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Leland-Gifford drill press-Time to Brag

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Momma always said that it is not nice to brag.....but she never drove from southwest Michigan to central Illinois with a 1500 pound Leland-Gifford drill press in the back of a half-ton Ford... So i suppose i have the rights.

I won this one off of Ebay. It actually cost me more in gas to get it than I paid for it.

Three spindles. Left most spindle is set up with a taping head and tap chuck (still not certain if this is OE or not, will know once it is cleaned a little better). Each spindle has four adjustable speeds via flat belt drive. It was once set up to run off of a line shaft as the slack belt engagement mechanism is still intact inside of the base. Unfortunately the engagement arm that was situated on the back of the base was removed/busted (presumabely when the electric motor was added to it).

I don't currently have 3 phase in the shop, but am definitely getting a static phase converter once this beast is restored. I am doing a complete tear down and repaint on it, hopefully as close to OE color as possible (that wonder seafoam grayish green that was SO popular on antique machinery).

Other than the aforementioned drive engagement mechanism, the only other things broken that I have found so far are two of the upper quadpulley sets have chipped lips on them. This should not affect operation at all. Wish me luck as I begin the tear-down/cleaning/polishing/degreasing process.

Here's a link to photos. I didn't realize my camera took such HUGE photos (2.5 mb+) that wouldn't fit in the gallery upload. Will downsize them and get more uploaded to the gallery soon.

Flickr: Photos from the_sandy_creek_forge

-Aaron @ the SCF (who now knows that when someone estimates the weight of something anywhere over 500 pounds it is always a good idea to add at least 50% and plan accordingly).

Disclaimer: I DO NOT advocate running over the GVWR on ANY vehicle. The ride back was perhaps the most nerve wracking automotive related experience I've had since I flipped my Ford Ranger. GVWR are there for a reason, but once I got there I had already invested the gas, and knew I wouldn't have access to a big enough truck for several weeks longer than the seller was willing to hold it. Please, Please, Please, plan smart and accordingly and drive safe.






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Nice score! Be sure to post some more pics of the restore and finished machine.
I don't know what size motor it has but if you can find a used rotory phase converter, you'll probably be better off. The static converters work, but not as well for larger motors, you don't get the power out of the static as is sometimes needed on larger machines.
But when it comes down to it, the static does give a softer blow to the wallet, which is why I have one.
To give an example, I have a 20" disc grinder with a 3 hp 3 phase motor. I used to use it in the shop of the guy I bought it from, which had 3 ph power, you could grind 1" plate and it wouldn't even bog it down. Now that it is in my shop running off of the static converter, I can lug it down pretty good with a piece of 1/2". It is still a bear and does all I need and then some, just has less power than what it should.


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  • 1 month later...
  • 2 weeks later...

RainsFire: What you are seeing as old metal finish is actually a layer of dried out, caked on grease imbedded with metal shavings that is about a 16th of an inch thick. Under this is what is left of the original paint, and there isn't all that terrible much left. Luckily all that grease has kept any major rust and corrosion at bay, not so luckily you can barely touch the thing as it sits without embedding metal shaving in your hands.....

CQ: The restore is going....slowly...but it is going. When I got it, all we had was a little old 4.5 CFM air compressor, so sand blasting was out of the question. So far I've pretty well run the bearings outta a little hand drill using a wire brush, and that was just on one of the arms..... But! we just purchased a BIG ingersoll rand compressor this past weekend, and as soon as we get it set up with a single phase motor, I'll be able to blast to my hearts content. If it gets to looking like the compressors not gonna be running before it's too cold to paint (about late October/ early November around here) I have a guy locally that will blast it for me pretty cheap. I'm just not especially keen on loading up that 600-700 pound base to take it and get it blasted...

I did manage to pick out a paint system for it. I seriously considered repainting it the OE seafoam-ish green color....but then decided that since I am not restoring it for a museum, why not get creative.... a quick trip to Tractor Supply Company, and the decision to go with Valspar Tractor and Implement paint in Allis-Chalmers orange was set in stone! I might even get creative and pick up a quart of dark blue and do some flames on the base... but that will come a bit later.

So, in summary, the drill is coming. So far it is coming slowly, but hopefully with the decision to sandblast it will start moving a bit more quickly and I will at least have all the primer laid down before it gets to cold to paint.

-Aaron @ the SCF
(pictures to come soon. I finally figured out how to take smaller sized pictures with my camera:) )

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Sorry had an old '53 merc that I learned the hard way with. Having to sand that baby down again in the spring burned it into my head. I figured you already knew.
Is there a reason you don't want to use a chemical stripper on it? last power hammer I did, used (so called)aircraft paint remover from the hardware store. Then took it to the local car wash(buddy owned) on a trailer and hosed it off there. Probably not allowed to do that anymore. But either way you're going to have to deal with toxic disposal. Even the blasting sand mixed with paint is a hazmat material.

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Candid: No problem. I too learned the hard way on a leg vise (which i ended up stripping back down when all was said and done and just oiling it after I'd burned half the paint off...)
The EPA is the main reason I didn't go with the chemical stripper. Disposal rates around here (as with the rest of the country i am sure) are outlandish. That and I try to stay away from large amounts of harmful chemicals as much as is possible.

Compressor should be up and going this Saturday. All the wiring is run, new motor is on it, and space is cleared out in the old cylindrical storage facility (unused grain bin), from where the air will be piped into the shop. It would of been in already, but the wife had to go into work Sunday afternoon, and I didn't have anyone to watch the daughter. For now, I am just gonna run a 1/2 hose from the bin to the shop until things slow down this fall and I can get a full weekend to do all the plumbing.
-Aaron @ the SCF

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  • 9 months later...

No updates to speak of. (I did come up with an old large frame single phase motor, so no converter will be needed and it'll still have that "early half of the century" look to it.) I came into possession of an old shaper in october and spent a few weekends tinkering with that. Then I picked up a railing project that took up my weekends from Jan. up into april and then a few other oddball projects that lasted into may. The new baby showed up in mid-May, and I really haven't gotten in much shop time since. Hopefully things will slow down in late august and I can get back to some much needed "Aaron time" in the shop.
-Aaron @ the SCF

Edit to add: I have discerned that the tapping head is probably OE. I couldn't find a label, but once I scraped some of the caked on grease off, I found that the casting of the tapping head and the casting of the upper arm match WAY to closely for it to not be stock.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I would like to suggest you go down to the Dollar Store and get several cans of their cheap oven cleaner. That stuff works wonders on greasy old iron. If you have a pressure washer you can have that thing clened off in an afternoon! The cheap stuff usually will leave the old paint intact; if you want "deeper cleaning, get some of the name brand as well to finish up with.
You'll be amazed at what work it will save you; oh yeah, do it outside, and stay upwind.

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Be aware that most old paints for machinery contain lead . You have toxic waste to deal with in the sludge that comes off when you strip old pieces. In some areas it's no big deal. In others it's extremely expensive.


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