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Thread: OK, all you mechanical geniuses!

  1. #1
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    OK, all you mechanical geniuses!

    So, after going though several drill press acquisition plans and schemes, none of which were truly realistic or sane, and none of which panned out

    I decided to take the bull by the horns and try the mother of all schemes. Doorlink, Thomas and I were working on Thomas's guitar, and it came time to drill some holes. Notice that I got them both involved in the process, and I even had Doorlink hold the neck while I shaped the headstock on the bandsaw. Even had both of them helping me at the spindle sander.

    Anyway, time to drill the holes. We go over to my obviously inadequate drill press. I mention that I'm not sure the press is up to this, and doorlink rolls her eyes, and its decided we'll knock off for the evening and go pick up a drill press in the morning after church. Early father's day, and all that...

    So we get to harbor freight, and I'm already telling myself "this will just be a kit, it'll take a lot of work to make it right. Choice is between a 1 hp, with not a lot of depth but with one hp, and a nice radial one, but only 1/3 hp. When I open the cover and see I can replace the motor eventually, I go for the radial, and life is good. 239, and no shipping. It ain't perfect, but if Stu can bring machines back from the dead and Jeff can resuurect a giant old jointer, surely I can handle any problem with a cheapo drill press!

    All goes well, I get it home and the boys help me put it together. Everything goes perfectly, life is good, until I put the chuck on the spindle. It goes on, no problem. But it sticks. Badly. It'll do 3/4s of a revolution with the chuck key, and then stick again. It's so bad, I took the key apart, and stuck a long screwdriver into the key so I could actually turn it.

    Now, you need to know that I'm not very good at these things. I once almost returned a planer because I didn't realize you had to wax the bed. So I'm thinking there must be some secret trick I don't know. Maybe it's just not machined perfectly and by turning and turning it it'll get looser? Maybe I should whack the danged thing with a hammer?

    Any ideas would be most helpful!

    Thanks,

    Bill
    Last edited by Bill Lantry; 05-27-2007 at 10:14 PM.

  2. #2
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    Hey Bill congrats on the new DP

    Sucks to hear the chuck don't work right

    The chuck should open and close easily with your hand, needing only the chuck key to tighten the bit into the chuck for drilling, but for opening and closing the chuck, like to change to a larger or smaller drill bit, you just need your hand.

    Something is wrong if you need more than that.

    Call HF and explain the problem, and or take the chuck back to them, ah.....does the chuck come off?

    Cheers!
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  3. #3
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    FWIW I second Stu. Bad Chuck.
    God grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway,
    the good fortune to run into the ones I do,
    and the eyesight to tell the difference.


    Kudzu Craft Lightweight Skin on frame Kayaks.
    Custom built boats and Kits

  4. #4
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    Chuck should operate smoothly by hand. Chucks can be replaced but you're already approaching the cost of a better DP.

  5. #5
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    Bill, give the chuck innerds a shot of WD40 and work the chuck opened & closed a few times. If that dosen't loosen it up, return it.
    "I am enclosing two tickets to the first night of my new play; bring a
    friend...if you have one."
    --George Bernard Shaw to Winston Churchill

    "Cannot possibly attend first night, will attend second..if there is
    one."
    --Winston Churchill, in response




  6. #6
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    I thought of WD40, but worried I'd mess any possible lube up. Like the old joke says, if it moves and it shouldn't: duct tape. If it doesn't move and it should: wd-40... I'll give it a good squirt in the morning.

    I've found that if I push up on it just a little, it doesn't stick as much, and I can turn it by hand. I hate the keys. though, and would just as soon find a keyless chuck at some point.

    I know there are WAY better drill presses out there, but compared to what I had, this thing's a dream come true... I love how big a piece I can drill without going into contorsions. I know I'm giving up some accuracy by going radial, and even more by going HF, but if you saw my methods, you'd see that's the least of my problems...

    There's a sidewalk sale there next weekend... if it's not behaving by then, I'll take the chuck in and ask for an exchange.

    Someday I'll figure out why they rib the undersides of DP tables. There's no good way to clamp, so the table is now sandwiched between two lathe rounded pieces of 3/4 ply. That'll teach it to let my clamps slip around!

    Thanks,

    Bill

  7. #7
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    Just thought I'd add this little note. When I was teaching on a certain distant shore, they showed me an interesting method of literary theory, having to do with de-mystifying texts. Once you strip away all the shrouds and mists, it's suprising how simple the construction of most books is. And the more I work with these tools, I find the same thing is true: a motor, some pulleys, a spindle, et viola: a drill press. Change the config a little, and it's a lathe. A motor, a pulley, a blade, and a flat surface, and it's a table saw. I know all this sounds really obvious, but it amazes me how little I understood about tools until I had to start opening them up and messing with their innards...


    Thanks,

    Bill

  8. #8
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    Before seeing how far you can throw that chuck, I would suggest a couple good squirts of carburetor cleaner, working the chuck with the key several times then oiling with a quality machine oil. I like teflon based gun oils. Often times those lower priced items will have grit and crud left in and on them from the manufacturing process and even that rust protectant goo can be inside. Worth a try before investing in a new chuck. I think the ribs under a drill press table are to give strength without weight.
    "Folks is funny critters."

    Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too. ~Voltaire

  9. #9
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    Sounds like you chuck is ok, … If it turns free by hand?

    Have you tried another chuck key? there maybe a mismatch or burrs
    in the teeth of the chuck key or in the teeth on the chuck or the center pin could be out of center or bent. I have had this with some past hand drill I have owned.

    As Stuart posted.
    Snip ”The chuck should open and close easily with your hand, needing only the chuck key to tighten the bit into the chuck for drilling, but for opening and closing the chuck, like to change to a larger or smaller drill bit, you just need your hand.”

    You only need the chuck key to tighten the jaws to the bit, not to crank open and shut the chuck..


    Try another chuck key,….try lightly de-burring the teeth on the chuck and the key and give it a squirt of WD.

  10. #10
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    Woodcraft has keyless chucks for less than $30. Best thing I did was replacing the chuck on my DP with one.

    George
    2B1ASK1

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