The Drill Press is a fairly simple machine with a chuck at the end of a spindle, which is powered by a motor along with a quill which helps it go up or down. Like any other machine, The Drill Press requires some maintenance work and upkeep from time to time If the maintenance work is lacking, it will compromise upon the drill machine’s performance and accuracy. Some regular upkeep tasks include cleaning then lubricating the chuck, examining the pulleys and the belt, tightening the chuck and quill, checking the spindle for wobble, and adjusting the table’s raising and lowering mechanism.
The first step into administering any machine is to check whether it is plugged or unplugged. If plugged in, switch off the power, and unplug the machine. Then check the wire for any sort of tears or cracks. A small problem here could cause issues in the motor of the entire machine. Once the wire has been examined, the next part to examine is the chuck and clean it well so that the bit is centered properly. What can be done is, using a cloth wipe the chuck and its connecting part, removing and excess grime which is the main cause of rust. Next, open the jaws up all the way, and protecting your face, spray some compressed air into it, as to blow out any leftover sawdust. After that, apply a film of drying lubricant again into the jaws. Then, use the jaws by tightening and loosening them so that the lubricant reaches everywhere. finally, use the compressed air to blow out any excess material, and wipe the outside of the chuck and jaws clean.
Next is the examining of the pulleys and the belt, for which the top cover of the drill press must be removed temporarily. It is important for the drill press to be unplugged while removing the cover Once the top cover is off, rotate the pully around manually and check for any sort of cracks, lumps, or irregularities on the belt. Also look at the pulley’s themselves for any sort of dents or chip-offs. If there is anything appearing out of the ordinary in the belt or the pulleys, the best course of action would be to replace them. Then, check the smoothness by plugging in the machine and using the variable speed mechanism. Remember to protect your face while performing this act. Check if the belt is moving along smoothly, and also listen for any irregularities while the belt is in motion. Again, if anything appears out of the ordinary here, it would require you to change the bearings.
Now, if your drill press does not have the variable speed add-on, you must check the pully and make sure it is attached tight. In such drill presses, using your hand make sure that the belt is not too loos. If this is the case, simply open the machine and slide the extension back until the belt becomes tight again, then tighten the extension back into the machine.
Moving on, the next act is to check if the chuck is tight on the end of the spindle, and then check if the quill tube is connected to the machine tightly. The quill tube is the tube at the end of which the spindle rotates. First, extend the quill and bring it down, then lock it there. Then, with light motion, try moving the tube. If there are any signs of wobble, some adjustment is required there.
If the chuck feels loose at the end of the spindle, the best thing to do here would be to take it out and then fit it back in again. To be even more conservative, unmount the entire chuck and wipe it clean so that it fits back perfectly. The tools required to unmount the chuck are available with the machine itself.
The next step is to check whether the chuck makes any irregular movements when performing any activity. This test helps determine how accurately the machine functions. Firstly, insert a perfectly straight and smooth shaft into the chuck and tighten it. Then you will require a tool called a Dial Indicator, which is mounted to a magnetic base.
Then, with the drill press unplugged, rest the dial indicator on the table while bringing its plunger in minute contact with the straight shaft. The plunger should basically meet the straight shaft perpendicularly.
Next, after making sure the dial indicator is set to zero, slowly rotate the chuck by hand and check how far the dial indicator’s needle moves from zero in either direction. If the dial indicator shows the needle moving more than 5000ths of an inch, it is considered abnormal for the machine. M such scenarios, it is appropriate to look into the manual where the proper instructions to fix wobbles are mentioned. If any parts require being replaced, do so.
Moving on to the last bit is checking the table of the drill press for sturdiness. It is common sense that the table is perfectly straight when doing any sort of work on it. In other words, the quill tube must form a right angle when imagined that it touches the table. To check if the table is straight, use a leveling tool. Accurate leveling tools are now available on all the smartphones and are a great help. If the table appears to be tilted, simply loosen the pivot point under the table, bring it back to its correct angle, and tighten it back.
Lastly, check if the table’s raising and lowering mechanism functions smoothly by using it It is a good idea to often lubricate it with a penetrating lubricant, then with a brush remove any grime or sawdust that may have been stuck in there and has gotten free because of the lubricant. After that, wipe the rod clean removing any leftover penetrating lubricant. Once that is wiped off, you may use a dry lubricant and that will work as a finishing touch.
This marks the end of how the drill press should be tuned up. Remember to always be cautious when handling any kind of machinery.