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Removing drill head assembly from column

Boxford pd8

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Adrian L09/04/2020 08:24:11
10 forum posts

Hi all. Apologies if this has been asked before. I have just bought a used boxford pd8 bench model and am awaiting delivery. I'm just wondering how to seperate the head assembly from the column so I can get it into my shed easier. Hopefully someone can tell me the procedure. Thanks in advance.


Nicholas Farr09/04/2020 08:47:33
2202 forum posts
1063 photos

Hi Adrian, I'm not familiar with the drill you have acquired, but it probably just needs a pinch bolt slackening off and it should then just life off the column, it may be heavy so take care or use lifting equipment. If the motor is easy to remove, this will make it a little lighter.

Regards Nick.

DC31k09/04/2020 10:28:40
176 forum posts

As Nick says, you should just have to slacken the bolts and it will slide off.

Pictures at if anyone else wants to see one. Looks like the lever on the right side is for the tray under the head and the bolt on the left side may be for the column clamp.

Have a look at the general condition of the column first. Take a green scouring pad and some WD40 and clean the column below the head until it looks good. Then drop the head down the column until all the part of the column that is obscured by the belt guard is visible. Clean that part. This should make it slide off easier. They are a tight fit and accumulation of dirt over the years will hamper the removal process. It may be held with a split cotter or the casting may have a slit in it. You can drive a wedge into the slit if it is difficult to move but be very gentle. You are not trying to prise it apart but just resisting any tendency of the casting to spring together.

You have to assess how you will reassemble it before you disassemble it. You need sufficient headroom above the top of the column when it is sat on the bench for the body of the drill and your lifting apparatus. If you do attempt it this way, screw the base to the bench before you install the head. It is one less thing to be moving about on you.

I would be tempted to drop the table and head as low as they will go on the column, sit (screw) it on a sheet of plywood and crib up each side a little at a time until it is level with the bench and then slide it over. A bigger sheet of plywood means there is less tilt of the drill for a given increment in height.

Edited By DC31k on 09/04/2020 10:30:54

Adrian L09/04/2020 13:58:43
10 forum posts

Hi Nicholas and DC31k. The machine arrived this morning, sooner than I expected and the head was separated from the column already. The column is in very good nick with very little rust patches and the rest of the machine seems to be in pretty good cosmetic condition. Apparently the drill came out of a school. As Nick says it is just a bolt which nips the head to the column (21mm spanner). I greased the column up a little and cleaned the inside of the head where the column slides through and with the help of my wife managed to get the head on by having the column on its side and then lifting it vertical from there. it was a bit of a struggle but managed it! I am very pleased at acquiring a decent English drill. I have yet to run it, I was told it runs fine, time will tell.

Thanks again for your replies and tips. I guess I may be in touch again......


Phil P09/04/2020 14:55:45
622 forum posts
165 photos


I upgraded from a cheap Chinese pillar drill to a Boxford PD8 last year,.

I am really pleased with mine especially as it has a three phase motor running from a single phase inverter, the speed range is amazing and I never need to change the belt position on the stepped pulleys, the normal range along with the back geared range gives everything I need.

The Chinese one always felt "cheap and nasty" and I never did get on with it, but the Boxford is a delight to use.

Do you need an instruction manual / spares list ?......PM me your email address if you do.


Swarf, Mostly!09/04/2020 15:42:07
526 forum posts
43 photos

Hi there, Adrian,

Just a suggestion:

When I got my Tauco drill I anticipated that weight of the head and of the table might give handling problems. (The table on the Tauco doesn't have a lifting rack. )

I machined up a couple of rings of engineering plastic that were a snug fit on the column. I machined a groove round their exteriors and split them. One fits beneath the table knee bracket and one beneath the head and each is tightened by a Jubilee clip in the groove. Each one limits how far the head or table can drop if they should try to escape from control. (Obviously, I don't move the head very often. ) If I'm lowering the table, I slacken the ring first and lower and re-tighten it so as to determine the lower limit of table position for that adjustment.

If your drill has a table lifting rack this suggestion is not relevant, though you might find a safety ring under the head of value when the head needs to be removed or fitted. The head is heavy and reaching up that much higher might make lifting its weight that much riskier. Such a ring is completely out of the way most of the time.

I made my rings from Ferrobestos, that's obviously a no-no material these days (once machined and varnished, leave it alone. ). If I were making them nowadays, I'd look for some fabric-based Tufnol.

Best regards,

Swarf, Mostly!

DC31k09/04/2020 18:11:27
176 forum posts
Posted by Swarf, Mostly! on 09/04/2020 15:42:07:

When I got my Tauco drill I anticipated that weight of the head and of the table might give handling problems. (The table on the Tauco doesn't have a lifting rack. )

Could you not use the quill of the machine itself to control the movement? Extend the quill until it touches the table or block placed thereon. Hold quill lever with hand. Release head pinch bolt. Lower head using quill lever. Same principle for table movement but you would have to (temporarily) fix the quill to the table (a bar with a hole in it and a pin through the Morse taper drift slot at the top).

This is how you take the top off a Bridgeport, using its own knee as the jacking device.

Adrian L09/04/2020 19:24:41
10 forum posts

Hi, Swarf, Mostly!,

Thank you for your suggestion. The drill I have does have a rack for adjusting the table height. When I needed to adjust the head earlier, I stuck some timber under the table and then also between the table and head, loosened the head, moved it a tad and then nipped back up, I managed that way. I just needed to swivel it around the column a tad not up and down in this instance.I'm sure there's a more sophisticated way as you suggest!

Phil P09/04/2020 19:53:32
622 forum posts
165 photos

Mine has separate support collars under both the head and the table. Maybe yours did when it was new.

I have a floor standing version, maybe the bench model was different, I would like to get hold of a rack feed table for mine, but they seem to be like hens teeth.



I am guessing yours is the one that ended 6th April on ebay ?

Edited By Phil P on 09/04/2020 19:56:16

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