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Another Drill press ? and the 12" Craftsman has a new home.

This forum was able to answer my last query about an Old Jet drilll press I have in regards to the how to remove the chuck plus finding a new shaft for my old Delta Milwaukee wood turning lathe - Thank you again for ALL the responses. I have three new questions.
1. I have acquired another old drill press - a Benchstar 16 - see photos - but the key for the chuck does not fit properly (too small) and am wondering where I can get another key that would fit (suppliers) plus how would this chuck be removed as it does not have a locking screw inside or access to drive out the taper as in a Delta or other brands.
2. I was able to obtain an new chuck for my Jet drill press and a machinist in the city told me the best method to install - heating it in a kitchen oven for 1-2 hours on low heat (200* F) so it would expand and then pressing it on by bringing up the table to touch the chuck while I pulled down on the quill handle and then left it there for several hours while it cooled and shrunk. This initially worked, but it has come loose twice from use and fallen off. Each time I reheat it and retry to same procedure. Wondering if anyone has a another method that will ensure longevity.
3. The 12"Craftsman metal turning lathe has come home to its new home. I have spent the last 3 weeks cleaning, taking it apart, cleaning, more cleaning and more cleaning. Its back together with the exception of the shrouds and covers over the electric motor and slowly working at it so I don't miss anything when putting it back together. The original owner supplied a few parts/accessories, but the one I really liked was the original operating instructions and parts list manual and also the manual of lathe operation and machinists tables. The lathe was only used to refresh commutators in an electrical motor repair shop so it appears to have minimal use, but was not cleaned very well.
My question for the forum is - does anyone have a four jaw chuck for this lathe or know of where I might obtain one along with a quick change tool post that's complete - I've looked at the Aloris website and am shocked at the prices of these units new.
Thanks again for all your support over the last few months - this forum is a GREAT resource.



Ultra Member
Premium Member
Your Benchstar looks almost identical to my 1990's vintage House of Tools drill press (Taiwan). Couple years back when I replaced the key chuck with keyless I took the opportunity to measure runout of the inside socket taper with DTI just for kicks. I was shocked - between zero and like 0.0004". I tried in different positions, up & down the taper, same or better specs. The bearings are in good shape so I think I got lucky where the usual deviations cancelled out. This is why I'd like to get VFD control on this machine, if its that accurate then I'd like rpm flexibility to drill small holes (high rpm) or low rpm (tapping or whatever).

Personally, if you are upgrading chuck, you might want to consider a fresh arbor adapter while you are at it. They typically aren't too expensive relative to the chuck. The thorny issue is always will you get a new but worse runout just because of crappy QC. Some offshore ones are horrible, some probably right inline with your chuck spec. Sometimes you can clock them so they cancel one another. But first things first,once you have the arbor+chuck out its worth measuring the inside socket to to see what is going on. If you can separate the arbor from chuck, thats great as long as the taper inst a more obscure one & you pay more for the chuck. You can also put the arbor back in the spindle & measure runout on the male tapered segment (that goes into the chuck) and give you an idea if its good & worth keeping.

If the bearings are worn or other issues, might be a deeper dive. I've seen a lot of woodworker types put big sanding wheels in the chuck & do curved profiling - ie pushing the wood into the spindle. The bearings on these smaller machines will take some of this lateral load but its not really how they were intended to run, especially like thick hardwood & long hours of this. You might have a good base machine & worth some TLC to make it better. A lot of the current offerings do not have this quality.


Ultra Member
Premium Member
...along with a quick change tool post that's complete - I've looked at the Aloris website and am shocked at the prices of these units new.
Aloris & Dorian are the USA made gold standard and yes brutally expensive. If you come across a used one in good shape, snag it. But lots of us have Asian copies which work perfectly fine. The usual caveat, some are better than others & can be a crap shoot so your odds are a bit better if someone has purchased recently from X and was happy. And btw prices vary all over the map on those too depending on the middleman. Often there is a good package deal toolpost + collection of toolholders but evaluate what you think will use. It might be better to pick & choose what you want.

The other issue is proper sizing. Most times they will say lathe of swing X will require toolpost Y. Thats a reasonable starting point but the more critical thing is distance from the top of your compound datum to center of spindle. Why? because lathes vary in this regard. Otherwise you could buy the wrong size & they are heavy PITA to return. This is just one diagram but there are others when you Google tool posts. https://www.accusizetools.com/quick-change-tool-posts/
Do some net surfing of what specific model people have installed on their same lathe as yours. Ideally you don't want to be shaving toolholders & fiddle futzing around trying to adapt something. Also recognize the gap in the toolholder varies with size & this now dictates the size of shanked tools you use. This is getting to be less of an issue with so many Asian tools at very low prices. Another topic.

The other decision once you land on size is piston vs. wedge. That has been discussed on the forum if you do a search. IMO quality trumps the mechanism. A poor QC wedge is worse than a decent QC good piston. I have a KBC Chinese piston & happy with it but others have different experience.