Ned's Tool Rescue - Full Size Drill Press Edition

My bar for determining if I should make a tool/jig for something is generally based on:

  1. will the work making the tool + the work using the tool be less than a simple brute force approach? (e.g. clamp and buff), and

  2. will I ever use the tool I created (or bought!) for this purpose again?

If the answer to #2 has a high probability of being yes or many times, then I usually just do it.

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Slowly working on disassembly. Thanks to the internet, and the love people have for vintage Craftsman tools, I was able to find a copy of the original owners manual. Complete with exploded parts diagrams. It’s made the disassembly a lot easier.


Got it pretty much disassembled. Finally got to get a feel on the individual bearings. One of the pulley bearings feels fine but the other is a bit stiff to turn so the lubricant has probably dried out some. The top spindle bearing seems fine but the bottom one near the chuck defiently has some roughness. Since I have it broken down, probably just going to go ahead and replace all four.

Now to cleaning :sweat:

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Been slowly working on derusting the parts in batches and went to look at starting the process with the chuck. Sprayed some liquid wrench on it and went and got the chuck key, that I spent time restoring, to see if it would move at all. Lol the key didn’t fit :laughing:
The pilot hole in the side of the chuck is 5/16" while the pilot on the chuck key is 3/8". Should have spent more time looking around that old shop because there had to be another chuck that this key fit. Oh well just another $11 for a new key. :roll_eyes:

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Does the tooth profile match? Maybe you can turn the pilot down to size? That might be fun…

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Not sure. The chuck is setting in a vinegar bath at the moment. Don’t have a metal lathe currently, on the wish list. Would probably be “fun” to get that mounted in a 3 jaw lathe chuck though :wink:

That’s what 4-jaw chucks are for! There’s enough slop in the teeth that it wouldn’t need indicated in to a tenth…



Yeah I saw that 4-way key but I don’t think it’s the best quality based on some of the reviews. Also I would think it would be rough on the fingers. I found a Jacobs brand key on ebay for $8 delivered so I ordered that. :slight_smile:


replace the chuck with a keyless chuck, don’t know if you can find one with the right thread.


Hmmm hadn’t considered that, would be a lot nicer. Thanks for the suggestion :slight_smile:

Got it derusted. Hot soapy water scrub down to remove oil. Vinegar bath overnight followed by wire brushes on dremel. Sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) bath to neutralize residual acid, water rinse, dried in toaster oven at 200F to drive off residual water and then oiled. Works just fine,

Still will need a sanding and polish. Would like to take it apart to fully clean and regrease, but I need to see if I know anyone with an arbor press I can use to get the outer collar off

I wish I had one on mine …

Had one what? Chuck?

Great time for arbor press investment! :grin:

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Hmmm…to craigslist! Maybe I can find a press to restore :upside_down_face:

Yes a keyless chuck…

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Got the quill all cleaned and polished tonight. It wasn’t too bad. Mostly a light coating of rust mixed with some old hard, almost baked on like, grease.

It’s joining my growing bin of cleaned parts. Still have to grind and polish some of them to get rid of pitting.

Really the next steps are the big parts: motor, base, pole, table and head.

Still debating on how I’m going to derust the cast iron head. The inside of the head has the most rust, which is also going to be the worst areas to get to. Could soak it in a big bin of vinegar and then go at it with wire brushes, but I’m also considering the electrolysis route.

Today’s project ended up being the aluminum drive pulleys. Used wire brass wheels followed by a buffing wheel on my bench grinder to clean up the powdery oxide. Cleaned up nice.


Looking good Ned.