Opinions on '50's era Shopmaster drill press?


Turkleton
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An old Shopmaster bench top drill press popped up on my local CL. Priced at $30. The owner stated "it still works", and the attached photo is the only one posted. Based on some Googling, it looks to be a DP-600 model. I'm not too familiar with machinery of this era, and would welcome any thoughts or advice folks here may have about this unit and brand. Did Shopmaster make quality stuff? Anything in particular I should test/assess if I go see it? I like the idea of an older machine (compared to the new bench top drill press options from Skil, Jet, Wen, etc., all of which look they come off the same assembly line in Asia), but maybe this mindset is misguided?  In any case, thanks for any thoughts you may have!

Untitled-1.jpg.58ab4da70899c0da96103c0276b7b800.jpg

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I am a 50's era person so all I can tell you is that it is old.;)  For its age it looks to be in go shape.  If you have a dial indicator, take it with you to check the runout on the chuck, you certainly don't want it wobbling all over the place.

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Drill press is a pretty simple machine.  All it has to do is spin the bit and take it up and down.  Like Chet said, bring a dial indicator.  Grab a piece of 2 by and a drill bit you know is straight and sharp.  See if the chuck holds the bit and spins it reasonably straight and the quill goes up and down easily and then drill some holes.  But for 30 bucks it's not a huge risk.  The motor's got to be worth something.  

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On 7/28/2021 at 12:00 PM, Chet said:

I am a 50's era person so all I can tell you is that it is old.;)  For its age it looks to be in go shape.  If you have a dial indicator, take it with you to check the runout on the chuck, you certainly don't want it wobbling all over the place.

Just remember, they don't make 'em like they used to, @Chet!  Thanks for the suggestion.  I don't personally own a dial indicator (yet), but I know where to borrow one from. 

On 7/28/2021 at 1:41 PM, Mark J said:

Drill press is a pretty simple machine.  All it has to do is spin the bit and take it up and down.  Like Chet said, bring a dial indicator.  Grab a piece of 2 by and a drill bit you know is straight and sharp.  See if the chuck holds the bit and spins it reasonably straight and the quill goes up and down easily and then drill some holes.  But for 30 bucks it's not a huge risk.  The motor's got to be worth something.  

Good idea to bring along a bit and 2 by.  Will do. Thanks.

Incidentally, I found this thread on the Vintage Machinery site, which looks to be the same make/model press: http://vintagemachinery.org/photoindex/detail.aspx?id=11632. The only noticeable different to my eyes between this example and the one I'm looking at is that mine only appears to have one pulley wheel above the motor, whereas the linked one appears to have a stack of 4 wheels of varying diameter.  Given that fewer pulley wheels will presumably reduce my speed options, I'm wondering if this piece (a pulley wheel stack) can be easily swapped out for a different one if needed? Do pulley wheels like this have a universal fit with multiple press makes/models, or is this piece likely to be specific to this particular machine (which would make it more difficult to find a replacement in the wild)? 

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I'm betting that the shaft on this machine will be a standard imperial size.  And I bet those 4 size pulleys come sized for different shafts.  What I can't tell from the picture is if the motor and spindle shafts are long enough to mount the longe pulleys.  Note you will need one on the drive shaft and a second (mounted inverted) on the driven shaft.

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While that 50s -era machine is likely better built that today, it is not necessarily a better design. That open belt is an accident waiting to happen. But for $30, you don't have much to lose, and making a plywood box to cover the belt wouldn't be difficult. Be prepared to replace the electrical cord, though. That one looks shot.

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  • 4 weeks later...
Quote

Incidentally, I found this thread on the Vintage Machinery site, which looks to be the same make/model press: http://vintagemachinery.org/photoindex/detail.aspx?id=11632. The only noticeable different to my eyes between this example and the one I'm looking at is that mine only appears to have one pulley wheel above the motor, whereas the linked one appears to have a stack of 4 wheels of varying diameter.  Given that fewer pulley wheels will presumably reduce my speed options, I'm wondering if this piece (a pulley wheel stack) can be easily swapped out for a different one if needed? Do pulley wheels like this have a universal fit with multiple press makes/models, or is this piece likely to be specific to this particular machine (which would make it more difficult to find a replacement in the wild)?                                                                                                                                                     

 

I don’t know about universality. But yes, here you can easily swap a stack of pulleys for another if necessary.

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