Mechanics Mach. Co. Drill Press - unusual
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    Default Mechanics Mach. Co. Drill Press - unusual

    I just bought the friction drive drill press mentioned in another thread. It's driven with a cone/wheel friction setup. Speed is adjusted by moving the drive wheel in/out on the cone.
    Was apparently originally lineshaft driven with fast/loose pulleys, the shifter is still there.
    I have seen pics of some bigger presses by this maker, does anybody else have one like this, or any information, catalog, etc. on these?

    Thanks, Mel
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails img_2235.jpg   img_2236.jpg   img_2238.jpg   img_2240.jpg  
    Last edited by Mel in WA; 10-27-2009 at 07:09 PM. Reason: add pics

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    Mel, I don't have any info on your drill press but I have a Mechanics machine Co. 20'' drill press and I know there is at least one more member here that has one bigger then mine.

    That press of yours is unique and it may be hard to find information about it.

    Here is my press.



    Thank you.

    James

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    What is the friction material on the drive wheel?

    How is the cone adjusted for speed change?

    Thanks, Greyson

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    The friction material appears to be several layers of leather clamped together on the drive wheel hub.
    To change the speed, you slide the drive wheel horizontally which moves it from the bigger outside diameter to the smaller inside diameter of the face on the cone.

    Mel

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    Here is a scan of a catalog cover. I don't have any other pics or cuts of the little friction drive drills but I do have one of my drill. I do know that the friction drive drils were available in two sizes, #1 and #2. I also have some pdf files with a little history on the company. I can e-mail them after I sort them out. From the scans you can piece together a basic company timeline which I'll abreviate here.

    Mechanics Machine Co. was started by four practical mechanics about 1890 in a basement shop with very limited capital. At least a couple of them had worked at Barnes. Levin Faust, the Rockford industrialist became the most famous of these original four. Times were tough at first and at least one of the four had sold his share to the others by the time their first successful product could be marketed. That was the little friction drive drill.

    They were successful in growing their company and expanding the drill line through the turn of the century. By around 1912 the remaining partners sold the drill line to Rockford drilling machine company which marketed the unmodified drills as the "Mechanics Drill". Mechanics Machine company continued in manufacturing producing u-joints and latter transmissions for the thriving auto industry. Several years latter they merged with a couple other area companies to form Borg Warner.




    I wish I had the complet catalog but it hasn't turned up yet. I'm sure there is one out there somewhere. Ed.

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    Ed: Thanks much for the info and scan. That's what I love about this site, the wealth of information that's available.
    Can you tell me how to determine whether my drill is a #1 or 2?
    If you have more info you can email me, that would be great.

    Mel

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mel in WA View Post
    I just bought the friction drive drill press mentioned in another thread. It's driven with a cone/wheel friction setup. Speed is adjusted by moving the drive wheel in/out on the cone.
    Was apparently originally lineshaft driven with fast/loose pulleys, the shifter is still there.
    I have seen pics of some bigger presses by this maker, does anybody else have one like this, or any information, catalog, etc. on these?

    Thanks, Mel
    The rearward fork over the drive shaft looks like a cone pulley/belt shifter to me. "Spose the speed changes were compounded, or?

    Bob

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    I don't have a drill with that drive, but I do have a similar variable speed drive fitted to an AVO Douglas coil winder - it alows the pitch of the winding to be set for any wire gauge.

    That uses a small rubber tyred idler between two large diameter (offset) steel discs, such that moving the idler moves it towards the centre of one disk, and the rim of the other.

    Jim.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Campbell Jr. View Post
    The rearward fork over the drive shaft looks like a cone pulley/belt shifter to me. "Spose the speed changes were compounded, or?

    Bob
    I think there were 2 pulleys of the same size, one locked to the shaft (fast), and one that could spin free (loose). There is a worn spot on the shaft that supports this idea. the shifter fork would move the belt from the "drive" pulley to the "idle" pulley, basically an on/off switch. That way, while the lineshaft could run all day, each machine would run only as needed.

    Mel

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    Looks good!

    Not bad condition for it's age either. Are you planning to repair / rebuild it for use, or use it as a display, Mel?

    The company history sounds rather colorful.

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    Quote Originally Posted by A_Pmech View Post
    Looks good!

    Not bad condition for it's age either. Are you planning to repair / rebuild it for use, or use it as a display, Mel?

    The company history sounds rather colorful.
    It is in nice condition. I see no breaks or repairs, and it's not been out in the weather. Current plans are to mount it on a piece of laminated maple, and power it with an electric motor with flat belt pulleys to keep it as original looking as possible. I see no reason to do any fancy restoration work, preferring to keep it in its' "work clothes".
    It will likely see little actual use as I have other drill presses already. Mainly will be used for "show and tell" whenever I can corner an unsuspecting family member or visitor.
    The unusual drive system is the main attraction for me.

    Mel

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    This add is the only reason I know they were producing two sizes of friction drive drills. If there is no marking on your drill it may be diffucult to tell which you have. It may be as simple as which morse taper the spindle was. I doubt they would have used more than an 2 MT on that size of drill and a 1 MT is probably more like it.

    The history of early manufacturing is certainly colorfull. Rockford was booming at this time and absolute fortunes were being made. The furniture trade was huge, throw in machine tool manufacturing and supplying parts for the emerging auto industry and its easy to see why the 20's are described as roaring. Rockford and surrounding areas sure were. Ed.

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    I don"t have any info on your drill but I do have a Mechanics Machine co drill press its either a 20" or 24" I haven't ever measured it.I will try to take a picture and measure it.Nice little press you have though.

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    Ed: Thanks for the additional info. My drill has a #1 morse taper in the spindle, and will drill to the center of a 13" diameter (measuring on the bottom table below the casting projection for the slide). At this point, I'm going to assume this is the #1 drill.

    Mel

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    Here are a couple of scans from the circular I posted the cover of above. I got these from a historian in Rockford who came accross them doing some research. I wouldn't doubt there is a complete copy in one of the local libraries there. Also here is a link to the thread where my 32" drill was discussed. http://www.practicalmachinist.com/vb...hanics+Machine

    I don't think Mechanics Machine Co. used serial numbers, I know mine didn't have anything but a few lightly stamped numbers on castings that went together...all single digits. I'm sure we will learn more about this very interesting manufacturer as more drills are discovered and literature found.




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    Default 20" Mechanics Machine Co. Drill

    I am picking up what I think is the 20" drill Wed. for $100 with a bad motor.
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    I'm going to revive this old thread to announce I have listed the little Mechanics' drill press for sale on Portland,OR Craigslist. Price: $695.
    I mounted an electric motor on it so it can be run to demonstrate or use.
    Have thoroughly enjoyed this unique drill, but it's time for it to move to a new home.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails fullsizeoutput_289.jpg   fullsizeoutput_28a.jpg   fullsizeoutput_28b.jpg   img_6549.jpg   fullsizeoutput_292.jpg  



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