Drill Press Runout

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Forum topic by LeChuck posted 10-21-2012 07:27 PM 2063 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View LeChuck's profile


424 posts in 3027 days

10-21-2012 07:27 PM

Hi folks,

I have a Porter Cable 15” DP, the PCB660DP. On paper, it’s a great bargain for its capacity and price.

I’ve been troubleshooting it because it’s had a good amount of rattle and vibration from the start.

I’ve been checking runout, and I’m wondering how much runout is too much in theory.

I’ve removed the belts and checked the spindle pulley. With my finger on it while it’s running at good speed, I can’t really detect runout on that one.

But I checked runout with a dial indicator on the quill, the harbor, and the chuck. At the bottom of the chuck, on the outer sleeve, the runout is about .008, 8 thousands. But if that part is not machined exactly round, well, it’s not the outside of it that matters most.

I also checked runout on the quill, the 1/2” part that is visible, and runout is about .002, maybe a tiny bit under that. It is also the same on the harbor (the taper part) right below that. I then did the same check on a 1/2” forstner bit inserted into the chuck and runout on that was .006. That was checked closer to the chuck and also towards the bottom, closer to the cutting head. Of course, this is the outer area of the bit. All this checked while turning the spindle by hand and with the belts off.

Are those results too much (especially where it matters, on the bit) or within acceptable variations for machining? As a digital photographer, I’m all too familiar with the pixel peeping syndrome and I do not want to make too much out of this. It’s really the rattling that got me to start checking. I did clean the harbor and quill and reinserted the chuck. I have no idea how to separated the chuck from the harbor though. The holes that it makes seem to be alright although I haven’t checked them with precision. Going to the store to have the chuck replaced runs the risk of getting one that is worse.

As for the rattle and vibration at the top (I am not talking about the rattle of the metal cover), I’m not sure. I can’t detect enough of a wobble in the motor or spindle pulleys, and nut and screw are tight on those. Running the motor with nothing else attached doesn’t make too much noise, only the top cover is a problem.

However, the idler pulley in the middle has a definite wobble to it, visible when spinning it by hand, and can be felt easily when the drill is running, contrary to the other 2 pulleys. I am not sure though if that is a real issue. Any opinion? The pulley can be pulled right out but I am not seeing how to disassemble it so I can try to reseat it, if possible. It is not loose at all, but seems to be mounted a bit tilted on its axis.

Thanks for any advice!

-- David - Tucson, AZ

3 replies so far

View NiteWalker's profile


2736 posts in 2541 days

#1 posted 10-21-2012 10:31 PM

FWIW, I’ve never checked my drill press for runout and never had an issue where I felt the need to.

If I chuck a 1/2” bit in there and it drills a 1/2” hole, I’m happy.

I’m not sure if it’s a totally accurate method of checking for runout, but I chuck a 1/2” bit in, drill a hole then unchuck the bit and insert it in the hole by hand. Tight fit = minimal runout.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View mrg's profile


818 posts in 2964 days

#2 posted 10-21-2012 11:01 PM

Your noise is most likely coming from the belt and the idler pulley. If the idler pulley has as much wobble to it as stated then the belt is jumping a bit. If the machine is new I would return it and get another one. If you drill two holes in two pieces of wood not stacked and stack them on each other and the holes line up I would not be concerned with runout.

-- mrg

View LeChuck's profile


424 posts in 3027 days

#3 posted 10-22-2012 12:26 AM

Thanks. Yeah, the runout is not a real concern at this point. I bought the drill press this summer but I didn’t worry about tuning it until recently and bringing back a heavy machine to the store is not a trivial thing, and the replacement could be worse. On the other hand, I might try to go back to the store with my pulley and see if I can get another one off of the floor model…

-- David - Tucson, AZ

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