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  1. #1
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    Default McMullen Drill Press

    Here's a little drill press I found on Craigslist before Christmas. It was made by McMullen Machinery of Grand Rapids Michigan. It'd been reduced to a motor and a V-belt, and I've put it back, as close as I could figure it anyway, to original. I found a matching pair of cones from a South Bend lathe and a clutch from another lathe. I added a step to the lower cone to be the drive to the spindle. It has two tables: the top one has a 90º angle on its side, and it tilts and swings out of the way; the lower table slides up and down, and so does the spindle. Since it's all belt and no gears I'm running it 720, 1160 and 1885 RPM. Seems to handle it just fine, and it drills small holes delightfully.

    Anyone have any information on this company? Are drill presses like this very common?

    Joel

    (Not sure why some of the pictures are on their sides. Can't seem to tip them up. Hmmm...)
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails conepulley.jpg   handfeed.jpg   beltedrightside.jpg   coutershaft.jpg   mainright.jpg  


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    I like it and also the line shaft drive. Also what about the milling machine and drillpress in the background? I think I like them too. How about a couple of shots of them.

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    The drill press in the background is a Rockford, made in Rockford, Illinois about 1910, but I don't remember where I got that. It has a #4 Morse taper and goes all the way down to 11 RPM with a high of about 450. It's a great machine, but it's not made to run fast. It's so beefy it handles a boring head very well for boring holes in things I can't fit in the lathe or mill. I don't seem to have pictures of it on the computer or I'd show them.

    The mill is new for me along with this little drill press. I had a bigger universal by H.A. Stocker, made in the teens or so, that I sold to make more room. This one's a Kempsmith plain mill with a 34" table and a #5 Morse taper. I think it was made between 1890 and 1892. At least that's as close as I can come based on what little I know.

    Here are more picture of the McMullen. I got all excited about that tilting table, since no other machine in the shop does that. There's a tapered pin that holds it at 90º.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails tabletilted.jpg   table.jpg   mainleft.jpg   sticker.jpg   nameplate.jpg  


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    Joel,
    Thanks for posting .
    I think I have seen and ad in an old magazine for a drill press like that one with the tilting angle plate type table and another table below.
    I can’t remember where or when I saw it though.
    Can you make out any more detail on the transfer decal on the side of the machine ?
    I’m wondering if that was who made the drill and Mc Mullen had been the dealer ?
    I’ll try to remember to post a link if I come across the ad again somewhere .
    Regards,
    Jim

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    Thanks, Jim. Here's a closer view of the sticker. It says, "United States Machine Tool Co." I've added another picture of it. Maybe that was the manufacture? When I searched for "McMullen Machinery Co, Grand Rapids" all I found was a Michigan Supreme Court case from 1927 in which McMullen was called "a broker of machinery."

    "The McMullen Machinery Company of Grand Rapids(hereinafter termed the petitioner), a broker in machinery..."
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails sticker2.jpg  

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    Joel ,
    I think U.S. Machine tool will be the manufacturer .
    It will make it a lot easier to look for with that info.
    I wouldn't be surprised if you find something on Vintage Machinery about it.
    I'll check some magazines later and see what turns up.
    I wouldn't be surprised either if someone else who follows this forum has one also.
    Regards,
    Jim

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    I tried a couple of searches .
    This one is not exactly like yours with a different name “Avey” and the drive is different so perhaps newer. .
    Same type of tables though.
    I don’t know the history of either company
    American machine and tool record. v. 3 (Jan.-June 1913). - Full View | HathiTrust Digital Library | HathiTrust Digital Library
    From 1913
    Other Volumes here that may be of help to others looking for info. on machines from those years.
    Catalog Record: American machine and tool record | Hathi Trust Digital Library
    Maybe something closer will turn up .
    Jim
    Last edited by Jim Christie; 01-09-2019 at 07:27 PM.

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    MORE manufacturers of the H.G. Barr/Washburn Shops (WPI)/Leblond "sensitive drill."

    Probably the most copied design of any small/medium size floor stand drill.

    Lessee

    Royersford (Marked "Excelsior" like its larger 20 & 21 inch cousins)
    Washburn Shops at WPI (Student project par excellance)
    Leblond
    H.G. Barr (possibly the originator of the design)
    Brownell (May have sold Barr as agent)
    Builders Iron Foundry
    Sigourney (minus the swivel table)
    Harding - Allen (Bought H.G. Barr in 1913)
    Stanley Manufacturing Co. (Lawrence, MA - seen on Maine CL)

    Joe in NH

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Christie View Post
    Joel ,
    I think U.S. Machine tool will be the manufacturer .
    It will make it a lot easier to look for with that info.
    I wouldn't be surprised if you find something on Vintage Machinery about it.
    I'll check some magazines later and see what turns up.
    I wouldn't be surprised either if someone else who follows this forum has one also.
    Regards,
    Jim
    I think you're right, Jim. This may be Joel's drill, from "American Machinist", Volume 61, No. 7, page 58, 1924. His may have been an earlier model without the motor.

    American Machinist - Google Books (You have to go to the "next" page of results)



    Irby
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails us-machine-tool-drill-press.jpg  

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    Here's an earlier ad by U.S. Machine Tool Co. for the same drill press in "American Machine and Tool Record" magazine of 1917. This ad doesn't show a motor, so it's the vintage of Joels' machine.

    Irby

    joels-drill-2.jpg
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails joels-drill-2.jpg  

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    My goodness you guys are good at finding information! I really appreciate it. Irby, on the first ad you showed, even the round sticker looks like the one on mine, at least by what we can see. And it looks like I got the cone pulley about right--three steps about the right size with a direct drive to the spindle. I also was wondering if there were supposed to be three handles or just two on--what would it be--the quill? (Blacksmith here.) Both ads show two, so it looks like mine's how it was originally.

    I've really enjoyed the links you and Jim gave. Thank you both very much.

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    Two handles, actually a round bar which is held on most of mine with a thumbscrew (I currently have three of varying makers) which allows the handle to be moved one way or the other - and doubles the "downforce" when set to one side.

    My collection started with a Washburn Shops DP. Then I found a Royersford "Excelsior" at the local machinery dealer minus parts - $15 and it was mine. Then I found the missing parts in a $10 box at one of the engine shows/fleamarket (I've written about this here) which with new shafts made it a nearly complete drill press.

    Then I found a Francis Reed DP on Craigslist which was the most complete unit I've ever seen up to that time - I sold that one.

    Then my wife dumped over the Excelsior moving around our garage and broke it in two (Cast iron does break) We're still married.

    Not deterred, I found another Excelsior even more complete in a third floor tenement building in Providence, RI. Gravity is a force and a three floor "winder" staircase can be negotiated with a two wheeler/drill press if someone holds an attached rope uphill behind the the two wheeler operator.

    Surprisingly, parts interchange between Excelsior and the WPI DP. "Kissing Cousins" as we say.

    THEN I had an incomplete H.G. Barr DP GIVEN to me (I shouldn't have taken it.) It had been modified to attach an electric motor at the usual spot. Man got his cellar cleaned out before selling his house - at least he helped me remove it, an uphill climb on those bulkhead stairs. Did I say gravity was a force?

    Francis Reed is about 10 percent larger than the Excelsior/Washburn Shops DP. H.G. Barr about 5 percent larger - parts don't interchange.

    Ah - the continuing saga of "Old Iron Disease."

    Joe in NH

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    Joe, I wish you'd glue some pretty pictures onto the bottom of your typing so we could see the nifty things you're talking about. That'd be nice. Hmm???

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    similar Cannedy-Otto, but much newer.

    From a 1931 McMaster-Carr catalog.


    Mike

    img20190110_18511024.jpg
    img20190110_18511024-2-.jpg
    img20190110_19103479.jpg

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    I didn't know McMaster-Carr used to sell machines. Interesting. Thanks, Mike. The speeds they list are good to know too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Goat Marshall View Post
    Joe, I wish you'd glue some pretty pictures onto the bottom of your typing so we could see the nifty things you're talking about. That'd be nice. Hmm???
    Here's a pix of the Royersford Excelsior currently. This one has a nice metal "shield" in front of the quill, possibly to prevent women wartime workers from getting their hair caught on the shaft?.

    The operating lever is held on this one by a set-screw. Another set-screw on the opposite side pins the hub to the gear shaft.

    The Royersford Excelsior that my wife trashed has the same hub casting but the setscrew for the operating lever is a large thumb-screw. See on the round table.



    I can make more pix if you need something specific.

    Joe in NH
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails dscf0494.jpg  

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    Joe, where you have a set screw to adjust the handle position, I have something that appears to be broken off. I assumed it was a third handle, but after what you're telling me, it's probably a thumb screw. I'll see what I can do for it. I also like seeing the spindle pulley with the large, single flange on the bottom. I expect that not only kept oil off the belt but also kept the pulley from rising when the drill was brought back up. It's also heavier than the one I adapted, which probably would help too. Maybe I'll replace mine. I'm glad to see yours.

    That Royersford is so like mine it seems to have been made in the same foundry. I wonder if there were machine kits provided by foundries for different companies to put their names on. Kind of a side note, but the foundries sure did influence blacksmithing that way, with all the cheap cast iron forges with clinker-maker firepots that flooded the market and now are thought to be good and traditional, when in fact they're a mighty poor substitute for what blacksmiths had been using before the foundry boom. Same thing, maybe, only this drill press seems really good to me. But then again, I'm a blacksmith and might not know better.

    Thanks for the picture, Joe. I appreciate it.

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    Goat, See my private message.

    Joe in NH

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    You know, years ago when I picked up my Boynton shaper in NJ, the fellow had a neat drill press I was tempted to get but just didn't have room in the truck. I had added a Millers Falls Power Hacksaw he had and was plumb out of room. What impressed me about the drill was the two tables and the fact the top drill slid on a rail of sorts. The more I think about that drill press the more I bet it was just like the one Joel has or maybe Joe has. I can still picture it in my mind and it sure looks like one of them. Boy I wish I had somehow managed to get it. Such a neat drill.

    Irby

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    Quote Originally Posted by IrbyJones View Post
    You know, years ago when I picked up my Boynton shaper in NJ, the fellow had a neat drill press I was tempted to get but just didn't have room in the truck. Irby
    Take heart - they are out there.

    As part of my replies above I checked my flash drive of pix. I have perhaps 20 different craigslist entries there placed over the last three or four years. So I guess I'm averaging about 4 or 5 a year?

    Of course New England is known as a "source." Which is true - but becoming less and less so every day. The loss of an 18" swing Lathe & Morse lathe to another Craigslist buyer about two years back still smarts. But such is life in free enterprise land. If it was always pretty - everyone would be doing it.

    Even Ebay may be a source. Here is a Brownell version (probably Excelsior) sold recently. Vintage Antique Brownell Machinery Co Providence RI Drill Press Punch Mill Stand | eBay



    Joe in NH
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