Ed Horan

Champion 203 Post Drill

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Hello everyone, This is my first post, so take it easy with me, Lol!  I belong to a local Town heritage committee and we're working on a permanent blacksmith display. We are well along in our procurement of tools, and have a Champion 203 post drill mounted up. It's a big drill, and I'm unable to find pictures online of  a press like that. The drill is almost complete, lacking a table. It was going to be a non-working display, but after giving it a good look, everything appears to be there, just stuck from years of neglect, and probably laying on the floor. It has an automatic advance mechanism that doesn't appear to engage when the wheel is turned. The cam, rod and lever are present and function. My question is how complicated is to take down clean and inspect that part of the drill. I've posted 3 photos which aren't very good, but will help me to reassemble the advance  linkage after I clean it up. Any advice welcome, Thanks in advance.     

Ed Horan

20170605 Minisink Drill press.jpg

20170605_Minisink Drill Press.jpg

20170605_110732_HDR.jpg

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Yes. The problem appears to be below that in the housing that the screw goes through. I couldn't get the engagement wheel,below the pawl wheel,  to work. I'm assuming that with the lower wheel engaged, the screw advance shaft should turn with the drill shaft. If I'm wrong, let me know.  

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You should be able to crank the bit up and down easily using the wheel the pawl hits the serrations on---allowing you to bypass the automatic advance that uses the pawl.  If the serrated wheel does not move easily and raises and lowers the drill's quill then there is a problem with a missing bushing or a jammed/frozen bearing.  First thing is to get a *good* penetrating oil and hit everything in sight, let sit a week and retry and redo the penetrating oil.  Best to do the easy way before trying to take it apart.

By the way did you search on:  post drill restoration  ?  I see hits like: Step by step Champion Forge No. 200 post drill restoration that might help...

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Thanks. It's soaking as I write this. The penetrating oil really helped this morning.  I watched a video about a 200 and that's what brought me here. My drill is a bit different than a 200. My drill has a horizontal flywheel on top of it, and my advance linkage is different than the one in the video. The drill I'm dealing with appears to be a bigger drill The search function here didn't bring up what I typed in, so I'll try your suggestion. Thanks.

P.S. Found the video:  http://www.theironforgefire.com/post/restoration-of-champion-no-200-drill-press-7125627?pid=1286596334#post1286596334

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There is an old ad of a 203 on this site at 

But I understand how hard it is to find photos good enough to work with for a resto.  Most don't show the gory details you need to suss out the picky stuff.  Keep searching, though.  In my searches I was able to get close enough to my oddball champion to at least get better ideas.  Since there were sooooo many similar models from Champion, you can't always search on only a single model.

Oh..and as to the automatic feed on these in a display situation:  We have 2 in our museum and kids love to crank em to see the mechanism work.  However, there is always some menace who has to crank it all the way to the end of travel and jam things up.  We're constantly having to muscle ours out of a jammed situation.  We try and make sure when the museum is open and there are a few "wild" kids lacking supervision, someone catches problems before that happens--help them learn something rather than just play with the press as a big toy.

Here's some other photos of a 203 in OR for reference http://vintagemachinery.org/photoindex/detail.aspx?id=15963

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The NM ABANA affiliate has a post drill on their double forge Demo trailer; but it has a stop mounted in it to prevent use by people not in the group.  Easy to have people stick their fingers in the gears and that makes a mess and is so noisy...One of the demonstrators can show how it works if asked.

I just checked in the 1897 and 1908 Sears Roebuck Catalog reprints I have and while several different post drills are listed as part of their various blacksmithing kits they don't say who made them, (a couple are listed as ACME which is a store brand made by other manufacturers generally)

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Thanks Kozzy. My drill is similar to the one on the right in the ad. I think mine might be a later version, as it has a cast shield to cover the transmission gears, and my drill's quick feed lever is much like the one in the 200 video. My drill apparently was bought hand feed only, as the shaft that would mount the double pulley isn't long enough. 

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Update and Thanks. I was back at it today and have some better photos. Thanks to all who helped. ThomasPowers provided some good advice. I didn't fully understand how the advance portion worked, and his hint at engaging the pawl helped. After an overnight soak of PB Blast, everything freed up and worked as it's supposed to. I spent about 2 hours today putting the drill though it's paces with no work and all is well. We now have a working piece on display. It will be up to the committee to decide how much of a restoration, if any, will be done. I personally like the 100 years of accumulated grime look. I do intend to clean up the shafts and re-lubricate everything with good oil. The drill will available now for our resident carpenter when his batteries for his drill run down. All that has to be done to put it to work is find a Jacobs chuck.  A final thought. While oiling around today, I noticed that the crank handle shaft appears to have been shortened, so the drill may have had pulleys to receive power from a line shaft earlier in it's life.   

20170606_Champion Drill Press 203.jpg

20170606_Drill Press right side.jpg

20170606_Drill Press left side.jpg

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Engaging the pawl is rather like the IT world's: "Please check that the computer is plugged into a working wall socket."

It's amazing how often that can fix such problems.

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Thanks for being patient with me and helping me to work through it. The feed advance is a little more involved than I thought. You set me straight. Glad I found this site.

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Just a quick update on my original posting. Bought a cheap Jacobs chuck with an adapter to make the drill functional. The drill has cleaned up really well. For something that has laid around unused for the last 60+ years, it surprised me as to how well it works. There's a little wear in the quill, but all things considered, with about .005 run out, it could go back to work. I just need to find a proper table for it.378802977_Champion203PostDrill.thumb.jpg.be8ba072c48c9856818c916e60ef1fb2.jpg

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Hello. I have a Champion Blower and Forge 203 post drill that came with a missing crank arm (or whatever you call it). I was wondering if I might be able to coax somebody with a 203 into measuring theirs so that might have a machinist make me one. Any takers?

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2 hours ago, Keith66 said:

have a machinist make me one

You really shouldn't need a machinist to make one. It's a pretty simple affair. Mine is 12in (30.48cm) long made from flat stock that fits in the slot of the hub 3/16in (0.476cm) thick and 3/4in 1.90cm)wide with a hole drilled for the handle on one end.

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I have to travel about 10 miles to get to the one I posted photos of. I agree with Irondragon. Pretty simple. Looks like it's made from flat stock. 

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Welcome aboard Keith, glad to have you. If you put your general location in the header you might be surprised how many members live within visiting distance. A lot of information is region dependent, for example we can't suggest the stock size to use without knowing if you live in a metric or SAE country.

The crank arm is just flat stock with a hole for the crank handle. A wooden crank handle is the hardest part of this little project, file handles are a good place to start.

Frosty The Lucky.

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