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drill press My neighbor gave me an old drill press. He said it hadn’t been used in 30 years. I wanted to try to restore it, but I’m having trouble getting it apart. From what I can see, the handle shaft gear looks to big to slide past the body. I don’t see any snap rings inside the body or on the handle. With the handle set screw out, it free-wheels on the shaft but doesn’t seem to budge with prying or trying to tap it loose. No make or model on the body. Any ideas what I’m working with?

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    I'm not sure anyone can really help without seeing it, but old stuff like this often needs heat and pressure. Also, see if you can tell if it has been "staked".
    – jdv
    Aug 11 at 2:26
  • Nice restoration project! "I’m having trouble getting it apart" You may not have to get it apart, I think that's something that tends to get lost these days... especially if you watch a lot of the YouTube restoration channels :-) If there's no obvious way something comes apart, or there appears to be but it won't budge IMO the best course of action initially is to see if it's possible to work around it. I've had success doing this on some things, although to be fair it does tend to slow down the process and my OCD is always bugging me that there's dirt and rust I haven't gotten to haha.
    – Graphus
    Aug 11 at 8:18
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    So in this case if there's no obvious way this comes apart, plenty of penetrating fluid (and WD-40 is often just fine for this, despite how much it gets maligned these days) and some judicious heating with a heat gun or torch is the order of the day.
    – Graphus
    Aug 11 at 8:22
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    A) Maybe a closeup or two of the particular gear in question. B) That 12/2 NM-B cable running to the surface mount outlet box is very much not to code! Especially right above your work surface where an errant sharp tool could cut through the housing and short out through you. It needs to be in conduit for its protection and yours.
    – FreeMan
    Aug 11 at 18:09
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    @FreeMan haha! very astute observation. the electrical in this house is very unprofessional. I pointed a lot out to the inspector when I bought the place. I’ve renovated the first floor. Eventually I’ll do the basement. But that is probably going to be last.
    – mreff555
    Aug 12 at 0:08
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I don't know what you're facing here, but I thought I'd provide something that might help so this Q doesn't remain unanswered (meaning it will subsequently bob back to the top over the coming months and years).

First to repeat my point from my Comment, you may not have to get this fully apart to get it up and running. IMO if there's no obvious way something comes apart, or there appears to be but it won't budge (more on this below), the best course of action initially is to see if it's possible to work around it, even though this can be awkward and slow things down.

I do know, intimately, the urge to disassemble down to all component parts :-) But it's just not necessary in every case. A good example of this is the Jacobs chuck, which few people take apart during a drill restoration to clean inside1.

But, let's look at what you're facing.

With the handle set screw out, it free-wheels on the shaft but doesn’t seem to budge with prying or trying to tap it loose.

Let's assume the handle isn't captured and can pull straight off, in which case I think the issue might be a very tight fit (a press fit) to the shaft.

Since there's so little play side to side, essentially none, prying and tapping at even the slightest angle is almost guaranteed not to work. [Anyone with an engineering background will know exactly where I'm heading here.]

I had a similar issue on a part of something once, where no amount of careful prying or knocking from the back, working carefully around the circumference, would shift it even a little bit forward; I tried repeatedly over a couple/several days and got nowhere. I was confident it must come straight off its spindle but couldn't figure out a way to accomplish this so went searching online and found the solution — a crude version of a bearing puller2. And lo and behold, because the pulling force was directly in line with the axis as I started to turn the central bolt the thing moved instantly3.

There are some commercial bearing pullers that look like they'd work for this — two-jaw, with a long reach — perhaps a buddy who is into cars might have one you could borrow so you don't have to buy one just for this. But if you had to you could fashion something quick and dirty from wood and some cheap bits of hardware that would work similarly and might get the job done.


1 Although the methodology is obscure it's not especially difficult. For anyone who does want to go that far the process is well described online

2 In my case made from a strip of plywood and three bolts LOL

3 Cue big grin and feeling of accomplishment, but tempered almost immediately with the thought that if the fit was this tight I might not be able to get it back on again......

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