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Thread: Drill Press Grease Cup

  1. #1
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    Default Drill Press Grease Cup

    Hello Fount of all Knowledge!

    I have my dad's 30's vintage drill press. Wonderful tool & it works quite well. It has a grease cup on it that appears to be basically the same as one on a stuffing box. In my experience, you simply remove the cover that you tighten, refill it with grease, & screw it back on.

    However, when I back this one off, the cap turns freely until close to all the way out & then gets very hard to turn (would have to use pliers to loosen it further). I don't want to busticate it, but the spindle is due for some grease.

    Any thoughts?

    DrillPressGeaseCup.jpg
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Drill Press Grease Cup

    You're doing it right. the last few threads on the cup are buggered, or that edge got whacked and dented or something, but you're doing it right.

    Is it easier or better to put a wrench on that black transition piece and back that out instead?
    "Visionary" is he who in every egg sees a carbonara.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Drill Press Grease Cup

    The best solution is New Drill Press.

    I'm impressed with the new Powermatic... <G>

    Actually -- I've got a Rockwell benchtop Radial Drill Press just slightly newer than your beatie (methinks)... and I'd not give it up readily. Good luck!
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    https://www.facebook.com/HarborWoodworks/

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Drill Press Grease Cup

    Quote Originally Posted by Figment View Post
    You're doing it right. the last few threads on the cup are buggered, or that edge got whacked and dented or something, but you're doing it right.

    Is it easier or better to put a wrench on that black transition piece and back that out instead?
    Then I'd still have to put that in a vise & apply more force to the cap, no?

    Quote Originally Posted by David G View Post
    The best solution is New Drill Press.

    I'm impressed with the new Powermatic... <G>

    Actually -- I've got a Rockwell benchtop Radial Drill Press just slightly newer than your beatie (methinks)... and I'd not give it up readily. Good luck!
    Ha! While this one has fewer speeds than a new one, it is quiet & accurate. In fact my dad machined the table to plumb & really smooth & holes I drill are within better than a thou on alignment. Did I mention it's quiet?
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Drill Press Grease Cup

    Is that one of the ones with a "window" in the outer cap? I have a couple that you just rotate the outer cap to expose the hole and fill.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Drill Press Grease Cup

    Any chance you can get the belt guard off for better channellock access?
    R
    Sleep with one eye open.

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    Default Re: Drill Press Grease Cup

    Would it help to tighten the cap back on and stuff a piece of cloth with a solvent on it under the cap to clean the threads inside as you screw it back off?

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Drill Press Grease Cup

    Have you even TRIED bending down to where it can hear you... and using Very Harsh Language???
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    https://www.facebook.com/HarborWoodworks/

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Drill Press Grease Cup

    Quote Originally Posted by Garret View Post
    Hello Fount of all Knowledge!

    I have my dad's 30's vintage drill press. Wonderful tool & it works quite well. It has a grease cup on it that appears to be basically the same as one on a stuffing box. In my experience, you simply remove the cover that you tighten, refill it with grease, & screw it back on.

    However, when I back this one off, the cap turns freely until close to all the way out & then gets very hard to turn (would have to use pliers to loosen it further). I don't want to busticate it, but the spindle is due for some grease.

    Any thoughts?

    DrillPressGeaseCup.jpg
    Take the cap off, clean it out and check the threads. Being brass and finely threaded its very common for those to be stripped. If so, you may find that if you take the fitting out of the body of the drill press that you can fit a grease fitting, ( zerk fitting? As a speaker of English English I'm not totally fluent in American) and just use a grease gun. A couple of pumps per decade will be enough.
    If not, lower the quill as far as it goes, smear it with a light layer of grease, raise it as far as it goes and get in the top and do the same, then work it up and down for a while. As long as it goes up and down freely thats fine. It's not a critical maintenance item.

    John Welsford
    An expert is but a beginner with experience.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Drill Press Grease Cup

    Quote Originally Posted by john welsford View Post
    then work it up and down for a while.
    uhhhhhh huh huh

    i just had a beavis and butthead moment, sorry

    carryon
    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Drill Press Grease Cup

    Quote Originally Posted by Garret View Post
    Then I'd still have to put that in a vise & apply more force to the cap, no?
    I dunno, my twisted mind can envision a scenario in which one threads the brass cap all the way down on the black piece, sticks the nipple of the black piece into some grease, then unwinds the brass cap until it hits the stop... sucking grease into the void like pulling on a syringe... never needing to separate the brass cap from the black nipple.

    It's just a thought.
    (Y'all have a good day)
    "Visionary" is he who in every egg sees a carbonara.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Drill Press Grease Cup

    JUST FOR FUN: Is this it?

    A1AE90CB-39EF-4FEE-8024-B86DA43C065F.jpg
    ITS CHAOS, BE KIND

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Drill Press Grease Cup

    Back the cover off as far as you can by hand, then using a wrench remove the grease cup from the machine and pack the cup assembly with a putty knife or whatever from the pipe threaded end.
    Reinstall and it should work as normal for another 40-50 years. What ever you do don't bustcate it or f*c it up with vise grips etc. you'll never forgive yourself. And your eye will fo right to it every time you use the drill press, then you will think of your dad, and know that he taught you better.
    If you do busticate it, they are still available new. Mcmaster-Carr
    edit: https://www.mcmaster.com/lubrication...grease-cups-6/
    Last edited by Canoeyawl; 10-28-2022 at 01:24 PM.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Drill Press Grease Cup

    Success!

    When I unscrewed the whole grease cup assembly (1/2" open end - not pliers) I was able to remove the cap by hand. Maybe it was screwed in so tight it distorted the threads? Dunno - though my dad was not an "over-torquer". So I then cleaned the old grease out - by the smell it was from about 1970 - and repacked with fresh grease. Screwed it back together & it now works as expected.

    All help much appreciated!

    @ Jim - the pic in # 12 is very close - though mine has a 4-way handle instead of 2 - but dad mighta changed it. Note that my dad was a junior electrical engineer (with a masters from Princeton) in the 30's & his weekly salary was about $20 - so the drill press was over a week's wages for him. My brother & I have some other tools of his from the same era & they are nice quality. The belt guard on this is cast iron, weighs a couple of pounds & is held on by a 7/16 (5/8 head) bolt!

    @ Jake - you know me well - I woulda been pissed every time I saw something wrong on it - though you shoulda seen the rigging he did on our old 2N Ford to get it to start "reliably"...

    @ David - it's a benchtop drill press & the motor/belt drive is over my head. You'd probably need binoculars to see it.
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Drill Press Grease Cup

    Someday you are going to remove that spindle and learn that it has in fact a sealed bearing and none of that grease was going in there anyway!
    I may have a mortise attachment for that drill press. I'll give it to you if it will fit...

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Drill Press Grease Cup

    Quote Originally Posted by Canoeyawl View Post
    Someday you are going to remove that spindle and learn that it has in fact a sealed bearing and none of that grease was going in there anyway!
    I may have a mortise attachment for that drill press. I'll give it to you if it will fit...
    But at least we all had fun here, right?

    Thanks.
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Drill Press Grease Cup

    Quote Originally Posted by Garret View Post
    But at least we all had fun here, right?

    Thanks.
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    https://www.facebook.com/HarborWoodworks/

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Drill Press Grease Cup

    Quote Originally Posted by Garret View Post
    But at least we all had fun here, right?

    Thanks.
    I have grease all over me right now... doing a windlass clean up and refit. One issue I'm getting frustrated with is the labelling on grease these days. My windlass is full of planetary gears which are supposed to throw grease around for general lubrication. The original spec was wrong and many of these things had to be rebuilt in the early days because of too thick grease( which stuck and didn't throw.)
    So I think I need a 00, an 0 or a 1 grease. Do you think they have it written on them these days? Some do, many don't .
    I'm currently thinking of mixing it up, assembling the bearings with a normal #2 automotive and then adding a lighter grade if I can get it?

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Drill Press Grease Cup

    I have had some success with this, but some grease just won't mix
    Try #90 gear oil and add old fashioned grease, black, moly based grease has worked for me.
    definitely mix it beforehand in a container, and then apply it, not relying on the mechanism itself to mix it

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Drill Press Grease Cup

    I did pick up my 90 weight diff oil from storage in case.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Drill Press Grease Cup

    Quote Originally Posted by Canoeyawl View Post
    I have had some success with this, but some grease just won't mix
    Try #90 gear oil and add old fashioned grease, black, moly based grease has worked for me.
    definitely mix it beforehand in a container, and then apply it, not relying on the mechanism itself to mix it
    Ah, some 'fond' memories of applying molybdenum disulphide grease (by hand) to shipboard weapon handling equipment - to forestall rust in the salt air - then trying to remove it from one's hands ! Went thru many a 5 gallon bucket of the stuff. . . . .
    Charter Member - - Professional Procrastinators Association of America - - putting things off since 1965 " I'll get around to it tomorrow, .... maybe "

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