I just bought a Delta 17-990 12" drill press at an auction. I thought I got
a great buy on it until I checked to see if it was square. It was off a
half degree both side to side and front to back.
Fixing the side to side was simply a matter of adjusting the table to be at
1/2 a degree, but now the pin that is supposed to lock it at zero obviously
won't go in.
Front to back I "fixed" by putting a couple shims from a Coke can in at the
Is it pretty square now, but neither method was great. Any better ideas?
Did I get a lemon, or is being off like this common?
It sounds like someone may have either moved it around by the table or
left heavy, unbalanced items on the table for long periods.
AFAIK, shimming is a perfectly acceptable method of repairing
machinery. I probably would have done the same.
delta is (was?) supposed to be pretty good about quality control, and
that isn't exactly a bottom-end machine. you may have a lemon. your
lemonade making method is pretty standard; I've done exactly the same
for a way to measure your progress accurately, a dial indicator mounted
in the chuck and used to read the surface of the table works really
really well. for more information google "tram drill press table".
Perhaps what is wrong is not that the table is not square to the post but
that the head is not square to the post. As I see it, the problem with
shimming the table and adjusting the tilt to get things square, every time
you adjust the table to bring the table back square you will have to fart
around like you already did.
While not familiar with your specific drill press, on the ones I have
assembled, the head is attached to the post with some set screws. The first
thing I would try is to reset the table to its zero position and see if by
changing the set screws on the head attachment you could align the to
surfaces that way. If tweaking the screws don't give you enough, then
perhaps a shim or two might.
If you try this, let us know how it comes out.
You might also send Delta an e-mail to see if they have a fix for this
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