View Full Version : What you can buy for $1400 - Tool Gloat: Mills and Drills!

05-19-2009, 11:51 PM
Well I made a big purchase today. I checked scrap prices and, after putting the machines on a scale, I reckon I got $1750 in scrap iron for $1400, at the very worst. At the very best, my brother-in-law and I are the new owners of some nice equipment.

I bought the following two pieces:

A Kearney Trecker 2D rotary head mill in excellent condition. Mr. Oder on the PM has informed me that it was one of 15 finished in Feb. of 1957. It has been, I believe, professionally rebuilt not too long ago as there is still frosting on the longitudinal ways and the knee-to-column ways. This is very precise, regular frosting that is very shallow and you can see scrape marks on the knee-to-column ways. I suppose, based on the pattern, that this would be produced by something akin to a Biax power scraper. All the features work beautifully, from the built in air compressor (the taller motor featured in the third photo) and coolant pump (the shorter) to the rotary head feature. It has rapid traverse for the knee and power on all axis. It came with a working DRO and the power bracket to drive a rotary table or dividing head. Note in the fourth picture the built in step in order to change the CVT. There is also a hand-hold cast into the top. The spindle speeds are "infinitely" variable from 250 to 4000 rpm. All of this for only $500! Very many thanks to Mr. Hunt from the PM forum who passed along this deal.


Not that this is neccessary with a DRO - but how cool is this? They've got pockets for DIs and a track for gauge blocks!


You know it's a man's mill when you need a step up to get to the belts :-D

05-19-2009, 11:54 PM
Next up in my lineup - An Avey drill press. I don't know anything about it and if anyone can tell me about Avey, I would be delighted. I expect it is a UK brand since the motor is 50 hertz (2 hp). Anyhow, it was $300 and I'm not even sure if it is in good working order or not. The table feels sloppy on the ways. The gib may just need to be snugged up or it could be more serious, but drill presses are fairly simple and I figured I could get it working. The gearing seemed ok when spun by hand (not much of a test, I know). This came from a good family friend and he said it was working when taken out of service, so we'll see! Ugly color though ...



The table is in remarkably good condition - no holes/dings etc...

05-19-2009, 11:55 PM
Then my brother-in-law's machines...

We picked up this Milwaukee 2H for a wopping $100. I think it is useable, especially for the rough sort of work he wants to do with it. It made me sad to see it, however. It is clearly beyond my skill to rebuild "properly" as someone appears to have taken a grinder to the ways. Overall, it is in rough shape but 100 bucks is less than scrap value so if it doesn't work out it may be parted out and then sold to the junk man.


It's also missing some handwheels...


Here's a novel shot - taken from atop the drill press table. Not too often you get to look down on these machines ...

05-19-2009, 11:56 PM
Last one - The beast!

This machine scared the snot out of me trying to get it loaded. Talk about top heavy ...

It is a Footburt Hammond knuckle drill built in 1938. It is listed as a "sensitive" drilling machine and was used extensively for tapping. It has motor-reverse trip dogs and came with a quick change chuck and tap head. Pretty slick set up. Needs some cleaning and a good, thorough inspection. Cost: 500

This thing is HUGE! The base is 4' by 6' and stands 7' tall.



(That boot measures 14" long)

Hopefully these images give you an idea how the knuckle works ...

(Ok - I'm done. I can't help posting excessive numbers of machine tool pictures - I appologize for those of you on dial-up connections)

05-20-2009, 12:35 AM
let me be the first to say it.


Envy is such as terrible emotion...:D

05-20-2009, 02:09 AM
Well bought a fridge today for $1350 after I got back from holidays and threw 200 lbs of stinkin rottin food in the garbage........BUT how can that really compare to K&T's.......LOL

I have had my sincere and apprehensive appreciation both for PM at times but I'll be the first one to say John Oder is one of the finest individuals that constantly gives back to the trade.........the man is an icon in my books.........great score FT.......smile.......oh and U SUCK........LOL

05-20-2009, 02:48 AM
You should come to an auction around here. A petty decent 1.5hp 2J went for $1000, a VERY nice W&S #3 with lots of tooling for $100 (and a table loaded with several hundred pounds more tooling for another $50). And the part that sickens my heart, a nice Van Norman for $400, and me with a vastly blown shop budget plus no place to put it! <sniff> And 2 very nice and very well tooled screw machines for $900 each (several clapped out but still very functional versions versions went for between $50 and $100 or so). Or a tooled up (17"?) Leblond dual drive for (I think?) $1500 or so. Times they be bad...

But I did snag a 9" Optical Comparator for $5, and a decent set of 0.500 to 0.750 pins for $25.

05-20-2009, 07:36 AM

You need to get out a bit more.....

While what you bought appears to very nice machinery, this type stuff goes unsold at auctions all the time because nobody wants to meet the $25 minimum bid openings.

In other words, it has very little demand in the world of manufacturing where CNC machines are the standard of comparison.

But, after it's all said and done, you're the final judge on the machine's usefulness. If you have a need that's all that matters.

05-20-2009, 08:10 AM
That looks like a good day's work to me. All look like good, serviceable machines.

Worth, value and usefulness are all very different, and will depend on the individual buyer's needs. I go to many industrial auctions and see both ends of the spectrum with these older machines. They usually do go for low prices, and end up being junked as the market is limited. However, occasionally, a couple of bidders will have a need for one and then the price can go surprisingly high particularly for a machine as nice as the K&T appears to be.

Many industrial auctions will not permit the buyer to remove large machines unless he is suitably bonded and insured. This means a machinery mover must be hired to remove the machine and either haul it, or just set it on his truck or trailer. It can cost several hundred dollars at a minimum just to move a small lathe or B'port sized milling machine.

Auction machines are a pig in a poke, they might need repairs or be missing an unobtainable part making the low initial cost quite high in the end.

Greg Q
05-20-2009, 08:41 AM
By coincidence there is an Avey twin head drill on Australian eBay right now. The pictures include the data plate which says "Avey-Cinncinatti Ohio"

item 300316415361


05-20-2009, 08:54 AM
excellent score! that knuckle drill is the cat's meow!!!!!

andy b.

A.K. Boomer
05-20-2009, 09:31 AM
You needed this kind of heavy metal at the other end of the shop to offset the pacemakers, Now the gravitational field will be equalized.

05-20-2009, 11:29 AM
Looks like some real good deals. Just the thing for a HSM. The only problem I might have is getting them down the basement stairs.

05-20-2009, 12:04 PM
this type stuff goes unsold at auctions all the time because nobody wants to meet the $25 minimum bid openings.

It all depends upon the region - northeast, upper mid-west, old iron like that is thick on the ground and goes for scrap price. In the intermountain west, it is literally non-existant and will usually find a buyer with no problem.

thnx, jack vines

05-20-2009, 12:35 PM
Let me know when you start hiring and I'll send my resume:D

05-20-2009, 02:59 PM
Nice score! $1,400 was a steal on all that nice stuff. Keep an eye on scrap metal dealers and I'll bet you will be able to find some suitable handwheels that can be modified to fit the old Milwaukee. You can't beat a machine like that for squaring blocks with a face mill attached. Even a worn out machine can do decent work with a little coaxing.

05-20-2009, 06:53 PM
I`m guessing when you get out of college, you plan to open your own machine shop. Good luck.

J Tiers
05-20-2009, 09:49 PM
excellent score! that knuckle drill is the cat's meow!!!!!

andy b.


05-21-2009, 02:04 AM
Thanks guys!

As far as value goes, I figure if I can get them less than scrap, they're a bargain. These were less than scrap value by 300 bucks. (Weighed them on the scale and called the local scrap man to check prices for LTL on large dirty castings)

That K&T is a good deal, imo. I decided I wanted one after I saw one go at a local auction for 2800. I saw one on ebay with no rapid in the knee, no DRO and the small table go for 1500. These machines can do anything a 6 axis CNC machine can do, with the right attachments. Even without those attachments, it can do some impressive things. You can engage auto feed in the x and y plane while simultaneously feeding the spindle down and around or down, around and at an angle or any combination of these movements - all automatically. With trip dogs you can accomplish alot in a single set up. I think they are still somewhat desirable because, for compicated one-off parts, you can get them done quicker than you can with CNC and you can do things in about 1/4 of the time it would take in an ordinary mill. It'll take a lot of learning before I'm that good of an operator, though!

That drill press - and probably the knuckle drill too - could be had for much cheaper if you kept your eyes open, I am sure. BUT this guy is a family friend and very nice. He doesn't have a whole lot of money and he's just trying to keep things going. I was happy to shell out the cash since I'd figured on spending a lot more for a decent mill. I figure we're still under budget and I plan on getting some nice tooling for the mills. (I mean 500 bucks for a mill that will run circles around a bridgeport is pretty good when worn out bridgeys go for 2k around here ...)

edit: not that i'm saying there is anything wrong with bridgeports ;) I still would like to snag one for general purpose stuff and small hole drilling/power tapping. That's something that is hard to do with a big machine.

05-21-2009, 02:10 AM
Lane, you guessed right. I didn't want to say anything because I don't want to jinx it... but

my "dream" (you all are going to think it's silly) is to settle down to a professorship at a small university where I can do research and teach physics. I'd like it to be like the university I'm at now - out in the rural midwest and I'd really like to open up a part-time machine shop. There's a retired machinist in my BIL's town who does fantastic work and he charges 6 bucks an hour plus materials. He also gets things done quick, when he's around to work on them. I'd like to run a similiar type of shop. I may not always be around to take a rush job, but if it can wait I'd get it done right and I'd get it done cheap! The jobs I'd get would be just to pay for the hobby as much as anything. I figure it would keep me busy, help pay for my hobby and help out the ag community.

So that's the general direction I'm shooting for. It won't turn out quite like that, but we'll see where it goes...