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  • Delta drill press sheared handle

    The other day, while sanding at the drill press, my knee accidentally bumped against the spring-loaded handle used to tilt the table forward. To my surprise, I heard a clunk, and looked down to discover that the handle had sheared off. This handle has not been used since the tool was assembled, around 2010. Since I don't use this feature, I could have managed with a socket or wrench, but decided to try to replace the handle.

    Delta has a nasty habit of unavailability of parts for their tools, and sure enough, my usual sources came up empty. I did find one source that appeared to have the handle, (photo and part number were of the original equipment), so I ordered two, shipping being what it is, and figuring that if one broke for no apparent reason, the other was probably not far behind. The new parts were definitely not the same as the originals, but looked as though they would work. I easily removed the broken piece still attached to the press, and decided to use the remaining old handle to remove the nut. As soon as I touched that handle, it sheared. Fortunately, both nuts were not tight and easily removed, and the new handles (with a different type of nut), which were also spring loaded, were easy to install.

    My question is why did the handles shear like that? There must have been some fractures, but from what? The garage temperature does not get below freezing, and its been stored in this type of environment since purchase. The original handles were hollow, and pretty narrow where the force would be. I have a similar type of spring-loaded handle on my Jet belt sander, and that handle is solid. I use those handles every time I adjust the table, and they've held up just fine. The replacement handles are thick and stubby, and seems less vulnerable than the originals.

    Explanations?
    Last edited by handibunny; 03-11-2019, 12:32 PM.
    Carole

    Follow me on my blog: www.scrollsawbowls.blogspot.com

  • #2
    I don't know why your handles sheared but I just looked at my Delta drill press and the handles look like they would break very easily. I bought a Delta P20 scroll saw years ago and liked it so well I ended up buying a Delta joiner, miter saw, and drill press. I didn't find out until years later what a lousy company they are for supporting the products they sell. After a few years they will just up and quit stocking replacement parts. No more Delta products for me. I am glad to hear you found a good replacement.
    Last edited by Stoney; 03-13-2019, 12:10 PM.
    Stoney aka Al

    This gettin old stuff ain't for sissies!

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    • #3
      Why? Inferior quality materials. Delta like some other companies used to be a name that represented quality. Dewalt is another. The Dw788 scroll saw used to be one of the best. Now it is a low end in everyway but price. Now in our throw it away society cheap has replaced quality. Probably made in China of cast iron. The better the quality of material used the higher the cost. Beside if they built tools to last how many would they sell?
      Scott
      Creator of fine designer sawdust.

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      • #4
        Why? Inferior quality materials

        I think it is premature to blame materials without some type of analysis.

        It would be very helpful to have a clear close up of the fracture face. Without that, it is really not possible to do a failure analysis and any guesses are just a WAG. (Wild ___ Guess)


        (Just as a note, I am a Metallurgical Engineer and did a lot if failure analysis. )
        Last edited by Quartz43; 03-11-2019, 08:16 AM.

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        • #5
          Any time I need parts like that I get them from Mcmaster. https://www.mcmaster.com/machine-handles.
          You just have to know what you are looking for.
          From the picture it looks like the handle is pot metal and not a solid casting at that. The Delta of old was a quality company.
          When I think about the logistics of any company maintaining repair parts for all of their equipment forever, as much as we would like that, it is not realistic. My table saw, drill press and a few other tools are over 20 years old. They have and continue to serve me well.
          I have a car that is 49 years old,
          What would be a fair cut off on parts support? I really appreciate it when the wear and tear and consumable parts are generic and not brand specific.
          Rolf
          RBI G4 Hawk, Delta SS350, Nova 1624 DVR XP
          Philosophy "I don't know that I can't, therefore I can"
          Proud Member of the Long Island Woodworkers Club
          And the Long Island Scrollsaw Association

          Comment


          • #6
            Rolf, I fully agree that generic parts are a reasonable solution to the reality that replacement parts can't realistically be made forever. Fortunately, the belts on the Delta drill press are a standard size, and I always make sure I have a pair at the ready. The tool has been so reliable over the years that the sheared handles were a totally unexpected event. BTW, I checked out the link you gave with your post. I had no idea that so many different types of handles existed!

            Quartz43, I'm attaching a photo of the sheared areas of the broken handle. I can understand handles eventually developing fractures with use, but when they have never been used, it seems totally weird. Your thoughts would be appreciated.
            Carole

            Follow me on my blog: www.scrollsawbowls.blogspot.com

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            • #7
              Thanks for the picture. But could you take another of just one fracture face with it in focus.

              Comment


              • #8
                I think these should be clearer.
                Last edited by handibunny; 03-11-2019, 01:34 PM.
                Carole

                Follow me on my blog: www.scrollsawbowls.blogspot.com

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                • #9
                  It may just be the lighting but there are only a couple of spots that are shiny like a new break. The rest is dull and maybe oxidized. It may have taken a hit long ago. Be interesting to see what Quartz43 thinks. The metallurgical folks at my former work place helped me solve many weird problems.
                  Rolf
                  RBI G4 Hawk, Delta SS350, Nova 1624 DVR XP
                  Philosophy "I don't know that I can't, therefore I can"
                  Proud Member of the Long Island Woodworkers Club
                  And the Long Island Scrollsaw Association

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I agree with Rolf about the lighting. It appears to me that it all broke at one time but the lighting makes it difficult. In the first picture, on the right side looks a bit darker but difficult to say if one side cracked prior to the breakage. In either case, it all looks like a brittle fracture. There are no obvious defects such as voids or slang type inclusions on the fracture face.

                    There are times like this where access to a SEM (Scanning electron microscope) would allow a proper fracture face examination and some chemical analysis.

                    I will say that I do not care for the design as it is not going to take much of a load to break it. It would be much better if it was a solid cross section where the two parts meet.

                    it appears that someone designed it to use minimal metal and to be cast from some easy to cast metal. It would be a lot more expensive to make out of cast iron or from steel.

                    Hope you find a good and relatively cheap replacement.

                    ​​​​​​​

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Thanks, Quartz43, for your input. If you look at my first post, the photo on the right shows the replacement handle after I attached it to the drill press. All I added was the original washer that was used between the nut and and drill press table, which seemed pretty standard. The handles weren't too expensive, and I'm glad I got two.

                      What's odd is that both handles failed at the same time, about 8 years after installation. Neither was used, and they were located in an area where they were not likely to be banged into. I'm wondering if the cold weather contributed, but they're been in cold winter environments from the get-go, and my garage does not go below freezing. I thought the design looked illogical, since the thin place was where force would be applied.

                      Delta is certainly one company to stay away from!
                      Carole

                      Follow me on my blog: www.scrollsawbowls.blogspot.com

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Ah yes I miss my access to to an electron microscope. This style of handle is used on many tools. I see lots of the lower end mini lathes come with Plastic versions of this in places where you need to apply significant force to tighten them.

                        My Delta band saw has solid chrome plated steel handles for the table adjustment. also on my 12" disk sander. They are all older machines.
                        Rolf
                        RBI G4 Hawk, Delta SS350, Nova 1624 DVR XP
                        Philosophy "I don't know that I can't, therefore I can"
                        Proud Member of the Long Island Woodworkers Club
                        And the Long Island Scrollsaw Association

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Quartz43 View Post
                          Why? Inferior quality materials

                          I think it is premature to blame materials without some type of analysis.

                          It would be very helpful to have a clear close up of the fracture face. Without that, it is really not possible to do a failure analysis and any guesses are just a WAG. (Wild ___ Guess)


                          (Just as a note, I am a Metallurgical Engineer and did a lot if failure analysis. )
                          I know enough to be mildly dangerous. Especially to my self. I bow to your expertise.
                          Scott
                          Creator of fine designer sawdust.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Quartz43 View Post
                            Why? Inferior quality materials

                            I think it is premature to blame materials without some type of analysis.

                            It would be very helpful to have a clear close up of the fracture face. Without that, it is really not possible to do a failure analysis and any guesses are just a WAG. (Wild ___ Guess)


                            (Just as a note, I am a Metallurgical Engineer and did a lot if failure analysis. )
                            I just took another look at the handles on my Delta drill press which looks like the same model as Carole's. No Metallurgical analysis is needed to determine the handles are made of very poor material. They appear to be made in a die cast method out of what is commonly referred to as pot metal. I don't know why they both broke but I'm not surprised, it could be they were fractured during assembly or in handling either at the factory or shipping process. What I can attest to is they are not a quality part, period.
                            Stoney aka Al

                            This gettin old stuff ain't for sissies!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Al, hope you have better luck than I did. I’m hoping the replacement handles hold up, but the design looks a lot sturdier, so I’m hopeful.

                              Maybe I’m lucky that the replacements were not actually the original handles, even though they were represented as such. It sure was a surprise when I opened the bag. Not quite on the up and up, but if they hold up, I’m not complaining.



                              Carole

                              Follow me on my blog: www.scrollsawbowls.blogspot.com

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