Crawls Backward (When Alarmed)

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Craftsman King-Seeley 103.23141 Drill Press Restoration, Pt. 1

I am now the proud owner of a circa 1952 Craftsman model 103.23141 15 inch floor drill press.

It was gifted to me by a good friend, and hand-delivered by Toy Making Dad himself. Wow. What service.

I have hankered after a classic cast-iron drill press like this for some time. My friend decided it was taking up too much space in her basement, so voila! it's not in The Dungeon.

TMD had taken the head off for shipping, so I have the head, and the base/column assembly already separated and ready to be worked on.

(I say "Pt. 1" for this post, but I suspect it may be some time before there is much progress. Looks to be a long-term project).

The head and the column are in very good shape, especially when compared to some of the images of the same press I've seen on the interwebs. The base survived a basement flood, and has some fairly heavy rust as a result. However, it's very restorable.

The press was made about 1952 for Sears Roebuck by King-Seeley Equipment Company of Ypsilanti, Michigan. It was sold under the famous Craftsman name.

I wanted to separate the column from the base to make the base a bit more manageable to work with when getting the rust off.

Here's the column and cast iron base. It's quite heavy.

The thing sticking out of the base on the right is the homebrew drift which I used to drive the column out.

I had the base tilted up like this (on the bandsaw table!) so I could soak the column hole in the base with penetrating oil.

I usually swear by PB Blaster penetrating oil. But this is a different animal with the heavy rust, so I discovered a great homebrew penetrating mix on the interwebs.

It's a 50/50 mix of automatic transmission fluid and acetone. I know, I didn't believe it either - until I mixed a batch up. It works great!

Nice color, huh?

I applied some of the oil into the column joint every day for about two weeks. There's also a screw that holds the column locking shoe in place, so I took the screw out and used that hole to squirt oil in as well.

While the penetrating oil was...penetrating, I pondered a lot and searched the interwebs about a method of driving the column out. I read one post where someone used a die from a large metal punch. That got me thinking about a drift that would work.

The column's hole diameter is about 2.25 inches, and the wall thickness is about 0.438 inches. I don't have a hole punch that large on hand. But it dawned on me that I might be able to get a black iron pipe fitting that would work as a drift.

So here you have it - straight from the Despot. It's a 1.5 inch coupler, with a 1.5 x 4 inch pipe nipple threaded in.

It's actually reversed in the picture - I put the pipe end into the column and drove the coupling into the column. The pipe more or less worked as a guide to keep the coupling/drift in place.

Here it is, ready to be whacked on.

I grabbed my 2.5 lb engineer's hammer and had at it.

You see what I mean about the pipe as a guide? It would have been too difficult to try to hold the drift with one hand and hammer with the other. The thing needed to be lined up in place.

Note the rust also. Not awful, but fairly heavy.

Here I start thwacking away.

After 5 or 6 strokes, I note the column moving inward!

Whoo hoo.

So I keep at it and before I know it, it's driven halfway through the base.

The drift fit perfectly inside the column hole, so it was aligned perfectly as it went deeper.

With the column about 2/3 of the way out, the locking shoe popped out of the bottom.

You can see where the shoe fits inside the base, then a large set screw locks the shoe against the column.

Ain't cast iron great?

Oddly enough, driving out last 1/2 inch or so was tough!

The drift was too far into the hole to hit, so I reversed the drift so that the pipe was on the outside, and I drove the pipe.

And you see the result - the column is free! Yes yes oh yes.

Now I'll work on getting the rust off the base.


Post a Comment 1 comments:

  • Toy Making Dad said...
    July 24, 2017 at 4:59 PM
    So that's where that shoe was hiding!
    OUTSTANDING! Great work I thought you'd be at it until football season.

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