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Used Drill Press - What to watch out for?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by SlowLearner, Jan 21, 2005.

  1. I've got the chance to pick up a big old "Beaver" (stop laughing) drill press. Looks forty years old if it's a day. It's an old Canadian brand (surprise), the factory was owned by Rockwell. Anyway, it looks like a floor model, with a shortened (bench) shaft (approx 5" dia). Any ideas what I should check to see if it's shot or still OK? Shaft runout? What's acceptable? Any ideas on rebuilding if necessary?
    Thanks, Keith
  2. leadsled01
    Joined: Nov 19, 2004
    Posts: 1,123


    Check the bearings , roller or cup style. If it does have cup style I think Timken Bearing Co. will have replacements so you can install roller bearings.
  3. dixiedog
    Joined: Mar 20, 2002
    Posts: 1,204


    I am no expert on drill presses but I would look at the:

    condition of the chuck i.e. rounded off jaws, worn teeth for the key

    slop in the chuck shaft - might need to be rebushed

    motor condition and how easy it would be to change if bad

    table to riser tube mount area worn or rusty

    pulley guard on it? or can one be fitted?

    is the table perpendicular to the chuck shaft - use a square to check.

    just my .02 - good luck, I love old equipment built to last.
  4. noboD
    Joined: Jan 29, 2004
    Posts: 7,827


    I like old drill presses better then the new ones. They're were built stronger, better bearings etc. Make sure it runs slow enough for steel and big drill bits, maybe 50-100 rpm. Most of the cheap new ones only go down to 300-500 rpms, way to fast. I bought an old WWII drill press, table had a million holes in it. Bolted on a new plate, painted it and use it every day.And by all means , put a foot switch on it and get a good drillpress vise. Nothing worse then getting a drill stuck and can't let go to turn it off. Good luck

  5. Beavers are a good OLD machine.Some have had a HARD life.
    Check the condition of the bearings.

    Check the condition of the chuck,probably a Jacobs,they can be rebuilt or replaced.
    Look for tapered wear in the drill chuck jaws and wobble when it rotates.

    Depending on the model the chuck will mount on a Morse taper.Take the chuck off and check the condition of the taper in the quill.If it's beat up,you'll have problems holding larger drills.
    Joined: Jan 13, 2004
    Posts: 2,760


    I check my beavers for about the same stuff, my buddy Chuck only has 2 jaws though. Yep if the teeth aren't rounded over and they have a foot switch you can be assured they will provide hrs. of turning ,drilling and screwing.
  7. plmczy
    Joined: Aug 3, 2001
    Posts: 2,408


    Yeah I hate working with sloppy beavers, I likem tight and straight [​IMG] [​IMG]. Seriously, I don't mean to hijack the post but how do you equip a drill press with a foot switch if it didn't have one originally? later shawn
  8. noboD
    Joined: Jan 29, 2004
    Posts: 7,827


    Eliminate the normal switch, bug the one color {white}wires together. Then take another 2 wire cord and connect to the remaining wires from switch {Black to white- Black to Black}. The footswitch gets connected to the other end and completes the circuit {black and white to switch}. Sorry I can't draw something. IMO, a drill press and belt sander should never be run without a foot switch. I've gotten stuff stuck, trying to hang on and shut the switch off with my forehead. F that. BTW, ever hear of someone getting their ponytail rapped around a drill press spindle?
  9. plmczy
    Joined: Aug 3, 2001
    Posts: 2,408


    Thanks for the help. Any particular place to pick up a foot switch? I agree with your point of view. later shawn
  10. [ QUOTE ]
    Thanks for the help. Any particular place to pick up a foot switch?

    [/ QUOTE ]

    your wife's sewing machine
  11. InPrimer
    Joined: Mar 10, 2003
    Posts: 778


    ok its Fri night and hope you can use a laugh....
  12. jusjunk
    Joined: Dec 3, 2004
    Posts: 3,138

    from Michigan

    Check the quill you know what is dont you? Its the part of the drill perss that moves up and down. They get worn and loose specially if they came from a shop where they used em for production. They will be worn in the area they used for drilling depth. I have an old clausing variable speed I got from work and its a great press but its worn . I still use it a lot.
  13. Thanks for the tips guys. So, if the quill is worn, is that the kiss of death, or can I just adjust the height (depth) to find another (better) spot on the quill?
  14. Some of the better(older) machines have an adjustment,
    at the bottom of the head to take up slop in the quill.

    So if it's a little sloppy in the head,you should be able to adjust it.
    This is different than the spindle bearings being loose.

    And don't forget to turn it on.
    I got my drill press at an auction for a decent price.
    Anyone who was interested turned it on during inspection,and it sounded like **** !
    I figured that aligning the motor correctly would solve the problem.
    Runs great now. [​IMG]

    Same thing on my table saw,spindle bearing were TOAST.
    Got it cheap,spent less than $40 on bearings,and a few hours of tuning and adjusting.
    It runs perfectly now.
  15. Thanks Unk, I'll check that out. Trying to convince my wife this is a good birthday opposed to a sweater or something. Maybe I'll have to break out the flowers. [​IMG]

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