Old heavy duty drill press modification


I have an old cast iron Craftsman drill press. It has a chuck with a lock collar.

I was wondering

a) where can I find a replacement for this chuck, I've found one place but like options.

b) is their some sort of adapter that I could buy that would allow me to do light milling operations like fly cutting.

The manual can be found here:

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It mentions that this is designed for side loading applications like routing.

I would like to fly cut a few small (2" tubes of a yet undetermined exact length) pieces of aluminum. Enco has 1/2" straight shank flycutters on sale set of 3 for around $7 USD.

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Aluminum ....fly cutting ..

I'll buld a horiz mill . It will have a R8 and a std , but removable bar . 3 axis ...

Cars AC clutch with 6908 ballbearings for R8 spindle . VXB bearing has 6908's for $7.50 , but i had to return $600 in metric BB , they grind bad , so i'll be doin my bearing business with Fastenal they have done me good for 400 BB allready , dont know why i experimented with the Asians at VXB !!

Next i'll build a boring machine , table rotates , can be used for a vert lathe ... Just got 4 Taiwan keyless chucks and arbors , set of cheap R8 collets and now i need a x-y table ... Its easy to build when you figure that you dont need what the factory mill has , for they must build that way for flexibility .

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Do everything on a drill press or mill or lathe .... at least thats the first thought that comes to mind ..

But remember the rule , if the work is light wt , it moves on an x-y table , if its hvy , the head moves over the work . Alum is fun to work if its hardened . Horiz mill ? Expensive ! Make ur own It has a combo R8 and the std bar ,but removable ..

Its so rigid , you dont get into trouble like you do trying to make the D'P' work sideways like a mill do .

im just complaining ....,

Next thing id like to try is poor mans grinding , with a cheap bench gndr and a table with the wheel poking thru and adjustments all axises . Bet i could raise some eyebrows .... A spare table is trued on the work table , then swapped , repeat the truing on other table .

I just got 4 Taiwan Keyless chucks and arbors and cheap R8 collets from ENCO , so the rest i'll make using a cars AC clutch ( 6908 dble ball bearings ) .... VXB sells 6908 for $7.50 , but i had to return $600 in bearings to them . Junk , they grind when you turn them in fingers . I wont ever buy from them again , i'll get BB from Fastenal , i have 400 from them allready , good quality ...

BTW ... HF stuff is not getting better , i'm looking at Bosch , Porter Cable . I had big trouble with HF band saw ....

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doesnt look particularly heavy duty to me, but compared to most drill presses on the market today i suppose it is. to me a heavy duty drill press is more of a radial drill. but those are much much larger than this.

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erik litchy


My machine shop instructor had a saying,"You can drill on a mill, but you can't mill on a drill." Don't try this, you'll have poor results and break something.


Reply to
Karl Townsend

Your right, I guess I meant heavy duty for a smaller home shop style drill press (I know now that I said that 20 people with huge drill presses in their garage/basement will speak up).

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Darn, I figured it was too much to ask. Just saw in the manual it talking about routing and hoped that perhaps aluminum wasn't too heavy to hope for.

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The chuck, like that of most drill presses, is held on with a taper. If you put much of a side load on it, it WILL come off and getting hit with a heavy chuck with a sharp tool attached, all of which is spinning madly, will spoil your whole day. A wood router bit puts very little side load on whatever, and you MAY be able to get away with that, if it is sharp and you can spin it fast enough.. A flycutter also puts on very little side load as a result of cutting. But a flycutter is inherently out of balance and it may well work the chuck off in short order even when it is not in contact with the material being cut. And a single point flycutter gives the system quite a WHAM every time it comes around and bites into the metal again.

All things considered, flycutting with a drill press would, I think, be a VERY bad idea.

Jerry (The guy who has trouble with chucks coming off when just drilling...)

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Jerry Foster

I wish to disagree. This item and its manual appear to have been made in the late '60s or early '70s.

Sears does a great (but pricey) job of supporting the power tools made then. Likely as not, if they don't have THE bearing, they'll have an industry standard one and an adaptor made to fix the difference in a single parts kit.

I bought my 6" baby Atlas lathe in 1972. I can still buy nearly every part for it today through Sears, if I swallow real hard and bend over pretty.


Reply to
Lloyd E. Sponenburgh

Good call, just went onto their site and looked for parts, bearings are $14 USD. Little pricey for the size maybe but definitly doable.

And unless I'm misreading something the entire spindle is apparently only $45. Again doable for an entire assembly like that (doesn't seem TOO steep for parts pricing)

Thats 1/2 the price I payed for it, but I really like this unit. LOTS of heavy cast iron to keep vibration down, plus some really slow and really high speed selections.

Like I said in a previous post, it seems to keep pretty good tolerance on the holes for being a drill vs a precision machine. I didn't whip out an inside caliper or a plug gauge but it was a tight fit to slide a

3/4" rod into a 3/4" hole.
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I take back the 45 for the entire spindle assembly. Looks like it was

45 for the spindle itself.

Still, the bearings are affordable and I think I'll swap them out if I can figure out the disassembly process.

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Heavy? Ive got a couple of Buffalo Forge drill presses looking for homes.

One has a MT3 spindle, the other has a threaded spindle nose 1

1/16-14 IRC.

both are "bench top" drill presses. I think they have 1hp motors on them.

I can load..forklift...


Rule #35 "That which does not kill you, has made a huge tactical error"

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