Cleanout estimate team finds drill press made out of bicycle, washing machine

Custom-built drill press

Now this…this is a little different than what I’m used to.

Usually, I find old antiques and vintage items that homeowners, business owners and renters don’t want anymore. I look at the antiques, I make the owners tell me everything they know about them, I get really excited, I take them with me, and I display them in my garage. Oh, and then I blog about them. (You know the drill.)

Notice the bicycle pedal is used for the drill press handle

But this time was different. This time, I found an object that wasn’t an antique. It looked like one, worked like one, and I could have sworn it was one…until its owner told me that he made it himself.

Last week in Brooklyn, I gave an estimate for a full house cleanout. I had the garbage picking adrenalin going, but this was only an estimate, so I couldn’t get too excited. I saw this drill press and started explaining to the owner that it was made in the 1940s or 1950s. I started going into detail about the way it was built and the way it had been used back then, based on what I knew about similar drill presses I had seen before.

The spring you see here was taken from an old chair

Knowing that he had built the thing himself, he was staring at me like I was completely nuts as I was giving him all these facts and figures about this “antique” in his home. Once he explained that he was the custom designer, we had a good laugh, and I wanted to know everything.

He made this custom drill press from a washing machine motor, a bicycle sprocket and chain, and springs from an old chair. If you look closely, you’ll notice that the bike pedal is used as the handle for the drill press. The rotating bicycle chain, which is mounted on wood, allows for a smooth up-and-down motion. The spring from the chair causes the drill press to shoot back up after you hold it down, so in order to drill, you have to put constant pressure on the petal.

Brooklyn house where I found the drill press

The motor has a U-shaped bracket on it with a pulley, which is straight from a washing machine. The round aluminum pulley at the top of the motor is designed to spin a rubber belt, which turns the drum in a washing machine. Although I can’t be sure, I wonder if this guy’s washing machine broke down, so he saved what he could and recycled it to build this drill press.

This is true “green” thinking!

DiMola Bros Rubbish Removal
1640 Summerfield St.
Ridgewood, NY 11385
Phone: 718-326-6969
Fax: 718-326-7979 /

~ by DiMolaBros1956 on September 23, 2011.

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