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Re: Restoring an Old Drill Press - DISASSEMBLING THE TABLE - Phil Thien - 07-28-2010

You were moving so fast I kinda expected to return home tonight, check this thread, and see a primed and ready for paint drill press.

Re: Restoring an Old Drill Press - DISASSEMBLING THE TABLE - EvilTwin - 07-28-2010

Buckaroo said:

. IIRC, the columns on the WT's are pressed in.

I dont think so. Never seen one yet like that and why would there be a set screw on the base if it was?

Re: Restoring an Old Drill Press - DISASSEMBLING THE TABLE - skizzo - 07-28-2010

I don't know if they're officially pressed in, but I know they are notoriously tight and typically take pretty extraordinary effort to remove. I had one once... the one where I chipped my floor IIRC... that I ended up simply cutting off right above the base to get a clean OD and not much length to drive through, then used a sawzall to cut a slot the length of the remaining inside piece to relieve the tension. It finally did come out, but resulted in a column that was 6" shorter. Hey, it worked.

Re: Restoring an Old Drill Press - SPINDLE PULLEY AND BEARINGS - skizzo - 07-29-2010

Woohoo... tonight was one of the most crucial and unknown parts of this whole project. It's usually a good idea to go after the hardest and most critical activities early in the project, so that you don't spend time and energy on other steps, only to have the critical part go down in flames. So I tackled the spindle/quill/bearings assembly early in order to see, first, if it will come apart and, second, what's the status of the bearings. Grand success on all fronts, and that critical step is done and passed with flying colors.

This post will go through the spindle pulley and bearings, and the next will do the quill and spindle.

As I noted when I first took this out of the head, I'd have to figure out how the spindle pulley bore and bearings operates. I know that replacement bearings are largely unavailable and if they can be found, are certain to be expensive. I've heard that there may be a couple sources who fabricate an alternative design for either these or the spindle bearings, but I'm hoping not to need to do that. In other words, trying like crazy to see if these are reusable.

I also noted before that I have no idea what the salt air may have done to the pot metal on the pulley. I had a step pulley on a lathe I got a couple years ago that had literally disintegrated into dust while still mounted on the spindle. So all the more reason to be even more cautious on this.

Here's the starting point for the spindle pulley. The upper bearing was exposed, with the open side facing out.

Looking down the bore, you can see splines on the sides that fit the six splines on the spindle.

Through previous experience plus recent conversations with a couple folks, I also know that both bearings have long extended inner races that are press fit into the pulley bore to bind everything together. So the question is, how far/hard do I go to try to remove the bearing? Again, remember that the preference is to see if the existing bearings can be cleaned and repacked with grease to be reusable. Let's see if there's any likelihood of getting the upper bearing out.

NO, NO, NO... don't even think about going down that road. All you'll do is crack the pulley sheave, with no effect on the bearing. And there's nothing to push against in the center to use a gear or bearing puller.

The bearing spins quite well, so let's just use some mineral spirits and a dental pick to clean it out. BTW, if you ever see a set of dental picks at a garage sale, flea market, or whatever... snag it. You'll be amazed at how often you grab them to do something.

Now let's look at the lower bearing, which is really weird, much more complex, and also a bit rougher and stickier. Man, there isn't any access to anything with hopes of getting it out. Will a mineral spirits bath do anything to loosen it up? Yep, definitely. Ten minutes later, it's spinning like a top. If you look carefully down the bore inside the outer plate, you can just see the top of the exposed bearings, which means I can get down in there to repack with grease. Sorry I don't have photos of the bearings themselves to show, but this is a huge step forward.

Cool, awesome, yeah baby... let's just clean this up and get it set aside. Quick spin on the little wire wheel.

Grab a wire brush to clean the inside of the bore. A friend told me some years ago that a great source for items to clean inside bores is a sporting goods store that sells firearms cleaning supplies.

A pretty thorough examinations reveals no notable cracks, chips, or defects in the pot metal. Whew. One pulley down. Quick final wipe down with some MS to clean up fingerprints and oil, and this key piece is done... other than repacking the grease when I do final reassembly.

Thanks. On to the spindle and quill in a few minutes.

Re: Restoring an Old Drill Press - QUILL AND SPINDLE - skizzo - 07-29-2010

Step 2 tonight was to see if I can get the quill apart to check out the bearings and see if they need to be replaced. I've had a couple of these apart before, so had a bit more of an idea how to approach it than I did the pulley. I also know there are more options for spindle bearings than for pulley bearings, but still, these are pretty desirable if they can be reused.

So here's the quill and spindle assembly, as removed from the head.

The first step is to remove the depth stop collar, which is pretty straightforward, so no photos. Just loosen the lock bolt and work it off the quill. I expected the chuck to be a bit difficult, so I took it the other direction up the shaft.

Now it gets a bit trickier. The bearing retainer collar on the upper end comes out by loosening two set screws and, with some lube, gently prying it up the shaft. It's a tight slip fit, so the shaft needs to be cleaned and any scoring marks or dings need to be filed down.

I have an old webpage that has some photos and documentation of another WTDP 900 restoration, shown here, which pops up fairly often on google searches for some reason. So I get one or two random emails a month from anywhere commenting or asking a couple questions. Almost every time, I mean every time, one question that comes up is "how do you get the dang chuck off that spindle?" There are a variety of techniques that work to one degree or another. The machine is designed so that the knurled nut just above the chuck threads downward, using a spanner wrench in the holes, to press the back of the chuck off the taper. Unfortunately, that almost never works on anything other than a clean taper and chuck... rarely on something that's been stuck on there for 60 years.

The next best approach, which sometimes works, is to use chuck wedges that are available from places like McMaster-Carr. If those still don't work, a very nice tutorial that's more aggressive and involves drilling out the bottom of the chuck is described on this guy's great Jacobs chuck webpage: http://www.beautifuliron.com/jacobs.htm. I have used his approach several times as a last resort, and it has worked every time but once.

Anyways, that's a long background on why I didn't take the chuck off first thing. It's actually not necessary to remove the chuck to take the quill apart. But I knew I'd need to do it at some point, so went ahead and took a crack at it now. What do you know, the wedges worked in about 30 seconds flat. Major pleasant surprise, because the chuck itself is completely, totally, frozen solid. Nothing moves the slightest amount. Oh well, I'll deal with that later, but it's nice that it is already off.

Now to get the main quill and upper bearing off. First, let's get the knurled nut off and out of the way. This isn't necessary right now, but it's gotta happen some time. So over to the vise and clamp the spindle in the jaws to prevent rotation.

Now feel free to wince, think to yourself that guy's a friggin person, scream and holler about buying a spanner wrench, whatever suits your fancy. But in order to see how hard or easy the nut might be to remove, I first grabbed a towel and channel locks to gently grab and twist. If it wasn't going to move, I'd try other approaches. But it came loose very easily, no dings or scratches on the knurling, so all is well.

Time to drive out the spindle. If I had one of those big honkin H-frame presses, or maybe even a big floor arbor press, this would just press out. But for me, it's the manual method on the vise. Place the quill on top of the jaws, with the direction it is to be driven off facing down. Take a 2x4 and a BFH to rap downward. I bored a little counterbore in the 2x4 so that it wouldn't slip off when it gets smacked.

After a dozen or so smacks, voila, the quill is off, taking the upper bearing with it, leaving the lower bearing on the spindle.

Take a small dowel and gently tap out the upper bearing from the quill.

After a little cleaning and review of the lower bearing, I decided not to try and remove it. It is a press fit that would need to come up the entire length of the spindle, since the retaining collar below it is not going to be removed. Moving the bearing that far would be difficult and almost certainly damage it beyond usability. So clean it out, make sure it's solid and good shape, and call it ready for grease.

If you find that the lower bearing is shot and needs to be replaced, the easiest way to get it off is simply to take a Dremel tool w/ cutoff discs and cut it off... outer race, bearing string, inner race. It takes 5-10 minutes, just be careful not to mess up the spindle too much.

Wire wheel and clean up the quill (and spindle while I was at it).

Close inspection shows that I bunged up the bottom of the quill a little bit, down where the depth stop collar sits. That probably would not be a problem in use because it's not inside the head casting, but it's also easy enough to fix up with a file. I chucked it up in the lathe, but could just as easily have done it by hand on the bench.

Put the cleaned up quill and spindle parts together for a group shot.

Add in the spindle pulley and bearings from earlier in the evening, and we have the money shot for the night.

Total shop time tonight was right at three hours, and I got way, way further and more successful than anticipated. Having all of the headstock bearings intact and ready to go is one of the biggest steps of all. Big relief.

Tomorrow, I'm planning to drop off the table at a friend's place, who is going to run it through his electrolysis tank, then I'm planning to take apart the motor to get the bearings out so they can be ordered on Friday.

Later and good night.

Re: Restoring an Old Drill Press - QUILL AND SPINDLE - skizzo - 07-29-2010

While I'm thinking about it...

quick inventory of tools used so far: wrenches, sockets, screwdrivers, hammers, allen wrench, punch, pick, wire brush, and file. WD40, mineral spirits, scotchbrite pads, and paper towels.

machines: vise, wire wheel grinder. Lathe was optional.

Not much and nothing unusual.

Re: Restoring an Old Drill Press - QUILL AND SPINDLE - 2beast - 07-29-2010

Outstanding thread

Re: Restoring an Old Drill Press - QUILL AND SPINDLE - AgGEM - 07-29-2010

Is the Jacobs taper machined into the quill or is it removable? If removable, is it a Morse up yonder?

Re: Restoring an Old Drill Press - QUILL AND SPINDLE - Guest - 07-29-2010


Great thread and nicely documented. I'm looking forward to seeing the completed machine back on it's feet.

I did the same rehab on a Walker Turner 1300 bench top machine several years ago. Mine was in pitiful condition so I spent a bunch of money and time replacing parts. There is a guy named Jeff Hoffman at Walker Turner Serviced Machinery, LLC who specializes in reconditioning Walker Turner machines of all kinds. He has parts, including new sealed extended race bearings for these drill presses and new replacement Jacobs chucks with the threaded collar. He also has specialized equipment for removing the extended race bearings. I sent him my pulleys and he removed the bearings and replaced them for me. The bearings are not expensive. I posted his contact information in this thread (see my post at the top of page three in the thread.).

I've enjoyed following your post. It brings back good memories.


Re: Restoring an Old Drill Press - DISASSEMBLING THE TABLE - Buckaroo - 07-29-2010

EvilTwin said:

[blockquote]Buckaroo said:

. IIRC, the columns on the WT's are pressed in.

I dont think so. Never seen one yet like that and why would there be a set screw on the base if it was?


Actually "shrunk fit" was the term I've heard. The set screws would be added "insurance".
Might have been Atlas that I heard did that. I don't even know if it's true, all I know is that the WT's I've worked on have ALL been PITA's.

Bill, looking good so far. This kind of reminds me of the unisaw thread Chris J did a while back...showing step by step.
Carb cleaner works great for old bearings too (the submersible basket kind). Especially if they're all froze up. I did that with some bearings on my DeWalt RAS that are no longer to be found anywhere. Found out you can also repack shielded bearings without taking the shields off. (not that that's applicable here).