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help identifying drill press (good price at $300?)

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I'm considering buying this drill press. Looks 1880-1900 era, but I'm no expert. Couldn't fully make it out, but the casting says "London" -something. The owner told me it was purchased from a blacksmith shop in the early 1970's and it was in use up until maybe 20 years ago before it went into storage.

Any feedback from someone better informed than myself would be much appreciated.

drill press.png

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Richie, I'm going to give you a good lawyer answer, "It depends."  What do you want to do with it.  Do you, like many of us, like respring old machinery and putting it back into use?  If so, the work of getting this back in working order will be fun for you and make you happy.  It appears to have originally been designed to work off a leather belt from an overhead line shaft.  So, you will either have to install an overhead line shaft in you shop (which would be VERY cool, or modify it for and electric motor.  Both are substantial projects, motor less so than line shaft, and you have to decide if you want to take that on and put the necessary time and money into it and if you have all the necessary skills in your tool box.

On the other hand, if you just want to drill holes in metal I'd say put your money into a modern floor 1/2" drill press.  I bet Harbor Freight has one in the $3-400 range.

There are lots of smiths who would love to have that at $300 but it would be like a lot of post drills.  I have a very nice one that I restored years ago but, in reality, it is more decor in my shop and if I want to drill a hole I go to my modern electic drill press 99% of the time.

"By hammer and hand all arts do stand."

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Okay, went back to get some more pictures and give it a more thorough look over. It's a Canedey-Otto "camel back," but I couldn't find the model or manufacture year.

I'm pretty happy with the condition. Up close, there's very little rust; it's just caked in old grease and shop dust. The teeth on all of the gears are sharp. No slop or play in any of the moving parts. The owner has a 1.5 HP Baldor motor and and the belts, which he offered to include for an additional $150.

The drill will be primarily utilitarian. I've been putting off the acquisition of a drill press, and I'm tired of making due with a hand drill. I worked under a master blacksmith in a historical 1890s shop for four years. I have several pieces of equipment from the same period I've inherited from my great grandfather and my wife's great grandfather. I'm fairly comfortable doing repairs, restoration, and maintenance on tools from the period.


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