Drill Press question

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Forum topic by shopmania posted 08-31-2012 01:13 AM 1679 views 0 times favorited 20 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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701 posts in 3206 days

08-31-2012 01:13 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question drill press

I have a 14” Delta floor model drill press, and I’m having a recurring problem that seems to be getting worse. The chuck connects into the machine with what appears to be a morse taper. Periodically the chuck will drop out of the opening. It basically happens when the bit is biting into the wood. It seemed to start when I was making some hole saw cuts off center in wood and that seemed to be putting a lot of torque on the bit. I can just put the chuck assembly back up onto the machine, and give it a little twist, and it seems to lock in. But it won’t stay. Last night I as drilling a bunch of 1/4* holes in 3/4” wood, and it was falling out on almost every hole. Am I missing something?? What do I need to do to secure the chuck assembly into the machine?

-- Tim, Myrtle Beach, Just one more tool, that's all I need! :)

20 replies so far

View TheDane's profile


5441 posts in 3687 days

#1 posted 08-31-2012 01:28 AM

Tim—Make sure the shaft and taper are clean & free of any debris, then take a block of wood and a hammer and give it a couple of gentle raps. You don’t need to hit it hard.


-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

20594 posts in 3129 days

#2 posted 08-31-2012 01:34 AM

Hi Tim. The morse taper in the drill chuck is a locking taper and should not be falling out- ever. The machine should stall first. Make a good inspection of the taper on the chuck and the inside of the taper and look for raised scoring or nicks that would keep those two surfaces from mating. If you find them they have to be removed before checking the fit. After you clean up any nicks or high spots with a small file or scraper, get a grease pencil- I usually find red ones-and draw a heavy line along the axis of the taper. Then take the chuck and twist it into the taper in the quill but not enough to lock it. Take it out and see if the grease pencil line was evenly spread around the taper. A taper could be cut wrong from the factory. It there is more taken off in one area than the other, the two do not have matching fits. I could give you all the dimensions to check for to define the taper, but the best thing to do if they don’t fit is to try a chuck from another tool- drill press or lathe- and do the same test on the drill press quill and you could test the chuck in the lathe to see which one is off.

I hope this give you something to look for that solves the problem!. That can be frustrating and dangerous, too. When I was a toolmaker, I went to use a drill press with about a 1/2” drill and as I touched the part the chuck came loose and dropped grabbing in the part and it swung the vise around and broke my finger against the frame of the machine. The last guy did not tap that one in tight. I tapped it in and finished the job okay.


-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View CueballRosendaul's profile


484 posts in 2164 days

#3 posted 08-31-2012 01:38 AM

I had that happen several years ago while boring a big hold on an angle. The bit got a little chattery at the end of the cut and vibrated the chuck loose. I just wiped the sawdust off, popped it back up and gave it a firm whack to drive it home and it’s been trouble free for about 10 years since.

-- Matt CueBall Rosendaul. I don't think I've ever had a cup of coffee that didn't have cat hair or sawdust in it.

View Von's profile


238 posts in 2237 days

#4 posted 08-31-2012 01:43 AM

my 30+year old floor model does the same thing. I took the chuck out and sanded & pollished the spindle with some 600gt emery cloth. It would sit still for a while, but kept popping out after a while.

On my model, I have an inspection/service port cut into the sides of the head unit. Normaly they are covered/closed. Opening them allows me to locate the end of the chuck/spindle as it is installed in the lift tube—for lack of better wording.

I took an old popcan and cut a few “shims” of aluminum from the side of the can. Bent them into a wedge shape, and crammed them in & around the end of the chuck, via the ports noted earlier. A couple taps with a long flat screwdriver to set the shims in, and things have stopped moving so often. Thanks to the ports I can always tap the shims out, and then the chuck can be removed if I ever need to do so.

I had thought of just welding the goofy thing… but the shims are working fine. heh.

View fussy's profile


980 posts in 3074 days

#5 posted 08-31-2012 02:57 AM

Clean the taper on the quill and the inside of the chuck as best you can. Put a block on the table, raise the table up to within a few inches of the chuck, slip it on the quill, then pull down on the handle firmly ( with the motor off, of course). Pull down firmly a couple times and your chuck should not move. If the quill is scored, you’re screwed.


-- Steve in KY. 44 years so far with my lovely bride. Think I'll keep her.

View stevo_wis's profile


127 posts in 3051 days

#6 posted 08-31-2012 03:09 AM

One trick I used was to heat up the chuck on my wife’s iron to expand it. Grab it with a plier, pop it back onto the taper and when it cools, it will tighten up on the chuck. It will be tight.

-- Stevo

View lumberjoe's profile


2899 posts in 2272 days

#7 posted 08-31-2012 03:14 AM

I was going to suggest using some heat as well if “driving it home” doesn’t do the trick. This happened on an old crappy Relaint press I had. I took my dad’s advice of not hammering it as it could cause it to be pressed in off center. He told me to chuck up a sizable (3/8”) hardwood dowel and press it in against the table. That did the trick and it worked until I got rid of it.


View crashn's profile


528 posts in 2489 days

#8 posted 08-31-2012 12:01 PM

I have the same issue with a bench top dp from HF.

you sure you dont have that backwards? Heating metal expands it, cooling contracts. I would think ( and I could very well be wrong), that you would cool the chuck (like in dry ice), then drive it onto the spindle, and when it comes back to room temperature, it will expand, gripping the taper?


-- Crashn - the only thing I make more of than sawdust is mistakes

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4948 posts in 3984 days

#9 posted 08-31-2012 02:20 PM

crashn needs to rethink his physics.
Stevo is correct.


View crashn's profile


528 posts in 2489 days

#10 posted 08-31-2012 03:22 PM

I can accept that I am wrong, but would like to know why. Does not metal expand when heated? and shrink when cooled? I obviously am missing something, please educate me :)


-- Crashn - the only thing I make more of than sawdust is mistakes

View rance's profile


4258 posts in 3184 days

#11 posted 08-31-2012 03:45 PM

Reading through the posts, I was gonna suggest the opposite too. Problem is, both could be right.

Some Jacobs chucks are screwed to their accompanying shaft, others have a female taper in them similar to the quill. They are connected with a double-ended tapering shaft(two male ends). I don’t know the exact taper, could be Morse, could be something else. It is irrelevant.

That being said, if it is coming loose between the taper and the chuck, then you heat the chuck. If it is coming loose between the taper and the quill, then put the chuck/taper assembly in the freezer.

Tim, from your description(“it drops out of the opening”), it appears that your taper is falling out of the quill, which means you’ll want to cool it in the freezer, then reinstall. I agree with Crashn.

Metal does, in fact, expand when heated. The ID of a pipe(or a donut) gets larger when you heat it.

Bonus: To go to an extreme, you could remove the taper shaft from the chuck as well. Then freeze the shaft and heat the chuck. Install the frozen shaft and immediately install the heated chuck.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View BinghamtonEd's profile


2298 posts in 2393 days

#12 posted 08-31-2012 03:55 PM

“Bonus: Another interesting fact is that the ID of a pipe(or a metal donut) gets larger when you heat it.”

Best way I’ve found to install stem bearings on bikes (my wife doesn’t like opening up the freezer and finding the steering stem).

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

View Dallas's profile


3599 posts in 2511 days

#13 posted 08-31-2012 04:16 PM

Crashn, put a jar or baggie full of water into the freezer and let it freeze solid. What happens? The top comes off the jar or the plastic bursts.
I know this because I have put beer in the freezer before to chill and inadvertently forgotten about it after the next four or five beers. Ever open a frozen beer that has expanded the can beyond any identification?

It ain’t pretty, but the alcohol doesn’t freeze so you get a good shot of at least 100 proof! LOL.

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View rance's profile


4258 posts in 3184 days

#14 posted 08-31-2012 04:28 PM

Dallas , its not the same. When liquid water is cooled, it contracts like one would expect until a temperature of approximately 4 degrees Celsius is reached. After that, it expands slightly until it reaches the freezing point, and then when it freezes it expands by approximately 9%.Whereas metal has a more linear coefficient of expansion right through 0°C.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View BinghamtonEd's profile


2298 posts in 2393 days

#15 posted 08-31-2012 04:29 PM

Dallas, I don’t really understand your analogy as it pertains to crashn’s comment. Water contracts as it cools to a certain point, and then prior to freezing it reaches a point where it expands. Metal does not expand when frozen (your beer can didn’t expand, the expanding water-based contents of the beer can forced the can’s shape to change and stretch).

Doh, rance beat me to it.

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

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