Tool Gloat

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Blog entry by jim C posted 05-03-2011 12:44 AM 3363 reads 0 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch


My daughter has a neighbor who is disposing of “stuff” in his basement. I was told of a drill press sitting down there.
I immediately ran to his house to take a look. It was pretty rusty, but looking closer, most of it was Cosmoline!
I asked him how much and he said just to “take it” WOW WOW!
He said his father had it before him, and he was getting ready to sell the house and move south.
Turns out it’s a fully cast iron “Rockford” model. This is a company that go’s back to the late 1800’s. They were located in Rockford, IL. They are now defunct. I can’t find any info. on it so if any parts are needed in the future, I’ll probably have to invent the wheel. The only thing I can think of going wrong would be bearings, and those should be pretty standard. Everything on the drill press is imperial so I think it should be easy to maintain.
The machine was manufactured in 1980 in Taiwan, but is as solid as an old US made Walker-Turner.
I think it changed hands many times, due to nicks and scratches, but it has virtually no miles on it.
It’s a 12 speed 14” beast.
I built a rolling stand, hoisted it up and bolted it down.
Then I proceeded to clean it up. 3 before pics and 2 after pics.
It runs as quiet as a Rolls.
Now I have to fill in the dings and find a matching “Battleship Grey” paint.
I’m a happy camper.

-- When I was a boy, I was told "anyone can be President", now I'm beginning to believe it!

10 comments so far

View papadan's profile


1157 posts in 2616 days

#1 posted 05-03-2011 12:49 AM

Can’t beat free! Good luck for a long life with it.

-- Carpenter assembles with hands, Designer builds with brains, Artist creates with heart!

View Sarit's profile


513 posts in 2387 days

#2 posted 05-03-2011 01:03 AM

Great find. Congrats!

View chrisstef's profile (online now)


14726 posts in 2254 days

#3 posted 05-03-2011 01:09 AM

If its free its for me, i always say. Sweet score!

I found mine in a similar-but-not-really fashion, we were contracted demo a house at work that was used as a second home for a couple. While they were away over the winter a pipe had burst and they got divorced and the house went to hell. Sitting in the basement was a 14” Rockwell 8 speed drill press covered in rust. I lugged that tank right outta there and home it went. Alive and kickin.

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty

View spunwood's profile


1194 posts in 2083 days

#4 posted 05-03-2011 04:07 AM

The thing must have some heft to it. How much does it weigh?

-- I came, I was conquered, I was born again. ἵνα ὦσιν ἓν

View jim C's profile

jim C

1467 posts in 2346 days

#5 posted 05-03-2011 04:12 AM

My guess would be about 200 lbs.

-- When I was a boy, I was told "anyone can be President", now I'm beginning to believe it!

View rkoorman's profile


379 posts in 2072 days

#6 posted 05-03-2011 08:49 AM

Nice drillpress!!! It’s nice to restore old tools. People are buying new ones to easy !!


View Dennisgrosen's profile


10850 posts in 2362 days

#7 posted 05-03-2011 11:06 AM

great score :-)
congrat´s with your new Toy

take care

View ratchet's profile


1369 posts in 3034 days

#8 posted 05-03-2011 02:57 PM

Nice scrore! I think I have the same one made by Jet.

View RibsBrisket4me's profile


1484 posts in 1753 days

#9 posted 12-20-2011 03:12 PM

That looks like a super stout piece of machinery! NICE!

View jim C's profile

jim C

1467 posts in 2346 days

#10 posted 12-20-2011 03:22 PM

Here is the drill press in place with the MCLS auxiliary table . I just added a laser from Woodcraft that works flawlessly.
Great find and great machine.

-- When I was a boy, I was told "anyone can be President", now I'm beginning to believe it!

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