Friday, 6 July 2012

Ixion BST 13 Refurb

Ixion BST 13
A while ago I found a drill press in need of attention. These are good quality drills and new they command very high prices. I dig European tools and their quality. Unfortunately though, mine looked like this:

 It had been left in an unisulated, dirt floor garage. Exposed to wide temperature changes, it didn't take long for the condensation to kick in and begin rusting things.

Stripping Rust From the Tables
I started by stripping off the small parts and letting them soak in vinegar. I then turned my attention to the bases / tables. I started by using a brass stripping wheel on a drill to take the flakes of rust off and then went to fine steel wool. They were then degreased and the old paintwork was sanded. I washed the parts again and then taped them up and painted. Below is the bottom table finished next to the movable table before it was painted.

Once I had taken care of the tables, the small parts were taken out of the vinegar and cleaned. The parts are left with a patina but this was removed so that they could be blued.

Bluing Parts
When I blue parts, I use a cold blue solution for bluing gun barrels. The trick I have found is to
  1. Polish the part as much as possible,
  2.  Degrease it. 
  3. Put the part into hot water to heat it and then take it out allowing it to dry. This happens quickly so I have the bluing solution ready to go on a cotton bud. 
  4. The blueing is applied evenly, allowing it to dry (this takes seconds on the hot part)
  5. Rinse the part under cold tap water.
  6. Give the part a buff and repeat if necessary.
  7. Oil the part
In Praise of Belt Run Machines
Many people like gear driven machines and for obvious reasons. They can handle heavier work, can drive with more torque and are faster to change speeds (for the most part). Then why go with belts? There are several reasons:
  1. Belt machines are cheaper
  2. Belt machines run MUCH quieter
The second point is the main thing to consider in a small workshop. I don't want to need ear protection for every machine I own. This drill press is quiter than Makita cordless drill. I can safely and comfortably use it without ear muffs.

Making Machine Belts Run Quiet
If you are having issues with belts that squeek here is a tip... Start the machine and lightly rub a candle on the edges of the belt. The wax will melt where high friction is present providing just enough lubrication to stop the noise. Don't apply too much though or you will cause the belts to slip and possibly glaze your pulleys.

Keyless Chuck Considerations
I love keyless chucks. They are fast when changing bits. They do suffer from slipping though which can be really annoying. To solve this, I grip the belt in one hand when tightening, squeezing the belt, trying to make it touch in the middle. While I do this I turn the chuck to tighten it. This allows me to exert more torque on the chuck. It can still slip with the bit if I'm not careful so I need to listen carefully to what the drill bit is doing.

The Finished Product
Here is the Ixion BST 13 finished.

Rust removed, repainted and rewired. I also added a 2 meter long cord since the old one was deteriorated. It has been an excellent addition to the workshop. Even though my mill has a drill press option, I am trying to save the mill for milling only to avoid having to set up milling jobs from scratch each time I need to drill something.

By American standards $160 USD is not a bargain for a fixer-upper. In Norway though, this isn't a bad deal. I couldn't get a cheap Chinese drill press for twice that. In total it cost about $200 given the cost of paint and primer. It seems that all my metal working machines needed repairs and fixing. It is always a learning process and a joy when you first turn them on knowing you brought them back from the dead. Stay safe.

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