My new (to me) toy

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Blog entry by oldretiredjim posted 11-21-2011 06:58 PM 4314 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My new toy. People with lots of money and fancy tools can ignore this. I bought a drill press yesterday. A craftsman. Model # 113.24540

It’s a craftsman, made in 1969. I found an old Power and Hand Tool catalog from 1968 that shows it – Page 18 shows the floor model. The only difference between the floor and bench model is the length of the column. It weighs a ton.

The whole thing is cast iron. And it has the original capacitor start motor. I haven’t seen one of those for years. Digression – that motor reminded me of the time before capacitor start. My dad had a bench grinder which was nothing but a couple wheels on a mandrel. He plugged the motor in, lifted it up a little, gave it a spin to get it going, and then dropped it down again taking up the slack on the belts. We had that grinder until the 60’s. I thought that was how you started all motors.

I knew it was older because by 1975 sears was using those safety switches on all their stationary tools. My radial arm saw that I bought new in 1975 had the same switch they are using today. This thing has a separate plug for the motor that you control with a switch on the drill

Anyway this thing is in perfect shape. There is one chip in the table where someone drilled it but otherwise it is like new. Very clean. The pulley’s are original and look brand new. It runs really smoothly. The belt is a craftsman but I can’t believe it is original. It had to have been replaced.

The column is 3” in diameter. Clean and no rust. I have looked at a lot of used drill Presses and one thing they have in common is rust. The only manufacturer info is on the chuck which was manufactured in Hartford Connecticut. I know this was built in the US. There may be a mark on the bottom telling who made it for sears but it is not worth my time finding it.

On this one Sears pinned a metal user guide on the front of the press.

Hard to really see because of the light but they also included the Plexiglas cover in front of the pulleys so you can look and see which pulley is in use without tilting up the top. About half of the used presses I looked at were missing the top cover. Hard to believe that plastic thing isn’t broken.

When I got the drill it was on a stand. We took it apart and loaded it into the truck and the stand was ½” shorter than the tailgate. So I backed the truck a few feet into the shop and slid the press on to the stand. It just so happened that Tina no longer wanted the rolling cart I made for the crock pot and vacuum sealer. The cart was made 5 years ago out of ¾” oak veneer I had lying around. Glued, nailed (back when I could hit a nail on the head), and very substantial. The middle shelf is dadoed, nailed and glued giving it a lot of stability. I changed out the fancy rollers for 2 ½” locking swivel casters and it was ½”higher than the original stand. So I could just slide the unit from the stand to the cart.

I don’t know what I am going to do with the stand. Maybe one of my friends can use it.

Looks kind of stupid having the light oak color in the shop. But it works and there are 2 more shelves to put stuff on. And amazingly I still have pieces of the oak so I can put doors on it if the spirit moves me.

Now I can put the press away like the rest of my tools.

It sits real nice next to the compressor.

6 comments so far

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


17320 posts in 3700 days

#1 posted 11-21-2011 09:20 PM

Congrats on a great find! Old Craftsman tools have lifetimes of use left in them, and your drill press is no exception. Enjoy!

Oh, and Welcome to LJs!

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. - OldTools Archive -

View oldretiredjim's profile


206 posts in 3467 days

#2 posted 11-21-2011 09:28 PM

Thanks – I wanted to find something pre 70. i found the downloadable manual to go with the DP so i am set.

View Moron's profile


5048 posts in 4975 days

#3 posted 11-21-2011 10:25 PM

The older I get, the more experience I get, the ,more I like old tools just like that one

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View FlyingMLB's profile


166 posts in 3865 days

#4 posted 11-21-2011 11:39 PM

Love those old tools. Not a whole lot of plastic to wear out and crack. I would much rather find a treasure like yours than buy new anyday. They used to make tools to last a lifetime…or two. Congrats, enjoy!

-- Flying MLB *** A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort.

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

3860 posts in 4519 days

#5 posted 11-22-2011 04:17 AM

I’ve got a similar floor model version of this tool. It doesn’t have some of the features of modern ones but it gets the job done. Try to kill it, i dare you, you can’t.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

View Dallas's profile


3599 posts in 3569 days

#6 posted 11-22-2011 04:34 AM

113.XXXXX was made for Sears by Emerson electric. At least as far as I’ve been able to find.

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

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