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Blog entry by johnjoiner posted 10-03-2007 08:22 PM 862 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Last weekend I discovered a way to remove the chuck from my 16.5 inch drill press! I don’t think I’d ever removed that chuck before. Here’s the steps if you’d like to try this at home: ;-)
  1. Chuck a 1.5” Milwaukee self-feed bit.
  2. Clamp down a piece of 4” x 6” oak to the table. Mine was about 8 feet long so I had plenty of leverage holding the other end in one place. The far end was clamped to my bench.
  3. Start boring!
  4. In fear of either, a) killing yourself with a 60-pound spinning oak timber, or b) breaking your drill press, continually pull the bit up as the self-feed tip starts to take a good hold.

Part-way through the second 4+” deep hole my chuck and bit plopped off and sat peacefully in the hole staring back at me. I was a bit startled. After making sure my head was still attached and all limbs sill in tact I found this pretty amusing. I didn’t get any pics, and was planning to take a couple if it came off again – I had several more holes to bore. But I guess the couple whacks I gave the chuck with some scrap were enough to seat the chuck well.

If you’re wondering what I’m doing with 4×6 oak timbers. It’s for a little deck-like sitting platform that I’m making into a much bigger project than it needs to be. But hey, I took a timber framing class last fall, and couldn’t pass up this opportunity. If I ever finish it I’ll post it on the projects page. Keep you eye out this time ‘08 or ‘09.


-- johnjoiner

5 comments so far

View mot's profile


4911 posts in 4062 days

#1 posted 10-03-2007 10:13 PM

I’ve had morse taper chucks come out of a lathe before. It’s always left me a little confused for a second when you see the spindle turning, but not the workpiece…especially if you’ve tried to save three seconds and not bring up the tailstock. Sounds fun with a drill press though.

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

View Don's profile


2603 posts in 4203 days

#2 posted 10-04-2007 01:44 AM


-- CanuckDon "I just love small wooden boxes!"

View WoodWright's profile


20 posts in 4102 days

#3 posted 10-04-2007 05:41 PM

To prevent that 4×6 timber from spinning out of control, simply position it against the left side of the drill press stand rather than trying to hold onto it or rely on a clamp. That way you also don’t need an 8’ piece, just long enough to reach the stand, maybe a scrap only 2’ or so. A fresh (wet) PT 4×4 should work as well too. BTW, the larger the Selfeed bit, the faster you will succeed this way.

Question: Does your drill press have a hollow spindle for a rod to tap the MT out? Most lathes do, both headstock & tailstock. (I say most because someone somewhere probably has the lone exception.)

P.S.: They make special tools for this—far faster & safer than wrenching the taper free by start-and-stop drilling of hard, dense wood.

Of course, that’s all assuming that you actually meant to remove your chuck! If not, and you are boring holes because you want the holes, SLOW is the way to go when drilling with Selfeed bits no matter how they are powered. 300 RPM at most, is about right. And, place the work against the stand so it can’t start to spin. The thread of the point is pitched correctly to continuously feed the bit into the wood at the proper rate.

View Karson's profile


35125 posts in 4426 days

#4 posted 10-04-2007 06:16 PM

Also make sure you don’t have any lubrication or wax between the tapers of the chuck and drill press or lathe. You want good metal to metal contact.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View johnjoiner's profile


160 posts in 3919 days

#5 posted 10-05-2007 06:57 PM

Thanks for the replies.

I was not trying to get the chuck off. This was just an attempt at humor and relaying a small event that stood out for me while working a little wood last weekend.

I was boring the holes to make mortises in those timbers. They will be the posts for a railing along one edge of the platform.

Karson: I think the taper and chuck must be pretty clean. I gave the chuck just two whacks with a small scrap of wood to remount it. And it held tight while boring several more of those holes.

-- johnjoiner

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