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Need ideas for drill press height adjustment

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Forum topic by luthierwnc posted 01-17-2016 07:09 PM 669 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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luthierwnc

115 posts in 1243 days


01-17-2016 07:09 PM

Hello All,

I have a 1959 Rockwell full-height drill press. Beautiful piece of machinery. There is a hitch, though. It has the old style height-adjustment for the table using a compression casting closed by a hand-bolt. If you put it where you want and really crank the handle, it stays there. But making small adjustments—especially up—and keeping the work-piece centered is problematic. That’s usually some twisting and smacking with the palm of my hand.

Most newer machines have the crank handle with some sort of lock once you get it where you want. I’d like to know if anyone has retrofitted a contraption like this for more precise increments.

Thanks for looking, sh


8 replies so far

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MrUnix

4245 posts in 1666 days


#1 posted 01-17-2016 07:19 PM

I’ve seen all sorts of mods… from using various jacks to overhead gears mounted on top of the column and chain attached to the table. One more popular method is to use a long ram hydraulic jack, such as this one from HF. I have had a couple presses like yours, and never really had a problem with moving it by hand to the desired position though.

Cheers,
Brad

PS: You might want to check out this recent thread at OWWM for some other ideas.

-- Brad in FL - To be old and wise, you must first be young and stupid

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luthierwnc

115 posts in 1243 days


#2 posted 01-17-2016 07:31 PM

Thanks! I’ve found some similar threads using trailer jacks with crank handles. Although one nice thing about these is the ability to swing them from side to side for clamping work. I’d like to retain that if possible. sh

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MrUnix

4245 posts in 1666 days


#3 posted 01-17-2016 07:35 PM

The idea of using a stepper motor shown in the thread I linked to would get you that… all you need to do is find an old treadmill on CL for free or cheap :)

Cheers,
Brad
(I’m actually on my way out the door right now to get yet another free treadmill!)

-- Brad in FL - To be old and wise, you must first be young and stupid

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CJC716

31 posts in 766 days


#4 posted 01-17-2016 07:53 PM

Not sure if this is exactly what you are asking but my grandfather had a similar drill press and used a beefy band clamp on the column and would get the table locked close and then tighten the band clamp at the exact height he needed and let the collar slide down to the band clamp. This gave some support for the collar and allowed us to tighten down the hand bolt while keeping the table straight.

We never really had to make major adjustments in height but it allowed us to shift the table up when needed in small increments.

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MrRon

3927 posts in 2711 days


#5 posted 01-17-2016 08:07 PM

I have a Delta DP circa 1939 with the same table adjustment feature. I have been trying to find a way to do the same thing. I’m thinking I might be able to retrofit a table and elevating gear from another manufacturer. As long as the colume diameter is the same, it would work.

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jbay

819 posts in 366 days


#6 posted 01-17-2016 08:20 PM

Maybe just a collar lock
You move it where you want it then adjust to the collar.

-- My “MO” involves Judging others, playing God, acting as LJs law enforcement, and never admitting any of my ideas could possibly be wrong or anyone else's idea could possibly be correct -- (A1Jim)

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CJC716

31 posts in 766 days


#7 posted 01-17-2016 08:32 PM

@Jbay That’s exactly what I was referring to in my post but used the wrong name (beefy band clamp). Thanks because it was bothering me after i posted and have been searching for the actual name.

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luthierwnc

115 posts in 1243 days


#8 posted 01-17-2016 08:53 PM

That stepper motor looks great. There are hydraulic versions too.

Right now I’m closest to a contraption like this using a trailer lift (with thanks to the original poster at another forum). Northern Tool has one with 10” of lift and a flat base that looks like it would need no more than a 2X6 bolted on that was dadoed to fit the casting of the table. These come with a mounting plate that could easily be adapted to the pole. They also rotate and lock to stow when moving.

This came up when I was making a plane tote. I drilled the nut hole with a Forstner bit but had to lower the table so I could chuck an aircraft bit for the through hole. I’ve gotten so I can push it around pretty close but I could have done it better and could have done it easier.

Cheers, sh

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