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Buffalo # 18 Drill press

welderr

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Dec 31, 2014
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#1
I have an old Buffalo #18 drill press, I am thinking about giving it a good clean up and going over and adding a collet chuck to it for ER 32 collets and use it for light milling with an old Mastercraft compound vise we have on a shelf around here somewhere . I have a Bridgeport but its about to get shrink wrapped and greased up and put in storage until I move again to a more permanent location. I really only plan on making little model airplane engine parts and other assorted little things that come along. I plan on pulling the quill and spindle out and seeing what is worn and how much I can tighten it up and boring and tapping a hole at the top of the MT2 taper for a stud to thread into the top of the collet adapter. I know it's not a milling machine but for the little things I need at home and at the farm it should do for now, Plus its paid for and not being used much now anyway. I also plan on making a collet adapter for my old Atlas 10 inch lathe so they can share the same collets. I could live where I am for years or months I have no idea and don't want to rig the Bridgeport into the cellar only to have to pull it in the spring. T J
 

Bob Korves

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#2
By the tone of your post I can tell that you already know that a drill press is not a mill. Your old Buffalo 18 is also an antique. Why would you want to ruin whatever collector value it has by modifying it while at the same time knowing it will be far less than adequate for milling after being modified? Find a used Chinese bench top mill for cheap and use it. It will also be an adequate drill press for most work...
 

chips&more

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Mar 19, 2014
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#3
Welcome, does your drill press have the really long spindle sticking out? Lots of people try and mill on a drill press. Some are successful. It all depends on your knowledge of machining and the limits of the set-up. As you know a drill press is not made for side cutting. That said, any drill press with a long spindle nose is an awkward start in using it as a milling machine. And we like pictures! Some of us don’t want to read. We only look at the pictures (like me). Pictures are worth a thousand words kinda thing…Dave
 

welderr

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Dec 31, 2014
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#4
I am going to start by dismantling the quill and seeing how it looks inside and measures up and how the bearings will work out, other than tapping a hole in the spindle nothing I am planning is not reversible the machine is still in production and I could even order a new spindle with a 3MT if I wanted to. I saved this machine from scrapping on a rigging job years ago and if I took out the collet chuck and reinstalled the drill chuck no one could tell any different. I will know once I get it apart but if I can tighten it up enough with new bearings to do what I want then I am going to proceed. It is a very solid machine with large heavy castings I have a feeling that the 60 plus year old bearings when replaced will tighten it right up, if not it goes back to being a drill press with new bearings. I will take some pictures when I get started . T J
 

welderr

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Dec 31, 2014
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#6
Thanks ND that link answered a lot of my questions about construction of the machine. TJ
 

welderr

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Dec 31, 2014
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#7
Well I decided against modifying the Buffalo press and picked up an atlas milling attachment for my lathe. I work on a lot of farm machinery for people and the majority of it is obsolete as far as some of the parts go. Cutting worn keyways oversize and making custom keys for them is a common repair. We do, and making up new shafts when a bearing let's loose and chews through the shaft is also common so it should be perfect for that. The sale of the property where the Bridgeport & the Sheldon lathe are set up fell through as well so I am safe to keep using them for now too . I am making a proper stand for the Atlas out of an older industrial bench and should be ready to go again soon . I looked into one of the smaller bench top Mills but used they bring almost as much as new and for what I picked up the milling attachment for I couldn't beat it for my needs. T J
 
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