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Drill Presses - Need manuals for Rockwell 15-350. I found exploded parts diagrams. But not manuals.

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  • Jim Crosheck
    Jim Crosheck Jan 02, 2017

    Good answers. I had not connected the Rockwell and Delta models. Now left with one puzzle regarding the spring loaded sheave. I had assumed that this was similar to variable speed drives in snowmobiles ad ATVs. But the spring loaded sheaves halves are locked to the shaft with set screws. Which means no auto speed adjustment. Or am I missing something?

  • Vernon Taylor Jan 02, 2017

    I have not yet met a manual drill press with variable speed. The material being drilled is given a number into which the diameter of the drill bit and the number of cutting faces is divided in order to obtain the correct spindle speed. This is then selected from the table usually engraved somewhere on the machine and the drive belt is moved to the indicated steps on the stepped pulleys to select the nearest speed to that calculated.
    A basic machine typically has 8 speeds and a good jobbing machine has as many as 16 speeds, a 5/8 inch chuck and a number two morse taper. Bigger than that and the machine becomes an industrial rather than a jobbing machine.

  • Jim Crosheck
    Jim Crosheck Jan 02, 2017

    The Rockwell 15-350 appears to be the same as the Delta VS6. Just looked at their manual and exploded views. As I said before, the spring loaded sheave should (my view) compensate its width for the changing width of the control end (dialed speed). Both sides of spring loaded sheave are fixed to shaft with set screws. Ideas?

  • Vernon Taylor Jan 02, 2017

    Firstly I didn't at first understand your reference to "sheaves". It would have been easier if I could picture what you are describing. The variable drive is probably achieved by variable pitch pulleys - one being arranged to have a mechanical (selective) control and the other being spring loaded. The mechanical control would vary the pitch of one pulley and the very tight drive belt would force the other pulley to reduce in size against the spring pressure.
    One half of each pulley must be free to move and change pitch in order to be a variable ratio drive. If this is not so perhaps the drive wasn't working and the extra screws are a modification or perhaps one screw is intended to be located in a keyway and secure the pulley while the other screw is intended to locate in the same keyway but slide along it as the pitch varies.

  • Jim Crosheck
    Jim Crosheck Jan 02, 2017

    Your description is exactly what I expect as well. As I mentioned, the Delta VS6 manual is exactly the same as the hardware I have, but labeled as a Rockwell 15-350. The parts view shows set screws in both halves of the sheave on the motor. I suspect the prior owner messed with the drive since both shafts has rust from being in a barn. I am guessing the speed control end froze and then he locked it up by tightening the screw on the other side of the spring loaded sheave. I have the one shaft working so now I need to free up the other. Remove/loosen the unnecessary set screw and clean up the rust and I should be in business. Thanks for the input.



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Excluding industrial units, drill presses are very similar to each other and most of the low and medium price units are generic tools of far eastern origin so any simple set of instructions for any drill press will apply to most machines.

Mostly the drill press is an intuitive tool to use for anyone who has the slightest engineering experience so most manuals seem to be almost filled with safety information rather than any useful information. The useful stuff should be gleaned from more comprehensive manuals about engineering and workshop practice.

Posted on Jan 02, 2017


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