email: tony@lathes.co.uk
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lathes.co.uk
Miniature Drilling Machine by
Champion, England

Round drive belts can be supplied for drills like this in leather or plastic

Until the advent of very cheap, poorly-made Chinese drilling machines in the 1970s, the range options for an amateur seeking something small and within a tight budget was very limited. While plenty of older, 1/2-inch capacity bench drills were on the market, there was little available in the miniature market - save for unsuitably small watchmakers' types like the IME, the larger but virtually unknown WA-CO, the expensive Oldak and Apex and Italian Micrommeccanica, the impossibly costly (but superb) Swiss-made Aciera and Dixi models and the seldom-found Progress No. 10. It even provided a substitute for used examples of the much larger, heavier and invariably expensive Jones & Shipman, Pollard and other makes of high-precision, very high-speed 1/4-inch toolroom types. Hence, for the amateur needing a small, high-speed drill one of the few options was a "Champion", this well-made little machine being offered in at least two sizes: the popular No. 1 and far less common No. 2 with sales beginning in the 1920s and petering out by the late 1960s.
Aping the style of the smaller "swan-neck" industrial drills as made from Victorian times by such as Denbigh, the Champion was intended to be driven by a motor mounted behind the foot with the drive (by a round leather rope) taken upwards to be turned horizontally by a pair of adjustable jockey wheels before being wrapped around a 3-step pulley to turn the ball bearing spindle. This system, through rather messy when compared to a motor mounted behind the spindle on a support plate, had the distinct advance of allowing almost any old motor to be employed - including ones set up by ingenious means to also drive other machines mounted on the same bench.
While the No. 1 was a comparatively light machine, the No. 2 was much heavier with the thick foot plate cast with "Champion No. 2" along the right-hand face and "Made in England" across the front. The top casting on the No. 2 had straight faces top and bottom - those of the No. 1 being concave - with a cast bracket to carry the jockey pulleys (a steel bar did the same job on the No. 1). When new, each drill carried a rather fine maker's transfer applied to either the right or left-hand side of the top casting. On a gold background, with red and black lettering, this stated "
Champion. Made in England" and the Model Number; however, if the sticker is missing (though usually, they have survived) a quick check of the previously mentioned differences will quickly determine what is being offered even if the photographs are of poor quality.
If you have a Champion No. 2 the writer would be delighted to have a set of high-resolution photographs to add to the Archive..


A Champion No. 1 in fine, original condition

The much heavier base foot of the Champion No. 2

A Champion No. 2 with its top pulley replaced by a modern V-belt type



Round drive belts can be supplied for drills like this in leather or plastic

lathes.co.uk
Miniature Drilling Machine by
Champion, England
email: tony@lathes.co.uk
Home   Machine Tool Archive   Machine-tools Sale & Wanted
Machine Tool Manuals   Catalogues   Belts   Books   Accessories