Fobco drill press clean up

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Jill

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Hi folks - I’m posting from NZ, I’ve inherited a fobco drill press from my Dad, know nothing about them - but keen to use it. It seems in good condition, probably little to moderate use over the years.
The chuck turned beautifully smoothly - until I decided to soak it in vinegar to shiny it up. I was mortified to find a few days later it was jamming up. I’ve managed to loosen it with lots of wd40, and its better but still stiff. Not sure if I can lubricate this from the top? Not keen on taking it right off. Any do’s and don’ts to help this would be appreciated.
Also, trying to remove the top - when turning the big knobs (very stiff) after a rotation a cracking sound rings out.. am I damaging something?
I’m a woodworker, graphic designer, but never tackled anything like this snd nervous to inadvertently damage.
Jill
 

Sandyn

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Welcome to the forum. You have inherited a really excellent drill. Fobco is one of the very best manufacturers and if it has had light use, it will outlast you. Don't worry too much about the chuck. You will have just loosened some rubbish inside it and you will be able to clean it up by repeatedly flushing the rubbish out. Depending on the model, you may not be able to remove the chuck, so different techniques may be required.
It sounds like the knobs of the cover have rusted a bit, and that's why they make the cracking sound, so a bit of penetrating oil sprayed up into threads should solve that, but the first thing you must do before you do any work on the drill is to post a picture of it so it can be identified and you get the correct information on the machine. There were a few different versions, so it's important to get the correct information.
 

sawtooth-9

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Hi folks - I’m posting from NZ, I’ve inherited a fobco drill press from my Dad, know nothing about them - but keen to use it. It seems in good condition, probably little to moderate use over the years.
The chuck turned beautifully smoothly - until I decided to soak it in vinegar to shiny it up. I was mortified to find a few days later it was jamming up. I’ve managed to loosen it with lots of wd40, and its better but still stiff. Not sure if I can lubricate this from the top? Not keen on taking it right off. Any do’s and don’ts to help this would be appreciated.
Also, trying to remove the top - when turning the big knobs (very stiff) after a rotation a cracking sound rings out.. am I damaging something?
I’m a woodworker, graphic designer, but never tackled anything like this snd nervous to inadvertently damage.
Jill
Yep, send some pics so we can see what you are describing.
Suggest you NEVER soak machinery in vinegar - it's a weak acid.
Always best to dismantle and inspect - if necessary use WD40
Clean, buff and lubricate - then re-assemble
 

johnnyb

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interestingly Mr o'bryans remaining family settled in Australia. (his dad's name was f o' Bryan hence fobco) he had a nice bungalow in swadlincote.
 

Jill

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Great to know where the groovy name came from. I do appreciate it is the 'rolls Royce' of press drills from what I've read online. You will see from the pictures this one was bought from a Wellington Store (I am in Auckland). Today I undid a number of little handles, and stripped most of the paint, next to find the colour. As the drill was still standing upright, it suddenly crash banged downwards with gravity. I'm very lucky my hand wasn't in the way. This project began as a 'lets make this look nice' to a job where I'm nervous to damage it, and unsure how far to go. I'd love to get the back spindle off so I can spay paint all round but shying away from that now.
 

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Jill

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Another question. The plastic square that has single phase wiring written on it - that has replaced the original switch as when I took the aluminium plate off, there was no switch in behind it. What mod has been made and why? As far as I can see, it hasn't added any variable speed, just a single phase.
 

johnwalls26

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interestingly Mr o'bryans remaining family settled in Australia. (his dad's name was f o' Bryan hence fobco) he had a nice bungalow in swadlincote.
There are still a few older buildings in Swadlincote with craft history. Most of the industrial sites have long gone or are very unsafe. I would be interested to know where the bungalow is, the Crown Works became the fire station site I believe. Paragon Paints sell the Fobco enamels, and lathes uk website has a lot of details.
 

johnnyb

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he had died sometime before and his bungalow( probably a 90s one) had a burst pipe after a cold snap. we started to dry it using dehums. After a few months his family came over from oz. to sell everything. I must have made the connection previously because I chatted to them about the drills. anyway they showed me his garage that had hundreds of bearing boxes with assorted tools and things in them! very interesting really.
 

sawtooth-9

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To remove the motor
Remove the drive belt
Looks like you may have to remove the motor step pulley to withdraw the motor - this may require a puller. Be sure to check and remove any grub screws before trying to remove the pulley. Sometimes there are two grub screws in the same hole - so check carefully.
The pulley is most likely keyed onto the shaft.
If it's tight, try some WD40 and let it soak for an hour or so. You can also put a little tension on the puller and a gentle tap on the puller head can often free a stuck pulley
The switch looks like an add-on, but if it works - that's fine.
When cleaning up the motor - keep old paint chips and rust dust out of the motor.
When re-assembling - clean the motor shaft thoroughly and suggest you apply a tiny amount of thin oil ( three in one is good ) to the shaft and key. The pulley should then be easy to assemble with just a gentle "tap"
Hope this is of some help
 

Sandyn

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Another question. The plastic square that has single phase wiring written on it - that has replaced the original switch as when I took the aluminium plate off, there was no switch in behind it
The switch was on the other side of the drill body, so by removing the plate, you get access to it from behind. The plastic box on the side uses the original mounting hole for the switch. You might be able to find a used replacement, but more difficult in N.Z. I suspect the switch is a reversing switch.
 

Jill

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Thanks, I appreciate your help so far ... your previous post was really helpful, and yes I saw from other drawings that the original switch was on the same (left) side.
But I have another problem. I'm out of my depth with this... as I was cleaning things up, and had removed the top cover, and a few little handles, the entire top moving part spontaneously crashed downward. I assumed it was because of the few things I'd removed. But now that I look at the pictures, it looks like my drill is completey missing a collar that should be under the moving part and around the shaft. First I need to establish if that is the case, or if this model did away with that..? Have a look back at the pics I posted.
 

dickm

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Nice example. Especially as it doesn't have the "arc of shame" of drill holes in the table. When I got mine secondhand some 30 years ago, it showed a pretty near continuous arc of holes. So rang the company to ask if they had any new tables; the receptionist said they had some old ones, and "Mr O'Bryan has just gone into the store to check". So made the connection with the Fobco name. The one they supplied had one small hole, and as others have said, the drill will still be going long after me. I wonder how often phoning a modern manufacturing company would result in the owner going and have a quick hunt in the stores for a £20 spare?
 

flh801978

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Jill
you are right there should be a clamping collar that fits under the main head...
in reality you dont need it just position the head near the top of the column and tighten the clamp on the head as much as you can and dont undo it unless you are supporting the head!!!
if you know someone with a lathe its minutes job to bore a hole the column size in a 25mm length of 75mm dia steel and put a screw with a brass pad to hold it to the column..

ian
 

Sandyn

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But now that I look at the pictures, it looks like my drill is completey missing a collar that should be under the moving part and around the shaft.
It is handy to have a collar to prevent what happened to your drill, but the drill has a clamp which grips the pillar, You possibly had slackened it.
 

Jill

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That's a relief...this is the clamp you refer to I assume? (attached)
 

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Craig22

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From the photos it looks like the clamp ring is missing. Wonder why? The drill otherwise looks in fine condition other than needing a coat of paint.

Once fettled, this is the sort of drill that will outlast you.

I have one - without a single mark on the table. It must have been used professionally rather than at a school (which is where the "arc of shame" usually comes from).

Craig
 

Jill

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I wonder why also...? I do know someone with a lathe, (they are currently quite sick with covid - no surprise I guess) but until then I'll use the little clamp. Seems I can't buy the paragon paints down here, but I can take the top lid to a paint shop and ask them to match it. Next to find a pulley. Or I might just do a fancy careful masking job and spray it with the motor still in position. Thanks for all your feedback so far, I'd be completely lost without it.
 
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