View Full Version : Adding depth stop to Delta Drill Press

brian Rupnow
05-18-2008, 09:51 AM
Bit by bit, I am using my lathe to upgrade a lot of my existing machinery. So far I have made a new main gear hub for my home built reciprocating hacksaw (the main gear is 14" diameter and had a terrible wobble to it, which was the result of not having access to a lathe when the saw was built 35 year ago), and I have added adjustability to the table of my home made vertical belt sander. Now it is time to improve/modify some of my purchased machinery. I have a Delta Drill press (floor model) which is about 20 years old. It has been a great machine, but come from the factory with no depth stop on it. I took a close look at it this morning, and I see how an adjustable depth stop can be made fairly easily. I was just wondering if anyone here on the forum has ever made their own drill press depth stop, and if they have any pictures of what they done.---Brian

brian Rupnow
05-18-2008, 10:15 AM
This is a picture of the drill press with the spindle advanced about 1". The largest diameter above the chuck does not rotate when the drill press is running.---It is 2.59" diameter x 0.79" thick. I believe a peice made to clamp around it, with an extended nose out to one side could be made from 3/4" aluminum plate, and a peice of threaded rod attached to it (as per 3D cad model). I would have to make a bracket that attached to the cast portion above it, on the main frame to let the threaded rod pass thru a clearance hole, and add a couple of lock nuts. The only possible problem I see is drilling and tapping the casting for a couple of 1/4-20 screws to hold the bracket in place.

J Tiers
05-18-2008, 10:34 AM
This fairly slick device is on my Atlas DP from 1952.....

There are fixed increments, and a calibrated adjustment within each fixed increment. it attaches just as you propose.

(BTW, it came on it stock, all I have done is re-make the slider, which was of course zamac, despite this being an "industrial" machine.)


05-18-2008, 10:42 AM
I had a similar DP Brian, with the same problem.
When the original plastic POS gave up, I just drilled and tapped a couple of holes in the casing to mount a bracket, which then carried a piece of rod, locked by setscrew. The rod had a piece of flatbar welded to the bottom as a quill stop. Set the rod to required depth and the flatbar stopped the quill.
When not required, just loosen the setscrew and swing aside.

Sorry about the long-winded description, but I no longer have the drill to take pics.
Really, it's one of those things that take longer to describe than to do.

Rgds, Lin

Edit to say, at one stage I required a TA to drill a bunch of parts to the same depth, so I mounted a microswitch on the bracket which cut the motor at required depth.
Saved me a fortune on the bunny breaking drills :D

05-18-2008, 11:30 AM
This is a similar arrangement on my 1950's Sprunger. Not as fancy as J Tiers' Atlas but it gets the job done.

Lew Hartswick
05-18-2008, 12:12 PM
I just re-built the one on an old Craftsman for the shop teacher and made
a quick adjust nut for the stop. I don't have any pix but the teacher
will probably take a few and I'll see if I can get them and post later.

05-18-2008, 12:13 PM
I have a 20 year old delta that looks the same as yours, and it has a rotary stop system on the hub of the downfeed arms, doesn't yours?

If you do add a threaded rod stop, one of these nuts is handy, it slides on 1/2-20, then can be adjusted by the .001. I removed the 5/8 rod from my Rockwell and replaced it with 1/2 so I could use one.


05-18-2008, 12:20 PM
OK Gell, don't keep us in suspense!
Where did you get that?
Very handy piece of kit for many situations.

05-18-2008, 12:23 PM
My cheapo drill press had a threaded stop built in and I hated it - took so long to adjust the nuts that I seldom used it. I replaced the threaded rod with a plain rod and made a stop with a split cotter to lock it; quick and easy to set or reset.

More info: http://www.gadgetbuilder.com/BandSaw.html#Drill_Press_Stop


Edit: Change file names

05-18-2008, 12:27 PM
OK Gell, don't keep us in suspense!
Where did you get that?
Very handy piece of kit for many situations.

S&S, if you right click on the image and check it's properties, you'll see it's located on Enco!

Model #505-2178
Low Price: $44.00 ea

It's not cheap, but after trying to make one for the 5/8 and it coming out sloppy, I decided it was worth it.

05-18-2008, 12:30 PM
Thanks for that GF, but at that price, I may just make em myself :eek:

BTW, some 1/2" plunge routers use a similar sprung nut setup. May be worth investigating?

05-18-2008, 12:36 PM
Nice work guys!

How about a full on drill press enhancement thread? What's everyone done?

I covet one of these swing arm clamps from Travers:




05-18-2008, 12:43 PM
Delta updated that 16 1/2" DP model about ten years ago with that better style of depth stop you are making and also their version of that "push button stop nut" you have pictured. It looked like a 3/8 X 1" bar that was bent at 90 deg. and bolted on the side of the head. I too, was intrigued by that adjustable nut when I first saw it, but have yet to add a better stop to my Delta.
So, if you have a Delta store near you, you may be able to go and see one and save all that work.

05-18-2008, 12:58 PM
Nice work guys!

How about a full on drill press enhancement thread? What's everyone done?

I covet one of these swing arm clamps from Travers:



Yes, a new thread is needed for enhancements. Do you have a link to that clamp? Can't seem to open that picture that (was) there.

05-18-2008, 01:10 PM
Far and away the best thing I did when pimping out my new(old) Rockwell was a VFD. Now I can spin a knob for any speed, and the readout shows me RPM's! Also, by oversetting the frequency I can get 30% higher RPM's, which is within spec for the motor. So many times I would drill at clearly the wrong speed because I was too rushed or lazy to mess with the belts. No more...

And keyless chucks rock.

05-18-2008, 01:32 PM
G7318 Quick Threaded Stop Collar - 1/2" - 13"
Put one of the 3/8th versions on my small DP, much better than the "two nuts"

I need to get one for the Rockwell DP now.

- Scott

05-18-2008, 01:34 PM
Yup, that's the same sort of kit as the plunge routers.
Where did you find that Scott?

05-18-2008, 01:52 PM
Sorry, should have said that:-}

I found it at Grizzly.


For the little DP I had to flatten the side that's towards the head,
and while I was doing it I took the plunger out and made the
button side flat too so that it was easier to push the button.

05-18-2008, 01:59 PM
Thanks for that Scott
duly bookmarked :D

05-18-2008, 02:05 PM
Pic of it on the DP.

Paul Alciatore
05-18-2008, 02:14 PM
I have done this at least a couple of times. Here is one of them on a small bench top DP.


I had to make the bracket on the quill. It came with a plastic one that had more flex than a rubber hinge. I believe this is 1/2" aluminum. Bore the ID for the quill on the lathe.

I always use the quick adjust nuts but I like the 3/8-16 size. Threaded rod in this size is readily available in almost all hardware stores and most of the adjustments I do are not in thousanths. So one turn = 1/16" seems a good idea to me. Most of the fine tuning I do is by observing the results and I can easily do 1/64" increments or even 1/128" (45* rotation). I believe I also got the nut from Grizzly. They work well and are a lot less expensive than the calibrated ones as gellfex shows. I have never had one slip.

On another floor stand DP I added a piece of aluminum angle with a plastic scale (0-5") on one side and a strip of magnetic tape on the other. I bought a cheap plastic ruller and just cut it down. It sticks to the side of the DP's head casting and is easily adjustable by just sliding it, but it stays put quite well. I bent a paper clip into a figure "6" shape for an indicator and put it on the top of the threaded rod with a couple of nuts. It does not need to be adjusted as the scale can be easily moved.

Work good - last a long time!

brian Rupnow
05-18-2008, 04:25 PM
Thanks very much for all the replies. I will post pictures if I go ahead with this modification.---Brian