Delta 4 inch jointer restoration

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Project by mcguiver posted 12-08-2010 11:19 PM 11097 views 4 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Although I am having a tough time understanding photo posting and bringing the right photo sizes to life, this is the best I can do today.
This is a recent project finished. A Delta 4 inch jointer that almost got sold for a hundred bucks when I decided to put it back in service..
I Located the right mounting stand on E-bay, installed new bearings, blades and had the surface tables machined. Then I reworked (during a CSI episode) a small tin air conditioning (hvac) register to adapt my dust collector hose. A pair of tin snips and some pop rivets is all I needed. Being an aircraft mechanic had little or no affect on my finished product. This restoration took about 10 hours of total time in 15 minute increments. It helps to have a shop and a glass bead blaster. I spent more time figuring out pulley sizes and cutter head speed (on company time) but it turned out fine after I found a cast “balanced” 7 inch pulley and this drives a 3.50 inch cutter head pulley. Using a 1725 RPM motor, this configuration gave me 3450 RPM at the jointer and this is about right. Thanks to some of the jocks. These jointers run very smooth if you take the time to find a good ‘cast’ motor pulley that is balanced especially if you are considering a 3450 RPM motor. The pot metal die cast pulleys are not worth a tinkers damn (at the motor) and will typically vibrate. I found that you can get away with a cheaper (smaller diameter) pulley at the cutter if it is installed square and carefully aligned with the motor.
I could use some help with picture formatting and the posting process. These pictures may not do this jointer justice. I almost started drinking again after I tried using the photobucket.

-- Brian, Greensboro, NC .....A lie is not a lie if the truth is not expected...

14 comments so far

View dakremer's profile


2672 posts in 3091 days

#1 posted 12-08-2010 11:31 PM

You shouldnt have to use photobucket to post pictures on a Project. PM me any specific questions you have and I’ll answer them for you!

Great job on refinishing the ole’ jointer! I like old tools (when they run like new) haha :)

-- Hey you dang woodchucks, quit chucking my wood!!!!

View Dusty56's profile


11819 posts in 3687 days

#2 posted 12-08-2010 11:38 PM

I also have one in the works , but I’m sure it won’t come out as nice as yours has : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View HokieMojo's profile


2104 posts in 3727 days

#3 posted 12-08-2010 11:56 PM

looks good. mind sharing what paint you used?

View hunnypot's profile


36 posts in 3375 days

#4 posted 12-09-2010 12:05 AM

I bought one just like this and have used it, but it doesn’t look as good as this, it works great but it doesn’t look good. Mine is a 1949 I think,6 inch delta, they are great machines. what did you use for paint? You did a great job

View dbhost's profile


5712 posts in 3231 days

#5 posted 12-09-2010 12:15 AM

I see those old Delta 4” jointers all the time on CL dirt cheap. None of them are anywhere near complete, and certainly nothing like as nice as what you have done here…

-- Please like and subscribe to my YouTube Channel

View EEngineer's profile


1102 posts in 3613 days

#6 posted 12-09-2010 12:15 AM

Very nice restoration! I have one exactly like it (vintage 1952) that I haven’t gotten to yet. I hope it comes out as nice as yours.

Out of curiosity, where did you find blades for it? From what I’ve read, you have to use an odd size (don’t remember off the top of my head) that I have been having trouble finding.

-- "Find out what you cannot do and then go do it!"

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 3672 days

#7 posted 12-09-2010 02:03 AM

Nice job on the jointer, I like old tools.

View levan's profile


472 posts in 2979 days

#8 posted 12-09-2010 04:02 AM

sweet restoration. many years of service ahead. I also have one of these, been using it for about 30 years.

-- "If you think you can do a thing or think you can't do a thing, you're right". Henry Ford

View NormG's profile


6112 posts in 3003 days

#9 posted 12-09-2010 04:24 AM

Looks like it just came off the production line. Great job

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

View robdew's profile


86 posts in 3714 days

#10 posted 12-09-2010 04:45 AM

I have the same jointer. I didn’t know they could look that nice! Wow! I always wondered how to rewire the power.

Eengineer – the knives are cheap and common. If you need help finding them let me know and I will try to dig up where I bought them.

View Raymond's profile


676 posts in 3727 days

#11 posted 12-09-2010 04:22 PM

I to have the same jointer, and I had no idea it could look so good. Time to do a restore on mine I can see. Great job on the restoration. Any before pictures?

-- Ray

View mcguiver's profile


6 posts in 2761 days

#12 posted 12-09-2010 05:10 PM

Thanks for all the complements! I don’t have any ‘before’ pictures but it was pitiful looking. The beds were rusted and over the years, prior owners had used a belt sander to clean off the rust. The bearings were loose and the blades were chipped. The motor was not the right motor and was all rusted from too many years in a garage. The table(s) were 30 or 40 thousandths out of plain. I actually used this jointer for months when I built my horse barn and needed to trim boards. Even in rough shape, it performed well. I actually had it mounted on an old 2×6 coffee table and with an extended feed table, it worked fine but I was not exactly jointing Carpathian elm for a grandfather clock. For 3-5 foot boards, I would put this jointer up against most big bed jointers but the set up of the blades and a true and level table are important. The key to setting up one of these is to clean the guide tracks and set the gib screws very snug during the machine process if you are going to have it resurfaced. This takes out all the sag. Then, when you do a final assembly, follow the normal course and really take the time to set the blades up with a good straight edge. Delta suggests using a jointed piece of wood to set up the blades but that is not practical since you have no accurate base line to work from. I used an aluminum straight edge which allows you to get withing a few thousandths but the soft aluminum metal won’t harm the blade when you roll the blade backwards to ‘kiss’ the straight edge while snugging the blade lock screws.. The only thing I need is the knob that screws on the fence adjust assembly. I bought Delta blades from a tool supply house and they are “delta”. I will try to recall the supplier. The gib screws are often over looked as a critical adjustment. The tables will not be level if these screws are not snug.

-- Brian, Greensboro, NC .....A lie is not a lie if the truth is not expected...

View Splinterman's profile


23074 posts in 3360 days

#13 posted 12-10-2010 12:41 AM

Hey Brian,
Nice job all round.

View Daveyd's profile


7 posts in 1640 days

#14 posted 12-17-2013 04:20 AM

Nicely done!!

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