The Dake 1-1/2 Arbor press was acquired by accident during one of my first auction pickups. I was helping a friend pick up a Lincoln Mig 255 welder and I asked the attendant if anything didn't sell. She directed us to a small lot of broken down equipment and a I quickly spotted the press as I was looking for one of this type. I offered $10, she countered with $20, and the deal was struck. I had no idea what value the press had but for $20 bucks it looked like a good project part to start my restoration education with. I quickly found out with some searching that this press is $1000 new and about $500 used on ebay.... that certainly helped motivate the restore.
The press appearance was rough and was missing the lever weight, handle, pawl pin, and arbor plate. One of the first steps was to contact Dake Corp. and find out if they still supplied parts for this old press. To my surprise, not only do they still sell the parts for vintage items, the current product lineup at Dake IS the vintage items. Talk about not changing a good thing. So the price list for replacement parts came to about $214 (not cheap but a pleasure to deal with Dake). Along with the lever weight, handle, and pawl pin I also purchased rebuild items including a new set of shims, retaining rings, set screws, and spring. The arbor plate I bought separately on ebay for $10.
Next up was the stripping process. I ended up using oven cleaner. Spray and let sit overnight 12-24 hours and simply wash off the paint with a stiff brush. A bit of a dirty job but after 2 coatings the press was bare to the casting and parts were ready for paint. I used rust-oleum primer and Satin Sapphire blue paint (Z76270). I was hesitant about painting the lettering white but this proved to be the detail that really lets the unit pop and draws the eye to a normally dull item in the shop.
All in all a nice little project. Highly suggested as a beginner restoration project which will bring a solid and often used tool into your shop.
If you're interested in Dake Machine Tools click this LINK.
Parts list for Dake model 1-1/2 can be found at this link.
Specifications for the Dake 1-1/2 (101-1/2) Ratchet Leverage Arbor Press are below.