Salvaging an old Delta Rockwell Drill Press

Posted: May 3, 2012 in Uncategorized
Tags: ,
I went to the metal scrap yard last month looking for some steel to use in a project.
I really should never go there unless I take a chaperone. Didn’t find the steel that I was looking for, but bought a broken drill press and a bandsaw too.

Img_3553
This is a Rockwell Model 20-421 20″ drill press. Made in about 1959. This is about the biggest common drill press size, a common factory tool, with a large ‘production table’ on it. There are some great online resources for finding out about old tools. Lots of other people share a passion for fixing up old beautifully-made tools, and I am always delighted how eager people are to share what they know.
I didn’t have a truck with me, so I went home and looked it up, though I already knew that I wanted it. I knew that as long as the column was straight and the main head casting was solid, that everything else could be restored. Bought it for 20 cents a pound.


Img_3555
It came with a brand new USA-made Baldor 1.5hp electric motor. Problem was, the whole machine had tipped over (probably right after they moved it to put on this new $400 motor), and the shaft on the motor had snapped right outside of the casing. 

Img_3557
They forklifted it into my truck and I borrowed a chain hoist to unload it – it weighs about 500 lbs.
Unlike our older (1937) Delta drill press, this one has a fiberglass belt guard, which – though cracked – I was able repair with some epoxy.

 

Img_3559
The biggest problem right off of the bat was that the motor mount assembly was badly damaged. Luckily the broken parts were on the pallet with everything else.

Img_3563

 I used a torch to braze the broken ears back on.

Img_3560
Also had to braze a few of these cracks. 

Img_3562
Not pretty, but… Notice the broken tab on the left – this part was missing the broken-off piece.

 

Img_3565
Brazed on a washer and ground out a notch.

Img_3566
Here is the repaired assembly, ready for the motor.
I was able to pull the motor apart and weld a 7/8″ bolt onto the broken shaft to extend it back to its original length. I had an ancient machinist in town turn the shaft down to 3/4″ on his lathe, and this ensured that the new shaft would be centered with the rest of the motor. He also keyed the shaft for me so it would take a standard pulley.
I had to replace both the motor and quill pulley – found both on Ebay – and replaced a couple of the bearings in the quill. One is impossible to find, so I was able to repack it and keep using it.

Img_5120
Here it is all back together. 

 

Img_5122
It was missing the levers that feed the quill downward. I made a new assembly by drilling a standard pulley, brazing on 3/8″ concrete anchor bolts with the tips of some 3/8″ lag screws welded onto them, and threading on knobs carved from a yard sale baseball bat.
I rough cut the knobs with a hatchet, and then finished them with sandpaper using my other drill press as a lathe. 
I had been using a newer/lighter drill press from Craigslist in our warehouse, and its last deed was to drill the holes in the pulley that makes up this new mechanism, then back onto Craigslist/Facebook, where an old friend snapped it up in about 10 minutes. Call it ‘upcycling’.

Img_5123
Found this vise at a yard sale this weekend for $10, and made a mount for it to finish off the job.
With a little oil and any luck at all, this tool will run well for another 50 years. 
Advertisements
Comments
  1. RICH CASTELLUCCIO says:

    I GOT A BENCH ROCKWELL DELTA DRILL PRESS OFF E BAY AND THE MOTER WILL NOT RUN I TOOK IT TO A ELECTRIC MOTER REPAIR SHOP HE TOOK IT ALL A PART AND CAN NOT PUT IT BACK TOGETHER DO YOU KNOW WERE I CAN GETV52 – 110 MOTER

  2. Zeeko Salvage says:

    <html> <head> <meta content="text/html; charset=UTF-8" http-equiv="Content-Type"> </head> <body text="#000000" bgcolor="#FFFFFF"> look for any 1750 rpm motor with the same sized shaft as yours so you can use the same pully.<br> make some sort of adapter out of plywood or metal if the bolt pattern won’t match on the mounting plate.<br> <br> <div class="moz-cite-prefix"></div></body></html>

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s