Harbor Fright Drill Press

I have had an HF 43389 drill press for atleast a decade. Probably 12-13 years. I have never been very happy with it, but at the time I had a job to
do and it was the only thing big enough that I could afford. My primary complaint is that it wobbles. I thought maybe sloppy or poor quality spindle bearings, but grabbing ahold of the quill or spindle and trying to physically move it back and forth just didn't satisfy me as the cause of the wobble. Oh, there is some play, but it doesn't seem to be enough.
In order to drill a hole in a plate I would use something else to center punch the hole, sometimes even pilot drill it, and then let the plate move around on the table (with a fence to prevent spinning) of the drill press. Pretty sad way to drill a hole, but it worked.
I realized one day a couple months ago it has a removable chuck arbor. The manual lists it as an MT-2 with a JT3. Well, its been bouncing around in the back of my head until one day I realized "Doh!" the drill chuck for the mini lathe is an MT-2. I had nothing to remove the taper on the drill press so I ordered a lever action wedge to do the trick and popped the chuck arbor out of the drill press today. I tried the chuck and arbor from the mini lathe. Wow! Almost no wobble at all by comparison. Oh, its not perfect, but its so much better I can actually see me using the drill press more often now. I don't know if the original MT-2/JT3 can be fixed or why it wobbles, but I can now use my drill press with the one from the mini lathe.
After all these years. Woo Hoo!
Now I have a question.
How do I seat the arbor so that it stays firmly in the drill press without slipping? I was able to press it in by hand enough to drill some test holes in a piece of aluminum plate, but it did slip on the third hole.
I hesitate to consider a hammer as I would be afraid of knocking my chuck out of alignment with its arbor or something like that. There is a shaft in the center hole where the pulley goes on which would prevent the use of a drawbar.
The chuck from the mini mill is only 1/2" but I don't think I have ever needed a larger one on the drill press before. All my big bits and silver and deming stuff is 1/2" shaft.
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Of course what do I do almost immediately. Misplace the chuck key for the new chuck. Grrrrrr!
I changed bits one time and the chuck key just vaporized.
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I got one of those super magnets about the size of a quarter, and mine is right there. Had a string on it. Yeah, it was a bad idea, but at the time, it looked okay. The string is gone, and nothing got damaged, and I like the magnet a lot more.
Steve
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On 10/27/2010 3:14 PM, Bob La Londe wrote:

Bob, get the tapers inside and out clean and oil-free as possible - 91% alcohol from Walgreens works fine. Check for burrs on both surfaces and stone off anything suspect. degrease again. Then press the arbor into the spindle with a press. Don't load it up, 1000-lbs or so is probably all you need. If you intend to leave it there, a little blue Loctite would help things stay put, as insurance.
(Suggestion plagiarized from the HSM or PIM magazine I read last night)
--
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RBnDFW wrote:

Or perhaps just freeze the chuck for a while and hand press it into the warm spindle and let it do a shrink fit of sorts?
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I like that. Elegant and simple. I suspect a thorough cleaning and degreasing still would not hurt. How cold do you think? I have a freezer in the house garage set at about 0F. Not sure what the one in the shop fridge is set at as all I use it for is making and storing ice for fishing and camping trips. If I do it that way do you think that when it gets cold it might slip? The shop is not heated, but it is insulated. Sometimes it gets cold enough that I wear a light jacket to work out there on the coldest winter days or if I leave the doors open while welding.
Yeah, I was considering just leaving it in there. I don't use the mini lathe all that much, and I can always just order another chuck for it.
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wrote:

I'd just watch for condensation. Keep it in a bag and unwrap right before insertion. On the other hand, if I recall correctly, you're in Yuma, so condensation may be a non-issue.
Pete Keillor
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Bob La Londe wrote:

Ambient temperature in the shop shouldn't matter, since after it's installed both the spindle and the taper shank will be at the same temperature. You're just cooling the shank to shrink it a bit, so that after you hand install it, as it warms to match the spindle it will expand and tighten the fit without the need for excessive pressing force.
A clean tight fitting taper shouldn't have anywhere for condensation to form, and the exposed parts can easily be wiped and oiled.
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    [ ... ]
    [ ... ]

    Normally -- what I do is hold the chuck about an inch or two below the fit point in the spindle, make sure the tang is aligned, and then slam it up to wedge in place.
    Now -- the original drill chuck could have any of several problems.
    The first which I would consider is that the arbor is either bent or just made off center. Easiest to check if you can pop the chuck off the arbor and just measure runout on the arbor's Jacobs taper. Check runout at both the large and small end. If they differ, it is likely bent, and a new arbor might fix your problems. (Typically, the chucks supplied with these drill presses are too large for drilling steel at the slowest RPM available from the belts and pulleys supplied, so a 1/2" chuck is a better choice anyway. For larger drill bits, get ones with a MT-2 shank and put them in the spindle in place of the drill chuck. For the really big ones which I have (3/4" to 1") which have MT-3 shanks, I need a step-up adaptor for drilling.
    I have one of these drill presses from perhaps 30 years ago or so -- not sure whether it was Harbor Freight -- it was a tool sale set up at a hotel in the area -- you know -- here today, gone tomorrow. :-)
    If the arbor is right -- then it is possible that there is a burr or a chip on one of the jaws in the chuck. Open it, and use a flashlight to examine the inside surfaces of the jaws.
    And -- it is possible that the drill chuck was improperly assembled. To fix that, you need to make a couple of pressing fixtures, and work with the jaws set to about half size. You press the geared shell forward, and when it is free, a ring will split in half (held closed only by the shell). Once that is off, you can try interchanging the jaws. Ideally, all three should project the same distance from the body. If out of order, they won't, and they will hold things very off center. So -- you need to make two pressing rings -- one for pressing on the back of the shell, and the other for pressing on the geared part (aluminum so you don't mangle the gear teeth).

    I just use the "slam" approach whenever I change things in the spindle. The chuck, two different tapping heads for different ranges of tap sizes, MT-2 shank drills, and (presumably) someday the original chuck again. :-) The chuck which I am using is a nice keyless precision chuck -- but if I ever fit the drill up with a reversible motor for left-hand drills or taps, I'll need a keyed chuck, as the keyless loosens in reverse. (Or a very expensive version of the keyless which locks. :-)

    No. You start with a difference in temperature. Once it is in place, the temperature of the arbor and the spindle will be the same, so they will both shrink and expand at the same rate. If you can heat the spindle at the same time as you cool the arbor, the shrink fit will be stronger -- but you may never get it to let go.

    Don't worry! it is not a problem.

    Or -- get a nice keyless Albrecht (or clone) chuck for the drill press.
    Good Luck,         DoN.
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[poor drilling accuracy with original chuck]

If the arbor on the 'bad' chuck isn't an accurate taper, it can stick (one end of the cone is in good metal contact) and still wobble (other end of the cone is loose). It's likely your spindle is OK if it holds the 'good' chuck well, but the 'bad' chuck may require regrinding. Check first by cleaning the taper and rubbing it with a hone (just to feel out if there's any raised spots). If it reseats and centers accurately, it might just have been a bit of grime that sabotaged you all these years.
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Blink blink.....
Clean both the hole and the arbor..stick it in and hit it with a 2x4 a moderate wack.
Then go back to work doing stuff with it.
Its not rocket science
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Bob, the chuck for the drill press most likely has a tang on the end, while the chuck arbor from the lathe does not. At least my lathe chucks is that way. Once the lathe arbor is in the drill press, there will be little chance of removing it. I also have a set of Morse 2 drills with tangs that get used in the drill press. You may need something like that in the future and would not be able to use them.
Paul
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wrote:

Good point. There is that difference on mine also. The end of the lathe chuck arbor only sticks into the opening about 1/8 inch.

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Bob La Londe wrote:

1/8" may not be much, but exactly how far does it have to move to unlock the taper, a few thousandths?
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wrote:

I'm pretty sure I could get it out again with a wedge and a hammer, but if I am going to buy another arbor anyway... Actually I was thinking of getting a short arbor for the mini lathe to increase the drilling range of the tail stock a bit.
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    [ ... ]

    And how are you going to get the short arbor out of the tailstock if you need to put something else in there? Some tailstock rams have the same holes for a drill drift key that the drill press does. Others do not, and you might have to do something extreme like removing the ram from the tailstock, clamping it in wood in a vise, and putting a rod through the threaded hole in the back of the ram to drive the chuck arbor out.
    *Always* plan for removal. Something may happen to damage the chuck, and you don't want it to be permanent in that case.
    Good Luck,         DoN.
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    Put it in gently and make sure that the leadscrew still hits something to eject it. I got an interchangeable tip live center and had to make a part to screw into the threads on the back so it would eject with my lathe.
    Enjoy,         DoN.
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wrote:

I got a new arbor and chuck from Little Machine Shop for the drill press and the mini lathe both. Both keyless. The short arbor works perfectly in the mini lathe and gives me more than an inch of extra travel on the tail stock when drilling. It pops out just like it is supposed to when I retract the tail stock too. The regular one with chuck has even less wobble than the one from the mini lathe on the drill press. Of course I spent the entire afternoon looking for one of my cans of cleaner in the shop. I have a quart can of denatured alcohol around somewhere... I guess its time to clean and organize the shop again. LOL.
I think I'll use the freezing trick to remount the chucks on the arbors, but now that I know the quill/spindle itself on this drill press is not horrible I can see myself doing other things with it. Things that might require being able to get the arbor out of the drill.
Thanks everybody. This was an awesome thread.
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Chink chucks and arbors frequently have only an occasional resemblance to straight-with-the-world.
Old-timey shop kink, take chalk, like blackboard chalk or a chalkline ball, run three or four lines lengthwise on the taper. Doesn't matter what color. Shove it in and it's not likely to come out without the taper key being used. If it does, you might consider getting a tanged name brand arbor(and maybe a chuck!). Not sure what the chalk does exactly except it does work. With blackboard chalk, I think it's held together with rosin. Have inherited a half-bucket full of chalkline balls so I'm not likely to run out soon. I do this a lot when using big taper shanks in the tailstock for drilling.
There are some Morse taper cleaner gizmos out there, the ones I've seen are green plastic and have flats on them. Might be there's some junk in the spindle that you could remove that way.
Chuck keys don't disappear if you stick a magnet on the head of the drill press. I use a magnetron donut, two in each dud microwave. The other goes on the gearbox of the 4x6, the hope is that any iron shaved off the chink gears will get sucked out of the lube before it hits the bearings. Handy there for parking hex wrenches.
Stan
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