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Remove Chuck From Rockwell Drill Press

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  • Remove Chuck From Rockwell Drill Press

    I just got a Rockwell 15" drill press, found it on CraigsList. The ad said it needed a new motor, I have a Rockwell motor, so I went to get it.

    Not in bad condition, a little dirty, that's all. I plugged it in, and sure enough the motor turned, but the lights dimmed in the shop, so I shut it off and proceeded to pull the motor.

    I started pulling off the pulley and low and behold, the motor turned freely after the pulley was moved. Hmmmmm! Plugged it back in and it works fine. The pulley had worked its down the motor shaft and was rubbing on the motor case.


    Now, I am wondering how to get the chuck off so I can put one on that is not worn out. There is no slot for a drift key and no hole thru the shaft to drive it out.

    How do it work?? It is a model 15-069 if it matters.

    Does anyone know how I can remove the chuck? Should I drive a fork type wedge between the shaft and the chuck?

    Thanks, Dennis

  • #2
    Try to see if you can see the ending of a thread on the shank at the top of the chuck. If not, the fork wedges are used in pairs to keep both sides parallel.
    Kansas City area


    • #3
      I too believe that this requires the proper size of chuck removal wedges. I remember seeing a 15" Rockwell a number of years ago and like yours it also had no slot in the spindle for a drift. Rockwell built a number of drill presses similar to yours with a solid spindle and a JT taper to hold the chuck.

      I removed one on a friends DP a few years ago and got lucky as I could see the end of the spindle when looking up inside the chuck. I was able to use a bearing splitter to remove that one by inserting the screw up through the chuck and onto the spindle.
      Sometimes you can get lucky using this procedure... while locking the spindle in the down position use a brass drift to give the top of the chuck a smart whack.
      If all else fails tighten an end mill in the chuck and try to slot a piece of 1/4" mild steel. Once it's done chattering the chuck should be laying on the ground somewhere.
      Last edited by Willy; 04-13-2015, 10:15 PM. Reason: clarification
      Home, down in the valley behind the Red Angus
      Bad Decisions Make Good Stories​

      Location: British Columbia


      • #4
        Here is a link to one of two parts diagrams available for the
        Delta/Rockwell 15-069
        at Both diag could
        be interpreted as displaying a tapered spindle and chuck removed
        with wedges. Verify.

        Here is a document by Jacobs Chuck describing how to identify
        threaded chucks. Also how to install/remove chucks
        from tapered
        spindles and arbors.



        • #5
          It's probably Jacobs # 6 wedges that will be needed for that spindle. Remove the quill from the drill press and place in a vise with soft jaws. There should be a collar on the spindle to bear against.
          Some drill chucks came with a locking collar that threaded onto the chuck collar. If yours is one of them you'll want a spanner to unscrew that.

          Appearance is Everything...


          • #6
            I actually just found a marking on the chuck " #33 taper " which I have never heard of. Some more research is in my future.



            • #7
              This is the JT taper I was referring to previously, very common taper for a drill chuck or DP spindle. You won't have trouble finding a replacement in a JT33 taper drill chuck.
              Home, down in the valley behind the Red Angus
              Bad Decisions Make Good Stories​

              Location: British Columbia


              • #8
                33 taper is the Jacobs taper of the chuck. Wedges will be needed to remove it, or drill through the inside of the chuck and use a punch to drive it off. In the event neither of these approaches works, tap the drilled hole and use a bolt to drive the chuck off. For expediency, go directly to step three.
                Jim H.