Camelback drill press


Camelback drill press


The first machine I bought was an almost antique drill press. The drill press had previously been owned by a blacksmith, but when he passed away his shop was to be remade into an apartment. I was lucky to get this drill press very cheap, as the seller was planning to throw it away if nobody wanted it. 


The drill press was made by W.F. and J. Barnes in Rockford, Illinois. It was likely made somewhere between 1890 to 1910, making it by far the oldest machine in my shop. 


When I got it, it was quite dirty and missing some paint, but seemed to be in working condition mechanically. 

Above is how the machine looked when I got it. It had been standing in a damp and gritty workshop, covered with oil and dirt accumulated over a long life. After transporting the machine home, I immediately started disassembly and cleaning.

I started by removing the feed mechanism and handles, before the spindle could be removed. The weight of the spindle is counterbalanced by a weight that floats inside the column of the machine. This force is transfered by a chain, with you can see in the top left corner secured with a welding clamp. 

From top to bottom: table elevating screw, horisontal drive shaft, spindle, pulley, feed mechanism and feed handle. Next was cleaning, before stripping and painting.

Initially I used naphta (white spirit) to clean the parts. This worked well, but smells terrible and is not particularily healthy to breathe. I've since chanced to a different soluble which is less nasty.


Fast forward past cleaning, stripping and painting, and this is how some of the parts turned out. 

Here is the almost finished drill press. Missing are the feed handles, belts and motor. These parts have yet to be completed.

In the left picture is the woodruff key slot that drives the fine-feed wheel for the drill press. This was quite chewed up, and will have to be repaired once I get the mill up and running. On the right is the original table, as well as a new table that I got together with the mill. I'm considering swapping the old table for this one, as the new table is in much better condition. 


To be continued.