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Antique drill press

In addition to photography, I love old tools. Specifically, old tools made from heavy cast iron and steel.

I acquired this 1950s Craftsman drill press from a seller on craigslist and restored it with some new parts taken from a throwaway treadmill I picked up at a garage sale. After disassembling and degreasing all the parts, I painted it with Verde Green Hammered Metal and replaced the worn out chuck. It also needed new bearings for the spindle shaft and spindle pulley. The speed control dial, aircraft-style switch, and digital tachometer were added to a plastic equipment box that was mounted on angle brackets that were also made from treadmill parts.

I used a single-groove pulley on the variable-speed DC motor. The motor shaft was originally attached to a cast iron flywheel on the treadmill it came from, so I had to rig up a method to attach the new pulley to the threaded shaft. Now it can drive the spindle shaft in two speed ranges without moving the motor mount. There are two additional pulleys on the spindle that I could use if I move the motor up a few centimeters, but the speed of the spindle would be so high that I'd never be able to use it for normal materials. As it sits, It will reliably spin between about 400 and 2600 RPM. I expect this tool will outlive me.

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