No announcement yet.

"Camelback" drill press valuation question

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • "Camelback" drill press valuation question

    I've got a nearly museum quality specimen of a Buffalo Forge 20" flat belt drill press with a 1/2hp electric motor added on at some point in the early years of point specific power.

    I'm currently wondering what it's actually worth? Granted, I know it's worth exactly how much someone is willing to pay for it (so please, let's skip that crap from the beginning), but I'm not sure in the given economy what a realistic price point would be. We don't have these coming out of barns and basements all the time on CL, like you might in other parts of the country, so it's somewhat rare for these parts. I've actually never seen another one listed in nearly this condition in all the years I've been watching CL tools.

    When I got this beauty, I was in hog heaven as I could spin the chuck at mind numbingly low speeds for coping tubing and such with giant hole saws - but since I have a VFD on my mill now, and I'm about to add a cnc mill to the shop, I don't honestly see the point of keeping her. I'm not a collector, and while I appreciate the lines and mechanical beauty, I think it's best she go live somewhere else where the owner can rub her with a diaper the 11.5 months out of the year she's not getting used - unlike here.

    So here goes - it's a 20" with 7" of quill travel. MT4 spindle and will include a 18N super chuck. The babbit is worn, but not overly so. Considering it's likely 70+ years old, I'm amazed at how well she's held up. No cracks or repairs that I'm aware of.

  • #2
    That is a beautiful example of the type. My Buffalo is missing the power feed parts.

    $1500 might be in the ballpark for the RIGHT guy. The alternative is $100-$300 for a fixer upper plus a lot of work. Be cheaper to buy yours.



    • #3
      I asked almost this exact question over on PM last year.

      Quick recap- someone was selling a 20" Sibley, in what appeared to be very good condition, out of an in-use maintainance shop. Primary problem it was at a remote location- pickup by boat only, essentially.

      I offered a more than fair, probably too-high $500, though at the time, I stated my offer was to include the vise shown in the photos (since gone) and the drills in the rack (several dozen, including up to some fairly large sizes.

      They countered they wouldn't let it go for less than $1,200, and it could have cost me an additional $200 or so to get it to where I could pick it up, 90 miles away.

      That was a year ago, and the drill is still being listed in their "auction".

      Countering that is an anecdote: Just prior to that, someone listed a clean, unrestored, working Barnes on the local Craigslist, for $1,000. It was only listed the once, though the ad wasn't taken down, it eventually expired. Considering how many other tools and machines I see constantly relisted and relisted and relisted again, my first assumption is that it sold. But on the other hand, he may have gotten a couple of "you're out of your tree" offers and decided to hang on to it. Who knows.

      Obviously yours, being in running, working condition, beats the common rusty barn-find a lot of people post about finding. I paid $50 for a 1909 20" Rockford, that'd been out in the direct Alaskan weather for well over a decade. Most of those in the linked thread seemed to be $75-ish for one that needed work, to $200-$300 for one that worked.

      As a rough guess, I'd say yours is worth in the $300 to $500 range, but as always, it depends.

      Doc's Machine. (Probably not what you expect.)


      • #4
        Originally posted by SVS
        $1500 might be in the ballpark for the RIGHT guy. The alternative is $100-$300 for a fixer upper plus a lot of work. Be cheaper to buy yours.

        agreed. the market is to thin to be more specific, you can't look it up in catalogue and there's not a list of local comparable sales....even though you say the answer is 'crap', what meaningful answer is there other than it'll vary widely with buyer interest level? I guess that is offset somewhat by technology; it's easy via classifieds and forums to advertise more broadly.

        On the sell side i'd put it out a something just less than 500 and be happy selling at 300. On the buy side i'd be thinking 150 based on gambling no one else would be after it...but i'd probably pounce at an offer of 300. So after intense negotiating with myself, value for me anyway is $300
        in Toronto Ontario - where are you?


        • #5
          This is my 1913 Superior (22" I think) that I got from a friend
          for $150 in good running shape.
          The huge LW Chuck vise, with NO holes in it, I got from a
          different friend for $40.

          This is my 1885 Barnes (note the round base) that I rescued from
          the scrap yard for $70.
          It had a broken handle, which I brazed up neatly.

          I know I paid scrap value for each, but I would have paid double
          scrap value or more. Still, $300 for the Buffalo seems low.
          I think I would pay $600 for the Buffalo in good shape, if I wanted it.
          It is a nice piece.



          • #6
            Locale and condition of the machine do affect the value, but it's still a very large, very heavy drillpress. 700lbs? They're not easy to transport either. You're getting rid of it because you believe your CNC mill will take it's place. Many guys will feel that they have little need for such as massive slow speed drill and will offer accordingly. They're the ones that own a $49 Horror Freight chink drill. I paid $105 for my Royersford 22" w/power feed. Maybe $200-300.


            • #7
              Very heavy is right. I would say it's no less than 500lbs. Even on dowels it's a formidable mass to navigate. Pushing a small block engine around took less effort - and I have smooth concrete.

              On a whim, I decided I'd let it go for around 500 so that's what I posted it for last night, and as of 6 hours later - I have a standing offer of 475 from a gentleman about an hour away who wants to put it into service on his farm. Due to the snow storm, he's coming wed. He's getting my icky 18N from my lathe, and the beautiful one I've had on the press will get swapped over (as I've been thinking I should do anyway).

              1K is too high. Maybe if it was restored, but she's not even genuinely complete. The skull crusher handle wasn't included when I bought it, so it's not a rustoleum restoration candidate even if someone did want to preserve it.


              • #8
                Originally posted by reggie_obe
                You're getting rid of it because you believe your CNC mill will take it's place.
                Actually, I'm getting rid of it because my Excello mill with VFD has taken it's place. I can turn my spindle speed down as low as the buffalo would, and lower, with 3x the horsepower behind the spindle.

                She just doesn't get used that much anymore, so it's time to let someone else keep her alive. I'm not a collector - if it's here, it needs to be working, or that floor space should be used by something that is.


                • #9
                  A friend of mine sold the identical press in need of cleaning and a few gear teeth needing replaced for $600.The % completeness of it sets the price.If it has all it's parts including gear covers and working power feed $550-$700.
                  I just need one more tool,just one!


                  • #10
                    I paid $250 for it a little less than 3 years ago, then gave the guy a hundred to deliver it 35 miles in the winter (considering my driveway, his driveway, and trailer rental plus gas - that was a good deal for me). I also got my nice 18N in that purchase for another 60 bucks (it's essentially new).

                    I've got 2 more people lined up if the original guy backs out. It's not quite as hot an item as I had thought it might be, but then again there's probably not so many folks who know what these are out there anymore.

                    One of the secondary prospects is coming from ND, so you know he's serious.


                    • #11
                      I paid $37 off ebay for this one..I have since stripped and painted it, fixed a few cosmetic items, added a new motor and a VFD

                      I turned down $400 for it about a week ago

                      I am currently in the process of remounting the motor on the back of the base and adding two sheaves to redirect the belt in a manner that was similar to the original setup.


                      • #12
                        My original intent was to retrofit modern sintered bronze/lead/teflon bearings into where the babbit is and run it via a variable speed DC motor, but my purist side couldn't bring me to do it.

                        There's a huge (probably 24") drill similar to mine up the road from here outside a building holding their shop sign, and that thing makes me sick every time I see it. It's complete minus a couple belts... Keep it in the lobby, not on the damn lawn.


                        • #13
                          My buddy has bought/sold equipment and machines for 2 decades, he now has a Swedish gearhead and the big BusyBee floor model for his own use......he still talks about the Buffalo that he owned for awhile as the only one he never should have let get away...........
                          Opportunity knocks once, temptation leans on the doorbell.....


                          • #14
                            Think of the spindle diameter of your Excello. I would venture to think it is 3/4" at the spline. Now think of the spindle diameter of the Buffalo. Probably 1 1/4" or better. Big drills are pretty brutal on a machine. I would not want to give up the robust capability of the Buffalo. The big Superior camelback that I posted has a 3hp motor and a VFD, also back gear. The VFD is sweet on the big drill. If your Excello is just a bit bigger than a Bridgeport, I would probably only run a 1" drill bit in steel. It could probably do more, but binding the bit up and bending the spindle is always a possibility. The Buffalo is sweet. You'll kick youself later for getting rid of it.



                            • #15
                              See, not only do I not need the ability to turn a 1" drill bit (I've done it with step drills, but rarely has anything come along that needs that big of hole), I can do any size hole up to 14" with the cnc mill and I don't need a given size drill bit to do it (the beauty of circular interpolation). I'm not sure what the Partner 1's capacity is for a two flute twist drill, but it's got a 5 hp spindle.

                              As for the splines on the excello - an R8 collet can hold a 7/8" shank. The draw bar is a 3/4" hex, so the splines have to be larger than that as the draw bar's hex has to pass through the drive pulley. It's rated for 1.25" in steel.

                              I was mistaken in my memory though. My Buffalo Forge only has a 3MT taper. I happened to have a 16N that I was swapping bodies on because someone beat the snot out of it prior to my possession (also came with my lathe), so that's what's going with the drill. Now I've got the other 18N ready for a BT40.

                              The new owner is coming tomorrow after noon. The drill is already out in the garage waiting to kill us both loading it into his pickup.