How To Change The Chuck On Your Drill Press

How To Change The Chuck On Your Drill Press


What It Is and Why It Is Important

The chuck of a drill press is the part that holds your drill bit. It is a clamp that boasts of three jaws to tighten the drill bit. A drill press is known not only for its ability to drill precise holes effortlessly but also because of its versatility. And it is the chuck which allows this versatility for the best drill press. You simply cannot use various drill bits without the chuck.

How To Change The Chuck On Your Drill Press


Installing A Drill Bit On Chuck

The installation of this drill bit is easy. All you need is to follow these steps:

  • Insert the shank of the drill bit.
  • Tighten the collar manually and ensure that the jaws are holding the bit securely and evenly.
  • Make sure that you insert the tip of the chuck key into one of the holes located above the collar.
  • Align the gears on the key with the gears on the chuck
  • Chuck key can be rotated clockwise to tighten the chuck and counter clockwise to loosen the grip on the bit

Drill Bit On Chuck

 Necessity To Change Chuck

Why Remove it If It Is So Important

Well, the chuck is undoubtedly the key part of a drill press. Thus, it makes sense to change it time to time and replace it with a new one. Reason? The Chuck can wear out over time. Due to the use of drill press over time, you may find that the Chuck might not be in the working order. For example, it might not be holding the drill bit securely, or it may have become stiff or fallen out of alignment. Over time, the holes drilled with the drill press become less precise as the chuck operates with less efficiency. Thus, in such situations, it is better to remove the damaged chuck and replace it with a new one. It will be improved the drill press operation. Now, you might ask how the chuck can be removed. Well, that might be tricky for amateur users, but the right tools and proper instructions make the chuck removal process easier.

How To Change The Chuck On Your Drill Press

Removal of the Chuck

The chuck of the drill press is removed differently than that on those on hand-operated drills. Drill press chuck has a tapered shaft that fits in the spindle. The spindle has an identical taper known as “Morse taper” that maintains the firm grip. Thus a different method is used to remove the drill press chuck. A chuck key is used to tighten the chuck.

There are two ways to remove the chuck:

1. Chuck Key Method

In this method, as the title suggests you will need a chuck key.

  • Pull down the handle to lower the quill and chuck to the lowest limit.
  • Hold the mechanism in the lower position by rotating the quill lock.
  • Find the large vertical slot located on the shaft of the quill.
  • A chuck key can be fitted in such a slot. Insert the chuck removal key into the vertical slot.
  • Tap at the end of chuck removal key with a mallet.
  • The chuck will come out of the spindle.

A few things to remember

  • Ensure the work table is at enough height to catch the chuck to avoid the chuck falling from a greater height.
  • At the same time, make sure that the quill is lowered just enough for the chuck to be released.

It is a very simple and efficient method. But sometimes you may find yourself at a loss if you do not have chuck key.

2. Wood Piece Method

If you don’t have the chuck removal key, don’t worry. You can simply remove the chuck by using a wood piece.

In this method, we use a strong section of scrap wood.

Here is what you need to do:

  • Position this piece of wood above the chuck
  • Make sure it makes a downward angle is shown in the image above
  • Use a hammer to whack the wood piece in a swift downward stroke.

This should do it. Make sure that the wood piece is sufficiently long. Also, it should be wide enough to sustain the blow. Try to maintain as much downward angle as you can to make sure the blow does not damage spindle of the chuck.

Replacing the Chuck

Once you have removed the chuck, you are ready to replace it with a new one.

Follow these simple steps to replace the chuck:

  • Raise the quill to the highest level
  • Secure the spindle using the quill lock
  • Reposition the work table so that the chuck can be installed without any interference
  • Now slide the chuck shank into the quill spindle.
  • Rotate the chuck in such a way so that the square head at the top of the chuck shank fits perfectly into the receptacle at the quill spindle
  • Fully retract the jaws of the chuck
  • Smack the bottom of the chuck to firmly position the shank of the chuck into the quill spindle.Replacing the Chuck

 After replacing the chuck

  • Rotate the chuck collar to see it operating correctly
  • Insert a drill bit
  • Power the drill press and make some test drills to ensure the chuck is installed correctly

Cleaning of Drill Press Chuck

Many times, the chuck gets dirty, and we need to clean it up before using it further. Make sure that you have removed the power plug and disconnected the power supply before beginning the cleaning of the chuck.

Follow these simple steps to clean your Chuck:

  • Remove the drill bit from the chuck and expand the jaws fully
  • Using a lint-free cloth, wipe the chuck clean.
  • Retract the jaws completely and blow away the sawdust in the chuck using an air nozzle powered by an air compressor

Once the chuck is clean, remember to lubricate it with a quality lubricant. Also, don’t forget to wear safety glasses during the cleaning operation as the air nozzle can remove the sawdust very rapidly.

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