I found this Ellis drill press being sold by a high school just over a year ago.
They were selling two different drill presses, an old Delta and this one, $100 each. As soon as I saw the Ellis name, I was reaching for my wallet – and just in a nick of time too as another gentleman was walking up ready to buy it as I paid.
If you aren’t familiar with Ellis machines, you should be. They make some sturdy equipment, although I’m 100% that their machines are still USA made :(. This press is USA made, manufactured in the mid-eighties. It has a variable speed 1.5 HP DC motor:
I had no idea if it worked when I loaded it into the truck, however all it needed was a fuse in the controller to get things going.
It had lived in a high school it’s whole life, so it was a bit beat up. There is a large braze job on the column clamp which I’ll fix someday, and all three of the quill levers were stripped out and busted. One quill rod kind of worked, but the whole assembly which engaged the bevel and spindle was shot.
So I made a new one. This is the finished assembly:
The original was cast iron and steel, the replacement I made was all steel. The balls came from mcmasters. This was the first project executed on the 16/24 South Bend lathe, and the first time I cut single point threads. I had a machinist friend over to help, but it was quite simple with the right tools (and friends!)
And here it is installed and ready to drill…