Behind The 8-Ball
When I acquired this classic 1967 Delta Rockwell 15-017 drill press, it came
without a quill handle. After a few years of getting by with a long 7/16"
bolt, I designed a new handle as a tribute to
and hot rod car
culture of the same era as the press's manufacture.
You can date your Delta drill press at
The Delta Vintage Project
I started with a 7/16" stainless steel rod, a 1/2" threaded coupling, and an
8-ball sourced from a local billiard supply store. The 1/2" threaded bore of
the coupler was almost the right diameter for the rod. I drilled and tapped
a 10-32 hole through the coupler for set screws, then chased the coupler
threads with a 7/16" drill bit. (Not having a drill press vise at the time,
I made a crude fixture to hold the coupler with wood screws. The threads left
marks you may see in the photographs.)
Making a fixture for the ball from a pine 2x4. I drilled a 1-3/8" hole to seat
the ball, and a 7/8" hole to sight the numeral for alignment. This wasn't
precise, but worked well enough. A piece of aluminum with very convenient
holes served as a hold-down clamp, with pieces of bicycle inner tube
protecting the surface of the ball.
After drilling a small pilot hole, I used the 7/8" spade bit from the
previous step to very slowly drill into the ball to the desired depth.
This was calculated to leave the set screw end of the coupler free.
two-part epoxy was mixed and
injected below and around the coupler to secure it in the ball. I covered
the coupler end in kapton tape to keep the bore free of epoxy. The drill
press was used with an elastic strap on the handle to maintain pressure on
the coupler for the 48 hour cure time.
The billiard ball is fairly heavy, resulting in a non-linear feeling as the
quill travels. I may make another knob from a cue ball to chase the 8-ball,
and counterbalance it.
Contact: reboots at g-cipher.net
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