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Re: Restoring an Old Drill Press - skizzo - 07-27-2010

mongo said:

For fun why don't you keep track of how many hours you invest in fixing it up. Be usefull for those deciding the new vs rebuilf debate.

I'm going to do that, along with the costs incurred. Depending on the status of bearings, costs should either be in the $75-$100 range or an additional $100 or so for specialty bearings in the spindle and pulley. I'll tally everything up in the end as I get ready to sell it. I hope to be able to at least break even when all is said and done. I'll report general times as I go, and summarize in the end. I may make 10 cents an hour if I'm lucky, which is why it's only a hobby... but at least it's self-sustaining over time.

Re: Restoring an Old Drill Press - skizzo - 07-27-2010

Jonny Rocket said:

I think a Famco 3-1/2 would be a perfect size and I just happen to have one sitting beside me that is sucking up room...

I saw that and showed it to LOML a couple days ago. I have a little Famco #2 that sits under a bench and is "portable" so to speak when needed. We'll see it later. If I ever decide to upgrade, it'll either be to a much bigger ratcheting arbor press or, more likely, a hydraulic H-frame. But either of those will have to sit outside... no chance I'm giving up that required shop space.

Re: Restoring an Old Drill Press - ACQUISITION - skizzo - 07-27-2010

EvilTwin said:

Many folks would be turned off, thinking its a "Rust Bucket".

It IS a rust bucket... big time. The difference from most who would look at it, tho, is that we recognize it's only rust and can be dealt with fairly easily.
EvilTwin said:

Chemicals are my choice, but I like to use heavy artillery up front.... Total time on the table was about an hour and it got down into that "T-slot" for the miter guage.

My choice is a coarse cup brush in an angle grinder. Very aggressive and gets into most places except tight corners. There, I finish up with a razor or beat up chisel, followed by some elbow grease and a scotchbrite. The base on this will probably take 20-30 minutes, the column maybe an hour excluding final buffing.

Re: Restoring an Old Drill Press - DISASSEMBLY - skizzo - 07-27-2010

Before I forget, the manual I'm using as the basis for this machine is from 1950, and is found here.


As seen on page 7, this drill press is officially a D-936, a floor model with a production table but not a slow-speed pulley. As noted above, the belt guard for the 936 is missing.

So, to the disassembly process. I'm going to break this into a few posts, a couple from last night now, then the remainder after I finish breaking it down. The first thing is to lube everything that needs to move with a rust penetrant to hopefully get them started loosening. There was a post somewhere a year or so ago that compared the effectiveness of several different products like Kroil, PB Blaster, WD40, and a few others. I just use WD40, which was in the middle of the pack at best. But it's cheap, available anywhere (I buy it by the gallon at Grainger), and isn't too hard on the hands. I've only encountered a couple items where it didn't seem to do the job.

The column/base gets plenty of doses because I expect it to be a real pain.

Then, just start taking large parts off. Start with the switch and motor. I always just cut the cords at the switch and at the junction box to get them out of the way, and toss the cords in the trash. If the plug is a grounded style and removable from the cord for reuse, I'll usually keep it. Removing the motor itself was a two-hand process, so I didn't take any photos, but it's straightforward. Then remove the locking bolt that stabilizes the motor mount depth rods and tap the plate out with a mallet.

Set them aside and get ready to do the head and all its components. That's a long post, so I'll do that separately.

Re: Restoring an Old Drill Press - DISASSEMBLING THE HEAD - skizzo - 07-27-2010

This is a particularly long post that takes apart the head subassemblies and pulls the head from the column.

First, the spindle cap comes off. In conversation with a couple other folks today, I learned more about different styles of spindle caps. Mine is bolted through a flange onto the head casting, and the part below the flange (inside the casting) serves as the bearing retainer for the upper pulley bearing. This is the first one like this that I've seen, as others have a steel sleeve that fits inside the casting with a tight slip fit to serve as the upper bearing retainer. I'm not sure how a spindle cap for that design works, but I assume it has a smaller flange that slips inside the steel sleeve. Others may know more or have photos to add.

Here is mine after removal... you can't see the threaded bolt holes on the top of the cast ring, but you can see the bearing that it surrounds. The slotted stud sticking out the side has a mate on the other side. As I understand it, they serve two purposes: set screws for the spindle cap and as the hinge bolts for the missing belt guard. I may be wrong, tho, as I've never come across one of the guards.

Now to remove the quill assembly. This is often an activity that scares off a lot of folks. But in reality, it's not bad at all and doesn't even take half an hour for a machine in reasonable condition. It involves removing the return spring on the left side in order to free up the pinion shaft that the handle on the right is attached to.

First, make sure the table is positioned under the quill, fairly close, and lock the quill lock lever on the side of the head.

Remove the depth stop rod, then turn your attention to the return spring. There are many different designs for these springs across manufacturers, but most work on the same principle of a coiled rolled steel that gets turned to tighten. On this dp, there are little notches in the cover that slip onto little knobs in the casting so that you can carefully turn it a little bit under tension then catch a notch to regrip and turn a little more.

Be careful not to pull the cover too far away from the casting while tensioned or you risk either of two problems. 1. The whole coil can pop out of the cover, which will take all kinds of cussing and creativity to get back in. 2. Even more of a problem, you can break the coil at the keyhole where it engages on the little stud. That requires uncoiling the spring and cutting or punching a new keyhole to replace. If you ever come across an old dp where the return spring doesn't work, one likely culprit is that the internal catch has broken, so the coil isn't attached to the pinion stud.

Voila, the spring is untensioned and removed, carefully, revealing the far end of the pinion shaft and the little spring stud. That stud is threaded into the shaft, typically not all that tight, and unscrews.

Now, the pinion shaft pulls out the other side. BE SURE YOUR QUILL LOCK IS TIGHT because after the pinion comes out, the quill is free to fall right out. It's also why it's a good idea to keep the table up close to the bottom of the chuck.

Now remove the quill lock handle and clamping rods. These turn out to be pretty sticky, so a long pin punch to engage the inside end of each opposite piece taps them right out. The way these work is the little beveled edge on each piece fits up against the quill. When the lock handle is loosened, they are not tight, but when it's locked, they are pulled up tight against the quill on two sides, freezing it in place. Note that one is a through bore, and the other is threaded to accept the locking handle.

Now, swing the table out of the way and gently lower the quill out of the head, all the way until the spindle that was sticking up through the pulley comes out.

And the entire quill/spindle assembly, sitting on the bench.

Finally, we get to pull the head. The head lock lever assembly is the same design as the quill lock, except it has a bigger handle. This one comes out quite easily.

And, with plenty of lube, we work the head up the column to pull it off.

AACCKK!! Wait a minute, the spindle pulley is still in there, and is mounted somehow into the head casting. If it's problematic to remove, it will be a real PITA to try to get off while sitting on the bench. So we lower the head back down into position on the column and lock it down while we figure out the pulley.

It looks like there is another type of sleeve, or bearing, or something that is a tight fit into the casting. With a small block of wood and a mallet, let's see if tapping it from the underside does any good. A couple gentle taps, the pulley does seem to wobble/move a little bit. A little bigger tap and it definitely works loose. Working back and forth it comes right out, be careful not to let it fall off and crash.

And there it is. Turns out the bottom sleeve appears to be part of the bearing assembly. Not sure exactly how the overall bearing assembly works with the pulley, but I'll figure that out later. Now back to taking the head off, put it on the bench, and call it a night.

That went pretty easily, about an hour and a half total, including the time taking pictures. Posting this thread took about as long as the disassembly did.

But I didn't encounter any major stuck parts, broken bolts, stripped heads, or major snafus. Hope the rest goes as well when I head back out to the shop.

Re: Restoring an Old Drill Press - DISASSEMBLING THE TABLE - skizzo - 07-28-2010

Anybody have any tips, tricks, techniques, secrets or whatever for removing columns from bases? Ughhh. As often as not, I've ended up leaving the column in the base through the project because it's inevitably the hardest thing to get apart. That's the case again this time.

In any event, another hour tonight and it's all apart except for the column. Tonight's pulling the table and working on the base was the heavy lifting, as usual. Here was the starting point.

I wasn't entirely sure how the table lifting mechanism worked, so approached it with some caution. It's a pretty nice system. First, the upper collar, which serves to capture/hold the end of the worm screw, has to come off. Remove the locking bolt and tap upwards, piece of cake.

Now to get the table disengaged from the screw and mounting bracket. First, can I just pull the worm screw out of its lower bracket? Uh, I don't think so. This is probably the way to do it, but I'm not sure what all is going on here, and I need to work on this locking nut setup in a better position on the bench. These don't seem to want to go anywhere.

So, hmmm... do I drive the table up or the lower collar down? Try a little of each, end up doing some of both, one slow hand crank by crank, with both ends trying to drive through some pretty crappy rusty parts of the column. Again, plenty of lube. Keep the lower collar straight so that it doesn't bind as it moves. We're getting there, slowly.

Finally. Got the screw out of the upper table guide bracket.

Now for some more work... slowly, endlessly, twist/turn/lift the table up the column. Dang, stop and take a break, snap a photo, back to it.

Now the lower collar with the screw still attached levers upward pretty easily, but is a two-hand job. LOML was passing by right on time.

Now, finally, I get to take a look at the base. It has been soaked w/ penetrant for three days now, and I know it has worked its way through because it comes out the back side. And an item that I suspected is confirmed. The whole time I've been working on this, the base rocks a little bit on the floor. At first I thought it was just an uneven floor, but it happened no matter where I moved it. So it didn't surprise me to see in the second photo that the column sticks out just a bit too far in the bottom, further than the little feet that are built into the edge of the casting. Just enough to keep the base from sitting flat on all the edges.

Note that the column is held in place by two large set screws on the upper flange. Not that this thing is going anywhere, but I suppose it could move around in use if not anchored down.

And, now, here's what it looks like by part or subassembly, other than the column and the base.

Total time to disassemble, including stopping for photos, 2 1/2 hours. Working straight through would have been a bit under two hours most likely. But I still haven't solved the column. I'll give another go tomorrow, but am not going to fight with it. I have no qualms about leaving it together working on the column and base as a single unit. BTDT more than once. Suggestions appreciated, tho, if anyone has the magic trick. Thanks.

Re: Restoring an Old Drill Press - DISASSEMBLING THE TABLE - LarryC - 07-28-2010

skizzo said:

Anybody have any tips, tricks, techniques, secrets or whatever for removing columns from bases? Ughhh.

One of the ideas here might help. I ended up taking mine to my work place and used the fudge lift to support the base upside down (between the forks with the forks as close to the column as possible) using a piece of wood to drive the column through with. It took a few sharp raps but once I got it moving I was able to work it out. I soaked mine with lots of 3-In-One penetrant over a couple of weeks first.

Re: Restoring an Old Drill Press - DISASSEMBLING THE TABLE - Buckaroo - 07-28-2010

LarryC said:

[blockquote]skizzo said:

Anybody have any tips, tricks, techniques, secrets or whatever for removing columns from bases? Ughhh.

One of the ideas here might help. I ended up taking mine to my work place and used the fudge lift to support the base upside down (between the forks with the forks as close to the column as possible) using a piece of wood to drive the column through with. It took a few sharp raps but once I got it moving I was able to work it out. I soaked mine with lots of 3-In-One penetrant over a couple of weeks first.


Probably some good thoughts there. I'm currently working on two Walker Turner 900 presses and one Powermatic 1150. IIRC, the columns on the WT's are pressed in. My PM doesn't seem to be.
You going to go through the quills and the motors?

Re: Restoring an Old Drill Press - DISASSEMBLING THE TABLE - Jonny Rocket - 07-28-2010

On the base and column connection, I would at the very least, put a 2x4 on the column sticking out and give it a whack to even it up with the base. Then you might find once the connection has moved it will come out. I seem to recall having similar issues with the a Delta 17", but I think it uses more of a clamp that bolts to the base.

I pulled my WT900 apart last night and found a lot of differences from what I expected. I know my dad rebuilt the press at some point in the past and I am sure he used or modified things to make it work. Historical accuracy wasn't any consideration, a working press was.

The bearings on my spindle pulley are very different. I assumed they're modified. Where Bill's has an extended race that goes down through the pulley, mine is a standard bearing on top:

Also on mine the bottom pulley bearing had no extended race on it. I am beginning to doubt if the spindle pulley is even the "correct" pulley:

Re: Restoring an Old Drill Press - DISASSEMBLING THE TABLE - skizzo - 07-28-2010

Buckaroo said:

[blockquote]LarryC said:

One of the ideas here might help.

IIRC, the columns on the WT's are pressed in.

That pretty well settles that. I think I'll just leave it in and work with the column and base as an assembly. I still have missing chips in my garage floor from a prior failed attempt to remove the column from a base on a WT DP. Luckily, my wife has never noticed, and I'm already prepared... "Huh? I dunno. Those have been there for years."

I appreciate the link, and remembered reading that thread when it was first posted. Joe's other thread about using a forklift and H-frame press came to mind last night while I was working on it. Charlie's a friend of mine, somewhat local, and I could take it up to his place to use his nice setup. But even if I do get it pressed out, I'd still have to get it back in eventually. Since I'm not planning to chuck up the column in a lathe for clean-up and polishing, it's just as easy to clean them as a unit, then paint, polish, whatever by taping off sections as needed. Far simpler than working hard to get them apart, then back together. Sensibility and practicality carries the day.

As to the small section that is sticking out the bottom, five minutes with an angle grinder and it'll be gone... or at least reduced to where it's below the profile of the base.

Buckaroo said:

You going to go through the quills and the motors?

Yep, definitely. I'm hoping tonight to get all four spindle bearings out for inspection... the two in the pulley and the two in the quill. That's always an adventure, as is the related part of removing the chuck... even though you don't have to do that to get the spindle out and the quill apart.

I think I'll spin off the motor work to a separate thread, though, because it could go a number of directions unrelated to a drill press specifically.

Thanks for the thoughts.