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1/16 scratched drill press

Started by lab-dad, March 20, 2012, 08:31:16 AM

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Up next on my "to do" list is the drill press.
The one I am building is based on the CHB (now Sierra West) Camelback version with auto feed.
You can see the SW one here; http://www.sierrawestscalemodels.com/oscale/machine.shtml
For reference here is a picture of a real one;

Mine will have the gear operated auto feed not belt driven as shown in the reference image.

The big(actually just one of them) challenge was the column.
It needed to be 9/16" at the base and halfway up taper to 5/16, then a 90 degree bend.
Here is the brass rod (solid) on the lathe being tapered;

Once the taper was complete I heated it to anneal it (make it softer) and put the bend in it.
Here I am attaching the upper bearing guide.

The base was milled from .250" aluminum plate.
I needed the weight to keep it from tipping over, that column is heavy!

The collars for the table support are aluminum and the arm is .250" thick flat brass.

The table is three layers of styrene.
This allowed me to form the "T" slots accurately.
Here I am milling the through holes in the table after I turned it round on the lathe.

And here is where I am at currently.

More soon.


Yes please. More fantastic work to follow.

Looking forward to it Marty.
Kind Regards

Modelling in sunny South Africa

Chuck Doan

"They're most important to me. Most important. All the little details." -Joseph Cotten, Shadow of a Doubt



Building large scale shop machinery looks challenging but very rewarding. Acceptable modeling, too. -- Russ


This surely will be a stndout in the Machine Shop.  Your out doing yourself once again.  Excellent work.

Why isn't there mouse-flavored cat food?
George Carlin


I seriously would have never thought of doing this in brass... I had enough problems with acrylic rod (maybe that was the problem, hmmmm).  This is extremely cool - watching you do this purpose built is terrific, and makes me want to go back and do another one - better.  Out of curiosity, are there many folks doing 1:16th work?  I only did mine in this scale to go with a half track kit, and could find little in the way of accessories that weren't home built.

I'm really wanting see how you attack the drill head and gear tie in from the pulley/shaft (I have no idea what the accurate terms are).  Keep it coming, sir.

On another tangent - the more I stuff I try to do, the more I'm thinking lathe or drill press.  Two questions:

1) Which do you (and others) find to be more versatile in the broad scope of hobby projects, and
2) How steep is the learning curve?

I use my drill to do a lot of items - but obviously this only works up to a point  ::)

"Did I mention this is a bad idea?"

Ken Hamilton

Yeow.....this is already gorgeous.  Can't wait for more.
Ken Hamilton


Marty, love the how to. As per our PMs could you do a step by step on the painting as you go along? It would really alleviate any questions in my mind. Will be following along for sure, love the creativity. Pat


Thanks guys!
I was worried about this one - still am, the camelback section is still rattling around in my brain.

Glad you asked questions!
I thought about ABS, I like how it glues up quick and solid. But in the end I could not find any 9/16 ABS rod and also worried about the bend.
I am not sure how many guys are doing 1/16. Here i think it is Gordon and I.
I know there are some military figures/busts in 1/16 but your right; not a lot of details.
That is a good thing, you see I like to build, from scratch so in this scale I can, just about make anything.
I actually have the gears worked out, just need to do the camelback and line the shafts up......

I think your question is about tooling to buy. If that is the case then a Sherline is the way to go.
i have the model 4000 lathe and a milling head option.
This way i turn and mill with the same tool.
Takes about 60 seconds to change.
There are other modelers and manufacturers on here and they love theirs too.
I am seriously considering buying the mill just for ease/speed and larger X-Y table, I have a lot of money invested in tools but I can make almost anything. I am a tool junkie!

I cant comment on the learning curve, I am a fast learner and worked with lathes and mills somewhat before using them to model. There are lots of good groups out there and most people are glad to help.

will do but the paint wont be anything fancy....

More soon,


If or when the day comes to buy a Sherline, I think Jerry Kitts is still a dealer. -- Russ

NE Brownstone

Looking good Marty.  

I used to own a DP like that, except it had gearing for the power feed and a back gear just like a lathe.  A beast for sure.  

Be sure to drill a bunch of holes all over the table to simulate noob marks.  Also, the noob marks would be in a somewhat radiused pattern with the center being the DP's  upright/ shaft/stalk thing due to swinging the table (The Arc of Shame).  As long as you have a worm working in a machine shop you'll always find their identifying marks on machine tables, especially on a drill press because the drill press is always the first machine tool to break out the new hires.

BTW, is that lathe a Southbend?  And with a taper attachment too.  Lucky dog.

The other, other Russ


Thanks Russ,
I had thought about the table marks
but thpught it might not look good even
Though they are correct.
I want to build a vise for the table too.
Took dimensions the other day.
Yes thats a SB, and i am a lucky dawg!

NE Brownstone

I was trying to find a picture of a table with a bunch of marks, but I couldn't get the link to work and I didn't want to save it and link it from my site since it wasn't my photo.  it was a good one too.  The table was stitch drilled almost all the way across and was about to break off. 

AS for your table, it's yours and we know you wouldn't drill into your own machine's table. 

Great modeling as always.
The other, other Russ


Thank you Marty,

I'm going to start putting aside quarters into the Sherline jar now... one of the things I want to make is some 1:16th weapons (M1919 MG, Suomi SMG, etc...) so I'm looking at having to be able to turn, and then drill, the barrel shrouds.  In the short term it will be one or the other solution - as I can't afford both right now.  I end up turning stuff with the hand drills - and as you can imagine, it places some degree of restrictions on your results  ;D

I wish I'd had your first camelback image when I started off... I didn't have any that showed a good solid side view, and I didn't understand the mechanics of the "harp" framework & structure, and ended up re-doing it a couple of times until I figured out how everything was supposed to fundamentally work.

"Did I mention this is a bad idea?"


Glad I could help.
I am really using the drawing that came with the CHB drill press (1:48)
I blew it up to the 1:16 scale so i could use it for reference and dimensions.
I also photocopied some of the 1:48 parts @300%
You could get one of the Sierra West drill presses and then have all the same info/parts.

Doing a web search for camel back drill press also yielded some good results.
I found an English guy restoring one and he had all sorts of pulley dimensions so he could power it correctly with a modern motor.

I did exactly that on the Sherline; started with the lathe and "upgraded" to the milling column.