View Full Version : Drill Press Broke.

10-05-2003, 07:34 AM
Help Please. My husband was drilling some 5/8 inch plate on our Gear Head Drill Press and Lo And Behold the entire table broke right off the column. It landed right on his foot. Ouch and spirited words that I have never heard in our 16 years shortly followed. Fortunately a clamp was on the Table which prevented any Toe Loss. Needless to say that was it for work that day. Beer and ice made it a bit less painfull. Now he always wears work boots. (He had running shoes on) Anyhow we must fix it up. Its one of our favorite Machine Tools. Year ago We built a complete Tranny Gear set out of 4340 for it to replace the Fiber Gears that were in it. I need to make an entirely new Sleeve for it that the Table assembly can be fastened to and can be clamped tight.Then the original gear assembly to raise and lower it like it had before. I will try to send a picture when I figure out how with my new Digital Camera. Thanx Audrey


Toolmaker Extrodinair
10-05-2003, 09:27 AM
can appreciate wearing steel toe in shop after dropping 300lbs. on toe and crushing it. Gears could have been made originally to give before breaking something else. hope it doesn't end up in scrap heap.

G.A. Ewen
10-05-2003, 11:32 AM
It's hard to say without seeing it but my first suggestion would be to weld it. If that doesn't work out you can still make a new sleeve. I would turn a short piece of shaft to the size of the column, grind the broken sections so that when they are assembled they have a nice "V" at the break, clamp them to the shaft, preheat, weld with 99% nickel electrode and then dump it into a pail of vermiculite so that it cools as slowly as possible. You will, of course, have to be very careful not to weld it to the shaft so don't "V" it out right to the bottom. If you have a 1/16th of an inch or so unground you shouldn't have any problems.

If you have never welded cast before and don't want to try it yourself you may be able to get someone experienced to do it in exchange for some machine work.

I hope this helps. George

[This message has been edited by G.A. Ewen (edited 10-05-2003).]

10-05-2003, 12:06 PM
Seems to me the larger problem is getting the table perpendicular to the drilling axis after the repair. If it's off even a little, it's pretty much useless.

I'm thinking you should make a new (and stronger) structure to attach to the column with arms extending out under the table. Attach the original table to the arms with bolts. Use a dial indicator and shims as necessary to get the table perpendicular to the drilling axis.

[This message has been edited by winchman (edited 10-05-2003).]

10-05-2003, 04:29 PM
Sue the manufacturer. Or contact them and tell them failure of the table caused a serius injury - you might even get a free replacement as it should never break in the first place.

Spank your husband for not having safety toes shoes on in a commercial shop - bad example for your payroll employees. Bad for workers comp payments too - at least around here it is - your rates sky rocket.

Hope his toe and ego get better soon... http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//wink.gif

10-06-2003, 04:46 PM
Audrey: If you have sufficient material, think about "cold welding". Basically, you drill and tap the material and then cross bolt so the bolts cannot rotate. Let bolt holes pass through bolts, no need to try to make the tapped holes square to any thing, angles are better. once it is bolted tight and flat, grind the heads off. Basically, you would bridge the cracked or broken area with more or less a chunk of bolt steel.

10-06-2003, 10:28 PM
I would have a lawyer write them a letter demanding a new drill press. They are fools if they don't send you one as a full settlement condition. Obviously the failure of the table is a material flaw from what you describe. Take careful close up photos of the fractured surfaces as well as photos of the complete machine and don't repair or change anything until you document the failure carefully. It would be better not do use the machine at all but if you document the failure and get an impartial witness to look at the machine and the documentation you can then repair and use the machine under the general principle of "limiting damages to the manufacturer" since they would likely be liable for lost time and profits due to the failure. No excuse for that kind of failure unless you have really abused the machine and were using it way outside its operating range.

10-07-2003, 07:41 AM
Audrey: when I mentioned "cold welding", I forgot to EMPHASIZE that the broken part is tapped and the tapped hole is filled with bolt threads. The threaded stuff is not used to pull the parts into alignment. Use clamps to hold the part aligned. There is NO un-threaded portion of the repair material (threaded rod or bolt) left in the item to be repaired.

10-07-2003, 06:32 PM
I'd want to find out why it broke in the first place, metal fatigue? or ****ty casting? I'm with those who say rag on the manufacturer about the defect, I can't see why it should have broken in the first place. You could be fixing something that will give again, maybe the damage will be more serious next time.