Posts: 1
Registered: ‎11-28-2009

Drill press run out

I have a Craftsman 15" drill press.  The chuck has gotten out of alignment, bit wobble.  Not a big deal for most drilling I do but if I'm using a forstner bit and need a particular diameter hole the wobble will expand the diameter with consequent loose fit, for instance a dowel.

I've tried to square it 3 or 4 times to no avial.  The last step is to make sure the jaws are completely receded into the chuck than tap with a mallet or a block of wood and hammer.

Anyone have any suggestion how I might get the chuck and arbor to run true?

Posts: 301
Registered: ‎10-20-2009

Re: Drill press run out

Hi Welcome to the WOOD Forums.  First you will need to figure out if the runout is in the spindle or the chuck for sure.  Use a dial indicator, if it is the spindle, it is most likely the bearings in the quill, if it is the chuck you will most likely need to replace it. but check the Morse taper for debris and seating.

The Light of One Candle is Never Dimmed by Lighting Another.

Dave Moran
Veteran Contributor
Posts: 97
Registered: ‎10-23-2009

Re: Drill press run out

The chuck should mount to the quill as a #2 morse taper and be self aligning. Are you sure it’s the chuck alignment and not run out?


I have found the best way to check a drill press is to extend the quill to its maximum length and check for side-to-side movement (endplay) at the chuck. A few years ago I was looking to replace my drill press and started checking around. I found the Sears models to have some plan in their floor models. Surprisingly I found the Harbor Freight models had no side-to-side play.


Veteran Advisor
Posts: 1,862
Registered: ‎10-25-2009

Re: Drill press run out

Well,   I would knock the drill chuck out with a tapered wedge. Clean the male and female parts real good and then  re-insert it.


  If you still have run out, chuck a ground rod or a drill bit with a long shank and indicate it. Tap the chuck gently but firmly with a plastic hammer. Keep tapping the chuck till it runs true.

  Now try a drill bit.


If you still have run probably have a lousy drill chuck. Most drill presses come with bottom shelf drill chucks which are usually satisfactory to the week-end wood-hacker.


  To the more demanding woodworker...I would recommend searching for a better drill chuck.





" Anyone who isn't confused here, doesn't really know what's going on."

I used to be indecisive. Now I'm not so sure. People tell me I'm argumentative, but I beg to differ. All I know is it's bad luck to be superstitious.

Senior Contributor
Posts: 724
Registered: ‎10-25-2009

Re: Drill press run out

Not all Craftsman drill presses have #2 Morse tapers. I have one that the bottom end of the shaft threads into the chuck, and the chuck has a nut that screws onto the part that lowers the chuck assembly. I had the same problem, and I found that my shaft was bent. I tried to bang it straight, but I finally gave up and ordered a new one.

It's not worth it to dwell on things that are not worth it!
Posts: 1,626
Registered: ‎11-05-2009

Re: Drill press run out

My uncle had a drill press with some runout and he got around it for a long time by using the next 64th size smaller. It would drill a 1/2 inch hole with a 31/64 bit for instance. Might get you through till you get the issue resolved. As a side note on drill presses, I bought the Rigid 15" model as it has a 3 3/4" quill travel and was between the higher end, more travel presses and the low end jobs...they seemed to have only a 2" travel. Mine had virtually no runout and the table was within .002" flat.

Never do anything you don't want to explain to the EMT.