Restoring a Craftsman 15-inch Drill Press

Craftsman 15-inch Drill Press

This is another excellent article by Mikey, a frequent contributor to and winner of our Machining Metal as a Hobby contest.

The Craftsman 15″ Drill Press, Model 137.229150, is a floor model commonly found in many home shops.  Made by Rexon of Taiwan for Sears, Grizzly and others it is a typical consumer grade drill press.  When new this machine is quite functional and if you use it to drill holes in wood and the occasional piece of metal then this drill press will give you years of service.  However, if you are a metal worker and need more accuracy in your machine it’s a whole other ball game.

The accuracy of these machines when new is not too bad but in a few short years mine developed significant run out, with 0.003″ total indicator run out (TIR) at the spindle and double that at the chuck.  That may not seem too bad but let me tell you, 0.006″ of run out at the chuck is enough to visibly see the bit wobbling!  My spindle bearings had developed play that I could hear and feel and I knew it was time to do something about it.

While it may appear to be daunting it turns out that restoring it is not difficult.  However, it does require access to a hydraulic press and a puller for the spindle pulley so take that into consideration.  Other than these tools no special tooling is required beyond that found in the typical home shop.  If you or your friends don’t own a hydraulic press all machine shops and most auto repair shops do; the cost to press the bearings off and on should be minimal.

If we consider where run out could come from it will likely be the spindle assembly, the arbor or the chuck.  The spindle assembly is basically the drive sleeve that drives, supports and guides the spindle at the top, the solid spindle itself, and the four bearings that support these components.  I suppose the quill could contribute but unfortunately there is no provision for improving the accuracy of the quill so it’s a moot point.

The manual does not list part numbers for the above components but you can order them from the Sears Parts Direct website at reasonable cost using their illustrated parts breakdown.  I suggest replacing the spindle, the drive sleeve and all four bearings at this time.

I also suggest you obtain precision after market bearings instead of using the OEM bearings.  You will need 3 each 6204ZZ and 1 each 6203ZZ.  I chose to replace one of the 6204ZZ bearings with a 6204-2RS; this bearing is sealed and resides at the bottom of the quill where it is exposed to chips and cutting fluid.  All of these bearings are available from your local supplier but are cheaper on eBay.  I prefer to use Nachi bearings for their quality but this is a personal choice.

If/when I need to rebuild my drill press again I will use an angular contact bearing to replace the lower quill bearing; the near equivalent for the 6204-2RS is the slightly longer 5204-2RS.  Note that I have NOT done this yet so I’m not sure if the bearing would protrude a few millimeters.  If it did you could chuck the quill in the lathe and bore the bearing recess deeper, or live with a little protrusion.  Only the lower bearing needs to be an angular contact bearing; radial bearings are fine for the upper spindle bearing and drive sleeve.  Why an angular contact bearing?

Angular contact bearings are designed to take both axial and radial loads, unlike radial bearings which are made for radial loads only.  Consider that when using a drill press to push a drill into a work piece both axial and radial forces are at work.  Sort of makes you wonder what the designer was thinking, doesn’t it?  Take a look at a good American drill press, like a Clausing, and you’ll find an angular contact bearing at the end of the spindle.

The chuck arbor is another potential source of run out and I typically change it to a new Albrecht or Jacobs arbor when installing a new chuck.  The OEM spindle requires a #2 Morse Taper.

Two precision drill chucks, an Albrecht keyless chuck and a Jacobs Super-Chuck 14N

If you are using the OEM chuck for woodworking or general use then it may suffice.  However, I would consider replacing it if you need to drill a precision hole.  You can use a keyed chuck, like the Jacobs Super-Chuck 14N on the right, or a keyless chuck like the very accurate Albrecht on the left.  Both are far more accurate than your drill press will ever be and can be had on eBay at reasonable cost.  If I could only have one chuck I would choose the Albrecht for the obvious convenience and accuracy it provides.

In summary, we are going to replace the parts in the drive train that could be causing run out and consider replacing the arbor and chuck, which are additional sources of potential run out.

Okay, let’s get this thing apart!  As always, please work carefully and proceed at your own risk.


  • Use your arbor wedge to knock out the arbor and chuck.  If you don’t have one you can make one from 1/8″ thick mild steel.
  • Remove the light bulb from its socket.
  • Loosen the two set screws that hold the head to the column and move the head to your work bench.  It is heavy so try to have another person assist you if possible.
  • Open the belt cover and remove the belts.  Now remove the nut at the top of the spindle – this is a LH thread.  You can insert the arbor wedge into the slot in the quill to hold the spindle still.
  • Remove the spindle pulley.  You will need a pulley puller for this.
  • Remove the quill.

    • Loosen the quill adjusting set screw just to the right of the spring.
    • On the left side of the head find the quill return spring assembly.  It has two nuts; the outer one is a jam nut.  Remove the jam nut.
    • The manual recommends that you place a screwdriver into one of the slots to control the spring as you release tension but I just used a gloved hand to grab hold of the spring housing and, while controlling the spring tension (turn the housing slightly CCW), remove the nut.  The tension is not that strong and is released in about a single turn.  It will look like this when removed [photo 4].
    • Turn the feed handle and catch the quill as it drops out.
  • You can now disassemble the quill.  There is a piece of plastic tubing on top of the assembly which looks suspiciously like a Taiwanese anti-grease slinger device.  Under that is the spindle nut, a nut lock washer and a flat washer – in that order.
    • The Nut Lock will have one of the ears bent up to keep the Spindle Nut from turning; using a punch, carefully bend it down so the nut can be removed.
    • Now remove the spindle nut (RH thread).  Note: the tension on this nut is minimal.  It is run down to contact the bearing and turned until one of the tabs on the nut lock can engage a slot.  Typically, this arrangement is used to preload a bearing but in this case I think it just keeps the bearing from being displaced.
    • Now remove the nut lock and flat washer and set them aside.
  • Here is where you will need your hydraulic press.  Drive the spindle out of the quill from the top.  Once the spindle is out you can tap the bearings out of the quill with a brass punch or hardwood dowel.  You will notice the two bearings inside the quill differ; the upper one is smaller – the 6203ZZ – while the lower one is the 6204ZZ.  This lower bearing is the same as the paired bearings on the drive sleeve. [Photo 6]
  • Remove the drive sleeve from the head.

    • The drive sleeve [photo 7] is held in place at the top of the drill press head by two “Circlips”, one on top and one underneath the Drive Sleeve.  Remove the upper clip by grasping one ear of the clip and slipping a slim screwdriver behind the clip.  Carefully work the clip out.  The one under the drive sleeve can be left in place.
    • Use a hardwood dowel and tap the drive sleeve assembly [photo 8] out from below – that is, stick the dowel into the head from the bottom side and use a dead blow hammer to tap the drive sleeve out toward the top.  It is a loose press fit but tap evenly so you don’t cock it as you drive it out.
    • Now press the drive sleeve out of the two bearings.  Note that you need to position the unit with the threaded part down.  Support the bearings and then use a piece of stock smaller than the inner bearing race that bears on the center column of the sleeve so it can be pressed out.  The two bearings are separated by a plastic ring that you need to retrieve even if you are replacing the drive sleeve and bearings.

[table id=3 /]

Disassembly is now complete and all parts can be cleaned and inspected.

Assembly is basically the above procedure in reverse.

Use grease sparingly during assembly.  You need to grease the spindle but remember that the spindle is moving up and down through the drive sleeve during operation and the belts are subject to flying gobs of grease as this occurs.

  • Press the drive sleeve into the two drive sleeve bearings with the plastic ring between them.
  • Clean the socket that will receive the drive sleeve.
  • Install the drive sleeve assembly into the head.  Put a light coat of oil on the outer bearing race of the drive sleeve bearings and push the drive sleeve assembly into place from the top.  Try pushing it into place manually; if the bearings align correctly you can push or gently tap the assembly into position.  If it won’t go in easily then you can pull it into place using a threaded rod passed through the assembly.  Use a scrap of wood or metal below and a washer and nut on top and tighten the nut to pull the assembly down.  You only need to get it in far enough to install the upper circlip.  Do not distort or damage the lower circlip.
  • Install the quill.
  • Assemble the quill and spindle with their bearings.
  • At the top of the spindle, install the flat washer, the nut lock, and then the spindle nut.  Snug the spindle nut then back it off to engage the nearest tab on the nut lock that will engage and bend that up.
  • Re-install the plastic tubing.  Clean the quill itself, with attention to the teeth on its side and apply a light coat of oil.
  • Insert the quill into the head and engage the handle to crank the quill up.
  • Install the quill return spring assembly – essentially the reverse of the above.  Remember to preload the spring about one turn before locking the nut down.  Install the jam nut.
  • Re-install the pulley and belts and re-install the head onto the column.  Adjust the quill set screw to minimize play but be sure the quill moves freely.
  • Re-install the light bulb.
  • Install your arbor and chuck  and you are … Done!

I would recommend doing a rebuild if you are having run out issues.  It’s not hard to do and the cost is more than acceptable (if you don’t count a new chuck).  The improvement in performance is significant – run out at the arbor on my drill press is now less than 0.0005″ TIR and that drill bit looks like it’s standing still!


Update: It is now February 2010 and the run out at my arbor is still under 0.0005″ TIR despite hard use in a typical hobby machine shop.  I believe the use of high quality bearings minimizes wear on the spindle and drive sleeve and help to maintain accuracy.  At this rate I may never get to try that angular contact bearing!

121 thoughts on “Restoring a Craftsman 15-inch Drill Press”

  1. Hi Mickey
    you have proposed to use a 5204-2RS which is a radial ball bearing with the dimension of 20x47x20.6 mil. The original
    bearing has 20x47x14 mil. I have investigated some little and found a bearing 7204B 2RS 20x47x14. This is Angular Contact Bearing 7204B 20x47x14 Ball Bearings which will take axial and radial force. What do you think of using this?
    To my opinion it is an alternative to the 5204.
    Thank for your article it helps a lot


  2. Bob, there is a 5204-2RS angular contact bearing as well. If the 7204B-2RS is the same size then it will work and I would go for it. Please let us know how it works out, okay?


  3. Bob, my spindle play is about the same as yours, about 1mm or so. As I said, once the drill encounters the work this play is taken up so I don’t think the play between the spindle and drive sleeve is an issue.

    As for why the Jet part costs double the Sears part – I have no idea why a company would price a part the way they do. It is possible that the factory that makes the Jet press is not the Rexon factory and maybe the Jet part is made to tighter tolerances. As I said, I have no way of knowing this.

    Regardless, in my opinion, it is a moot point because I really don’t see the spindle:drive sleeve clearance to be an issue and I would use the Sears part on a Sears drill press. If it was me, I would focus on replacing the bearings, the drive sleeve and spindle and see how the runout changes. I would be willing to bet that things will improve greatly, especially if you use the angular contact bearing you cited.

    I’ve put some thought into the “banging” issue and the only thing I can think of would be that the bearings are shot. I would enjoy seeing what other members think.


  4. Mickey I am going the way with an 2 row axial contact bearing with a width of 20.6 mm instead of 14mm.

    Now I have my spindle @ a machine shop to increase the lower bearing contact area to get the stop nut still assembled.

    The wide bearing is not a good solution. Extra work.


  5. Great “How-To” on the drill press! Very appreciated. I’ve got a craftsman 15″ DP as well (model 113.213151). I would like to do this same rebuild, but the parts are unavailable on the website.

    Drive sleeve part # 821734
    Spindle part # 817531

    Does anyone know of substitute parts for these discontinued items?

  6. Hi Keegan,
    You can get the sleeve at ereplacement parts:

    Apparently, the Rigid drill press uses the same sleeve. As for the spindle, I couldn’t find a direct replacement anywhere. However, the drive sleeve above is compatible with the Rigid DP model 15501.

    They have this spindle for the Rigid 15501 ( but I am not sure it is the same as the sears part. The cost is $20.00 so you might be able to get one and compare it to your old part to see if it will work. Beyond that, it looks like you will need to re-use your old spindle or keep looking. You might also call your local Sears parts department to see if they have one on the shelf (fingers crossed).

    Sorry, not much help. These DPresses are aging and parts are getting harder to find. I think the reason the sleeve and spindle get beat up is because the OEM bearings allow too much play. That, and the fact that a DP is often subjected to some uses they aren’t designed for, such as using a sanding drum in them.

    In any case, good luck. If you do get the parts please let us know here so others can grab some.


  7. Sorry I’m so late replying, Tara. If I recall, the chuck in this article cost about $50.00 on ebay. The only thing wrong with it was galled jaws from a drill spinning in the chuck. I replaced the jaws with a set from ebay (cost was like $19.95, shipped), cleaned it up and it works like new. There was a ton of cutting oil in the spindle, which is why the drill slipped.

  8. So, is it worthwhile to rebuild these old drill presses if the spindle and drive sleeves are not available any more ?

    Alternatively, are any of the parts from the newer models interchangeable ? They don’t look too much different other than the cosmetics. (the spindle travel excluded.)

  9. Adam, these DP are made by Rexon and were badged under the Sears, Delta, Grizzly, and who knows what other brand. I do not have a cross-reference for which models match but if I was in a pinch I would contact Rexon and find out which one matched my machine.

    You can restore a DP to like-new or better condition. Whether it is worth it is up to you.

  10. Mikey,

    Loved the article thank you for sharing

    Does anyone know where I can get a soft copy of the manual for a Sears Craftsman 137.229250

    Thanks again


  11. Thanks, Andy. I don’t know if a soft copy is available but if you need a parts breakdown you can find it on Sears Parts Direct. Looks to be the same as mine except for a laser guide so you should be able to get it rebuilt.


  12. I rebuilt my KingCanada 16″, almost 30 years old drill press with a quill assy from eBay and SKF bearings from Motion Industries; all these drill presses, old or new, use the same parts.
    I still have to balance the pulleys and motor’s rotor; at the end, it will cost more than a brand new machine ):
    but hey, it’s my drill press

  13. Post Scriptum
    Had to redo the quill, too; fully extender I had about 1mm (40 thou) play at the tip of the tool.
    Had to rebore the head, press a bronze sleeve in it, bore and ream to +40 microns (2 1/2 thou) quill OD and voila! a precise machine ready to roll.

  14. Lol… you guys just made me buy a second hand drill press… hey if it can be rebuilt then who cares how old it is right? Wish me luck.

  15. ……so whats the latest on the availability on these spindles ? I got a craftsman 113.213151
    I think the spindle is 817531
    can i get a replacement through jet or grizzley or something? i’m pretty sure my spindle is beat.

  16. It looks like the spindles for your machine are obsolete. You might luck out on ebay. It appears the same part fits the Rigid DP also.

    I can also email Rexon Taiwan and see if they can find a spindle for you. If not, they may be able to tell you which machines use the same spindle so you can widen your search.

  17. Mikey,
    …Boy , it sure would be a big help if ya could e-mail rexon for me.
    I’ve been looking around on e-parts and e-bay and I’ve found a few possibilities for fair prices, but none of them are a dead ringer for my make and model. They may work, but i wont know til they show up, and they arent all returnable.
    ….seems we need a compatibility chart that shows all manufactures and parts…….. .. but since they all came from Rexon, then I guess they would be the ones to ask.

  18. I just sent an inquiry off to Linda Wang, general mgr for Rexon and we’ll see what she says. You never know – we might get lucky.

    You can also try contacting the US Rexon dealer:
    Power Tool Specialists Inc.
    684 Huey Road, Rock Hill ,SC 29730 USA

    I’ll update this when I hear from Linda Wang.

  19. Andrew, I heard from Jeff at Rexon and apparently they did not make your drill press! I am sorry for the error but I have no idea who made yours. You might want to contact Sears and see if they can give you the name of the maker so you can see if the maker has a spindle. I’m out of ideas.


  20. no – go from sears parts …..

    Thank you for contacting Sears Parts Direct!

    I apologize for any problems you may be experiencing purchasing a
    spindle for your drill press. I have reviewed your part, and I see it is
    no longer available. We only stop selling parts when they are no longer
    made and we have exhausted all of our resources in an attempt to locate
    a suitable replacement part. The original manufacturer of your drill
    press is no longer in business.

  21. Well that sucks. I guess the only option is to watch ebay and hope one comes up. Someone was selling the entire head assembly recently for about 50 bucks. Might still be there. Good luck with this, Andrew.

  22. Mikey – Thank you for this guide! I recently picked up the 17″ updated version (Craftsman # 124.34986). Installed a keyless precision chuck from Z Live Center, but still have some wobble I’d like to sort out… I’m very interested in swapping out the bearings for precision units, including the move to an angular contact bearing at the end…. but when looking on the website I see sears part’s# S34986-XX (where XX is the part location # in the manual, or in my case: 68, 73, 87 and 89) and with the exception of location # 89, they are listed under the name “Bearing 62” (#89 is simply listed as “Bearing”). This doesn’t pull up any hits on google so far, any suggestions?

  23. Hi Avery,
    The wobble you have – are you sure its coming from the spindle? Have you checked the runout of the arbor without the chuck mounted on it? I only ask because it is all too common to have a chuck mounted just a tiny bit off axis and that can lead you down the wrong path. Also check for TIR at the spindle nose itself to see how much runout you are actually dealing with.

    Assuming the problem is indeed with the spindle bearings then the only way to know the sizes for sure is to pull them out. Typically, Asian drill presses are the same. The two bearings at the drive sleeve and the bottom quill bearing will be the same size and the upper quill bearing will be smaller. All of these will be shielded but not sealed and all will be cheap bearings. Once you locate the bearing number that is stamped on the housing you can use that to cross reference to a higher quality bearing.

    Its okay to use simple shielded bearings for the drive sleeve and upper quill bearing. These are not exposed to debris. I do believe that top quality bearings do make a difference, however, because all the power transmission is borne by these bearings. I prefer Nachi bearings myself. If you are at all concerned about lubrication you can get sealed bearings; those will likely last the life of he machine.

    As to the angular contact bearing, that one should be a permanently lubricated sealed bearing. Find one of the same size if you can. On my machine the lower quill bearing is a 6204-2rs. In a comment by Bob from Germany (see above comments), he found a 7204B 2RS (20x47x14). This is an angular contact bearing with the same dimensions as my 6204. His google-fu is better than mine and I wish I had found it sooner.In any case, look for an angular contact bearing with the same dimensions as your lower quill bearing and give that a try.

    I should mention here that Sears tends to run out of certain parts and then no longer support them. If you have the funds I would suggest you buy a spare drive sleeve assembly and a spare spindle. These are going to be very hard to find one day and you won’t regret having them as a back up.

    My drill press is every bit as accurate today as it was when I rebuilt it in 2010. And I use it almost daily and I do not baby it. It’s worth doing, Avery.

    Good luck and let me know if I can help.


  24. Thank you very much for the advice. I went ahead and ordered a spare quill and drive sleeve (which is…. wait for it…. on backorder! lol and they refer to it in the manual as a “Strain Rel”). I also decided to order one of the upper bearings (it’s about half the price of the lower one). It wasn’t too expensive, but now I’ll hopefully be able to pull the manufacturer’s p/n from it without pulling the press apart just yet. As for determining my actual runout, do you recommend the dial indicator method at the chuck?

  25. I’m sorry, I probably should have mentioned that due to the replacement chuck I selected, arbor and chuck are now one piece, with an MT3 fitting to the spindle, so measuring TIR at the chuck may be my only option

  26. I’m sure one day you’ll be glad you have the spare drive sleeve and spindle – I have them, too.

    Since your chuck and arbor are integrated then just be sure you install the arbor well and it should run as true as it can. To check your run out, the only thing you can do is clean the jaws and clamp a gage pin or precision dowel pin in the chuck and indicate off that. We want as little run out as we can get but don’t forget that the quill moves, too, so be reasonable in your expectations.

    Good luck with your rebuild, and let us know how it turns out.

  27. I forgot to ask you, I do not have a dial indicator yet… I’m looking around at them and there’s quite alot to choose from. I can get a cheapo for $30 or spend $100+ for the nicer Japanese units, is it worth the $$ for a tool I might use 6 times in its lifetime? Are the cheaper ones less precise or just more likely to break?

  28. And lastly, the hunt for good bearings has been interesting lol. I followed your advise and looked into Nachi units, but there are MANY types to choose from. I ended up ordering replacement craftsman bushings rather than pull the press apart and found the following: The two bearings on the drive sleeve are 6205Z single shielded units, the bearing that fits the top of the quill is a 6203Z single shielded part, and lastly the lower spindle bearing is a 6206ZZ. I’ve found many options for replacement, including ceramic-hybrid bearings (VERY expensive), roller bearings (not sure on these), variations on the seals/shields (metal vs rubber) and different cage materials (brass, steel, nylon, ceramic). Am I digging to deep? Should I just stick with the original style bearings and get the basic Nachi equivalents (including the move to a 7206 angular contact model)? Nachi doesn’t offer all of these models with the Z or ZZ metal shields… I would have to go to their 2RS model which implements rubber seals.

  29. High Mikey, I just got a Jacobs 6A Chuck at an estate sale. Is this chuck worthy of using it to rebuild the drill press? I have the same press. Thanks

  30. Hi Avery,
    There are quite a few guys who have had good experiences with cheap Chinese dial indicators. I guess for occasional use they will be fine. I don’t own one and prefer to buy a good one on ebay for the same or less as a Chinese one. If you watch for a Mitutoyo 2416 on ebay you would be surprised how cheap they get – and it is a very, very good indicator that reads to 0.001″. Reliable, repeatable and will serve you well for decades. Just my opinion.

    As for the bearings, I would not spring for ceramic bearings. This is a relatively low speed, low load application and the standard 2RS bearings will more than suffice. RE the angular contact bearing, I still haven’t done that one so cannot attest to how well it would work but I am definitely going to do it in the future. When I do, I will go for a Nachi double-row contact bearing in the size closest to the OEM bearing.

    Hope this helps.

  31. Hey Nick,
    The Jacobs 6A is a nice standard chuck. If you do a general mixture of jobs – wood working, occasional metal work, non-precision holes, etc – then the 6A is fine. There are better chucks of course. The Jacobs Ball-Bearing Super Chucks (the old ones made in the USA, not the cheap Chinese ones they make today), Albrecht and Rohm Supra Keyless chucks are excellent if you want a higher end chuck.

    A lot depends on the condition of the chuck but if I were you I would go ahead and rebuild the drill press if it needs it and then see if the runout at the chuck is tolerable. It is a good idea to remove the arbor and clean up the tapers. You can check the arbor at the same time. If there is any doubt as to the quality of the arbor then replace it with a new Jacobs arbor and reinstall. If the run out still does not meet your needs then maybe a new chuck might be in order.

    If you buy a new chuck, buy it on ebay and go for a good one. I much prefer Albrecht keyless chucks and they go for stupid money sometimes. I have a pristine 1/2″ Albrecht that I simply had to clean up and that cost $50.00, shipped!
    Its the one in this article if I recall correctly.

    Good Luck!

  32. Thank you so much for your advice Mikey, I seriously thought I was stuck with my press’s performance characteristics until I came across this thread. 🙂 I found a good Nachi double row angular contact bearing, model 5206ZZ. The only caveat is it’s depth is 7.8mm more than spec, does this mean I’d lose that much in stroke distance?

  33. After re-reading Bob’s comments above, I’m leery of the double row bearing…. I’d prefer to not modify the spindle if I don’t need to, but every manufacturer seems to recommend double rows for machine tool applications such as ours, do you think this is true or can I do the single row since the only appreciable force applied will be in one direction?

  34. Hi, Mikey,
    Although not an exact match, your post was extremely helpful in helping me restore my Delta 17-900 (circa 1994). Here is something I wanted to share that was directly inspired by your post …
    During restoration of my Delta 17-900 16 1/2″ drill press, I broke my quill return spring. I scoured the internet looking for a replacement spring or spring assembly only to find either a direct replacement for $30+ or a plethora of individual springs, none of which seemed to match the dimensions of my original spring (every vendor measures springs in different dimensions and measurement systems so finding an exact match is near impossible). I just wanted someone to share a cross reference of spring assemblies that would fit my drill press to replace Delta part #1310082.
    Well, I found it … the quill return spring assembly that fits the model of your Craftsman drill press model 137.229150 (assembly 10605002A1) is an exact match for the assembly that replaces that of the Delta 17-900 (part #1310082).
    This Sear Parts Direct part is “0VJK Spring Cap”, a substitute for the original part # listed above, and costs only $5.35 … in contrast to their direct replacement for Delta part #1310082 at $46.85!!!
    I wouldn’t be surprised if several other parts were direct replacements, also.
    However, despite your Craftsman spindle and quill looking identical to those of my Delta, note that the lower spindle bearing and the 2 drive sleeve bearings are 6205 for my Delta vs. 6204 for your Craftsman so proceed with caution.

  35. Thanks for your kind comments, Mark. These presses are ubiquitous, aren’t they? It’s interesting that Delta called for a larger bearing – 5mm difference in bore but still basically a light duty single row bearing. This suggests the spindle is larger and therefore heavier; good for the guys to know.

    Glad you got your press back in running condition. Congratulations!


  36. Hi Mikey,

    thank you very much for this article! I have the same exact drill press as this that my uncle gave me for free. He drill two holes into wood and then never used it again for 15 years! Needless to say it has run out on it (I believe around 0.004) so reading this article should help me with making it more accurate.

    I have a question though. Do you know if there is a comparable drill press table for this Sears drill press? One that is similar to this:

    Also heres a link for improving the cross slide table that you have(unless you might have done them yourself!)


  37. Hey Gordon,

    Your Uncle gave you a decent machine. With good bearings in it, it should last you a long time. This drill press is made in Taiwan by Rexon so I don’t know if the Grizzly table will fit it. You can try calling Grizzly to see what their stem diameter is and if it matches the support on your drill press then it will fit.

    Yeah, I saw that article about the X-Y table mods. Mine is a Phase II and I have had no issue with it. I adjusted the gibs and it is smooth. I added table locks also and the handwheels are already graduated at 0.050/revolution. It is a good table for the price and I can’t imagine not having one.

    Good luck with your drill press. Rebuilding it isn’t that difficult but buy good bearings.


  38. Hello Mikey, the spindle in you DP looks exactly like the one from a Packard Precision HD DP that I have acquired from a clean out. It was free and worth fixing for myself. Can you please let me know the dimensions and part number of the spindle you have? Mine is 12″ long, 0.581″ OD of flutes, flutes to top of top bearing seat is 5″, top bearing seat is 0.670″D x 0.500″L, shaft from top bearing to bottom of bottom bearing seat 6.0625″ x 0.775″D, the bottom bearing seat was damaged and the precise OD is not known. But the bottom of the spindle is 0.950″OD x 0.4375″L from bottom of bottom bearing seat with a wall thickness of 0.125″ with an MT#2 taper. Does it match the dimensions of your spindle? Thank you.

  39. Hi Uncle Buck. My spindle is part# 10605822, available from Sears Parts Direct. The dimensions are nearly identical to yours except:
    1. The bottom bearing seat OD = 0.787″
    2. Bottom of the spindle shaft = 0.8625″ OD X 0.472″ long.
    3. Thickness of the wall at the opening of the MT2 taper is 0.992″ thick.

    All else is the same as yours.

    Hope this helps. My machine was made by Rexon and produced by a number of makers. Rexon actually answers email queries and you might ask them if they made yours. If so, they will know which spindle you need.

  40. Hi Mikey, Great thread, it has brought me much insight.

    Can you measure the star pattern near the top of your spindle? Specifically the OD and ID (inside the teeth) of the star’s 6 teeth?

    And the OD of your quill just above the black plastic ring?


  41. I have been reading that a deep groove ball bearing is capable of supporting some load in the axial direction, handling axial load in 2 directions. The angular contact bearing can support a higher axial load but only in 1 direction. Obviously you would arrange the bearing to counteract the thrust generated by the drill bit pushing onto the work, but what kind of axial load might be expected when the bit pulls out of the work? Therefore wondering if the angular contact bearing is a good choice after all? Thoughts?


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