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Help! Drill press issue

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  • Help! Drill press issue

    So, I need help with a machine. I have a Delta DP350 drill press. When I got it (used and for a decent deal), I knew it had a tiny bit of runout in the chuck. Thus far this hasn't bothered me in the slightest as it is infinitesimal. E.g. drilling with a 1" forstner bit results in a 1" hole + maybe a 64th or so. No problem for general work.

    However, I'm just starting to turn pens and I'm finding that the runout is causing my bore holes to be slightly too big. The brass insert tubes have some play to them, and the CA glue isn't bonding as well as it should. I've had two inserts come loose when using the pen mill to square up the edges and clean out the glue reside, and I know I'm using enough glue.

    Thus far:
    I removed the chuck by knocking it loose with a scrap of plywood (pseudo chisel) and a dead blow hammer. I cleaned the spindle with mineral spirits and verified, as best I could, that the spindle doesn't have any runout. I cleaned the interior of the chuck as best I could (I didn't use Q-tips or anything...) and then lined up the chuck and give it a good wack to seat it on the spindle. Runout is now WORSE! I gave the chuck a few good whacks from different sides and even a few while it was spinning (this was when I started getting frustrated, hehe). Runout now is really unacceptable compared to when I started. I knocked the chuck off and tried again, and still have icky runout.

    Anyone have tips, tricks, knowledge or voodoo prayers to help me get my drill press operating perfectly?

  • #2
    Re: Help! Drill press issue

    The first thing you'll need to do is to borrow a dial indicator with a magnetic base and be 100% sure the spindle didn't get bent. If the end of the spindle runs true, then I recommend a replacement of the chuck. Depending on the mounting, you should be able to find a good high quality replacement that will be better than the original when new. If you can please post any info on the chuck body you can read. This way I can look up a good replacement. Now if the spindle is bent then you'll need to replace it and that's not really a DIY job. Depending on how much $$$ you have tied up in the drill press it may pay off to look for a better one. Let's be sure of the spindle first and take things from there.

    The poor man's runout indicator: If you can hold a sharpened pencil so it almost touches the spindle (use clamps or a small vise and not your hand) then with the belts removed slowly rotate the spindle using the pulley. You need a good light and a magnifier. Can you see any runout? If yes, the spindle is at fault. If no, then it may well pay off to get a new chuck and this time use care installing it.

    Please post more as per your findings.
    Last edited by Woussko; 10-30-2007, 09:48 AM.


    • #3
      Re: Help! Drill press issue

      Thanks for the reply and advice Woussko. The best thing is, you reminded me I have a Oneway Multi-gauge! I only ever pull it out for adjusting my jointer's blades, which I haven't done for a while. I totally forgot it was nestled down there in a drawer.

      So I used this to measure the drill spindle and chuck runout. I have to admit, my knowledge with regards to drill presses is incredibly low... it's just one of those tools that I didn't do oodles of research before buying. ;-)

      Anyway... With the chuck removed, and measuring the lowest section of the spindle, I saw 0.0025 runout. Not bad? I put the chuck back on and measured runout, just under the point where the chuck key holes are located, of 0.008 - 0.009.

      Now, I'm wondering if the spindle's runout of 0.0025 is amplified by the further distance of the chuck, and then, of course, further amplified again by the length of a drill bit. I'm not sure I want to drop $90 for a new chuck, only to find that really the spindle's tiny runout is the issue. But a 4x runout increase from spindle to chuck seems pretty unlikely (it's only about 1.5" of distance).

      If I do go for a new chuck, I was looking at this model. Anyone know anything about chucks? FYI, this drill press takes the JT33 taper.
      It's the "Jacobs Taper Mounting Plain Bearing Chucks", model JAC-34-33.

      Any thoughts or experiences?

      For the cost of a good quality chuck (approx $100 w/ shipping) I would be halfway to the purchase of a brand new drill press. However, I do like the easy variable speed aspect of this particular drill press.... and I don't have room for a floor model.
      Last edited by Wood_Junkie; 11-02-2007, 10:47 AM.