SHK Drill Press
- or is it an HKS? -
Recent research into the originals of the Picador Company - well known at one time for their inexpensive plumber blocks, speed shafts and very simple wood-turning lathes - has uncovered the fact that some models of the latter carried patent numbers that belonged to a Herbert Kohn Staub. It appears that Staub liked to mix up his initials, which explains the "HKS" connection with the SHK. One example of the drill found bears not only the "SHK/HSK/HKS" marks but also, cast into the main column "Picador made in England" It might be that Staub had either a strong connection to Picador or was, more likely, the owner of the Company. Further evidence is that another Picador tool bears SHK badging - and was so presumably designed by Staub - this being the 4-inch "Rotosaw
A robust little bench drill, the SHK or HKS, constructed, economically, from a particularly robust casting with an integral foot. It was driven originally - like so many of its kind - by a round "gut" rope passing upwards from a motor mounted behind the main column and passing over a pair of jockey pulleys. The 3-step pulley was fixed in position and the quill arranged to slide through it, a light coil spring wrapped around it providing some extra "feel" to the action. The first example of the drill illustrated below has been converted to a more traditional system with its motor bolted to the back of the column - though there is no reason that the makers could not,, with a little imagination, have used something more like that on the rather lovely WA-CO
In place of a rack-and-pinion drive, the makers economised by arranging for the quill to be moved by a simple double-cam mechanism, one cam to lift, the other to lower.
Able to be raised on its round post (the length of which appears to be rather short) the table might have been made in two version, one as a semi-circle, the other square--though this type might well have been an owner's modification).
Why two holes are provided at the back of the column to carry the jockey pulley shaft is not known, though possibly an alternative drive system was offered - or the pattern maker decided it just looked better that way.
Other simple, lightweight drill presses in addition to the WA-CO include the Cameron, Baby Grand, Champion, Baldwin, Dixi, Dumore, Hamilton, Hauser, IME, Meepos, Micromeccanica, Oldak and Apex, Paco, Progress No.10, Ruka, Schaublin and WA-CO..