The first I heard of Wiktor Kuc was on a DVD by Chris Schwarz’s were he showed a North Brothers drill that Wiktor restored. I first got into contact with Wiktor Kuc via e-mail on 5/11/2014. He specialises in the restoration of various boring tools and in particular eggbeater-type hand drills. Wiktor was extremely helpful in terms of discussing the different models of handrills made by North Brothers, Goodell Pratt and Miller’s Falls that would potentially suite my needs. After quite a bit of that we decided on a Miller’s Falls no. 2 (ca 1938) as a general allrounder.
I managed to raise the dough by March 2015, which got me onto the waiting list. As you can see from the screenshot below, Wiktor sent my precious drill to me on the 10th of September. In other words, it takes some time, but believe me it is worth the wait.
I included the drill’s travel itinerary as it is quite amazing how it almost circumnavigated the entire globe to find me in Namibia. Another interesting thing to note is that it took only 11 days to go from Albuquerque to LA, LA to New York, New York to Washington, and Washington to Amsterdam. It then took a whole month from Amsterdam to Namibia!! They probably sent it with a long distance camel via the Sahara desert (or alternatively it might just have something to do with that old saying that goes “This is Africa”).
Anyway, the drill I received after all of this is poetry to say the least. I have to agree with Christopher Schwarz, that Wiktor restores these babies to a condition that is far better than when they were new in the mid 20th century. I have found that it can struggle a bit with the extremely hard native woods I work with predominantly, but it takes no prisoners in slightly softer species. For the real hard stuff I found a Goodell Prat no. 5½B from Jim Bode that has two speeds, but it has not arrived yet. I will report on that in a future post.
Wiktor is already working on a North Brothers no. 1530 for me to take care of smaller drilling jobs. I can highly recommend his work and customer service. Thank you Wiktor!