Ratchet (Rickety) Drill

The ‘rickety drill’ is a ratchet drill for drilling holes into the coal face into which an explosive material was inserted. The explosive – black gunpowder in the early days – was used to dislodge large masses of coal.   A series of lengths of drill bit were used, starting with the shortest and finishing with the longest as the drilling took place. The shortest drill bit is missing from this set.   The small point on the back of the drill allowed it to be jammed into a length of timber which was itself securely lodged between the mine floor and roof, so that the drill bit could be forced progressively into the coal face.
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length of longest drill bit 1171mm
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