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Old 07-21-2011, 11:20 AM   #1
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Drill Press Safety -- Big Problem

I learned yesterday -- the hard way -- that I don't know as much about drill press safety as I should. Today, I'm here to find out what I didn't know but should have.

I have a 3-4 year old Sears Craftsman 2/3 HP bench-top drill press. I have been using it off and on during those 3-4 years without incident. it doesn't get a lot of use.

Yesterday, I needed to drill a small, short hole in a small piece of wood. i would normally have used my regular drill, but it was upstairs, and I didn't want to make a run up there after it. And, anyway, it was just such a simple thing I was trying to do.

I inserted the small bit into the chuck as usual. When I turned the drill on, the chuck came flying off and pummeled into my hand. It left a bruise, and a very nasty laceration across the top of my left index finger.

I looked at the thing this morning, and now I am completely befuddled. There is a steel shaft that comes down for the chuck to be mounted to; it is smooth... no threads. I looked at the inside of the chuck, and it is also smooth. I couldn't figure out how the thing is supposed to be attached to the shaft, or what keeps it there. There is a small hole in the end of the shaft. If there is something that should go into that hole, it is gone. I have never noticed any loose parts falling out around the machine.

Can anyone tell me what I obviously don't know?

Thanks in advance.


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Old 07-21-2011, 11:34 AM   #2
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What you are looking at is a machine taper, often called a Morse taper. You simply push the chuck up into the arbor with a firm "umph", and it stays there. Not sure which end you are referring to that has a hole, but there should be a slot in the arbor into which you can insert a tapered drift, in order to remove the chuck as needed. Now, there are some, well actually a lot, of people here more knowledgable than me, I am sure, but when inserting the chuck, I like to have the arbor down a 1/4 turn or so, to make sure that the chuck fully seats. Also, when operating your drill press, hold onto the handle until the arbor is fully retracted. Releasing it early, and letting it freewheel up, is a possible cause for it coming loose.


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Old 07-21-2011, 12:29 PM   #3
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The previous poster is correct, except there is no tapered drift on that drill-press (or at least there isn't one on my crapsman tabletop drill press)
The hole you are referring to is likeley where a center touched to form the taper in a lathe. It was for the manufacturing and has no function.

Make sure the surfaces are clean and smooth.
I used a scotchbrite and de-greaser when mine came off, gave it a good whap with a hammer. And it's never come off again.
If you have bigger burrs or scratches, you might need a file or fine grit sandpaper.

Hope this helps.
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Old 07-22-2011, 12:28 PM   #4
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Thanks for the info. I thought about giving mine a good whack with a hammer, and now I think I will.
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Old 10-06-2011, 03:59 PM   #5
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Make sure that both the taper and the hole are clean or it wont stay if you still have a problem with it staying sprinkle a little baby powder or talkum powder on the taper and give it a good wack it will help create friction and make the chuck stay
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Old 10-06-2011, 04:37 PM   #6
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Mine's the same way. You don't want any burs or foreign objects on the shaft or inside the chuck. Never lubricate it unless you use a lubricant to clean the surface then dry both surfaces thoroughly with a clean rag and thump that sucker back onto the shat. I would first withdraw the jaws of the chuck, then place the chuck over the shaft and use a block of wood under the chuck to hit with a hammer once or twice. A single sure-blow would be best.

Letting the lowering control fly is what loosens the chuck. Always hang on to one of the handles and return to lowering control to its upward resting position gently.
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Old 10-07-2011, 03:03 PM   #7
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Hey, guys...

Thanks for the tips. I haven't been back to work on the drill press since my accident, but my hand is pretty well healed now, so knowing what I know now from you guys, I won't have to be quite so gun-shy about using it. It does come in handy for certain things, after all.


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drill press , maintenance , safety

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