I just acquired this small Drill Press, a Leland Gifford and I know it has been modified throughout the years. I intend on using it in my small restoration shop and eventually want to restore it to its former glory if I can find more info on it. If anyone has any info they can share, photos, manuals etc. parts sources I would be greatly appreciated. I am also looking to buy some other equipment for my shop such as a small lathe and mill. I have never restored an antique machine before but I don't expect it to be too daunting. Any tips, tricks etc. would be greatly appreciated.
I replied to this thread with a couple posts in 2009. I have done a few restorations since then. My favorite is a ~1917 20" Flather that I inherited from my father in 2010. I have only seen one other the same and it was chopped up a little. I believe this machine was the Cadillac of its day with very heavy castings. I was with dad when he got the lathe in 1972 when I was 15 yrs old. Dad had another lathe and a scrap guy he knew said he had a machine with a big chuck on it. We went to look at the chuck. There was the Flather leaning up against a big pile of scrap, complete and undamaged. Dad bought it for scrap weight, $130. Weight is 4100 lbs. I had to tear it completely down to get it out of dads basement.
The story was that there was a shop in Carnegie, PA that had a fire and every machine was scrapped. This machine was in the rear of the building no where near the fire. About 3 years ago I was contacted by a guy that saw pics of my Flather online and he saw I lived in Carnegie, PA. He was the owner of the shop that burned and was inquiring if I may have had his old Flather. He came to the house to see it and I let him run it. He was in his late 80's and it made his day to run his old machine that he hadn't seen for 45 yrs.
I have been going through the 1938 Hendey lathe here for a while. This thing sat in a Harley shop for many years and every piece of tooling has 30 years of grease, rust and cigarette smoke on it. My new best friend: A $150 ultrasonic cleaner loaded with 100% strength Simple Green or (more aggressive and removes paint) 100% Purple Power concentrate from Walmart, in the automotive section. I pretty much won't even start working on something until its had a 30 minute bath in this stuff at 40-50 degrees C. Once it's out, I rinse and blow out the crevices with compressed air and then bake at around 150 before either painting or hitting it with some "Tool Saver" rust protectant.