A Question on Drill Presses

It was a good question posed in a recent comment, so thought I’d post the response here.  The issue experienced (and I’ve had it as well, as have many others I’m sure), is the morse taper that holds the chuck of the drill press falling out. (The other benefit of posting the answer here, is it then is a post about drill presses that I’ve apparently been somewhat remiss in my coverage 😉 )

My first solution in this case, is to wind the jaws fully into the chuck (so they don’t get damaged), then tap the base of the chuck with a wooden mallet to drive the taper tight.

Over time, if there is any slippage, the taper can become rather polished, so rubbing a bit of chalk on it, then tapping the taper home can help dramatically.

Getting more involved, you can coat the taper with Engineering Blue, push the taper home, remove it and see where contact is being made.  If there are  few high spots, you can carefully polish them down with a bit of wet & dry sandpaper.

If the contact area is very poor (and that would be an obvious reason why a taper just won’t stay put), you can get a morse taper reamer for about $A40 or so.  Given it is pretty much a 1-use tool (you really are unlikely to ever need it again!), it is debatable whether it is worth going this far.

Finally, I’d recommend staying away from Loctite – it makes removal when required very nasty (needing heat etc).  I also would stay away from deliberately roughing up the surfaces.

I wouldn’t be against using a touch (as in a single small drop) of Cyanoacrylate (aka SuperGlue).  The reason is – it is a very brittle adhesive, so when the taper needs to be removed (assuming you have one with a slot higher up to use a wedge and hammer to remove the taper), the glue will fail under impact loading (hammer!), can be removed with a solvent, and does not permanently damage the metal surfaces.

So there are some options – hopefully one poses a good fit 🙂 (pun intended!)

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