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Machinery Photo Index
Manufactured/Badged by:
Delta Manufacturing Co.
Milwaukee, WI; Jackson, TN

Machine Specifications
Machine Class: Wood Working Machinery & Metal Working Machinery
Machine Type: Drill Press
Machine Size: 17"
Submitted By: Tony Shaftel
Machine Specifications
Description/Model: Delta 17" Drill Press
Date of Manufacturer: 1947
Serial Number: 49-6056
Last Updated 7/5/2014 12:48:19 PM

Comments:
I bought this lovely old 17" drill press off a Craigslist ad from Alan Holland in Lebec, CA, who told me he found it in a cabinet shop. I intend to use it for awhile just as is with a bit of cleanup, then perhaps do a major overhaul in a year or two. It replaces a built-elsewhere Powermatic 20" drill press I bought new 11 or 12 years ago and which constantly annoyed me by not being what I felt it should be--I upped and sold it a couple of weeks ago. Now I know what it should have been! This is one solid machine with no identity or self-respect issues. I'm thinking I will buy only old iron from here on out.

Per the Delta serial number page on this site the serial number plate is the early version, but the serial number indicates it was built in 1947. The page says this:

"The first style plates were made of aluminum and measured 1/2" X 3" with rivet holes approximately 2 3/4" on center. This style was used beginning circa 1939-1940 to sometime in 1942 (probably early 1942), and then again from sometime in 1944 to late 1947."

Alan's Craigslist post presented the unit as a 'pre-1940 model'. The casting and front belt cover style would appear to support this possibility, but the serial number indicates it was built later. I found a long discussion on OWWM, 'A Delta curiosity: the 1946 17" DP with cast metal guards' that sheds some light on this:

http://www.owwm.org/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=132154&p=886806&hilit=A+Delta+curiosity%3A+the+1946#p886806

The thread can also be found by searching on OWWM with the words 'Delta curiosity: the 1946 17' (five words max allowed for the search).

The head on mine does have the hole in the arched front pulley support characteristic of the later castings, that held the pin to which the later non-cast cover was attached per the discussion. The boss for this hole is seen to the left in the second to last image below. Thus I figure the serial number correctly identifies it as built in 1947.

(Feb 19,2014) Finished reconditioning it:

- Rust removal: electrolysis (parts that would fit in a 5-gallon pail), vinegar (nuts/bolts, small parts), muriatic acid (column), wirebrushing, WD40/scotchbrite/steel wool.

- Old paint removal: DOT 3 brake fluid, scotchbrite, rubbing alcohol and Simple Green for final cleaning, lots of rags. A bit of wirebrushing where necessary.

- New paint: Rustoleum spray primer, Sherwin-Williams gloss oil enamel, color 6251 Outerspace, ultra deep base 6403-5759. Could have asked them to make it darker, but it works fine for me as is.

- New bearings from Accurate Bearing.

After a couple of months I installed a VFD and 3-phase motor. No modification or damage to the machine, which can be put back in its original configuration at any time.

Photo 1:

Comments: Cleaned up, new bearings, repainted
Source: My digital camera
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IMG Code

Photo 2:

Comments: As purchased
Source: My digital camera
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Photo 3:

Comments: Head assembly
Source: My digital camera
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Photo 4:

Comments: Closeup of nameplate
Source: My digital camera
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Photo 5:

Comments: Spindle pulley, also head casting number
Source: My digital camera
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Photo 6:

Comments: Serial number tag
Source: My digital camera
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