Old Western Machine Company Drill
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  1. #1
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    Default Old Western Machine Company Drill

    I found this old Western Machine company drill at a local auction that no one wanted and picked her up for about 350 dollars, just over scrap value I'm guessing. This thing should be in a museum. The company made cast brass signs and grave markers and I doubt they used this thing more then a few times judging from the condition. It still had the old leather belt on it, which unfortunately broke when we were lowering her down for transport. The motor was definitely an add on. Just posting her here for your enjoyment, shes not for sale

    . img_8950.jpgimg_8991.jpg

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  3. #2
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    Please post more.

    I wonder if this was any connection to the Western Supplies Co. in St. Louis, MO. They made mechanical die press's for the leatherworking industry that we serviced from time to time, but they closed fairly recently. Hydraulic machines took over.

  4. #3
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    The old Western machine company had a plant in Holland Michigan. I had the opportunity to get in the building shortly before it was destroyed, probably around 2002. The place had been out of business for years but was still completely full of equipment. It was like looking into a machine shop from 1890. So full of equipment you could hardly make your way through the place. Some areas in the shop the weight of the machines had collapsed the floor leaving huge holes dropping into the basement. Got a little dicey walking around. There were no lights. I did not have a camera and for that I am forever sorry. It was like stepping back in time, lots of small planers, shapers drill presses, lathes, you name it. Mostly all in the old ornate black cast iron vintage. They made Steptoe shapers, lathes, and as far as I know a full range of other machine tools. An afternoon that I will always remember. You have a keeper.

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  6. #4
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    Very cool machine. There was a similar one for sale on CL a couple years ago and was a fairly unique machine in my eyes. The column was obviously rigid but the arm swung on a separate pivot shaft that was mounted to the column. Much like yours but I have no saved pictures to compare. Assume the two are the same? I had never seen this design but I don't need the radial I have so certainly did not two of them. It too looked in very good shape but filthy dirty and had been indoors most of its life by the looks. They wanted $800 or so then down to $500. Must of sold? Central Wi couple years ago. Think the on on CL was owned by a gravel pit or trucking company. Yours is the first Western I have seen since. Appreciate the photos and hope you take more detailed photos. Congrats on your save. John.

  7. #5
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    Some of the Cincinnati drill makers did that way-type column on some of their machines as well. I don't know what the perceived benefit was.

    Andy

  8. #6
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    The larger Cincinnati Bickford super service drill that I have has the feature. This aligns the quill support gearbox with the upper drive gearbox on the top of the drill. There are two long splined shafts running between the two gearboxes that need exact alignment since they drive the power feed and the spindle. With this alignment you can move the lower quill support gearbox up or down on the V ways depending on the size of work on the table. Not the best pic, but the idea is there. p1080606.jpg


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