Awesome Jet Gear Heat Drill Press

Awl--
Inyone ever see one of these?
I saw this in my machining compadre's shop for a cupla years now, saw "Jet",
and said, Ahh, another Jet POS.
But just the other day I was down there, stuck for a cupla hours, so was just mosey-ing/nosing around, and noticed just how nice this was. Had Jet not been on the label, you'da thought Clausing, old Delta/Rockwell, Bosch, etc. Two levers on the side change the speeds, like on a lathe, plus a high/lo lever, big-assed heavy square table with oil channels, built like a tank, appears very accurate.
He paid $400 for it at an auction, regrets not having bought the other. There are no numbers/ID on this press. Iny ideas on what this is called? I would like to pick one up if I could.
Was there a time when Jet was known for producing this high a quality machine? Might their lathes, or older lathes, be of this quality as well? It's almost as if *this* Jet is a different company!
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Mr. P.V.'d (formerly Droll Troll), Yonkers, NY
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Proctologically Violated©® wrote:

Cabinet shop I work at bought a Jet 10" table saw a few years ago . It's been a good piece of tooling . Only problem we've had was one day when I shut it down the arbor shaft fell apart - the saw was less than 6 mo old at the time . Sure glad it was almost stopped , coulda got ugly if that blade had started shedding carbide teeth at speed . Not to mention the possibility of it climbing outta the hole and runnin' up somebody's arm or something .
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My 1988 Taiwanese Jet 13x36 lathe has been a good machine; well made, accurate, and trouble free.
Randy
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On Sun, 25 Mar 2007 12:21:03 -0500, "Randal O'Brian"

Indeed. Jet orignally used/sold Japanese and Taiwanese tools, then only later started selling Chinese ones. Some of the earlier Jet tools were actually very very good, often rebadged well known brands.
Like any rebadger...they have sold good stuff and bad stuff. Mostly pretty good though.
Gunner, machine tool repair tech.

Political Correctness
A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical liberal minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.
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Then this gear-head drill press hadda been japanese Jet. Some of it, particularly a very interesting/odd articulating handle, smacks of Bridgeport.
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Mr. P.V.'d (formerly Droll Troll), Yonkers, NY
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Jet has always sourced machines from all over the place- as early as the late 70's, they were selling some Urpe lathes, made in Spain, that were quite good. Wilton Drill Presses have always been rebadged Swedish and German machines, not made in the USA, and the higher end Wilton's today still are mostly Strands. Some Jet tools were made in Japan, some in Taiwan, some in Korea, some european. And, more and more, China. But the better Jet tools are often still Taiwan.
In my 1982 Jet Catalog, there is a geared head drill press, the GHD-32, that looks a lot like what you describe. I believe its a Taiwan machine, and in 82, when new, it went for around $1500 to $2000. It was only 1hp, weighed about 440lbs. In the same catalog, they have radial drills that weigh as much as 12,600lbs, and were undoubtedly pretty herky machines, along with a really nice Universal Mill that is a lot like an old Omniversal Mill, with a swivelling rotating table, swiveling head, and full tooling. I believe these sold for north of 20 grand in the early 80's.
Even today, there are some pretty decent Jet tools at the top of the line- they just arent cheap. Their ZX series lathes, which sell for 12K to 15K are decent lathes. While the Swiss company that owns Jet, Powermatic, Wilton and Performax has tended to put the really good drill presses under the Wilton name, there are still a couple of decent looking brand new Jet geared head drills you can buy- just not for 400 bucks.
Like this one- about 4 grand- http://www.southern-tool.com/store/jet_ghd-series_drillpresses.html
Or how about this Wilton- 16 grand, with all the trimmings. http://www.southern-tool.com/store/direct_drive_drill_presses.html
Just because they sell a $500 mini lathe, or a $250 4x6 bandsaw, it doesnt mean all their tools are cheap and disposable.
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Very interesting reading.
Since you mentioned Performax, what do you think about their chop saws? I have one of them, hence my question.
i
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Nice... I e-mailed them for a complimentary product sample. <grin>
Seriously though, thanks for the background info on the companies. Some of it was surprising and all of it will be useful to me...
Regards, Joe Agro, Jr. (800) 871-5022 01.908.542.0244 Automatic / Pneumatic Drills: http://www.AutoDrill.com Multiple Spindle Drills: http://www.Multi-Drill.com
V8013-R
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I didnt even know they were selling saws under the Performax name- originally, Performax was a company that made cheap drum sanders for thickness sanding wood. You wrapped a really long piece of sandpaper spiraling around the head. Then WMH tool Group, the Swiss company, bought them, and now they have all kinds of other tools called Performax.
The chop saws just look like average quality chinese abrasive cutoff saws- but you have one- how do you like it?
WMH, the Swiss company, is pretty interesting- the whole Jet/ Powermatic/Wilton thing is only something like 15% of their overall business- in europe they manufacture and sell all kinds of other things, like air conditioning and heating units.
Jet itself started out as a junkyard in Tacoma, and the scrapper started importing japanese chainfalls and rigging gear in the late 50's. By the 70's, he was bringing in japanese and taiwanese machine tools. The Swiss bought it in the 80's, and since have bought Powermatic and Wilton.
They still run a Powermatic factory here, with some Powermatic tools still made in Tennesee. Some, but not all, Wilton Vices are still made in the USA, and a few other Wilton tools. But many of the powermatic and wilton stuff, along with most of the Jet stuff, is now far east- china, or taiwan, depending on quality. For instance, the higher end milling machines are still Taiwan- they have 25 Meehanite foundries in Taiwan, more than in the USA, and there are about the same amount in all of China- some of which are captive to bigger companies- I believe Caterpillar has their own Meehanite Foundry in mainland China. So high quality cast iron is easier to get, with more choices, in Taiwan than just about anywhere else in the world, and the better Jet Bridgeport Clones all have that big black "M" on em.
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message snip----

I started my commercial shop back in '67. Univac was one of my customers, and at that time was involved in producing mechanical printers for use with computers. They made a two headed hammer housing for oriental printers, which I produced on an ongoing basis for some time. I made a drill jig to drill them, and needed more spindles than I had at my disposal. Jet, at that time, offered a very nice small four speed drill press equipped with a 1/4" chuck. Without a motor, they ran about $175 each as I recall. Could have been a little less, I'm trusting to memory, and I'm old as hell and can't remember my way home. To get a mental image of the drill press, think of the typical cheap import press that's on the market today, but imagine it was built with quality.
I bought three of them and used them until the job no longer repeated. I sold two of them, keeping one, which I still have today. (No, it's not for sale).
Yes, there was a time when Jet was much better quality. They were made in Japan.
Harold
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