This section is from the book "The Boy Mechanic Vol. 2 1000 Things for Boys to Do", by Popular Mechanics Co.. Also available from Amazon: The Boy Mechanic, Vol2: 1000 Things for Boys to Do.
As the greater part of the energy required for drilling metal by hand is used for feeding the drill, I made what I term a drill box in which the brace is held perfectly true and pressure is applied by a weight. The feed can be changed for the different metals and sizes of drills, also for drilling the hard outside of castings and relieving the drill for the softer body. The constant feed will cause the drill to turn out a long chip, and a number of holes may be drilled to a uniform depth by using the same feed and counting the turns of the brace handle.
To build the box, first find the dimensions of the brace, as shown in Fig. 1: the diameter of the head A, the clearance B from the top of the head to 1/4in. above the top of the handle C, and the over-all length D when the longest drill is in the brace. Make a box having an inside length equal to the dimension D, plus whatever additional height may be necessary for the work. Make the inside width twice the distance C, plus 6 in. for clearance; and the inside depth the length C, plus one-half of the dimension A, plus 3 in. Use material 7/8 in. thick and nail the parts together to form a rectangular frame. Cut a piece of broomstick as long as the dimension B, and two pieces of wood as long as the inside width of the box and as wide as the dimension B. Cut two pieces 1/16 in. longer than the dimension A and as wide as the length B. Nail these latter pieces together as shown in Fig. 2, leaving a square space in the center. This frame is to be nailed inside of the top of the box flush with the front, but before doing so lay it on top of the box to determine where the center of the square space will come, and bore a hole, large enough for the round stick cut from the broom handle to slip through easily, then nail the frame on the under side of the top piece.
Ill: FIG.1 FIG.2 The Weights Apply a Constant Pressure to the Drill, Which can be Easily Turned
Procure a tough piece of wood, 1 1/2 in. square and long enough to project 2 in. over the right and 10 in. over the left side of the box top, and when in this position, locate the hole bored for the round stick and bore a hole in the square stick, 1/8 in. deep, to coincide with it. Place the head of the brace in the guide and push it up until it touches the top of the box and block it up in this position, then drop the round stick through the hole and rest it on the head of the brace. Place the socket in the lever over the top of the round stick. Make a loop, 8 in. long, of heavy wire and hang it over the right end of the lever and mark the box at the lower end of the loop. Turn in a large screw 1/2 in. below this mark allowing it to project enough to hook the loop under it. Remove the round stick and put a screw at the point the bottom of the loop reaches when the lever is flat on the top of the box. Another screw turned in between these two will be sufficient to hold the lever in position. Different-sized weights, of from 5 to 10 lb., are used on the lever, but for small drills the weight of the brace alone is sufficient. - Contributed by Maurice Coleman, W. Rox-bury, Mass.