Whulp, Daddy’s got a new project. I drove down to Birmingham one afternoon and ended up picking up this Craftsman 15″ 100 series drill press, a model 103-23141, manufactured around 1953. This post will be the first of a series in which I talk about the process of restoring this 63 year old drill press, hopefully preparing it for another lifetime of service. The drill press is in overall decent shape, I believe, but I haven’t torn into it yet. Below are some photos to acquaint the reader with the ‘before’ state before I start working on it and cleaning it up.
Craftsman 103.23141 sides and front view, unrestored.
By the way, FermiLab provides a handy one page reference pdf of suggested drill press RPMs based on materials and drill bit type. Excerpt from: FermiLab. The drill press ought to handle any wood and be able to slow down enough to put holes in aluminum and steel of moderate size.
The headstock lock handle is missing and replaced by a bolt. The feed return spring needs to be adjusted, but I think it’s intact.
Broken feed handle arm (1 of 3). The rod is broken off inside the threaded portion, so I’ll have to either find a way to ease it out or drill and tap the hole.
Front logo is in reasonable shape for 63 years old.
The base is very massive cast iron. I think the column is extending too far into the base, preventing the base from sitting flat on the ground. The correct column retaining bolt is missing.
The model number was hidden under years of sawdust on the base. I brushed off the base and revealed the model number.
The table on 100 series drill presses has a tilt function and a protractor is built in. The tilt feature was dropped from the later 150 series.
The working surface of the table has a minimal ‘arc of shame’ – holes drilled negligently by the previous owner.
The 1/2 HP original Craftsman motor (115.6962 model, made by Packard). The J1 53 date code indicates this is a 1953 model.
The ON/OFF switch label is the same, I believe, as on my 1958 model Craftsman bench grinder.
The original chuck key appears to have been preserved. The chuck is a key-type, accommodating 0″ – 1/2″ bits and should have a lock collar to retain it on the spindle.
The motor mount is missing one bolt of four. The belt is pretty new.
Sort of a poor photo, looking down into the headstock.
The video above shows the drill press running. It sounds like it is in need of lubrication. The feed stop bracket is loose and rubbing the chuck/spindle.