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Sloppy Drill Press

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  • Sloppy Drill Press

    I have an old Toolex 16” drill press that is getting sloppy. So I decided to pull the spindle out and see what’s going on with the bearings. Got it apart and there isn’t anything wrong with the bearings. I do think the spindle is bent though. I jammed it up one time using a whole saw and did a number on it.

    I put it between centers on a wood lathe and indicated to see that is out about .005”. So my questions are has anyone ever tried to straighten a spindle, and secondly where is all this play coming form?



  • #2
    How is the quill to housing fit? Any cracks in the housing?


    • #3
      Well sadly I think this is what is wrong. It seems to move around in the quill to housing fit. I can't think of anything that can be done for that either. Except look for a new drill press.

      I guess that bent quill and the play makes for a bad combination.

      P.S. I need a milling machine!

      Last edited by Menessis; 02-05-2014, 01:53 PM.


      • #4
        OK, no mill, but couldn't you do a line bore of the casting on a lathe? Or do you have one?

        Look about half way down in this one:

        This one shows me making the boring bar:

        Then make a new quill or bushings for the present one? Or is it worth the effort?

        I have a tail stock with some slop and need to do something similar with it sometime in the future.
        Paul A.
        SE Texas

        And if you look REAL close at an analog signal,
        You will find that it has discrete steps.


        • #5
          I think quill sloppiness is a feature, not a bug, with most drill presses. And sloppy bearings, too, in the Chinese ones.

          I wonder if you could not expand the quill by knurling it, then turning it to a better fit would work? Haven't actually torn down either of my sloppy DPs to check, though.


          • #6
            Pretty sure that "Toolex" drill press is an older taiwan model.
            Knurling sounds like a possibilty.


            • #7
              Might be easier to cut a slot in the front of the head casting and add a pinch bolt to the bottom.


              • #8
                Yes it's an old (from the 80's) made in Taiwan Toolex. But it has good Japanese Bearings.

                I said the H*ll with it. Marked the high side. Put it across a couple of 2 x 4 on the floor and gave it a good smack with another 2 x 4. Back on the lathe between centers to see I had actually bent it too far. A lot too far! Another mark and a few more taps this way and that and I got it fairly straight. I was surprised how easily it bent.

                I noticed it ran smoother as soon as I turned it on.

                Just noticed MrRiggs idea. I like that one. Will have to take a look and see if that is workable.

                Thanks for all the ideas guys.



                • #9
                  Somtimes the throw is a by product of twist in the shaft, when the driven locks in the work the shaft still rotates a bit as it twists and that gives the impression of it being bent, in actual fact there is no way you could introduce a "bend" in a shaft inbetween the supporting bearings so the only explanation is a twist, if it has a keyway allong its length, which was straight you can run an indicator along it and see the deflection.
                  The resulting twist makes the shaft a little shorter too which tightens up the bearings explaining why the thing seems to run better after the straightening process, however the keyway still has the helical form of the deformation,
                  Last edited by boslab; 02-05-2014, 06:11 PM.


                  • #10
                    Forgot to mention that thousands of those Taiwan drill presses were sold back then. And they worked well other than the motors crapping out on some. I know of 4-5 that are still going well, after 30 years of steady shop use daily.


                    • #11
                      A lot of 'lesser grade' drill presses have a sloppy quill. When I needed one for a conversion to a specialty horizontal boring machine, I looked at every one I could put my hands on. Some were pretty bad, the one I settled on was a Delta- it had about the best fit of all. These were small machines, not what you'd expect to be well-fitted.

                      I've wondered if you could sand the bore by using the quill with sandpaper wrapped around it. If it would fit the opening that way, you'd be able to sand out the uneven spots to achieve a rounder bore, then use a liner to take up the gap. You could get lucky and use MRRIGGS method, but if the gap is already quite sloppy you could end up cracking the housing.

                      Line boring then lining would work, but it's likely to cost more than a new drill press.
                      I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-


                      • #12
                        Just wondering,,, Would a sheet of shim stock slipped up in there between the quill and housing work, if i have understood the problem correctly?


                        • #13
                          Long ago on my old Delta I pulled the quill and put a pocket in the casting where the anti spin screw hole is. The pocket holds a 3/16 brass key that the screw now presses against. I used it also to hold the quill down before I got a mill/drill.

                          In retrospect I would have split the case and clamped it.

                          Eddie "Thread Killer" daGrouch (YouTube channel)
                          Smithy CB-1220 (Clark CL500M)

                          Sometimes ya gotta re-invent the wheel to learn how to make wheels.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by sasquatch View Post
                            Forgot to mention that thousands of those Taiwan drill presses were sold back then. And they worked well other than the motors crapping out on some. I know of 4-5 that are still going well, after 30 years of steady shop use daily.
                            Mine is 32 years old, original motor, and has hundreds of hours in it, inc some h/d work. No slop on the quill, original brgs, never been apart.