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How do I release belt tension on older Delta 17" drill press

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  • How do I release belt tension on older Delta 17" drill press

    I picked up one of these today for not too much money. All I see are a couple of setscrews that bear on rods holding the motor plate. It seems like an awful pain, requiring four hands, to loosen the screws, slide the plate, shift the belt, push the plate back out, and re-tighten the screws. On later models the motor tilts on a sub-plate attached to the cast plate with rods you see in the photos. Am I missing something? [Yes, I know about solving the issue with a VFD.]

    Also, do I have to completely remove the belt guard to shift the belts, or is mine missing some sort of hinge mechanism?




  • #2
    I have two at work a 60s one and one from the 70s or 80s the 60s one the guard hinges from the back and you tip it up the, 70s one has a crap plastic cover that i never put on. I dont release the tension when i change speeds i just roll the belt off by hand by working it toward th smaller step pully. Dont know if this is correct but it works for me.
    Darrell
    Should mention mine are rockwells, i know they merged but that may have been after your drill was made
    Last edited by 12teethperinch; 03-10-2013, 01:35 AM.

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    • #3
      Thanks 12teeth. I just figured out the belt guard is supposed to rise straight up on mine. The guard is meant to be attached to a post that slides in a vertical bored hole in the top of the head casting. The weld between the post and guard is fractured.

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      • #4
        Simple solution.
        Go get yourself a large BarnDoor Hinge
        Fasten it to the motor mount and you have a quick release/engage motor tensioner
        The hinge base is mounted to the motor mount, and make a new aluminum plate tht is mounted to the hinge.
        Use the long end of the hinge for a handle and to lock engagement

        Here are two pics of my 1938 Buffalo Forge Drill press ( not Chinese) and a 1940's Walker Turner .
        Note the pivot latch, which could have several notches if the drive/driven pulleys are not symetrical !



        The motor on the Buffalo is a variable DC drive..really sweet, and i can get down to about 4 RPM on the spindle
        great for tapping ( at 20 30 RPM) up to 1/2 -13

        Rich
        Last edited by Rich Carlstedt; 03-10-2013, 02:09 PM.

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