craftsman 15-1/2" drill press - buy or not?

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Vase1
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craftsman 15-1/2" drill press - buy or not?

Post by Vase1 » Wed Jun 26, 2019 8:00 am

Hello,

I'm looking for a first drill press for both wood and metal working and found this one available in my area for $200. Does anyone know anything about these craftsman drill presses?

It is a 113.21310, which is a 15-1/2" and was made by Emerson in 1969. I believe the lowest RPM is 380 which is a little high for metal working. Sounds like it may have a 1/2HP motor.

Does anyone know the quill depth on this unit, and are these good units for what I'm looking for?

Thanks!!

whateg0
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Re: craftsman 15-1/2" drill press - buy or not?

Post by whateg0 » Wed Jun 26, 2019 9:05 am

Those drills are pretty sought after. I agree it's a little fast for big drills, but depending on the motor, you might be able to slow it down and gain some torque at the same time. I've no idea on the specs, though. A friend of mine just bought an older 1-1/2 hp Central Machinery drill press similar to this Grizzly (https://www.grizzly.com/products/Grizzl ... ress/G7948). I think he paid less than $200 but I don't know the exact amount. I paid about $70 for my Taiwanese 14" drill press a few years ago and it's 3/4 hp, IIRC, and goes down to 160 rpm. Just some points of reference.

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Re: craftsman 15-1/2" drill press - buy or not?

Post by Mr Ron » Wed Jun 26, 2019 9:28 am

$200 seems high for a 50 year old DP, especially if it is a Sears. They are not on a par with the Deltas or Powermatics of that age. They were made for the consumer market, not the commercial user.
Mr.Ron from South Mississippi

Glenn Brooks
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Re: craftsman 15-1/2" drill press - buy or not?

Post by Glenn Brooks » Wed Jun 26, 2019 3:38 pm

Fwiw, the speed range is about right for HSS drill bits up to 1/2” diameter. Most of these 15” floor mounted drill presses were only designed to handle 1/2” and smaller drills. Hence the 1/2 hp motor, and limited range of the chuck. If you want to drill anything over 1/2” holes probably best to look for a larger size DP. Around the PNW average price for the older classic DPs is usually $100-$150, actually the newer used DP’s are often listed on CL for under $100 as well.

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Re: craftsman 15-1/2" drill press - buy or not?

Post by spro » Thu Jun 27, 2019 12:18 am

It is amazing. 50 years, dang. I wanted one, went to Sears and they seemed so flimsy compared to the ones I had been using at work.

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Re: craftsman 15-1/2" drill press - buy or not?

Post by spro » Thu Jun 27, 2019 7:12 pm

1969 and later, were different than early 60's, 50's. There was no getting back to the heavier castings and the suppliers. The heavier stuff from Taiwan was to Craftsman standards ( American motors and return policies) but that was a leap of faith then.

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SteveM
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Re: craftsman 15-1/2" drill press - buy or not?

Post by SteveM » Fri Jun 28, 2019 8:02 am

My dad had one of those. It was a workhorse.

It's not a Walker Turner or South Bend, but it's solidly built and heavy.

We sold it for $200-$250, but we included a Palmgren drill press vise and three sets of drill bits. It still had the original belt on it.

Considering what $200 buys you new, it could be a better option.

Bring a dial indicator or test indicator on a mag base and test the runout. Test the spindle above the chuck, the chuck body and a piece of dowel rod held in the chuck.

Try grabbing the chuck and wiggling it to see if the bearings are loose. They can probably be replaced, as ll that older stuff tended to use standard bearings.

Steve

chief
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Re: craftsman 15-1/2" drill press - buy or not?

Post by chief » Fri Jun 28, 2019 3:19 pm

I have a similar Craftsman drill press, mine has a more industrially oriented table, with tee slots and coolant channels, but it shares the 8 speed pulley system with a 1/4" wide vee belt.

I bought mine new in 1970, and can truthfully say it has never given me the first lick of trouble. The most amazing thing for me is that it is still using the original vee belt after 49 years!
Terry

chief
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Re: craftsman 15-1/2" drill press - buy or not?

Post by chief » Fri Jun 28, 2019 3:24 pm

P.S.

I forgot to mention, just as a reminder, that this drill press is like most consumer presses in that era, and does not have a cranking system to raise and lower the table, just a clamp to loosen, then gravity and muscles take over. Usable, but not nearly as handy as newer machines, and the potential to drop the table on you foot, if you're not careful.
Terry

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SteveM
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Re: craftsman 15-1/2" drill press - buy or not?

Post by SteveM » Fri Jun 28, 2019 9:16 pm

chief wrote:
Fri Jun 28, 2019 3:24 pm
I forgot to mention, just as a reminder, that this drill press is like most consumer presses in that era, and does not have a cranking system to raise and lower the table, just a clamp to loosen, then gravity and muscles take over. Usable, but not nearly as handy as newer machines, and the potential to drop the table on you foot, if you're not careful.
Dad bolted a pulley to the rear of the drill press head and used a window weight as a counterweight to the table. Went up and down like a charm.

Steve

chief
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Re: craftsman 15-1/2" drill press - buy or not?

Post by chief » Sat Jun 29, 2019 9:10 am

Yep, that works well, if you keep the column clean, and a little dry lube helps a lot.

I've added a motorized table lift mechanism to mine with hardware from an old hospital bed. I also switched to a DC motor with speed control and a tach readout.

Terry

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Re: craftsman 15-1/2" drill press - buy or not?

Post by Mr Ron » Sat Jun 29, 2019 10:25 am

SteveM wrote:
Fri Jun 28, 2019 9:16 pm


Dad bolted a pulley to the rear of the drill press head and used a window weight as a counterweight to the table. Went up and down like a charm.

Steve
I did likewise; I put a sash weight inside the column with a wire rope over a sheave; works great now.
Mr.Ron from South Mississippi

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