Thursday, July 26, 2012

Resurrecting Giants.

A 1939-1942 Delta 17" drill press with foot pedal. This is the largest one they made at the time.
 In 1942 this drill sold for a whopping $155....which according to the interweb equals $2256 today.

You can guess at the age of the machine because the oldest of the Delta serial no. tags were red and silver, and were made of aluminum. They switched to a wax coated cardboard type tag once WWII got heated so they could conserve metal.

Also, I called Delta`s hotline and they had no record of this serial number. Which makes sense because they only started keeping track of serial numbers after 1942.

The story behind this machine is that it was originally from the U.S. and was used to aid in the manufacture
of military aircraft during WWII. Afterwards it got into the hands of one of the aircraft mechanics, then was sold to the owner of a metal fab company, where it became their go to drill press for years. Until it was replaced and sat in the back lot for about 15 years behind pallets of storage racks...Until I saw it.

It needs a re-wire due to mice eating the cables and possibly new windings in the motor. Other than that,
this thing is bulletproof.


  1. Don't get yer beard caught in that thing!

  2. hah...I`ve got a ways to go before the beard reaches the danger zone.

  3. good score. i just picked up the exact same unit circa 1948. got super lucky as it is the #2 morse taper variety, was just completely restored, upgraded to a 3 phase motor and was even delivered for 3 bills even.
    ive got the 15" version in the shop and i love it, outperforms my import 17" and even the bridgeport all day long.