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Thread: Old Vs. New Drill Press Dilema

  1. #1
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    Old Vs. New Drill Press Dilema

    Last year my old cheapy import drill press started to make a lot of racket and I started looking for a replacement--I really wanted an old one, but couldn't find a suitable one within a reasonable driving distance. So I ended up buying a Steel City which is a really nice machine.

    Fast forward to yesterday--I went to a garage sale with "tools" which usually means a couple of rusty screw drivers and I found the drill press below. He was asking $75, I offered $50, and I brought it home for $60. I've got someone willing to buy it from me for $125.

    But I'm starting to think I'd like to keep it. I'm thinking of tearing it down, cleaning and painting, etc. I'm thinking I could replace the existing motor with a 3-phase, which I may be able to get for free from a friend--he's looking in his stash for me. Put a VFD on it and have a really nice electronically variable speed drill press for ~$250. I should be able to sell the like-new Steel city for at least $100 more than that.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails IMG_8074.jpg   IMG_8073.jpg  

  2. #2
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    The SCTW is supposed to be a pretty fine machine. The only thing that really bothers me about old DP's is the lack of a crank for table height and the one piece chuck and spindle that some of the older machines had (can't change the chuck). Other than that they are generally superior to today's machines in my experience.

    P.s. Oh yeah, and those funky depth stops.
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
    - Arthur C. Clarke

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by glenn bradley View Post
    P.s. Oh yeah, and those funky depth stops.
    You lost me on that one? Other than the fact that the SCTW drill press has a quick release button to make major adjustments, they are practically the same design.

  4. #4
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    Yes, that's it. Maybe I'm a wimp. If you have used a "quick" design and then have to go back to the "wind one down, oops too far, back just a bit, OK now lock it, oops it moved" method, it is quite painful to me ;-)

    I didn't mean to imply that the older machine wasn't good and hope I didn't give that impression. There are just some conveniences in the modern designs that are quite nice . . . if only we could merge the two . . . (mad scientist thoughts kicking in).
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
    - Arthur C. Clarke

  5. #5
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    Oh, that makes sense. I thought you were saying the designs are totally different.

    I've committed to sell this to someone, but I'm seriously thinking of backing out and having 2 DPs. Is that crazy? Even on OWWM most people are saying they would keep the SCTW one unless I find a killer old machine.

  6. #6
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    I have an old drill-press with a table that is moved up & down like the one you show in the picture it is ok as long as I don't have a big table or heavy item on the table when I want to move it up or down. My other drill-press has a big shop built table with fence that has a crank system to move it up & down & it really needs it.

    Yes having 2 of the same type of tool is handy 2 band-saws 2 planers 2 shapers 2 lathes etc can be handy.
    "Forget the flat stuff slap something on the spinny thing and lets go, we're burning daylight" Bart Leetch
    "If it ain't round you may be a knuckle dragger""Turners drag their nuckles too, they just do it at a higher RPM"Bart

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Meiser View Post
    Oh, that makes sense. I thought you were saying the designs are totally different.

    I've committed to sell this to someone, but I'm seriously thinking of backing out and having 2 DPs. Is that crazy? Even on OWWM most people are saying they would keep the SCTW one unless I find a killer old machine.
    TWO DP's are darned handy at times, Matt, especially if you use one primarily for working wood, and the other for working metal........(sure keeps from accidentally missing some oil on the DP table or other parts cleanup from when you were drilling metal) and then having that oil get onto your wood project. I have a '70's model Craftsman industrial that has two tables that you just rotate around under the head, (one is for metal and the other is more for WW) and occassionally I still get some oil on a wood part. I will eventually have TWO DP's also.

  8. #8
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    The wife isn't thrilled with the idea of two DPs. I got "the look".

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Meiser View Post
    I'm seriously thinking of backing out and having 2 DPs. Is that crazy?
    I almost tried to outbid a member who bought my dad's old Delta and I already have a new DP so no, it's not crazy. Discussions with the buyer were already in motion so I stood by quietly as my dad sold his father's machine. . . I know, I know, the right thing for him to have done would have been to pass it on to me but sometimes he's just that way ;-)
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
    - Arthur C. Clarke

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by glenn bradley View Post
    I almost tried to outbid a member who bought my dad's old Delta and I already have a new DP so no, it's not crazy. Discussions with the buyer were already in motion so I stood by quietly as my dad sold his father's machine. . . I know, I know, the right thing for him to have done would have been to pass it on to me but sometimes he's just that way ;-)
    stubborness and old age seem to go hand in hand,, i have it with my dad too, but fortunatly i dont have the ailement ....yet
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
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