Who doesn’t love old machines? I have two. A Delta 24” scroll saw, built in 1952, and this W. F. and J. Barnes Co. drill press. We call her Madonna. When disassembled, with her two drive cones sitting side by side on the floor, well... that’s how she looked. She is a Barnes model “15 INCH DRILL”, serial number 5615, with a patent date of NOV 12 1885. Don't know how old, maybe 130 years. She was lacking a chuck, quill return spring, and bearing oilers; easily replaced. Her worn babbitt bearings leak oil everywhere. At the speed I run her, it is no matter. She had the remains of a foot-operated line shaft clutch. I added an electrical switch to the clutch rod and run an old GE bronze bushing 1/4 hp washing machine motor. The motor is adequate. The foot switch is a luxury. When doing a complex production run, two drill presses, set up, are nice to have. My other press is a modern Jet bench top model.
While working for the original Woodworkers Club in the early 1990’s, I saw Madonna in a back corner of the shop. She belonged to our landlord. He related that she came from a line shaft-driven machine shop in Pennsylvania. He and his brother planned to include her in a museum they were going to build, which never happened. I paid the landlord $100 for the privilege of hauling her home to my shop. She was a grungy gray-black when I got her, and I cleaned her up and painted her my shop livery green and cream.