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Restoring an Old Drill Press - Printable Version

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+-- Thread: Restoring an Old Drill Press (/showthread.php?tid=4978276)

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Re: Restoring an Old Drill Press - ASSEMBLING THE TABLE RAISER - stav - 08-19-2010

It's looking really good. I can't wait for the final shots.

Re: Restoring an Old Drill Press - ASSEMBLING THE TABLE RAISER - skizzo - 08-19-2010

Hey, lookee there... over 4000 views. Thanks folks.

Phil Thien said:

The photos are not bad at all. Perhaps it is your monitor or video card.

Thanks, same monitor and card, and I know they are less than 1/2 the resolution of all the others. The size of the other photos are 600 x 450 and run about 80K - 100K file size each. In general, distance shots default automatically to medium-high res at 600x450, and close-ups go to very high res (1024 or bigger) and I have to resize them before uploading. When I took these down to that pixel size, the files were only about 20K and almost unusable, so I went back to the raw photos (very hi res and 500K) and resized them down to a larger dimension (850 x something) so they'd at least have some clarity. They're ok, but not nearly as crisp as the others to this point. I'm still not sure what happened with the pics. It had something to do with having taken off the auto imaging and set the forced flash. Not the first time I've had to resize a bunch of photos, but the first that I didn't get the same quality resolution.

Re: Restoring an Old Drill Press - TABLE - skizzo - 08-22-2010

And down the stretch they come... one final small piece to tackle again before assembly. In disassembling the table, I could not get one stud out of the table locking mechanism. It was severely stuck, wouldn't budge, wouldn't turn, wouldn't wobble... nothing. The bore that it is in can't get cleaned very well while it's in there, which means the locking post won't be able to slide very well to loosen or tighten. To make things worse, I had dinged it up a little bit when driving out the locking post, and now the lock has an even more difficult time seating far enough in place to really be effective. It needs another effort... there has to be a way to get the thing out.

So I don't know exactly how it is seated in place. Somehow, on the right end in the above photo, it goes into the main table casting. I had tried earlier, gently, to see if it might be threaded, but I couldn't use much force with channel locks. It's a very unusual ultra-fine thread and I don't have a die to clean up any bunged threads. I don't even have any correct nuts to install as a double locking nut to grab and turn. In any event, it didn't move a bit when checking to see if it is threaded in.

Now, the next thought is that maybe it's a press fit instead. But I don't have any way to get a grip on it to pull other than the handle itself that screws on, and I don't want to damage that. I'm gonna have to get me a slide hammer at some point, I guess. What else can I do now? How about those wedges that are used to lever off the drill chuck. Worth a try.

Nope, it doesn't move at all, but again I don't want to really force it because I can't afford to damage the table or the part. But after using the wedge, the stud has a little bit of a wiggle to it. Hmmm... maybe something got unfrozen. Back to the channel locks wrapped in a towel. Well, well, what do you know, it is threaded after all. Couple minutes later it's out and both the part and the inner bore can all be cleaned up and prepped.

Now we're ready to go.

Re: Restoring an Old Drill Press - FINAL ASSEMBLY - skizzo - 08-22-2010

Long post warning... full assembly. Woohoo!

Time to put this bad boy back together. Took the better part of a Saturday morning and afternoon, but got done completely. Several times, I referred back to the original disassembly photos to get the sequence and connections right. The good news is that everything moves a lot easier now, so it's not too bad to have a do-over if necessary.

Start at the bottom and work up, beginning with the table raiser assembly.

Now the table and table raiser bracket casting.

The head support bracket, placed randomly on the column for a moment.

Now the head, then slide the support bracket up into place below it.

I had to make a decision at this point. When the machine arrived, the top of the table raiser drive screw was installed into the hole in the back of the head support bracket. You can see it back on page 1 in the original posts. The problem with that is that it sort of defeats the functionality of the table raiser, from what I can tell, because it limits the range of travel to within the length of the drive screw. A user would never be able to drop the entire table way down low without taking the head clamp bracket with it, thus losing the support for the head. So I decided that I'd rather keep the head support in place and use the raiser assembly without that upper bracket in place to keep it stable. Others may choose differently, but it took a while to figure it out. Bottom line, it's different than configured upon arrival, but I would consider it more functional this way.

After repacking the bearings with grease, install the spindle pulley.

Install the quill and the pinion. Quill first, lock it with the quill lock so that it doesn't fall out, then wiggle the pinion through and install the little return spring tab.

Install the return spring, tension it at least a little bit so that the internal keyway and tab stay engaged.

Install the handle, including the key that keeps it from spinning loose on the shaft.

darn, forgot to install the belt before installing the handle, pinion, and spindle. I knew that. Really, I did. The one thing that I've always considered to be somewhat of a design flaw on these WT900 drill presses is that the belt is fully captured inside the spindle and head casting. That means to replace a belt, you have to take off the handle, pull the return spring and pinion, and drop the spindle down low enough to get a belt between the top of the pulley and the head casting. It only takes 10-15 minutes, but it's still a bit of a pain. Oh well, no big deal for now, just a little do-over, in this case about five minutes.

Install the quill and depth stop bracket. We could do the stop rod itself now, but I'm going to hold off and do that later while making final adjustments.

Now on to the motor. You can either install the motor mount on the machine and then the motor onto the mount, or you can assemble everything on the bench and the mount the much heavier assembly onto the motor all at once. I chose the latter.

First the mounting rods, then the motor, then the motor pulley. The pulley is a very tight fit, and will again require a puller if it's going to come back off again in the future. I'll adjust the motor location on the mount later when it's mounted on the machine, in order to align the pulleys. For now, it's just easier to get the mounting bolts in place when gravity is working for you rather against.

And now it's on. There are still a number of adjustments to do for the motor to align the pulleys and to set the proper depth of the mounting rods for belt tension. But at least it's on.

Now to check the spindle runout. I didn't do this earlier because I like to check it both by slowly turning the belt by hand, then under power at speed. The spindle nose runout is less than .001, closer to .0005. That'll do, for sure. Whew... really glad to know that, especially after all this work. That is a critical aspect for this or any drill press to be functional.

Before getting on with the electrical, test the mechanical parts... pulleys, belts, and bearings to see if everything runs right across all four speed ranges.

Install the depth stop rod and test the quill range of motion. A lot of times, you'll find that stickiness in the quill is actually the result of the stop rod being twisted slightly and binding in the casting bracket. I've spent a fair amount of time before trying to figure out what needs to be tweaked in the quill/spindle/bearings/lubrication, only to find that it was just the stop rod that needed to be loosened and readjusted to free up the range of travel..

OK, now something that surprised me and took an hour or so of troubleshooting. I had already installed the spindle cap earlier, since it also serves as the upper pulley bearing retainer. When I first fired up the machine, it made a really odd whirring/high-pitched whine. Uh-oh, that's really not good... could be the bearings have to be dealt with and/or replaced after all. Took the spindle cap off, and the sound went away completely. Through a process of trial-and-error, repeatedly installing/tightening/loosening/readjusting the spindle cap, it became clear that it's not just a part that you slap into place and tighten down. It has a major direct effect on performance of the upper bearing. So I carefully and slowly adjusted all five of the mounting bolts shown below... the two side bolts that tighten the cap laterally, and the three top bolts that tighten it vertically. The conclusion is that the three top-mount bolts need to be tightened just one little pull shy of fully tight. They're still firmly in place, but that last tug solid introduces downward pressure on the bearing that changes its noise/performance significantly. Just slightly loose and all is well. Eventually, I eventually got it dialed in nicely, but it was much trickier than I had even realized may be the case.

At this point, we're ready to finish up the electrical, including installing the switch. I put in two upgrades on the motor side: installed a cord tension relief bracket on the side of the j-box, and drilled/installed a machine screw hole to provide a ground for the otherwise ungrounded motor. I never let an ungrounded machine leave here for someone else's use.

Install the chuck with a good solid rap with a mallet.

Check the runout on a chucked up rod that's pretty reliable, though not specifically a machined measuring gauge. Runout is a bit less than .004 half an inch below the chuck jaws... not perfect, but certainly not bad. It's actually a bit better than the 17" Delta that's my main daily user, and some of the runout is undoubtedly in the measuring rod that I'm using. It's way fine for user purposes, all things considered.

So now we have an assembled, ready-to-use drill press. The final product photos are coming in the next post, but this project is now done.


Re: Restoring an Old Drill Press - DONE - skizzo - 08-22-2010

And, in conclusion, the money shot thread in its entirety, with minimal commentary.

As arrived, if you recall from back on page 1.

As it sits now, finally finished and ready for use.

Total time on the project is right at 40 hours on the drill press, 10 hours on the motor, total time 50 hours over the span of a month (with one full week of no activity). Cost was $100 purchase price, plus $75 supplies and materials (wire wheels, paint, and motor bearings), total $175 into it. I have a sale pending with a local acquaintance at a price of $400, which is just slightly lower than I would have listed it for here, and I have a backup offer from another friend. So assuming the sale goes through, $4.50 an hour for my labor... but what other hobbies are out there that are free or better, as opposed to involving expenses? Plus, I salvaged a piece of American history, brought back to life a machine that many would have just assumed was scrap, and made a friend and his wife happy to have a very nice upgraded piece of equipment for their own woodworking. All in all, a nice combination of outcomes.

Thanks for looking... and thanks especially to the folks who provided input and assistance as I worked on this thing.


Re: Restoring an Old Drill Press - DONE - OldArn - 08-22-2010

Excellent post Bill! I enjoyed reading every page. Love the paint color and that two-tone motor looks fantastic.

Thanks for sharing,

Re: Restoring an Old Drill Press - FINAL ASSEMBLY - oakey - 08-22-2010

great thread well done indeed throw the delta away keep that W/T nice restore

Re: Restoring an Old Drill Press - DONE - mgfranz - 08-22-2010

Fantastic post Bill! Love seeing the old brought back to life.

Now if only we can do that to ourselves...

Just a side note, and I know it's late for input, maybe on the next project, instead of waiting for the paint to dry 3 days, stick in the oven at 200 degrees for about 30 minutes, it will dry to an extremely hard, durable coating. The only problem with doing this is that if there is ANY residual grease or oil it will cause the new paint to flake off.

Re: Restoring an Old Drill Press - DONE - rjdankert - 08-22-2010

Nice restore and nice posts. thanks

Re: Restoring an Old Drill Press - DONE - SteveL - 08-22-2010

How can you sell that beauty? It would be like selling my dog! Nice work, just too bad you live so far from here or I would pay you $5/hr for the next one.