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Drill press grinding noise?

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Forum topic by William Shelley posted 44 days ago 1071 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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William Shelley

103 posts in 72 days


44 days ago

I was doing some tuning to my drill press that I got last month on craigslist. It’s an ‘80s taiwan-made model by ‘Foremost Machinery’. The person I bought it from had used it exclusively for metalworking, I think. It’s a 16-speed model and he had it set at the slowest speed.

When I went to adjust the speed, I found that the pulleys were on incredibly tight and the motor could not be retracted to relieve tension… something was amiss. At the slow speed (and with a ton of tension on the pulleys), the drill press was fairly quiet and ran pretty true, slight bit of runout at the tip of bits but not too bad.

Well, I REALLY needed to change the speed and I figured that the belts may have been replaced at some point with ones that were too short so I figured I should at least get the belts off so that I could figure out what size to replace with and such. I stuck a putty knife at an angle between the belt and the pulley and rotated the pulley by hand which proved to be successful in levering the overly-tight belt off the pulley. With both belts off, I noticed that one was marked 28cm and the other was marked 27cm.

On a whim, I swapped the location of the belts (AB pulley went to BC and BC pulley went to AB). Voila, the tension problem was resolved, but after getting the speed set to where I wanted and turning the press on, I noticed that there was now a ‘grinding’ noise coming from the spindle.

I recorded a video and I think it does a good job of capturing the symptoms. I noticed that the noise diminished or ceased when I was applying a fair amount of pressure using a larger bit.

I have not owned a drill press other than this one and a cheap Ryobi benchtop model. I don’t have much to compare this experience to. Should I be looking at replacing bearings or is the noise normal?

EDIT: I would say that there is close to zero runout, and this press has a 1HP TEFC induction motor… did i get a good deal at $200 for this?

-- Woodworking from an engineer's perspective


13 replies so far

View Rick M.'s profile

Rick M.

3788 posts in 983 days


#1 posted 44 days ago

Your press is larger but looks identical to my Orbit drill press (also Taiwan from the 70’s or 80’s), even the labels are the same. Orbit was the company that made Jet drill presses. Anyway, sounds like loose pulleys to me but could be bearings.

-- |Statistics show that 100% of people bitten by a snake were close to it.|

View dhazelton's profile

dhazelton

1156 posts in 900 days


#2 posted 44 days ago

You have quill bearings in there which may need to be repacked (if not sealed) or replaced. Also the quill should be greased where it rides in the upper pulley. But it could also just be the sheet metal housing rattling away.

View William Shelley's profile

William Shelley

103 posts in 72 days


#3 posted 44 days ago

Ok. I have not disassembled this unit yet. If the quill bearings need regreasing, what type of grease should I use? And it seems like from the replies that it isn’t an issue that would result in failure of the machine if I keep using it for at least a little while in it’s current state, correct?

-- Woodworking from an engineer's perspective

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dhazelton

1156 posts in 900 days


#4 posted 43 days ago

You could just shoot some silicone spray in that hole while working the arm up and down. D40 may leak out but if it quiets down immediately then at least you know it you’re in the right area causing the noise. Drilling though steel is harder on a machine than drilling through wood obviously, so run out and earlier bearing replacement would be considered normal. If it’s acceptable to you as is then just use it. It’s not gonna blow up and if it drills a hole where you want it and doesn’t strain than you should be fine. If it starts screeching or the motor lugs then it’s time to take things apart.

As far as money goes, I have no idea what’s available where you are or for how much. If you’re happy with it that’s all that matters. $200 is dinner out for a couple, or a cut and color (for my wife) , so buying a machine for that doesn’t seem like a lot in the scheme of things.

View William Shelley's profile

William Shelley

103 posts in 72 days


#5 posted 43 days ago

Thanks for the advice. I didn’t have silicone spray but I had some PTFE (teflon) dry spray lubricant that I tried. The noise quieted very slightly but it still sounds like it’s coming from the front pulley/bearing, where the splined shaft telescopes. I suppose this means that it’s a worn bearing needing replacement.

-- Woodworking from an engineer's perspective

View Bobin29's profile

Bobin29

10 posts in 1388 days


#6 posted 42 days ago

I had a similar sound on my Grizzly drilll press. I got some quiet by making tiny little doorstop type pieces and tapping them in between the casting and the bottom belt guard. What I should do is take off the pullies and lift off the belt guard and put rubber pieces between the guards and the casting. Truth be known it’s just too much work. The little wedges work okay. Someday maybe I’ll do it right. Bob

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lacoutardes

2 posts in 708 days


#7 posted 42 days ago

Try this, unplug your drill, take off the belts, plug in the drill, try to turn on your motor. If the noise is good turn it off. Unplug the drill.
Try to turn the intermediate pulley, look for any loose on the shaft.
Now try to turn the chuck by the upper pulley if you eard some grinding noise its probably one of the bearings the upper one. If you eard some friction noise search for any parts in contact with the spindle. if its the bearing its from the excessive belt tension for many years. You may have need help from mecanic friend to reach the bearing.

Sorry if some spelling mistake, I am better in french…;o))

Dan

-- Au commencement, Dieu créa l'Homme, et le voyant si faible il lui donna le Chien. Alphonse Toussenel, L'esprit des bêtes, 1868

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OldLarry

18 posts in 766 days


#8 posted 42 days ago

Drill presses are simple machines. You can replace the bearings yourself. They shouldn’t cost much and can be had at any industrial bearing supplier. I use Motion Industries, they have lots of outlets. If you use many tools it is worth having some tools to service them. The belts need the proper tension or they will “flap” and cause vibration. Good chance the bearings should be replaced if the tension has been run too tight for a long time.

-- Larry, Nebraska

View Rick M.'s profile

Rick M.

3788 posts in 983 days


#9 posted 42 days ago

Larry made a good point, my drill press makes an awful racket if I get the belt too tight.

-- |Statistics show that 100% of people bitten by a snake were close to it.|

View William Shelley's profile

William Shelley

103 posts in 72 days


#10 posted 42 days ago

Yeah I’m thinking that because of the large amount of tension that was left on for so long (probably 5 years or more before I bought it), the bearings may have flat spots. Sometime in the next few weeks I might tear this all apart and order some repair parts. For the immediate future I’ll just live with the noise since the DP still performs like a champ.

My next great adventure after replacing bearings is going to be finding a set of drill bits that doesn’t wobble…

-- Woodworking from an engineer's perspective

View OSU55's profile

OSU55

100 posts in 592 days


#11 posted 42 days ago

I have a Delta drill press that’s probably ‘80’s vintage, and sounds like yours. Bought it on craigslist a few years ago. I tore it down because of the noise and found all bearings fine. I then broke the end of the quill off while turning something with it (the fracture surface showed old fatigue stress cracks, probably from being used to turn with – I now have a lathe for turning). After inspecting everything again and replacing the quill, the noise is still there. It won’t hurt to tear it down and it may be educational if you haven’t done it before but you may find nothing wrong. I think the noise in mine may be the shaft that floats above the quill (allowing it to stroke). I’ve used mine this way 4-5 years with no issue.

View bluplanet's profile

bluplanet

31 posts in 1265 days


#12 posted 42 days ago

I have a much older drill press…an old Homecraft. I had a problem with it that you might want to check on yours. There’s a set screw in the side of the quill pulley that was missing on my drill press and may be too loose on yours. The effect on my drill press was that the pulley would try to ride up when I retracted the quill. The increasing belt tension as the pulley rode up put a limitation on that, but a new 5/16-18 doged point hex socket set screw fixed the problem. In your case, it may just cause rattling.

You have a center pulley cluster that enables a much wider range of adjustment than I have. I only have the motor pulley and the quill pulley. It would be really nice if the center pulley were on a spring loaded swing crank that pushes it off to the side. That way, the pulley belt tension would be controlled by an idler wheel.

Before you say, “Well that would be nice but I don’t have that so what’s the point?”, You might want to check replacement parts at Grizzly.com. All of those Chinese tools are fairly accurate knock-offs of old Delta-Rockwell tools (and other brands).

I needed a couple of parts for my Rigid 14” band saw and found them in a Grizzly exploded parts .pdf on their web site. I got the whole blade tention/tilt assembly very reasonably. I think Grizzly must make their money on the initial purchase and then they sell replacement parts at close to cost. I love their catalog.

Anyway, look for a similar drill press in their catalog and then look up the replacement parts PDF. You just might find an idler on a swing crank arm that actually fits your drill press, even if it takes some modification. Unfortunately, part of the upgrade might include replacing the sheet metal belt-gard box with one that has a bump on one side allowing the idler to swing to the side.

I hope the tight belt didn’t wear down your bearings (but there’s a good chance Grizzly has replacements.) There shoud be a bolt adjustment that clamps the quill a bit and takes much of the runout away, You might actually have to crank the quill up out of your work instead of just letting go and having it fly up though.

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bluplanet

31 posts in 1265 days


#13 posted 42 days ago

By the way, worn bearings won’tl have flat spots. Instead, there’s more likely to be a scintered oil-lite bearing worn out of round into an oval or egg shape.

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