Thread: New life for an old machine
26th Jun 2011, 09:31 PM #1
New life for an old machine
I was recently offered an old drill press by a bloke I work with for a very good price - "Just take it away", he said.
To start with I was only half interested because it was 3 phase and looked like it had lived a hard life. I took it home and started cleaning it up and soon realised there was some potential there.
I then stripped it down, replaced the spindle bearings, repacked the spindle pulley bearings (the bearing shop wanted $75 each for them because they were an imperial size), re-assembled it and gave it all a squirt of blue paint.
The chuck was seized so I soaked it in CRC for a couple of days then with the key started working it back and forth many, many times until it came good.
I bought a suitable single phase motor off the net for a reasonable price with the same shaft size as the old 3 phase unit and altered the mounting plate to suit. I then replaced the old bakelite switch and wired it up.
Then I flicked the switch and away it went - what a lovely bit of machinery.
It runs so much smoother than my relatively new Toolex drill. There is no movement in the quill at full extension - the Toolex has about 4mm slop. The quill extends 125mm. It has good clearance between the spindle axis and the column. To change the speed there is a single lever that pivots the motor then locks it back into position - not cheap thumb screws etc like the Toolex.
The column is 3" diameter solid steel - unlike the light weight hollow tube on the Toolex. Everything about it reeks of quality engineering.
The only down side is there isn't a full cover over the drive belt and pulleys.
It's an Aussie made machine called Servian and was sold by the Vacuum Oil Company. I searched as best I could to find out more about it but all I could find was it was made (I think) between 1947 and 1954.
So I'd say it will still be doing it's job in another 60 years when sitting with a knitted rug over my lap reading my letter from the queen .
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26th Jun 2011, 09:35 PM #2
Good to hear its back in action and the blue bits look nice but why leave the rust on the exposed steel bits - or this phase 2 of the reno?
Also (now that I have set one up for myself) I would have left the 3 phase motor on it and just added a VSD.
26th Jun 2011, 10:28 PM #3
26th Jun 2011, 10:53 PM #4
27th Jun 2011, 05:24 AM #5
Good score, nice job!
27th Jun 2011, 09:18 AM #6
Nice bit of gear there, as BobL said, a VFD would have been good using the original 3 phase giving you variable speed without belt changes.
The front cover looks a bit like an old Waldown.
The Vacuum Oil Company was an American oil company, which eventually morphed in to Exxon Mobil. Didn't know they were in to selling machinery as well Interesting.
27th Jun 2011, 09:48 AM #7
I also have an SAJ unit (Chinese but sold out of Sydney) that cost $252 (inc shipping to Perth) that I use on my Hercus.
The visible build quality differences between the two VSDs are obvious but probably not worth double the price. Also the SAJ does come with its own mini-pot to vary the frequency (speed) whereas the cheaper one does not (just up and down push buttons). The pot is waaaaay easier to use but it's not that big a deal to add one to most VSD.
27th Jun 2011, 06:42 PM #8
I spent around $200 on a single phase motor so I wish I knew about the VSD alternative 2 weeks ago. For future reference it's good to know that 3 phase machinery can be used.
I've seen some bargain prices on 3 phase gear.
Fred - yeah I found that site and a couple others with the same info. I searched for "servian" and found some old newspaper adds mentioning drill presses etc. All were dated in the late forties / early fifties. I couldn't find any other info about it.
What I found curious was two of the bearings were metric and two were imperial. In fact everything on the machine except the two spindle bearings is imperial. A bit odd.
Anyway I just sold the Toolex on ebay for more than what this drill has cost me so I'm a happy boy.
27th Jun 2011, 07:29 PM #9
I only paid $121 shipped for mine about 8 weeks ago - but like you, I can't find that cheap at present either....
For what it's worth: I discovered that it is possible to add a little potentiomenter to the removable control panel of the cheap Hunangyang VFDs. The circuit board has the tracks and holes in it to fit one - but they save $2.00 by not fitting one.... seems weird to me.
Anyway, Jaycar had the right shaped 10kOhm linear pot and I soldered one in, punched a suitable hole in the already drilled front panel's stick-on decal and fitted a button to it. I had to tell the VFD to use the EXTERNAL potentiometer to control the speed and all is well.
27th Jun 2011, 09:51 PM #10
28th Jun 2011, 06:31 AM #11
Great work Kev, these old machine are just so solid and for a couple of hundred dollars you have a machine worth 10 or more times that. Well done mate
A good edge takes a little sweat!!
28th Jun 2011, 07:37 AM #12
Beauty, what speed was the single phase motor that you fitted?
Was it the same as the one that came off?
If not, the speeds on the ID plate will be wrong.Cliff....if all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail...
28th Jun 2011, 03:12 PM #13
Mark - yeah it's just so solid. All the new ones I've been looking at are so tinny. I was just about to buy the Hitachi drill on sale at Gasweld. I'm glad I waited.
Cliff - I bought a 4 pole single phase, so the revs are the same.
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