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#4580501 - 11/20/17 08:46 PM Cleaning my 50's drill press
JHZR2 Offline



Registered: 12/14/02
Posts: 40610
Loc: New Jersey
I have a Sears Craftsman drill press from my grandparents' house. It's from the mid 1950s. I found the manual online and looked at the lubrication instructions. Wiped everything down and then applied some cream colored lubriplate grease I have.

The old grease was grey-silver in color. Not sure if it was a moly grease before. The manual specifies light cup grease.

There's ever so slight a gritty feel when I work the press. Don't think it's on the quill gearing, but can't tell.

Just oil on the turning shaft at an oil point, then grease on the quill/spindle.

Any thoughts if I can over oil the press shaft that turns? If I over oil, it might flush out any dirt, right?



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#4580514 - 11/20/17 08:57 PM Re: Cleaning my 50's drill press [Re: JHZR2]
sleddriver Offline


Registered: 02/06/10
Posts: 4240
Loc: Central Texas
John White, former Tauton Press shop manager, has an excellent book on shop tool maintainence. My floor drill press isn't as old as yours. Switching to link belt made a huge difference in reducing running vibration. Highly recommended. Finally, I'd blow all of that sawdust out of there.
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#4580517 - 11/20/17 09:00 PM Re: Cleaning my 50's drill press [Re: sleddriver]
JHZR2 Offline



Registered: 12/14/02
Posts: 40610
Loc: New Jersey
Originally Posted By: sleddriver
John White, former Tauton Press shop manager, has an excellent book on shop tool maintainence. My floor drill press isn't as old as yours. Switching to link belt made a huge difference in reducing running vibration. Highly recommended. Finally, I'd blow all of that sawdust out of there.



This thing is really heavy and doesn't vibrate much, but that's interesting. Id have thought a link belt would cause more vibration!

That dust may well be a lifetime of my grandfather's woodworking, so I'm kind of desiring to leave it smile

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#4580525 - 11/20/17 09:05 PM Re: Cleaning my 50's drill press [Re: JHZR2]
JHZR2 Offline



Registered: 12/14/02
Posts: 40610
Loc: New Jersey
There's also about 100v on the body of the drill.

The cord is cracked, so I guess I know what I'm changing next. Hope the motor itself isn't shorted.

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#4580558 - 11/20/17 09:34 PM Re: Cleaning my 50's drill press [Re: JHZR2]
Donald Offline


Registered: 03/21/04
Posts: 19637
Loc: Upstate NY
I have a circa 1960s Delta floor drill press. It was my Dad's so I used it when I was young. My Dad installed an extra mandrel that slows down the drill press even more than stock.
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#4580568 - 11/20/17 09:42 PM Re: Cleaning my 50's drill press [Re: JHZR2]
motor_oil_madman Offline


Registered: 11/29/09
Posts: 4320
Loc: Houston, Texas
Reminds me of a time I was in wood shop in middle school and the 3" diameter hole saw bit broke off and hit the teacher in the stomach. I was standing right next to him too. He had a high speed bit on there and forgot to lower the speed down when he changed to the big hole saw bit.
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#4580630 - 11/21/17 12:16 AM Re: Cleaning my 50's drill press [Re: JHZR2]
andyd Online   content


Registered: 09/25/04
Posts: 6280
Loc: Marshfield , MA
I often spritz something like that with PB Blaster prior to lubing it with a light oil. I would get as much of the compressed sawdust out as possible.
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#4580718 - 11/21/17 06:25 AM Re: Cleaning my 50's drill press [Re: JHZR2]
Donald Offline


Registered: 03/21/04
Posts: 19637
Loc: Upstate NY
How to clean the areas that are painted gray but have rusted??

It's so old that the wire and plug are 2 wire with no ground.

On thing my Dad did do wisely was to have an on/off foot pedal. If something went wrong while drilling you did not have to use your hands to switch it off.

I remember trying to drill a hold in a SS spiral clamp. (Seemed like a good idea when I was 15 or 16). The drill bit picked up the clamp and started to turn it. Ouch.
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2015 Ford F250 w/Powerstroke
2016 Subaru Crosstrek CVT (wife's)


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#4580726 - 11/21/17 06:40 AM Re: Cleaning my 50's drill press [Re: JHZR2]
JHZR2 Offline



Registered: 12/14/02
Posts: 40610
Loc: New Jersey
The floor pedal idea is good for lots of stuff. When I rewire (including chassis ground), I'll make the cord extra long to support this. Good idea!

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