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  1. #31
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    I see in the PDF, the attempts at drilling the Franklinite was unsuccessful. However the 4" holes in the Herring were, as the chest did contain Franklinite iron plate. Mmmm.

  2. #32
    Huw Eastwood is offline
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    4xlock, I see a big misunderstanding of terms there. The term ‘diamond pointed drill’ as stated in the pdf refers to a common cutting edge shape for the drills and also lathe tools typical of the time. You might have misinterpreted that as meaning physically ‘tipped’ with diamonds or diamond ‘coated’, ‘impregnated’ etc.

    It figures why the test didn’t penetrate the Franklinite barrier material and also explains their reference to emphasise the drills used being tempered by their best, as it’s an absolutely critical process in tool making to achieve the balance between hardness and brittleness, for the application in hand.

    If you look in old engineering books from that period you will see the term diamond pointed and diamond point being used a lot.

    Not even my much later 1500 page bible “Advanced Machine Work” from the 1920s makes any mention of tooling being physically tipped or coated with diamond, but diamond pointed drills and diamond point tools are used and referenced throughout.

  3. #33
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    Default diamond-pointed drills

    Diamond-pointed drills are today commonly used for drilling glass and [glazed] ceramics. They are preferably lubricated with liquid paraffin.

  4. #34
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    Default Re Diamond Drills

    A bit of time later I've tracked down one newspaper clipping from a much bigger article on tools of the trade for burglars. This is from 1893 Feb 16 newspaper article. I don't believe this is referring to the tip geometry. I have an add also 1892 for "the diamond drill is pointed with black diamonds". Also on an English criminal, in the US, who used diamond tipped drills for his work, caught around 1890. Somewhere there is a much older newspaper article if I can find it. It's a good number of years since I read it but I'm positive it was 1860's. I've never seen catalogues with these in for this time BUT newspaper articles pop up with these oddball things. It's quite clear that this was a well established technique. For a safe & vault opening job they'd use state of the art techniques developed through practical experience.
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  5. #35
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    Default Diamond Drill 1892

    Cutting
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  6. #36
    Huw Eastwood is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4xlock View Post
    A bit of time later I've tracked down one newspaper clipping from a much bigger article on tools of the trade for burglars. This is from 1893 Feb 16 newspaper article. I don't believe this is referring to the tip geometry
    Click image for larger version. 

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    During this period the term was commonly used for the type of drill with the geometry clarified previously, the 1893 newspaper article you’ve added is another example of reference to same, and, again without any clarification that the drill was actually ‘tipped with diamonds’, ‘studded with’, or the tip or point being ‘embedded with diamonds’...

    Quote Originally Posted by 4xlock View Post
    I have an add also 1892 for "the diamond drill is pointed with black diamonds"
    Click image for larger version. 

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    What happened to the rest of the 1892 advert from which that extract was taken ? Especially since it would be the smoking gun that quoted that the drills were actually ‘pointed with black diamonds’ ?
    Shame that, do post the rest of it up here, presumably you have it in order to have extracted that line from it ?

    Quote Originally Posted by 4xlock View Post
    Also on an English criminal, in the US, who used diamond tipped drills for his work, caught around 1890. Somewhere there is a much older newspaper article if I can find it
    References like this to diamond tipped drills unfortunately don’t confirm anything different that we already know, so do post up all of the adverts, brochures etc where you’ve seen them whenever you find them. Hopefully they will be more specific and actually confirm that the drill points or tips had diamonds actually physically set within them.

    FWIW, The techniques of the day are not under question, nor are the fact that they would have been built on practical experience like you stated. When you say it’s clear that it was a well established technique I’m sure it probably was, but that is with the known and commonly referenced diamond point drills of the day, until of course, we find evidence to confirm otherwise.

  7. #37
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    The problem here is the known core drilling done by the US government in 1892. Here we are not talking about diamond pointed in the early sense as these are 4" holes. The more I think about it, they were almost certainly diamond coated. This would have been state of the art equipment not seen in most or all commercial safe businesses. Unlike the salesmen like AC Hobbs who made a point of exposing competitor weakness, the government had no desire that their testing methods become widely known.

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug MacQueen View Post
    The problem here is the known core drilling done by the US government in 1892. Here we are not talking about diamond pointed in the early sense as these are 4" holes. The more I think about it, they were almost certainly diamond coated. This would have been state of the art equipment not seen in most or all commercial safe businesses. Unlike the salesmen like AC Hobbs who made a point of exposing competitor weakness, the government had no desire that their testing methods become widely known.
    In the Rochester Evening Express of the June 11 1869. Diamond drills and saws are discussed with the diamond dust costing $800 / oz. These were used for drilling very fine holes and cutting hard stone in the Jewellery trade. I've never heard of a Jeweller using a core drill to this day. This method of drilling was not invented on this day but an established practice. In the early 1900"s the article on safe cracking as a trade talks about diamond drills that can fit in your pocket costing over $100. These were regarded as stated of the art. Curiously again not found in any catalogues. It looks like the demand had always been limited and so made by specialists to order.

    There is a famous locksmith case of a locksmith doing work on the side. He was eventually caught in the early 1870's by chance. Safes had been opened on the East and West coast of the US. From the equipment he was caught with it appears he was drilling very quickly small holes through the hard barrier into the locks to open the safes. It looks like he plugged and repaired them as the CSI, of the day, found no means off entry. Or non that has come to light. They new he was out there and skilled. He'd portrayed himself as a great lock picker but I never found a case where he demonstrated that skill. But he was skilled opening locks with no apparent damage. He worked for Lewis Lillie for a number of years.

    Curiously around 1863 he advertised just how quick he could open the Yale Single Treasury lock. Putting the info together he was not picking them! Curiously this item was published with other items of people who were picking these locks. In his part he does not mention picking BUT opening. Your average drill of the day would struggle with drilling some of these hard materials in any decent time.

    Somewhere I have a list of burglar tools from the 1890's discussing the types of drills used. The types of steel they were made of and what they were used for. Diamond drills were for drilling the hardest substances. They had drills that would happily drill through a hand file and these weren't the diamond ones. In the article it does not state anything to do with tip geometry.

    What I have seen is an advert for "Annular" diamond drills for drilling rock. Curiously these were being used in the early 1850's, way before the patent.

  9. #39
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    Googling "annular diamond drills", I found an 1871 book " The Manufacturer and Builder" Vol. 3 p. 252 American Diamond Drill Co. Black diamond at $6-$7 per carat used. Annular pointed diamond was the description used and in this case we know it was not describing a solid steel straight or twist drill.

  10. #40
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    To be clear it’s not the use of diamond core drills thats under any question here, in fact it was me that first mentioned them back in post #24. They were clearly in use by the 1860s onwards as the later pictures of the 4” holes in the money chest clearly shows.

    What I’m questioning is that 4xlock made the initial claim about earlier use of ‘diamond tipped’ drills, not core drills, but referred to diamond tipped drills as quoted below.
    The newspaper cutting 4xlock posted to support this referred only to diamond point drills, which I recognised as a term used for the flat spade type drills precisely ground to a diamond point for use on hard steels at the time.

    Quote Originally Posted by 4xlock View Post
    1863 was patent date here. Diamond tipped drills were earlier and as far as I can see originated for safe opening. Not core drills at this point allowing for the core drill patent. James Sargent regarded drilling a small hole into a safe lock and poking a wire in it to open was "non destructive".
    My point is that those newspaper references to ‘diamond point drill’ don’t necessarily refer to a non core drill type that is tipped, coated or embedded with diamonds in the tip.

    I would have thought that the annular core type drills available at the time would have some sort of reference to that fact in their name and description, ie that they were of annular, ring, hollow or sleeve design etc and not referred to simply as a diamond point.

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