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Manufactured/Badged by:
Rockwell Manufacturing Co.
Pittsburgh, PA

Machine Specifications
Machine Class: Wood Working Machinery
Machine Type: Drill Press
Machine Size: 11"
Submitted By: John R
Machine Specifications
Description/Model: 11-120 benchtop
Date of Manufacturer: December, 1950
Serial Number:
Last Updated 8/13/2003 9:26:46 PM

After many years of needing a drill press, disliking most of the affordable new options, and making do with various lousy contraptions (two hand drill/stand combos and Chinese boat anchor), fate finally smiled upon me. A look through the yard sale listings in the local paper showed that a local small sawmill/furniture maker was having a moving sale. Jackpot.

The sale itself was pretty good--lot of old heavy iron, tubs of fascinating antique hand tools, and a recent milling machine. I should add an unfortunate postscript to this: Most of the nice machinery likely didn't sell in this non-hobby town and was scrapped two days later. I couldn't pack any more into my house and the guy wouldn't wait for eBay or other buyers. Sniff...

Anyway, there it was: Some form of vintage benchtop drill press of reasonable size. Lots of dirt acquired through the ages, but looking very solid overall. A little poking through the piles of nifty stuff and I ended up with the DP, a Greenerd No. 1 arbor press, a huge B&D angle grinder, and a mint chainsaw all for the princely sum of $100.

My prize turned out to be a Rockwell Homecraft 11" drill press with an old, old 1/3 HP Companion (Sears) motor. Delta provided me with a manual and the information that it was an 11-120 made in December of 1950 (original price $49.95 minus motor). All appearing to have been tarred and dipped in dirt from the look of things. A full restoration was in order.

All the dirt, crud, grime, filth, and recent and original paint of 53 years was stripped with either oven cleaner or a wire brush in an angle grinder. Tables were carefully sanded free of rust, and all bright parts with either brushed or treated to the electrolysis bucket. Two coats primer and three coats Krylon battleship gray enamel (chosen because that's what my later Rockwell catalog seemed to show, and I had lots in the paint locker) were applied to the castings. Everything greased, reassembled, and adjusted. All the bearings were kept, but cleaned and repacked or oiled.

Along the way I found some problems that needed correcting. The minaret-style pulley cover was cracked with a chunk missing and some parts were missing. The cover welded nicely, at least as far as my welding skills could take it. A replacement quill clamp was welded up from a similar part off a derelict Craftsman saw, and the downfeed lever wingnut function was provided by bending and grinding a bolt. Used jaws replaced the worn-out originals in the original Jacobs 6A 1/2" chuck. A new belt topped it off.

The old Companion motor was given similar treatment. Then, later that week, I happened to notice a box of old mechanical bits while I was in a neighbor's basement. I asked about it and he said "take it all." At the bottom of the pile was an original '40s Delta 62-110 1/3 HP motor--the one specified in an old catalog as the heavy duty option ($34.95) for my drill press! It cleaned up well and bolted right on. Backwards as it turns out. A little fussing later and I had it on the right way 'round. BTW, the string and washer is the "argh, my hand's stuck in the rapidly whirling workpiece" stop switch.

So, here we are. Looks good, runs true for age (.003, the aged chuck's fault, measured with an old dial indicator.) I'd be interested to hear from folks who own this or similar Homecraft DPs, and also appreciate any comments on my first-time resto job.

Photo 1:

Comments: Overall view, sheets to hide messy shop
Source: My Oly D340R camera
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Photo 2:

Comments: From the right
Source: My Oly D340R camera
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Photo 3:

Comments: Closeup of tag
Source: My Oly D340R camera
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