Ned's Tool Rescue - Full Size Drill Press Edition

Well not that I needed another tool rescue project but at $20 I couldn’t turn down this drill press I found on Craigslist. It’s a Craftsman 15-1/2" model 113.21371 drill press with a 1/2 hp motor. probably dates to the late 70s. The guy I got it from was cleaning out the garage from his recently deceased father and just wanted the stuff gone. Runs and the bearings seem fine; will need a new belt though.

Was actually right down the street from harbour freight, when I picked up the drill press, so I stopped in and got a wire cup brush for my angle grinder. Should hopefully make the rust removal go a bit faster. Got an obligatory free tarp as well :slight_smile:


Try vinegar and steel wool first as it can be easier on the surface than the brush.

Recently I have restored planes that way and was happy with the results.

OMG what am I doing telling a chemist what chemical to use…


It’s sad to say,) but nowadays when crafstmen pass their family members do not appreciate their tools and virtually give them away.

Last year I got a set of stanley hand planes for free and a brand new planer for 1/2 its value.

Sad but true…


Thanks for the suggestion. Nice restorations by the way.

Will probably use vinegar for the smaller parts. Acetic acid reacts with Iron oxide (Rust) to form water and ferric acetate, citric acid might be better since it’s a strong chelator (binds up metal ions). Would try some evapo-rust but it’s a little on the expensive side.

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What do you think of Naval Jelly, I also has some success with that lately.

LOL @ this^^ :rofl:

EDIT: Yeah, @Nedman knows what he’s talking about. :nerd_face:

EDIT EDIT: I also refer to you @donkjr when I’m looking for an electrical engineer’s opinion. Respect to both of you guys.


Naval Jelly uses the mineral acid Phosphoric acid. Which is good at dissolving rust as it’s a strong counter ion and a strong acid. Definitely will be a stronger derusting agent then vinegar. So you would just have to watch out how long you leave it on as it could also eat into the underlying metal a bit if left on too long.


Recently purchased a set of wire bushes for my rotary tool from Amazon. I think these will end up coming in handy for the restoration. Great price with decent quality.


Haven’t been able to really start on the restoration yet, but I did get small piece done. The drill chuck key.

It was fairly rusted but I soaked it in vinegar overnight.

Used wire brushes on my rotary tool to get all the remaining rust off. Left with a uniform gray color.

Needs to be smooth as reasonably possible to help minimize corrosion potential. Did some grinding to get rid of a lot of the pitting, sanded with various grit sandpaper and then buffed with some polishing compound.

Treated it with some gun blue and then some light machine oil to give more corrosion protection. I’m happy with the results.


Perfect but we will now expect the rest of the press’s metal to look like that …


Lol Thanks. That’s the plan hopefully. :smiley:
Just wish my lathe was big enough to mount the stand pole to make it easier to clean up.

Hmmm. I think I have a small motor I could rig up to make a pseudo lathe for sanding and polishing. :thinking:


Doing some design thinking on a basic tube polishing lathe. Wood turn or laser cut parts with all thread end axes to sandwich parts with nuts.

Hmmm, maybe I can just use my corded electric drill to power this. Would have plenty of torque and would just be a temp one off thing. Would also allow me to eliminate the pulleys and belt all together by chucking the drive axis in the drill.

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How about a large K40 rotary type design where the tube sits on pulleys and rotates using a power drill?

That’s a thought. Would have to keep good grip with sanding and polishing pressure applied. Rubber tires maybe? Also seems like it might be more complicated than what I was thinking. I would want to keep this cheap and easy.

I would get large pipe clamps and clamp the pipe to a board and then clamp that board to a bench.

  1. Tighten the clamps.
  2. Sand the pipe
  3. Loosen clamps & rotate the pipe
  4. Repeat

Now sounds like a good time to buy that lathe that needs a little TLC!


Don, yeah that’s actually the first option. Was just think about other possible ideas.

one could always use sand cloth and work that like a cable saw, or maybe a belt sander belt with a spindle driven by a motor that’s handheld? invert the belt, slide over the pole and spindle, and run it up and down the pole whilst rotating it? think belt sander belt with a paint roller-style motor mad scientist style :stuck_out_tongue:

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