Here is a old Rockwell-Delta 17″ floor model drill press that a reader sent us pictures of to find more information about. The owner said the Rockwell drill press was used in a production facility for some time. The gentleman he bought the drill press from was 67 and said he started operating it when he was 13. This Rockwell 17″ drill press has has serial number 79-794 which dates it to 1949. In 1950 this drill press sold for $180.50 to $196.00 depending on the options, which is equivalent to $1,745.60 to $1,895.50 today. In 1949, you couldn’t pick up a quality machine like this in a garage sale.
It appears that this particular Rockwell-Delta 17″ drill press has a slow speed attachment, which is the pulley installed right above the column, but there is pulley on the motor with only one position. I’m not sure if the motor pulley broke at some time or not, but this is not a typical or Rockwell Manufacturing configuration. Information on the slow speed attachment is not included in the main owner’s manual, but it was used to provide more speed options for drilling. I’m guessing someone may have broken the original motor pulley, and either had or found a slow speed attachment to get at at least some speeds out of the drill press.
How to Identify this Rockwell Drill Press
We have operator, owner’s, and parts manuals for many different Rockwell-Delta-Milwaukee drill presses here. These older Delta machines from this vintage usually don’t have model numbers on them, and lots of people have asked us how to identify them.
The simplest way to identify many of these older Delta machines is by the casted part number on the main part of the machine. These Rockwell-Delta 17″ drill presses have “DP-600″ casted into the head on the arm that supports the front pulley. This is the part number for the head casting. Here is a picture showing its location on another 17” drill press.
Manuals for this Rockwell 17″ Drill Press
We have a couple manuals that would be useful with this Rockwell-Delta 17″ drill press model. We have the original operator’s and parts manual for this drill press model here:
We also have another book that Delta published with additional information about drill press use and set ups. This book covers all the branches of drill press operation in the home workshop with over two hundred photographic illustrations and line drawings even for uses like sanding, shaping, mortising, etc…
It’s a really useful and interesting series of books that I recommend to anyone wanting to learn more about drill press use.
Catalog Pages for the Rockwell 17″ Drill Press
Below are some pages from a 1950 Delta Milwaukee catalog about this 17″ drill press. The catalog displays the different options and accessories that were available for this model. The drill press owners manual
above covers a lot of the different variations between the bench and floor models.
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