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  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Revesby - Sydney Australia
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    Default Drill press table improvements

    Some repairs/improvements to my dad's old drill press...


    1) The hole in the table isn't centred on the drill axis:
    IMG_1944.jpg
    Can't remember if it was always this way, but today is the day to fix it.

    Table off, loosen clamp:
    IMG_1945.jpg

    3mm spacer is just a little bit thin:
    IMG_1946.jpg

    About 3.7mm is perfect. Look around at my scrap. 6mm angle iron is a possibility:
    IMG_1950.jpg
    if I do some milling as well as drilling a large hole, but that is too much work.
    A section of rolled box section is 3.8mm:
    IMG_1951.jpg

    Close enough. Some quick cutting in a bandsaw:
    IMG_1953.jpg IMG_1956.jpg
    The reason for keeping a corner (creating angle iron) will be explained soon.
    Note that the side of that isn't very flat, so some panel beating was required.

    Now, measure up the hole diameter and offset. Even draw a diagram, just for Zeth :
    IMG_1957.jpg

    Mount the angle in a 4 jaw on the Hercus, and get ready to bore the hole out:
    IMG_1959.jpg

    but it won't quite reach, so over to the mill I go:
    IMG_1960.jpg IMG_1961.jpg

    Did the final hole – 35mm – with a stepped drill like this:
    Screen Shot 2021-09-18 at 7.50.18 pm.jpg




    2) I have always had trouble lifting the table on this press. It has no gear cranking (rack & pinion) thingy, just a friction lock. So, I have put this bit of angle under the table support, to add something to support the weight:
    IMG_1962.jpg

    I found a thrown out car tailgate lifting piston:
    IMG_1963.jpg
    which hooks into a convenient divot on the base!



    3) While it is apart, cleanup the table. Nearly 10" diameter, so just a little big for the Hercus 9C. Into the
    Hafco AL-336:
    IMG_1964.jpg IMG_1965.jpg
    Didn't remove all the scars. That is 70 years of history there.


    4) Table back on. Seems to be within 0.5mm of centre:
    IMG_1966.jpg


    5) Lastly, level the table:
    IMG_1968.jpg

    Front to back was a little out, so I tried to improve that also:
    IMG_1967.jpg

    but headstock didn't tilt much, so is still a little askew. I need to hoist/lift the head up so I can adjust it properly.
    Good enough for now, for the kind of drilling I do.




    In case anyone is curious, my Dad made this press.

    The story goes: in the 1950s, someone came to him with castings for an existing drill, and asked him to copy it. He split the castings and used them as a pattern, presumably carving the new manufacturer's name – A & E McMillan – on the headstock. He got the last set of castings, to make his own drill press from.

    It is powered by a Hoover 240v motor.
    Last edited by nigelpearson; 18th Sep 2021 at 09:41 PM. Reason: 2 missing images

  2. #2
    BobL is offline Member: Blue and white apron brigade
    Join Date
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    Perth
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    6,450

    Default

    Good to see old gear get a new lease of life.

    Quote Originally Posted by nigelpearson View Post
    2) I have always had trouble lifting the table on this press. It has no gear cranking (rack & pinion) thingy, just a friction lock. So, I have put this bit of angle under the table support, to add something to support the weight:.
    In this case something like an "easy riser" would be worth considering.
    It's basically a counterweight attached by a steel cable to pulley up near the motor and then back down to the table.
    There were commercially available ones around for a while that had the counterweight down inside the column.
    I had a home made version on mine for many years but because my DP has a HD table and an XY vice I had to have the counterweights hanging outside the column.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Drouin Vic
    Posts
    382

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by nigelpearson View Post


    In case anyone is curious, my Dad made this press.

    The story goes: in the 1950s, someone came to him with castings for an existing drill, and asked him to copy it. He split the castings and used them as a pattern, presumably carving the new manufacturer's name A & E McMillan on the headstock. He got the last set of castings, to make his own drill press from.

    It is powered by a Hoover 240v motor.

    Given that back story, some photos showing the whole machine would be great.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
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    Revesby - Sydney Australia
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    Default Some more pictures, for Pete

    IMG_1970.jpg

    IMG_1971.jpg IMG_1972.jpg IMG_1973.jpg
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by nigelpearson; 21st Sep 2021 at 09:46 PM. Reason: save, rotate, chop image

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    York, North Yorkshire UK
    Posts
    4,978

    Default

    Hi Nigel,

    Do the same as I do and orientate the picture as you want and then crop the edges off and save !
    This gets rid of the EXIF data that the forum uses to rotate the picture so that it is in the same orientation as the camera was when you took the picture. It saves a lot of hassle !
    Best Regards:
    Baron J.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2020
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    9

    Default A & E McMillan - Melbourne

    That's a very nice drill press, with a nice story too. I read on the internet about Macbro, a brand of sand mills and other foundry equipment, which is owned by Alan Beckwith Macbro Pty Ltd. Their website says that they purchased A & D McMillan Pty Ltd in 1992 (who originally made the Macbro line of equipment), and that they have been made for over 50 years. I wonder if maybe A McMillan and an E McMillan built the original drill press that your dad was asked to copy, and then A McMillan went on to start manufacturing foundry equipment with a D McMillan. Thanks.

    Alan Beckwith Macbro Pty Ltd website: Alan Beckwith Macbro Pty Ltd, Australia - foundry castings

    Cheers,
    Ben.

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