    One thing to look for in a beam drill is reversing gears to back the bit out of the hole.

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