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  1. #1
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    WWI Mills No.36 Drill Grenade

    At last...
    WWI Mills No.36 Drill Grenade.JPGWWI Mills No.36 Drill Grenade 2.JPGWWI Mills No.36 Drill Grenade 3.JPGWWI Mills No.36 Drill Grenade 4.JPG

    Why so pleased? I bought this dug Mills No.36 drill in 2014 and on and off for the last few years I have been trying to get the base plug undone so I can dismantle it. Finally today the rust surrendered and you wouldn't believe how childishly happy I am. The next stage will be undoing the centre tube and I have filled the bottom of the grenade with Plus Gas and will leave it to soak for a week.

    A discovery I wasn't expecting was that it was fitted with an improvised drill detonator when it was last assembled. Someone had got a fired ICI made .22 case and wrapped it in lead to make it fit. I think there was also an improvised fuze cord. but it has turned to powder. Parts-wise all it needs is a new lever and pin.

    Am I right in thinking that WWI drill Mills bombs were painted plain white? I have decided to merely ameliorate the pitting a bit rather than try to conceal it completely as it's such a small and fiddly shape.

    I was starting to consider more destructive methods of getting it apart. Maybe it read my mind..?
    Last edited by peregrinvs; 6th May 2018 at 08:36 PM.

  2. #2
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    I've just found some pre-cleaning pictures. The lever was still there, but was too corroded to be salvageable.
    Mills No.36 drill - pre-clean (4) r.jpgMills No.36 drill - pre-clean (2) r.jpgMills No.36 drill - pre-clean (3) r.jpgMills No.36 drill - pre-clean (1) r.jpg

  3. #3
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    I've given up for the time being on trying to get the centre tube out. The oil is penetrating the threads, but it shows no sign of wanting to move and all I seem to be doing is gradually bending the aluminium. Never mind, it would be merely icing on the cake. On a more positive note it has been correctly reassembled and 'cocked' for the first time in a century.

    WWI Mills No.36 Drill Grenade - assembled (1).JPGWWI Mills No.36 Drill Grenade - assembled (2).JPGWWI Mills No.36 Drill Grenade - assembled (3).JPGWWI Mills No.36 Drill Grenade - assembled (4).JPG

    At some point I shall repaint it, but no rush. (Too many other half completed restoration projects...)

    PS. Does anyone have any clever tips or tricks for removing a seized aluminium centre tube?

  4. The Following User Says Thank You to peregrinvs For This Useful Post:

    URG86-collector (9th May 2018)

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    completely submerge the grenade in diesel for a couple of weeks or longer,i have had a lot of success this way with fuzes etc
    although the aluminum may be so badly corroded to the cast body that drilling it out may be the only way.
    heating and rapid cooling several times is also a good way to break things free

  6. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to kiwieod For This Useful Post:

    millsbomber (10th May 2018), peregrinvs (11th May 2018)

  7. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by kiwieod View Post
    completely submerge the grenade in diesel for a couple of weeks or longer,i have had a lot of success this way with fuzes etc
    although the aluminum may be so badly corroded to the cast body that drilling it out may be the only way.
    heating and rapid cooling several times is also a good way to break things free
    I'd actually had it sitting in paraffin for 6 months before removing the base plug, although I'm not sure how much difference it made in the end. I might try some heating and cooling cycles with boiling water. Having googled it, I think aluminum expands more than steel, but it should also contract faster when cooled.

    Could any metallurgists confirm my reasoning?

  8. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by peregrinvs View Post
    At last...
    WWI Mills No.36 Drill Grenade.JPGWWI Mills No.36 Drill Grenade 2.JPGWWI Mills No.36 Drill Grenade 3.JPGWWI Mills No.36 Drill Grenade 4.JPG

    Why so pleased? I bought this dug Mills No.36 drill in 2014 and on and off for the last few years I have been trying to get the base plug undone so I can dismantle it. Finally today the rust surrendered and you wouldn't believe how childishly happy I am. The next stage will be undoing the centre tube and I have filled the bottom of the grenade with Plus Gas and will leave it to soak for a week.

    A discovery I wasn't expecting was that it was fitted with an improvised drill detonator when it was last assembled. Someone had got a fired ICI made .22 case and wrapped it in lead to make it fit. I think there was also an improvised fuze cord. but it has turned to powder. Parts-wise all it needs is a new lever and pin.

    Am I right in thinking that WWI drill Mills bombs were painted plain white? I have decided to merely ameliorate the pitting a bit rather than try to conceal it completely as it's such a small and fiddly shape.

    I was starting to consider more destructive methods of getting it apart. Maybe it read my mind..?
    Hi Peregrinvs, Yes, drill 36Ms were painted white. The only other means of identification that I am aware of is the 4 holes in the body. Good job you are patient, it is paying off nicely.
    Any live or dug ordnance shown in my posts has been dealt with accordingly by eod personel

 

 

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