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!)

When Men were Men, and Wood was King

(Stills from Episode 44)

During one outing in the Yarra Valley (driving to Warburton), I came across a field full of old rusting farm and forestry equipment.

A Field Museum

A Field Museum

One of the vehicles in particular gives an idea of how much harder it was to get things done back then – transporting a single log where these days 40 or more at a time is typical.

I took a few quick photos from the road, and decided to give them a bit of a dated feel to match the age of the equipment themselves.

An Aussie Ute

An Aussie Ute

Pimped out dragster

Pimped out dragster

Bigfoot

Bigfoot

B Double

B Double

Aussie Road Train

Aussie Road Train

The fence in that last photo is also very applicable – made by the traditional method of adze and pull-knife carved mortise and tenons.  Nothing like using machine-shaped timber when making a fence – this is definitely hand-made and hand-dressed-all-round.  Logs are typically split with axe and wedge to produce the rails.

Those carriage wheels are also the work of a real wheel wright, and one of the tools that we still use came from that specific application – the spoke shave.

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