Drill-Powered Saw

This is something I had never come across before, but it seemed I was in a minority of one in recent discussions.  Perhaps it had never made it across the ditch (to NZ), or perhaps I’m just showing my age.

Drill Powered Saw

Drill Powered Saw

I guess before the massive insurgence of cheap, mass produced power tools, getting the maximum use out of the few tools you owned was definitely the done thing.

The blade is definitely not carbide tipped, guess it wasn’t common back then!

The blade is well guarded for the operator, and the tool has good control, which I was a little apprehensive about.

Rear of saw

Rear of saw

There is variable cutting depth, and it originally came with a guide.

Rip and Crosscut

Rip and Crosscut

I gave it a quick try in some pine, both rip and crosscut, and it worked very effectively.  It didn’t have a huge depth of cut for obvious reasons, but still, pretty cool.

I haven’t even sharpened the blade, and it has probably been 20 years or more since it was last used.  Didn’t seem to make any different though. 🙂

14 Responses

  1. Hey Stu, I reckon there is still one or more similar items down in my Dad’s shed….

  2. Where does the drill go?

  3. I’ve actually got my old 1938 bandsaw on this site for old woodworking tools: http://www.old-woodworking-tools.net/antique-woodworking-tools.html

  4. That attachment, of which I still have one, was part of the Sher Shopmate package that was available in the 1960’s. There were a variety of attachments, including a table saw, a sanding drum, and a sanding faceplate, among other items. There was also a jig for making box joints. The whole system was powered by a Sher Powermatic two-speed drill of which I have two examples both still working! The drill was made entirely of metal, weighs about one tonne, and has tremendous torque.
    The Shopmate was a rudimentary ‘home workshop’, filling a role similar to that later taken over by Triton.

  5. My Dad had a set of attachments for his Black and Decker power drill. There was a jigsaw, sander and circular saw. The jigsaw and sander were just about ok but the CS was downright scary. I don’t think any part of the kit was as good as even the most basic budget tools. The drill itself still works well, coming up for 37 years old and still on the original set of brushes.

    • This is all pretty cool – it might actually be fun to track some of these down – Sher, B&D or whatever. Bet they don’t cost very much either – as far as collector items go I’m sure they are not high on most lists (unlike handplanes for example), but they are part of the real history of woodworking, and tools in general – the stuff the home handyman would aspire to have.

      Not unlike the Triton actually – not a top level tool, but still placed on a pedestal by many many shed dwellers as a tool (range) that they’d be proud to own, and not needing anything more. Any history of home handyman tools would do a serious injustice to exclude them.

      What is a theme coming through loud and strong here is: what the hell is wrong with modern tooling? These old drills are outlasting the modern stuff by miles. How did we as a society allow the manufacturers to compromise the home handyman market so badly that where once we’d be buying (expensive) quality tools (and that was what we wanted), whereas now so many are happy to nip down to the shop and pick up a $10 power tool and feel like they have achieved something.

      I know that some of the budget tools are designed to have 10 hours of use before the bearings (or something else) fails. The rationale is 10 hours is more work than many of these tools will see in 2 years – ie when their ‘generous’ warranty expires.

      My Father has a fully metal drill at home as well, bought in the US in the early 70s. Heavy machine, and as I remember, excellent torque, and low speed (as a kid it was the drill of choice when drilling through steel, as I was prone to do for many billy kart designs I came up with).

      But all that is from another age. The world has moved on, and to our great loss.

  6. Hi All!
    Those Sher drills and attachments are still running hot!
    I have 2 of the 3/8 2 speed 750/3000 hammer tone ones.
    One I purchased in about 1970 from good old Pauls (QVB) is the gold hammertone one plus that deadly little saw attachment and vertical drill press. The saw takes some practice and fortitute to use but is quite effective.
    This drill has been re wound twice after working on various boats and around the farm ( I wonder if I can still get the brushes?).
    The other I just inherited is the older brown hammer tone with unpainted saw and polished orbital sander ( in original box). I hope it goes just as well but I fear that I will have to be careful as I suspect that it has been for a swim somtime in the past.

    I also have a 1950’s Wolf polished aluminium low speed 2 handed monster at about 500 rpm it will break your whatever gets jarred if it catches in a fence post or concrete – no need for inpact with this beauty.

    These modern plastic bodied things are TOYS!!!

  7. I have one of these little drills to sell if anyone is interested. I live in Roma, Qld, Australia.

  8. Sorry, I mean the SHER saw attachment for the drill!

  9. I recently purchased a drill operated circular saw. There is no brand on it. But on top there is a metal adjustable strap to attach any drill to it. Then you have to have a (I guess) drill bit like a big flat head screw driver to turn the blade for the saw. I was just checking around to see how old is this, or what brand it could be. THanks.

  10. Hi,
    I’m a bit late on this thread but I am looking for a switch for a Sher Powermatic Drill. Can anyone help, please? I bought the Sher Shopmate, to which the drill belongs, in 1966 in Canberra and it still works, with the exception of the drill, and this is the essential part of the oufit, of course.
    I have considered installing an inline switch operating just before the handle but I am not sure if this is a good idea.
    If anyone has a suitable switch I can buy please contact me at this email address:- bobmcl08@tadaust.org.au
    Bob McLachlan.

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