I've been quiet here for the past bunch of weeks. It's not that nothing has been happening in my shop but rather my frustration level was quite high and I dislike reading about people complaining so I tend not to post anything during those periods of high frustration.
Until I find some sort of resolution...
Yesterday, I finally got the post drill I wrote about a couple of blog posts back working completely! Let me tell you the story.
A friend of mine, Mike Lingenfelter (our local MWA leader), told me that his brother was heading to another part of the state (we are in Washington State) to an auction that he expected would have post drills. He knew that I was interested in them so I gave him some of my preferences. His brother came back with 3 and gave me pick of 2 of them. I was thrilled (THANKS Mike and his brother!).
When I got it home, I work really hard to clean it up and get it ready to mount and set up. Clean up wasn't bad as there wasn't much rust though there was plenty of grime. Once it was cleaned up, I even painted it. I installed an actual post in my shop and then mounted the drill to the post.
Then I hit my first problem. The drill is obviously old and probably well used. The gear where the hand crank was attached to had a skewed wear pattern where it fit over the shaft making it alternately bind and not engage. This was probably due to the torque the crank handle applies to the gear causing the wear over decades.
Fortunately I have a brother who is also a machinist. After discussing the issue with him, he had a quick solution of installing a brass bearing inside the gear that would fit the shaft more accurately and remove the wobble. It took a few weeks to send it to him and for him to fix it and send it back. Obviously, my brother does awesome work so if anyone needs machine work, they should contact him at Metal Concepts Machining in Santa Fe Springs, CA. The fixed gear fit like a glove.
My next problem was the more frustrating one since the fix to the first problem was fairly obvious. When I turned the crank (even with the fixed gear), the drill press would vibrate like nobody's business. The post is attached to studs which are attached to my house proper so it would shake our entire office inside. After getting more advice from my brother, he suggested that the moving/friction parts needed grease.
It took many days over a period of a few weeks to get enough grease in all the proper places. My wood shop was smelling more like my brother's machine shop with all this grease. I went through adding grease and getting no change, frustration made me walk away for a few days and then I'd do it all again. Eventually though I must have slathered grease in all the right places because the vibration finally went away.
I can really crank it and the entire thing is nice and quiet. I can't wait to try it out on a real project.