Poor Man’s Power Drawbar
by Howie Grunert
I created a couple of tools to make the drawbar on a mill faster and easier to use. Being a poor man’s power drawbar, you must supply the power!
The first of the two tools is a modified, undersized ball peen hammer. The ball end was ground to a 3/8″ square so a 3/4″ socket could be attached. The socket was then brazed on and the hammer’s head had a layer of brass applied to prevent damage to the drawbar when tapping to loosen. I submersed the hammer in water, leaving the area to be brazed exposed so the plastic and fiberglass parts were not heat affected.
The hammer/wrench idea is nothing new, but it is handy.
The second tool is the speed wheel, which works great. It is a 3″ diameter plastic disk, 1/4″ thick, pressed onto a 3/4″ knurled socket. The dimples around the disk were made with a 3/8″ ball nose end mill.
After the drawbar has been loosened and tapped, the disk is mounted. A finger placed in one of the holes easily spins the disk and the drawbar quickly runs loose of the collet. Not a fancy pneumatic device, but it is quick, fast, and cheap!