Rockwell/Delta 6" Jointer (1968?)

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Forum topic by GlennsGrandson posted 01-30-2012 02:15 AM 14401 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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443 posts in 2636 days

01-30-2012 02:15 AM

Topic tags/keywords: rockwell delta jointer rust restoration vintage

Just bought my first Jointer. It is a Rockwell/Delta 37-220 6” jointer in need of some elbow grease. The Serial number is EC8977 which I believe is from about 1968. Seems as if everything works, blades look decent, lots of rust on the bed, enclosed base, missing back cover, missing out table lock knob, rust. From my first take with a standard rust remover the bed seems fairly flat, I know there is shiny metal under there somewhere, what is the best way to get to it? Then what should I coat it with? I really don’t know anything about Jointers and maintenance except that I know a well tuned one is very nice to have.

I will try to get some pictures on here soon. I paid $100 for it. I don’t think I can go wrong, I’ve saw similar ones going for $800 on ebay (but who really knows if that’s right).

Any info on restoration tips or anything other hints on what to do or not to do would be great. Thanks for everyones time!

-- Grant - N Dakota

11 replies so far

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2170 posts in 3178 days

#1 posted 01-30-2012 04:19 AM

Your best resource:

These guys eat sleep and breathe old arn and know all the tricks.

Here’s a good video, by a pro, on setting your knives (this guy wrote for Fine Woodworking).

This sweetheart machine is going to become a lifelong friend in your shop!



-- " his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

View GlennsGrandson's profile


443 posts in 2636 days

#2 posted 01-30-2012 07:04 AM

Thank you very much Lee, the jointer in the video is almost identical to mine besides a 2” difference. Very helpful.

-- Grant - N Dakota

View GlennsGrandson's profile


443 posts in 2636 days

#3 posted 02-01-2012 08:14 AM

Process is going well, I got the beds shining real bright! I have it all disassembled right now, it’ll be awhile but I’m gonna get it cleaned up and paint it close to it’s original colors.

Just used steel wool with PB Blaster for initial rust removal, then ROS with 100-150-320 grit and WD-40. Can’t wait to post before and after pictures someday!

-- Grant - N Dakota

View Tomj's profile


204 posts in 2709 days

#4 posted 02-01-2012 09:07 AM

I had to do the same for my 113 206932 Craftsman Jointer a couple months ago. It was my fathers who only used it it once. He bought just around the time his Medical Center was beginning to take in allot of business so it just sat in our basement for almost 20 years until I started woodworking and realized what it was. The infeed/outfeed tables were so rusted I wasn’t sure if I could bring it back (would have been a shame it’s well built jointer never fully used). After looking at some of the tools on that site that were restored I got my inspiration. I took my time cleaning all the rust off with mineral spirits and sandpaper and then painted it and waxed the the tables. I also had to build a new porkchop guard for it (luckily the spring was still in the hole for the guard). Now I do have to change the knives because one is chipped from when my father ran some scrap wood through it with a nail in it. The other thing I would like to do is build a new stand for it to conserve space and help dust collection. Good luck

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443 posts in 2636 days

#5 posted 02-02-2012 04:52 PM

I have started a Blog to be able to update my status as I go, please refer to “From Rust to Lust” in blogs for more information.

-- Grant - N Dakota

View Grandpa's profile


3262 posts in 3003 days

#6 posted 02-02-2012 04:58 PM

Men, cast iron is relatively soft so be careful sanding a table can make it wavy and no longer flat. Try using white vinegar. Put towels across the beds then soak the towels with vinegar. This should remove the rust. Good luck on that jointer.

View tetzlaki's profile


2 posts in 1476 days

#7 posted 04-04-2015 05:21 AM

I inherited a Rockwell/Delta Jointer, model 37-200, serial # DM4242, on home made stand with motor underneath. Need to find service manual/parts manual to ensure setup is correct. Does run, needs TLC, makes wood chips. Also recieved Sears Roebuck Lathe about 30-36” long. Needed new motor, done, new belts, done. Runs good and came with speed reducer and tools, already made round 2X2. Old motor for lathe was off a table saw my father-in-law remembers when he was 5, now he is ninty. Any recommendations or suggestion welcomed.

View MrUnix's profile


7301 posts in 2526 days

#8 posted 04-04-2015 05:45 AM

Serial #EC8977 is indeed a 1968 model. Manual is here.
Serial #DM4242 is from 1966. Can’t find anything on a 37-200 though (not even on the aftermarket parts suppliers sites). The 1967 Delta/Rockwell price list doesn’t have a 37-200 listed either (although it does list the 37-220 – for $186). Are you sure of the model number? The 1964 catalog does list a 4” jointer (37-290).

As for rust removal… if you don’t want to go the disassembly and then electrolysis/evaporust route, evaporust can be used on the beds without taking them off by putting tape around the edges to keep the stuff on the top. Pour in a 1/4” or so and let it sit until it does it’s thing. If that doesn’t appeal to you, start with a razor blade and scrape off as much gunk and rust as you can. Follow that up with a scotch brite pad and wd-40. A vibrating sander on top of the pad makes it easier. If you have stains, a dilute solution of phosphoric acid, alcohol and water can be used (again, with the scotch brite pad and sander). In extreme cases, oxalic acid can be used, but it’s really nasty stuff. Wipe it on, let it sit for a minute or so, then scrub. Sanding, wire wheels and anything else that is very abrasive is not a good idea (as Grandpa pointed out), although steel wool can be used with pretty good results. After it’s all shiny, give it a good coat of paste wax (Johnsons is the most recommended… but anything that doesn’t have silicone in it would work).

Best method is to disassemble though. Will also give you the opportunity to check the bearings and other parts of the machine to make sure everything is in order… and you will become intimately familiar with the machine and it’s operation in the process.


-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View tetzlaki's profile


2 posts in 1476 days

#9 posted 04-07-2015 08:46 PM

My bad, it is a 37-220 for the model. Will make looking for help and parts easier.

View Golfstarter's profile


2 posts in 941 days

#10 posted 08-19-2018 12:44 AM

I have just purchased a Rockler/Delta Model/series 37-600, Serial number 10629. It looks like it is on a homemade stand made of steel angle iron. lots of rust and dirt so lot of elbow grease in my future. I paid $80.00 for it. Any comments, suggestions, restoration tips, etc is gratefully appreciated.

View GlennsGrandson's profile


443 posts in 2636 days

#11 posted 09-17-2018 04:53 PM

Golfstarter, check out the blog of this repair that I did. Might help you some. Good luck!

-- Grant - N Dakota

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