tolerance on a drill press

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Forum topic by Paul posted 12-24-2011 03:35 AM 2879 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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224 posts in 3420 days

12-24-2011 03:35 AM

I have an older Craftsman drill press that has to much wobble at the bit for me. I have removed the part the chuck mounts to (quill or arbor not sure what it’s called) and finally removed the chuck.
I put a dial indicator on the chuck before removing it and the needle was all over the place.
I pulled the chuck and put the tapered shaft back in the drill and put the gauge back on the quill. I have 2-3 hundreds of an inch wobble with the old bearings while the motor is engaged. In my hand the bearings don’t feel bad but I’m sure I wouldn’t be able to feel that anyway. I have them out so I will change them.
Ideally there would be no wobble on the shaft but that’s not the case here.
Have any of you guys put a dial meter on your drill press? If so do you remember the results? how much is too much?

9 replies so far

View DBerryhill's profile


5 posts in 2314 days

#1 posted 12-24-2011 04:13 AM

I recently saw an article that may help if your drill press is of similar construction:
You add a washer or bushing to the top of the quill to keep it centered inside of the pulley shaft.

I hope this helps.

View Paul's profile


224 posts in 3420 days

#2 posted 12-24-2011 03:23 PM

Under examination I also see that my motor pully is in need of a change. It has no balance holes and it has a slight wobble. when I spin the motor without the belt but with the pully it vibrates some. I pulled that pully off the motor and and the vibration is gone. Motor is fine.
So first thing is to get a new set of pullies or al least a new motor pully.
I want to take apart the chuck and clean it out while I have it off. I have oiled it and worked it looser than it was but it could use a good cleaning. I have to have the sleeve pressed off so I can get to the jaws and the ring nut halves.
I wonder if my bench vice has enough strength to press off the sleeve?
With the motor switched off ( so less pully vibration) and a constant hand turn of the belt while on both pullies I now see just 1/100th inch runout. I haven’t checked it with the belt off and just a manual turn of the spindle/shaft.
Every time I see someone turn on a drill press on the computer or tv I can’t help but notice how smoothly their chuck spins. Getting this drill straight has been something I have been wanting to do for a while.

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2170 posts in 2818 days

#3 posted 12-24-2011 06:03 PM

Attaboys to you for tackling this rather than letting it negatively affect your work.

Pulleys: For a few extra bucks you can get good ones from an implement or power transmission place.

Belts: Same deal. Cheap belts can cause vibration without any effort on their part.

The Chuck: A friend who owned a machine shop said they replaced all their drill press chucks annually. Period.

Here’s what MSC has to offer.

I have 9 drill presses in my shop, which in no way makes me an expert except that I know that they can become orphan tools, ignored, sometimes not used for weeks at a time. That doesn’t mean that a little investment aimed at precision would be misspent. It seems to me that every time I work on a tool, especially to increase precision, I learn something that applies to the next similar event. My confidence to tackles these things improves as well.



-- " 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 IrreverentJack's profile


727 posts in 2811 days

#4 posted 12-24-2011 08:06 PM

I put a dial indicator on my drill press. I don’t remember how many hundredths out it was but it was more than a revolution. I haven’t pulled it apart yet, but I did find this link. Hope it helps you. -Jack

View IrreverentJack's profile


727 posts in 2811 days

#5 posted 12-24-2011 08:25 PM

Lee, I’m thinking a cast-off chuck from a machine shop would be fine for my DP. Any ideas on how to tell if a used chuck is any good? $100 for a new 5/8 chuck would be difficult at the moment. Thank you. -Jack

View Paul's profile


224 posts in 3420 days

#6 posted 12-24-2011 11:08 PM

So a new chuck has entered my mind. Has anyone changed over to a keyless chuck? are they inferior they keyed chucks? Then the next question is if you go keyless how do you stop the spindle from turning while locking and unlocking a bit?

View Paul's profile


224 posts in 3420 days

#7 posted 12-26-2011 10:36 PM

so it turns out Craftsman no longer has the pulleys for this drill press.
Mfr date 1977. They are stamped St Louis Diecasting.
Where do I go, Grainger?
anyplace on line that I can order these pulleys from? I’ve done a search and don’t see any listed on the MSC site. they’re either too complicated to list or they just don’t sell any. No one working 12/26 so I can’t call in.
Lee you suggested a power transmission place. Do you mean an automobile transmission shop? why would they have these?
Much appreciated

View Dusty56's profile


11819 posts in 3656 days

#8 posted 12-26-2011 10:59 PM

Did you mean thousandths of an inch or hundredths , as typed ? Big difference !
Using a magnetic based dial indicator , I put a drill center into my chuck and set the indicator point against the center. I applied pressure to the chuck and watched for movement of the dial needle. Less than a thousandth on my new JET DP , no matter where I checked for play. Reason for using the drill center is that it is perfectly round so you’re not measuring the outside of the chuck , etc.. However , I didn’t even need an indicator for my old DP , because I could physically see and feel the amount it moved sideways, leading to out of round holes , etc..
Center Drill , just in case you’ve never seen one : )
Also , Not auto transmission…but transmission of power via belts / pulleys / chains / gears , etc.. : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View able339's profile


47 posts in 2343 days

#9 posted 12-26-2011 11:31 PM

Personally, I like an Albright (?) chuck. It is keyless which is what i like most and it runs true. It is not a wallet buster either.

-- TNJames

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