Older Rockwell Drill Press

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Forum topic by Randy Woodworker posted 01-03-2017 11:03 PM 589 views 0 times favorited 1 reply Add to Favorites Watch
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Randy Woodworker

68 posts in 2525 days

01-03-2017 11:03 PM

My current Delta drill press has a certain amount of lateral movement in the quill, especially at full extension. This is a common issue on modern drill presses as there is no way to compensate for wear in the head where the quill slides up and down. This is not a problem on most drilling tasks, especially when the starter hole has been counterpunched, but it is a pain when drilling overlapped holes or partial holes on the edge of something, like with a Forstner bit.

Older presses had a split casting with a bolt for snuggling up to the quill as the hole in the head became worn. This is not found on any modern drill presses that I can find.

I have a chance to purchase the drill press shown. It is a 17” Rockwell 17-600 from the 1960’s I think. Note the bolt through the head casting as described above.

Has anyone used such a press? Does the split head really remove lateral play in the quill at full stroke? I’d hate to go to all the trouble of changing presses only to find out that the adjustment provides only marginal improvement.

Any comments are welcomed.

1 reply so far

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73 posts in 2221 days

#1 posted 01-03-2017 11:23 PM

I used to have a Rockwell radial drill press with the split head like that. (Sorry I sold it; another story…)

I liked it for the ability to lock the quill to do drum sanding, routing, etc. I generally kept the locking lever just tight enough to allow free up/down motion of the quill. I don’t recall any problems with lateral motion, but I never really checked. I can’t imagine that the design wouldn’t help minimize the problem.

That’s a nice machine, if the price is good for you.

-- Steve, in Morris County, NJ

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