What a Unique and Ingenious Implement

Do you know what a Pump Drill is?  I didn’t either, till I was introduced to one during my silversmithing class the other day.  If I wasn’t yet quite under the spell of my new hobby, I certainly was after I’d met this unique and ingenious implement.

The first drills were really more like punches, which evolved to the hand twirling of a sharp object, leading to the first mechanical innovation in the field – the Strap Drill – thence to the far more efficient Bow Drill used by the Egyptians.  The Pump Drill is a Roman innovation – the Romans were masters at improving on others’ inventions, so I shouldn’t be surprised to be using just such a tool today – though I was surprised at just how much it thrilled me!

Many thanks to this week’s Photo Challenge for the excuse to post something about my exciting new hobby!  For other unique entries, click here.

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67 thoughts on “What a Unique and Ingenious Implement

  1. Interesting drill.
    I have something similar – where the central shaft twisted in it’s length and moving a handle up and down the shaft causes the drill to turn clock and anti-clock – it’s great for small delicate jobs – though I’ve tended to use it for drilling pilot holes. 😉
    Have fun with your new hobby.

    • We began by making a copper spoon, to learn a couple of basic techniques. Now we’ve moved onto a few basic ‘surface’ finishes. Hopefully I’ll finish my silver ‘sampler’ piece this week. I think it’ll be a while before I’m up displaying anything ‘my work’, but it might be interesting to put together a little post on what I’m learning. It’s so much fun!

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    • Inspired by those beautiful things you saw last year?

      I’m really enjoying it so far – it’s creative, but I need to learn a whole new set of skills and really hone my hand to eye co-ordination so it’s a mental challenge too – challenging and quite exciting 🙂

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  7. Silversmithing! We have a big studio just round the corner and the beautiful creations which come out of it are something to behold. I am full of admiration for anyone who works to master the art. Looking forward to seeing your creations!

    • It must be a little agonising to live so close to a showcase of beautiful things! I wonder if I’ll ever become good at it? I’m a little concerned about my abilities thus far, though I don’t mind at this stage, i’m enjoying it so much!

  8. Fascinating! This stuff will always interest me. Our technology may be advancing at record pace but the Ancients still have plenty to teach us. We’re fools if we don’t try to unlock their secrets.

    • You can say that again! There used to be a fascinating TV show where archaeologists and master craftsmen/women got together to try to replicate the tools of the past, and how they made things. I was riveted!

      • I know that show and am a big fan! Even today, its episodes are sometimes re-run — the “advantages” of 300 channels broadcasting 24/7 — and I’ll watch them again.

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  10. I’m somewhat mechanically and spatially challenged 😉 and I’m looking at it trying to figure out how it works, but like everyone else I’m looking forward to seeing some of your creations when you are ready to share.

    • I love silver, I love chunky jewellery – so if I get any good at it, I should be in heaven! I thought it would be a nice hobby to have when I get back to Oz too as there’s a Craft Cottage there with silversmiths, so I needn’t always work alone.

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    • We’re working on our first piece in silver now – mine is a sort of abstract elephant’s face – so far I’m happy with it! I’d really love to get good at it and design my own jewellery – that would be the ultimate thrill!

    • It’ll be a while before i’ll be able to combine my ‘creations’ with the word ‘skill’ but I’m getting better and look forward to learning more techniques when I get back home and get settled!

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