Replacing a chuck on a drill press

The chuck on my Skil 3320 drill press became difficult to loosen or tighten a bit by hand or the key so I figured it was time to replace the chuck. I’ve ordered a replacement and ready to install but, first, I have to remove the old chuck. The manual (yes, I did actually check the manual!) suggests I get a ball joint separator and a hammer and tap the chuck off. The manual was no more help than that and neither was the technical person I spoke to who suggested beating on the chuck with a screwdriver and a hammer. This just seemed too familiar to other, unsuccessful, efforts I’ve had in dealing with reluctant tools so I thought I’d check with the experts (you!).

I did watch a bunch of YouTube videos and it does seem that I just need to pound the old chuck off a tapered thing it’s clinging to but, before I do permanent harm to the drill press, does this sound right?


Don those are a real bugger to get off. You are doing it right. Jacobs does make the removal wedges, but you will soon have as much in tools as you do in the new chuck.
Do you know what size chuck you have?

This is for the #2
Drill Chuck
Sometimes it helps to tap on a large punch up from the bottom with the jaws open after you put a good tension on the wedges.

According to what I can find the chuck is a 1/2". The prevailing thinking on YouTube seems to be to douse the chuck around the taper with some sort of loosening agent then whack it with some sort of blunt instrument.

According to the site where I ordered the replacement unit it’s a 15 minute job. My skepticism is reinforced by the voice of experience, Herb!

Thanks, Herb,

Oh, and based on the drawings, it looks like I have a #2 taper.

The #2 taper is the long taper going up into the Quill shaft, the JT taper is the short one attaching the chuck to the long #2 Morse Taper. Did your new chuck come with the long Morse taper? If it did, then, you can replace by removing the whole thing from the Quill shaft. If you are just replacing the chuck ,then you will have to remove the old chuck from the MT and install the new chuck on the old MT.
The Penetrating oil is a good idea to loosen the chuck .It is hard to get penetrating oil to run up hill into the quill shaft though.
To remove the chuck from the Morse Taper, with the jaws open wide, look down inside to see if there is a screw slot or Allen socket to screw off the end of the shaft, Remove the retaining screw and with a large punch drive the Morse taper shaft off the chuck.
On some of the smaller tools the retaining screw inside the chuck is a left hand thread, if the tool is a reversing tool. On the larger tools there is no retaining screw.
Some times the Quill shaft has a slot in it to drive a steel wedge all the way through to remove the #2 Morse Taper and chuck.

Don you might be able to free up the old chuck by spraying it with penetrating oil and working it open and closed several times. The reason it is gummed up is grease and sawdust dried up inside. Then use some 3 in 1 oil to keep it running smoothly.
Just a thought.

I like the idea of seeing if I can make the chuck that’s already on the drill press work! I’ll get some penetrating oil and get to work. More to follow!

Thanks for all of the help,

Don,In metal working the chucks are used for drill/bits up to 1/2". When they need larger holes they have drill bits with the #1, #2,#3 MT shanks and the quill is set up for the #3, which adapters are used on the smaller Drill bits.
So the Chuck with the MT shank is removed often. Very seldom does it require the chuck to be removed from the MT shank. SO the drillpress ‘s quill shaft is set up with a slot that the tip of the tang on the MT Chuck/drill bits exposed and a wedge is driven in to knock out the MT chuck. The handyman drill presses’ sometimes don’t have that feature.

MT drill bit removal

Removing Chuck and taper

MT to Jacobs taper for the jacobs chuck

Drill bits and adaptors

As always, you’re a wealth of great information and help. I took your advice to try some penetrating oil on the existing chuck and worked it back and forth and, voila, the chuck is spinning freely again!

The stuff I used (pictured) was from my neighborhood Ace. The hardest part was getting the top off the darned rattle can! Once that was done and I had doused the drill press, and myself, with this stuff it all worked out. I’ll keep the new chuck handy, as well as all of these notes, as it’s just a matter of time before I do some real damage to the chuck and need to actually remove it.

My hobbyist drill press has none of the fancy - insert something here, give it a tap and the chuck helpfully falls out. My drill press is going to require some serious banging to get that chuck off!

Thanks for all of the help - this is what makes this club so great!



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Glad to hear you got that chuck freed up.You will probably never have another problem with it.
You are right about the forum being a great source of knowledge for our club. And all these great minds will solve the new to us old guys all about the new digital world of woodworking that is growing fast.