Sloppy drill press key

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Forum topic by toddbeaulieu posted 12-04-2014 12:00 AM 1275 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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814 posts in 3031 days

12-04-2014 12:00 AM

hello, I have a crummy old delta 17-965 drill press. The chuck works just fine but the key is super sloppy and irritating. The key does not look worn at all to me. I assumed it was the wrong key but it doesn’t look like that’s the case. The chick is a jt3 and the key says k3. The key rod seems to fit exactly in the chuck hole. It’s the TEETH that seem wrong. I considered buying a keyless chuck but event that purchase doesn’t seem straight forward. If I could get a tight fitting key I’d be happy for how often I use the drill.

Does anyone understand what’s going wrong here?

Thank you!

8 replies so far

View Ripthorn's profile


1458 posts in 3012 days

#1 posted 12-04-2014 12:09 AM

jt3 refers to the taper on which the chuck mounts. It has nothing to do with the teeth or the collar. Each manufacturer’s teeth count and pitch can be slightly different. It can be very irritating. If you can find the brand and/or model number, you can usually find out what key goes with it. If it is the original drill press, you might be able to get that info in the manual. If you do decide to go keyless, you just have to look for a jt3 (jacobs taper 3) chuck. Check out Shars, as they have them pretty cheap.

-- Brian T. - Exact science is not an exact science

View dhazelton's profile


2771 posts in 2323 days

#2 posted 12-04-2014 12:25 AM

Crummy? I’ll haul it away for you. Or you could buy a four way multi-key for a couple of dollars and probably get a better fit.

View toddbeaulieu's profile


814 posts in 3031 days

#3 posted 12-04-2014 06:22 PM

Thanks Brian,

I had no idea about how that. I can’t find a name on my chuck even after removing it. All it says is “08 – 16mm JT3”.

While I was tempted to go keyless, and I normally look for ANY excuse to buy a new tool I was irritated at the idea of replacing the entire chuck because of a simple key. Plus, the one keyless on Amazon that I thought was a reasonable price says it usually ships in MONTHS.

I found what is supposed to be the exact key that came with the drill through a Delta parts list for the press … on eBay for $10 and free shipping.

View hvroberts's profile


40 posts in 3309 days

#4 posted 12-04-2014 10:26 PM

You do not have the origional key. Take the chuck off and go to your local hardware store. They will have a bunch of different keys. Find the one that fits. I have done this before. It’s so simple and most folks don’t realize that it’s all they have to do.

-- Hvroberts, Up North In Maine

View toddbeaulieu's profile


814 posts in 3031 days

#5 posted 12-05-2014 08:21 PM

Hvroberts, you sure know how to make a guy feel dumb! ;)

That’s a great idea. Hopefully the one coming in is the perfect fit.

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5849 posts in 3612 days

#6 posted 12-05-2014 09:43 PM

It is quite simple really it goes up to sixteen mm so a drill bit of sixteen mill is the max bit it can take .Actually that is good most go up to around a half inch or just over twelve mill I have a number of 19 mm ones which are three quarter inch capacity.And is carried on a Jacobs number three taper.That is the little taper which is jam fitted from the end of the drill taper into the back of the head of the jacobs chuck it will probably be a morse taper on e the long shaft which fits inside the drill quill.Anything with jacobs is usually very good stuff.Have fun remember also the three quarter inch ones or 19 mm nominal sizes are quite a lot more expensive than the standard 12mm.Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View Holbs's profile


1878 posts in 2056 days

#7 posted 12-06-2014 12:12 AM

ahhh… geez. i felt dumb all this time (i’m getting rather used to it). Purchased a 10” Delta drill press and the key for the chuck just seems… slightly off. Kinda thought keys were universal actually. Are all Delta keys identical?

-- The Carpenter Bee is derived from the Ancient Greek word wood-cutter

View toddbeaulieu's profile


814 posts in 3031 days

#8 posted 12-07-2014 11:30 PM

Thanks for help all! I got my new key this weekend and it fits perfectly!

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