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How difficult is a drill stripdown/restore?

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Deadeye

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Honestly? I'm not an engineer, but am relentlessly curious and so like to learn and to take things apart.
I generally try to fix things at home...but my ability to take things apart is slightly greater than my ability to sort faults and reassemble.

Nevertheless, I've a nice old Meddings bench drill that I'd like to pretty up. Would I be a fool to even try (wiht no experience of these things)? I have no metal working skills or tools so wouldn't be able to make new parts, but would like to be able to, for example, replace bearings if needed.
Worryingly the interweb searches throw up a motor replacement, whihc looks ok and a refurb, which he appears never to finish (the last instalment - #13 - was years ago).
If, for the sake of argument, I went ahead and took it apart, stripped it, repainted etc. How long roughly might the process take? A few days? A few weeks?
I don't even have a parts diagram for the drill, and can't see how any of it would come apart - that is the kind of starting level of my understanding.
I suppose I'm scared I'll turn it from a very fine drill into junk!
Are there any good more general guides to repair/restoration of workshop hardware?
Oh, and I'm on crutches for the enxt 6 weeks, so nothing happening soon other than daydreaming...
 

deema

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Firstly call Meddlings, tell them the serial number and ask for a copy of the manual. They are very helpful and will normally send one for free by email.

Striping a drill and replacing bearings etc is fairly easy, I think it’s a good machine to start with. Meddings are well made and easy to service. You will need a bearing puller, hex keys (metric or imperial depending how old the drill is), spanner’s and possibly circlip pliers - possibly chuck wedges if the chuck is head in by a taper. Any tools you don’t have can be bought cheaply. Metric bearings are very very cheap, imperial bearings can be very expensive (find out which before you start, and check the price of the bearings if they are imperial) . The paint will probably be the most expensive bit! Diesel is an excellent degreaser. Don’t sand the column as this is a reference surface.

Here’s an estimate:
Half a day to strip it down / possibly need to leave stuff to soak in diesel or penetrating oil over night.
Sand, fill, sand, primer, top coats. A days work over two or three days.
Half a day to reassemble.
It’s about a week doing a few hours each evening if you’ve never done anything like this before.

There are some good uTube stuff on drill restorations. Don’t worry if it’s not the same drill as yours, there all much the same internally, just the engineering, quality of parts / tolerances are better on some. Meddings is one if the best.
 

AES

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I'm hesitant to say "just have a go" because you say your experience of metal working and possession of metal working tools is zero. OTOH, a pillar drill is just about the simplest of machine tools you're likely to come across, so it isn't difficult, but I'd say IMPOSSIBLE if you really don't have any tools at all - not even a spanner or two????

So my suggestion is that while you're on crutches for the next 6 weeks (get well soon BTW) you invest that time by looking at the net for similar rebuilds - they don't even have to be pillar drills, let alone the same model as your Meddings. While watching, look not only at what the restorer is actually doing but also at what tools he's using - many people who restore do not have a full range of all the tools that are "really necessary", so it's very instructive to see how they have overcome their lack of a particular tool.

There are MANY threads on here involving the restoration of lathes, mills, wood working machines, etc, as well as "just" pillar drills, all of which will show you the principles involved and the tools used - just use the search function here and you'll come up with all sorts of stuff.

As already said, a pillar drill is just about one of the simplest of machine tools out there (though they all have their little differences waiting to trip the unwary) and the positive part of doing any such restoration is that not only will you have learnt a lot by the end but have also gathered a few useful tools along the way - ready to employ on the next refurb!!!!

As to how long it will take, it will depend on a number of variables, e.g. Need new bearing/s? Got somewhere handy where you can get them over the counter or must you buy on the net? What sort of condition is the paintwork in) Do you care enough to do a complete paint strip and re-paint, or will a wipe over with an oily rag do you? And most of all, how much (spare?) time can you devote to it? Only you can answer those Qs and many similar, but overall, as a pillar drill is basically a simple job, the answer should be something like "not too long", e.g. a week or two perhaps.

HTH, and by all means have a go if you feel that you have got, or can learn, the basic level of skills needed.

Edit for P.S. I don't know Meddings myself but have heard that they're very helpful with Manuals, etc. I was going to say just that but see that deema has beaten me to it, above!
 

Deadeye

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Thanks so much AES and seems - really helpful.

I meant I have no metalworking tools. I do have spanners (mostly imperial actually), circlip pliers, Allen keys and so on. Nothing to pull bearings unless I can rig a jig for clamps or a vice.

Good shout re. Meddings. Monday.
Thanks again
 

AES

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OK mate, best of luck with your net researches. There's a couple of blokes (at least) on here who do some excellent rebuilds and refurbs, so you won't lack for inspiration.

Sounds like you have most if not all of the "standard" tools needed, with the possible exception of a bearing/hub puller. I can't talk about current UK situation but Halfords used to be a good source for such stuff, quite cheap too. If not these days, then the net of course, though with a bit of faddling you can usually make up your own tools with a couple of nuts & bolts plus a bit of flat steel plate sized to suit your needs.

Good luck with it and let us all know how you get on please. I'll have a look for a couple of UKW member's names to start your search off and post in a while.
 

Trevanion

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Geoffrey Crocker on youtube has an excellent series on totally rebuilding a Elliot Progress drill, Even going at extreme lengths of having a new drill table cast and machined!

[youtube]4uSih6ZFefo[/youtube]

Realistically you don't want to go through such extreme length and just want to strip it down, replace any replaceables, perhaps paint it, and put it back together so it runs like new.
 

AES

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@deadeye: To add to me last on this subject, here's a "partial list" of some likely members whose posts will undoubtedly help/inspire you in deciding whether or not to go ahead with your Meddings refurbish.

This list is NOT by any means complete (in fact there's a bloke who posts on here pretty regularly who refurbishes old Wadkin machines who does what looks to be an excellent job and whose posts contain a wealth of info - BUT I can't remember his name, nor find him with a quick search)!

And just because a members name appears below doesn't mean anything other than you should have a look - IMO only. Anyway (in no particular order):

Trevanion
Musicman
benchwayze
AndyT
Rhyolith
novocaine
Lonsdale73
Bm101
TFrench
CHJ (not a refurbish, but building his own CNC machine)

That should be enough to be going on with, and as Trevanion has already said above, there's loads of other stuff on YouTube, etc.
 

Trevanion

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AES":vauxi10h said:
(in fact there's a bloke who posts on here pretty regularly who refurbishes old Wadkin machines who does what looks to be an excellent job and whose posts contain a wealth of info - BUT I can't remember his name, nor find him with a quick search)!
Wallace? :) He has some excellent restorations on this forum.
 

Deadeye

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Thanks again, everyone!

I think I am going to gather my courage and have a go. I remember ordering bearings a long time ago for somethign else and being roundly baffled by the coding/nomenclature. Hopefully Meddings will give me a specific part number and google will do the rest.
Strip/replace repalceables/paint is exactly what I want to accomplish. No recasting!
 

AES

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That's him, thanks Trevanion. AFAIK he even has his own website or Youtube channel or something. I think he makes a hobby/business out of selling his refurbished machines. Anyway, his WIPs here are very good for anyone who has a leaning in that direction - IMO.

AND, BTW, my apologies to anyone I left out of the above list. There are others here, I know.
 
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