For any craftsman, woodworker or carpenter, a functioning and effective drill press is a necessary tool in their garage. However, after continuous use over time, it is likely that parts of the drill press may require cleaning and maintenance in order to maintain its performance.
Drill presses serve a number of functions. They include:
A drill press is used to make clean, large holes through wood, a job which would otherwise be difficult if a hand-held drill is used instead. These holes can be made in planks of varying thickness and with an acute precision.
After drilling a hole, it is likely that you might to deburr it to allow for a clear and clean hole. Typically, you could find that the top part of the hole is clean while the bottom part still has some burrs. Using a drill press in such a situation is not only easier, but it also allows for more accuracy than if a human being did the deburring.
A drill press can also be used to make long spindle holes. With this machine, you can get a hole whose specifications are exact with regards to positioning, depth, and straightness.
Reaming is done where there is a need for absolute accuracy. Here, a hole of a much smaller diameter than is needed is drilled. Afterward, a reamer is then used to expand the hole into the required diameter. This is done using a slow speed and at a relatively slow speed in order to achieve the desired accuracy. This type of drilling is usually done where the precision should be more than two-thousands of an inch of the diameter of the hole to be made.
The most important part of a drill press that enables these functions to be carried out is the chuck. As such, in order to effectively perform its functions, the chuck must be well-maintained through regular cleaning, checks, and repairs. At some point, the user might be required to replace the chuck in order to maintain the functionality of the drill press.
Below, the ways through which you can clean, remove, repair and replace your drill press chuck will be discussed.
Drill Press Chuck
A chuck is a part of a drill press that is used to hold the spindle of a drill bit. The spindle is the part that makes holes in the wood. Usually, this part of the drill press has movable jaws that can be adjusted for different diameters.
The drill press chuck can be tightened or loosened by using geared wrench known as a chuck key. Alternatively, a human being can physically tighten the chuck around the shank.
Due to its extensive functionality, a chuck has a high likeliness of wearing out after continuous use. This gives rise of the need to clean, repair, or replace it.
Cleaning a Drill Press Chuck
The following are the steps to be taken when cleaning a drill press chuck:
- The first step is to disconnect the drill press from a power source. This ensures that you avoid any electricity-related accidents.
- Carefully remove the chuck from the press using a spindle, or any other appropriate tool. For the next steps, the tools you will need include a brass bushing, a vice, and a hammer.
- The next step is to disassemble the chuck. There are two types of chucks: the male-mount or the female-mount chuck. Each of these is disassembled in a similar manner. This is done by rotating the collar until the jaws are wide open. The jaws would then be completely retracted to enable the parts of the chuck to be picked out in parts.
- Afterward, clear the chuck of any bits found in them as these hinder its performance. Note that the parts of a chuck should be cleaned using only soft brushes. Sandpaper or such rough material could reduce the friction of the parts, hence ruining the grip and ultimately, the chuck.
- Use an air compr essor to blow out grime and dust bits that may be stuck in the chuck. When doing this, be sure to wear safety sunglasses in order to prevent the particles from getting into your eyes.
- The final step to cleaning a drill press chuck is to lubricate the moving parts. This is done by applying lubricant to the jaws of the chuck, rotating the collars, and rhythmically retracting and extending the jaws until the lubricant is worked into all parts. Any excess lubricant should be wiped off.
Removing a Drill Press Chuck
It might take quite a bit of effort in order to remove the chuck from the drill press. This is because, for its effective use, a drill press chuck is usually tightened around the spindle. Some drill presses have a setscrew while others do not For the former (reversible drills), you should rotate chuck jaws until they are open, then turn the setscrew in a clockwise direction until you can get the setscrew out of the spindle.
On the other hand, some drill press chucks can be removed using a key. In this case, the chuck removal key is inserted into a slot then hit by a hammer which then knocks out the chuck from the spindle.
Replacing the Drill Press Chuck
After disassembling the drill and cleaning it, you will be required to assemble it again and replace it. The following steps are taken when replacing a drill press chuck:
- Reassemble the chuck. This is done first, replacing the first jaw. Afterward, rotate it clockwise and replace the second jaw, and again go in the same direction and replace the third jaw. While doing this, oil the parts for better functionality.
- The next step is reinstalling the chuck into the spindle by first raising the spindle to a high position, then tightening the quill lock in order to secure it.
- After this, the chuck shank is placed into the quill spindle. The necessary adjustments should be made to enable the shank to fit into the spindle. The jaws of the chuck are then fully retracted, and the bottom of the chuck is then hit by a hammer to secure it into the seat of the shank.
After you are done replacing the chuck, plug in the drill press to determine that it works well.