Mag Drill fix-up: 3x fixes advice needed.

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18 May 2015
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Hi all,

I have picked up a magnetic drill stand from Gumtree, which I suspect might be 40 years old give the ‘80’ in the serial number. It is a MBS-0 from Walter Schweizer, made in Germany [edit: Switzerland]. I can find no information when searching online other than the gumtree thread I bought it from, so if anyone knows of these then any insight is appreciated.

The magnet works great, I haven’t been in to the electronics yet. The mechanics were stiff where they were supposed to be smooth, and lose where supposed to be solid; however some oil in the joints and tightening up or replacing a couple of screws and it is solid and moves beautifully. Now there are only 3 issues.




The first issue is that the drill I intended to use in it is too small for the collar. My drill is 43 mm diameter, while the collar is 54.5 mm. My options are either: 1) to make up a reducing spacer with 2 different hole saws, or mill some aluminium with my CNC router (slow, but possible). 2) buy a drill (probably 2nd hand) that has a 54 mm collar. I will probably go for option 1 initially, but can anyone tell me what type/brand of drills are likely to fit this, or was it something custom made that has since been lost?


The second issue is that 2 of the 3 handles are broken off. I removed the remains from the hub with a drilled hole and screw extractor, leaving the m10 holes in good condition. Now I just need some 10mm rod, thread the ends and it will be mostly done. The issue here is that the plastic balls are surprisingly expensive, I’m seeing about £5 each inc postage. Can anyone suggest an alternative? Snooker balls were my first thought, but they are about the same cost (unless I can get for pence from a car boot sale). I’m actually thinking that casting some epoxy and turning them up on my wood lathe is a reasonable option if I have to make some. Any recommendations for low cost, solid balls ~30mm would be appreciated (I can buy steel ones for ~30p each, but they would be too heavy).


The third issue is the ‘stabilising foot’ at the back is bent so that the locking collar can only move about 5mm. Fortunately this is the useful 5mm, but I would prefer a better solution. The tread is m14. My options are to replace or fix.

1) Replacing with cheap parts would be relatively easy with some m14 rod and a nut (possibly a nut embedded in a larger handle to make adjustment easier.
2) Replacing like-for-like would be nice, but I cannot see a way of making this to a reasonable standard without a metal lathe. Possibly drilling and tapping an m14 hole in some 20 mm rod, and then inserting an m14 rod might be viable, but a bit ugly.
3) Repairing the parts I have. I doubt that this could be straightened cold (although if binning it anyway, it might be worth a try), and I don’t have a way of getting it hot, but any suggestions welcome.

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Some googling has helped me realise that this is Swiss, not German. Also that the company still exists, which is interesting.
1- Not sure what drill would be suitable. I'd guess at an older bosch or wolf though. A split collar would be a very simple fix.
2- search ebay for M10 threaded ball. I found them for about £3 inc postage.
3- I'd have a go at straightening it cold, or use a mapp torch to get it red. Thread a couple of nuts onto the threaded portion so as not to damage the thread, hold in a vice, stick a pipe over the end and see what happens.
I have opted for some m10 knobs direct from China, should be here in a couple of weeks.

I’m going to pick up some m14 nuts, and then try bending the foot back.

I’m still stuck on the drill though: I can’t find any info on the ‘collar’ size of drills, but the outer diameter of a 13mm Jacobs is close to 54 mm, so looking at old drills with those may get me close.

I suspect I will end up making a spacer, or remaking the entire lower bracket, which clamps onto a 30 mm rod.
Thanks, I had seen that, but hadn’t thought to look in detail at the images.

I didn’t know the name for the Weldon style cutters, it looks like I can get an adapter for a jacobs chuck from ebay.

It’s definitely a Fein, the logo is in a couple of places.

The chuck mounting point is definitely not for a normal chuck, and looks to have spacers.


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Looks like a 3 Morse taper. Our big boy at work has a no.4 😳 realistically though it's too big to be sensible and I'd like to get a smaller rotabroach one as well that's more portable.
So having decided to make a spacer, I looked through my aluminium stock, and as luck would have it, I had a piece of tube that was only ~5mm out in each dimension. A quick set up in VCarve, and I was ready to machine it.

Raw stock:

Test cuts:

Inside processing:

Just about able to reach the bottom:


Installed, good, snug fit:

Now for the next issue. The bracket the holds the drill down has the head of an m8 bolt sticking out. I will pick up some countersunk ones from ScrewFix, unfortunately only available in x50, but I guess I will have spares.

1- Not sure what drill would be suitable. I'd guess at an older bosch or wolf though. A split collar would be a very simple fix.
2- search ebay for M10 threaded ball. I found them for about £3 inc postage.
3- I'd have a go at straightening it cold, or use a mapp torch to get it red. Thread a couple of nuts onto the threaded portion so as not to damage the thread, hold in a vice, stick a pipe over the end and see what happens.

As suggested, with a couple of m14 nuts from B&Q, and some square bar, I was surprised how easy it was to tweak it back to straight-ish. The purchased nuts spin freely all the way up, but they only have 5 threads (10 mm high at 2mm spacing), while the knurled ring has 8 treads in contact (16mm high), and is a bit stiff at the spot where it was bent. I didn’t fancy further tweaking it.


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So aside from having only 1 handle instead of 3, it is functional.

Taking some 50 mm bar stock that was 8 mm thick, I tested it.
Drilling out in 4 steps to 15 mm, and then hand-reaming to 16 mm, the fit was as accurate and tight as from my drill press.

I’m very pleased!


The only issue now is I’m running the drill slower than it would like to be, so I suspect I am ‘burning’ the brushes somewhat. A slow running drill would probably be a better option. I will probably look to pick something up that is designed for the job.
I found a Wolf 2 speed heavy duty drill on Gumtree, which is ideal except that the collar is bigger than the one currently attached to the mag stand. Therefore I had to make one up on the robot.

MDF test piece:

cutting 30 mm aluminium with a 10 mm carbide bit:

I’m very pleased with the speed and form. I took 1mm passes. This took about 2 hours all in. The tabs were strong enough to hold in place and not send it flying.

Good fit, all appears parallel.

When I picked up the 70s Wolf drill, the guy had just thrown out this 50s/60s one as it was seized, dodgy plug etc. a couple of days soaking in WD40 and some percussive persuasion got the chuck moving snd it seems to run well. Interestingly this runs ar 450 rpm, so should be useful for up to 19mm bits.

I will make a collar/spacer for this next.
So I made another collar up for the big, old drill. I drilled and tapped for m8, and the split with a hacksaw so that one bolt could clamp both the 30mm rod and drill with one bolt.


With it now fully functioning, going back to the 2-speed drill, I used it on the 10mm plate to drill and ream 16 mm holes. With a guide point, 6 drill sizes and a reamer, that was 8 operations per hole for 52 holes; so 416 chuck-changes and 364 driiling operations. It worked well!


Now I might do another 50 m12 holes, but I also might not