My Emerson Electric drill press has a compression fitting to hold the table to the mast, but does not have any handle or crank (or rack gear, for that matter) to lift the table up or down.
I can loosen the clamp and move the table manually, but this is not efficient. Is there an aftermarket device that I can attach to the unit? I seem to recall a device that involved stretching a motorcycle chain from the the top of the mast to the bottom, and a worm-gear deal attached to a crank attached to the table.
Thanks for any help, Jim
Hi bosleyjr. I dont understand how a worm gear would work with motorcycle chain. How would a boat winch with cables be. The winch could be mounted under the table and you could use small pulleys to the collum. Just a thought maybe someone will better that. Thank you
I use an old boat trailer winch and cables to move the table on my HF 20 ton press. It was a POA to move before because I had to lift the table to relocate the pins.
Another way would be a pulley at top, a cable and a counter weight.
I had it worked out to a roller chain formed into a long, narrow, vertical loop (and attached to the DP table). There would be a clamp-collar top and bottom of the DP column with a yoke & axle arrangement holding a small chain sprocket on each.
The part I haven't resolved was the drive mechanism...I think ideally a worm drive since it might be "self-holding" due to internal friction. I have the guts of a small worm drive box on which the case fractured, adapting this to the roller chain loop might be just the thing.
I've seen the counterweight deals, and they can be fast acting. Maybe too fast? Anyhow, if you want to move it with no fuss, and with nothing on the tble that might be a good idea. anything loaded will not be counterweighted.
The old Clausing in my shop has a lead screw for raising or lowering either the head OR the table, depending on what you loosen. The table clamp ring rides on a separate ring that carries the nut, so it can be shifted around without loosening everything. A little "button" forms the lift point and makes sure it can turn easily if not clamped.
You could probably put such a thing on any DP at least as easily as rigging chain etc, and it IS self-locking. And since the table locks separately, it is easier to use if not always locked, although less secure then.
All you need is two rings, and a couple bevel gears. A worm might be too slow.
Some good ideas.
First, let me answer a question. Motorcycle chain. Worm gear. Not very clear, I agree.
Envision the chain, fixed by clamps, stretched from the DP head to the base, along the back of the press. A chain sprocket is paired with a helical cut gear, and both are mounted on the DP table on a horizontal axle so that the sprocket engages the chain (there must be some sort of retainer to press the chain against the sprocket). The worm gear is integral (bolted together, spins on the same axis) to the helical gear and has the attached handle.
I will have to think about how to implement the lead screw idea - it sounds very cool.
Interestingly enough, the DP seems to have a milled flat, with an axle hole, for some sort of table lift. If anyone has an old Emerson (it was also sold as the Craftsman Commercial DP) and has a factory unit, a pic would be appreciated.
Truly, you can spend all your time "making stuff to make stuff, instead of just making stuff", no?
I meant to include both the worm and the counterweight as ideas to pursue. Will advise.
Jim, I have one on my old Craftsman, I'll see if I can post a picture in a few days. It uses a standard bicycle chain which drops from a bearing that sits in a grooved collar at the top of the post through a bracket on the table with a crank and sprocket and down to a lead weight at the bottom. Resistance in the crank is provided by a spring and a friction plate.
you might be able to modify a trailer tounge jack to lift the table.
use one with a crank that comes off the side of the jack, extend with the proper length of pipe, or rig a backet that fits the base of the DP.
Might be a little slow. HF has these for ~ $20.00
I tried to mount a electric screw actuator on my old Wlaker Turner drill press. It worked kinda... The tabloe would get cocked and stick so i had to keep one hand one the table when it was going up or down. I think the clue here is to make the lifting point as close to the pole as possible. this will keep forces more vertical and less horizontal. I switched up to a WT 20" just to get the table winch.
When I bought it it had the gear rack and bracket. I was able to buy the lift winch +handle on Ebay for about $35
I have exactly the same problem with a large pillar drill that I am currently rebuilding. The table is very heavy, and although I can just about shift it up and down, doing so and clamping it at the same time is going to result in torn muscles eventually - and I don't heal as fast as I once did.
The drill is British, good quality and still manufactured - all spares available, however the optional rack and pinion table lift costs several times what I paid for the drill so I just can't justify it.
A counterweight is possible, but the head design would make this a bit tricky.
I wondered about a lift device rather like the jacks that used to be supplied with VW Beetles. This did not use screws, it had a simple handle that was inserted into one of two holes, you cranked on the handle to lift in ratchet fashion and the same to lower. The action, as I remember it just used a single plain steel pillar and the crank action 'climbed' the post, using a self wedging approach. This would be ideal - not too hard/expensive to make (no screws, gears or racks), could use the pillar of the drill and would not get in the way. However, I can't find any information about these jacks and I can't now picture exactly how the design worked. If anyone could help I would be very grateful. Also any views on the suitability of this design as a table lift would be much appreciated.
How about using a gas strut or spring to provide lifty so that grvity is balanced. this way lift force would be reduced as well. Watch ebay for svrew jack actuators from old satalite dishes. I biought a SKF ball screw actuator rated at something like 2 tons for about $50 delivered new, 90 Volts dc.
here is link to a parts list/doagram of the walker turner lift set up. about page 12
Gas struts are certainly a possibility and can be got for or from office chairs etc cheaply. They would help but with drill presses where the table can rotate around the column as well as going up and down (most of them?) the mountings could be a bit difficult. I experimented with lifting under the centre of the table where such a strut could be easily fitted and had the same type of problem that you did with your Walker Turner - when the clamp is released, the off-pillar force on the table does not lift it smoothly - it tends to cock very slightly. Ideally a strut like this would have to be mounted close to the pillar axis.
I built a drillpress table lift some years ago and posted some pics. to the metalworking dropbox. Check out the following:
Hope this helps.
Here is the Craftsman brand for your viewing. I have no idea where you could get one but likely not to hard to come up with a variant without too much work. I will say this I works, however since it lifts behind the post so far from the center of gravity it tends to bind with out a hand lifting up front, drops fine though.
Again, thanks to all. Shimitup, looks like we have the same DP - and your apparatus looks like what I remembered seeing in a picture somewhere. Barry*, I found your pics and your design looks like another promising idea, as finding the OEM lift (as in Shimitup's) might not be easy. Very clean and elegant. Much appreciated, both.
The gas struts, or even a worm gear/turnbuckle under the table also appeals. Even though my DP is made in the USA, it isn't as stiff as the Cincinnati Bickfords I used when younger (they were old - I'm not that old!). So a strut underneath a table that had been secured would kind of act as a "knee". Might reduce flexing.
The search is on - I will be looking for the proper oem setup (ala shimitup), or materials for a custom job (ala Barry).
It is interesting that the milled and drilled flat on the back of the table, which is obviously specifically for a table lift, was not used by anyone!
*Hook em. Texas Ex.
Goog luck with your lift. By the way the milled surface is for an auxillary tilting table, (PN 9-2439) which I'd love to have had. I'll scan the whole accessories list and post if you'd like to see it. Oddly I don't see the lift in the listing.
The leadscrew type is a lot less "intrusive" than what you have with that chain.
Pic of DP (and other stuff, sorry)
The lowest ring on the column carries the nut, as you can see. a few inches of the screw is sticking out below. The next is for the table
The lowest one near top is just a safety, the one above that has the gearbox, right under the head. Crank is on the side away from the viewing point, so you can't see it.
To raise or lower table, unlock table (and nut ring, if you locked it) and crank to wherever you want it.
Because the table rests on the nut ring, you can turn it without moving the screw, for most small movements. If you want to clear it around to the back and out of the way, you'll need to loosen more stuff, but that is rare (for me).
By loosening the gearbox ring, safety, and head, you can move the head instead of the table.
JST, very nice DP! what brand is it?
This is probably as practical as a submarine with a screen door, but since we're "blue-sky thinking" and most of us have access to a thread cutting lathe, here it goes.
Here's a sketch, but it's not the only way to do it. The clamp could be the male part, which might work better.
The way you'd use it is to turn the lift up, lock the table, retract the lift, slide the clamp up, and start over. Not bad if you're only moving it a couple inches, but a complete drag if you need to move it a couple feet.