Just as it is the nature of most machine parts, a drill press chuck is also susceptible to normal wear and tear. Repetitive usage renders some parts to be unaligned thereby necessitating their removal and alignment. Changing the chuck on a drill press does not have to be a daunting task when you have the right tools as well as the steps to follow. When you are preparing to remove this part, you should also understand the steps to follow in drill press cleaning. Here are some tips on how to remove a drill press chuck and clean it:
Removing the Chuck
Before you attempt to remove your chuck, you should ensure that you remove all drill bits. There are a number of signs that signal that you need to remove your drill press chuck. These include when it wobbles, gets a bent shaft, does not grip firmly when in a perfect vertical or when it is defective. You should ensure that you use a chuck removal tool or chuck key as these are the safest ways of removing the chuck. However, if you misplace your chuck key, you can always improvise using a piece of wood that should be wide and thick enough to do the job at hand well.
You should lower the part of the press where the chuck is attached to or the quill until it reveals an access window that fits its entire length. This access window represents a key-hole found in the machine’s spindle. Place the chuck key inside this window and whack it using a mallet. The whacks using a mallet will force your chuck to fall from the press. However, you should ensure that you have set the height of the drill press table high enough to catch the chuck before it falls down completely.
If you are missing your chuck key then you can improvise using a piece of scrap wood. You can use a scrap wood that has to be strong enough for the job at hand. It should also be wide and thick enough to handle the job. The scrap wood ought to be placed atop the chuck and positioned at a sharp and downward angle. The wood should then be struck using a mallet in a quick downward strike. The blow will release the chuck and if it does not then you should place it at the right angle and strike again.
Drill Press Cleaning
After removing the chuck, you may find that it has some gunk that may have accumulated over time or it fell on grease or sawdust. If it falls but does not get damaged, you will need to carry out some drill press cleaning immediately before you reinsert it back. It is an unwritten rule that you should thoroughly clean your press spindle and chuck before you installing them into your machine.
When cleaning your drill press chuck, you can use a clean and dry shop-rag to clean the spindle, drill chuck or its shaft. You can use a degreasing solution like paint thinner or acetone to clean these parts. You should ensure that you thoroughly clean the inside of your drill press’ spindle so as to ensure that it has optimal grip as well as performance. After you are done with your drill press cleaning exercise, it is important to give it adequate time to let the spindle and chuck to dry completely before reinstalling.
Once your chuck is dry and clean, you should prepare it for reinstallation. You can apply a little talcum powder to the spindle of your chuck for optimal performance. This is especially important when you are reinstalling an older chuck as it enhances its gripping power.
Following all the above important tips on how to remove a drill press chuck as well as cleaning it will ensure that your machine functions at its optimal best. You should be careful not to strike the delicate jaws of your chuck when removing or reinstalling them back as they can be damaged easily. You should also pay a lot of attention and apply a high degree of care when carrying out your drill press cleaning. This will not only ensure that your machine stays clean but also prolong its lifespan.