Thursday, August 3, 2017

Homecraft "Hex Key" chuck disassembly

The "hex key" chuck on my "new" Homecraft 11-110 drill press is pretty simple, in terms of how many separate parts and ease of disassembly. Simply unscrew the outer sleeve and the parts seen below just drop free. The only remaining pieces to the chuck are the main body and the cam in the main body used for final tightening. A very simple chuck. Oh, and notice how nicely the drill press table turned out after cleaning it. I scraped off the heavy rust, then took 320 grit sandpaper and WD-40 to it. See the last blog entry for a "before" view of the table.



The one drawback I see of this chuck is that the smallest drill bit it can grip is 1/8" (capacity 1/8" to 1/2"). I found an advertisement on the VintageMachinery.org website for the 11-110 drill press. Here is a partial view of it:

The drill press in the ad has the strange "hex key" chuck and sold new for $39.95. Homecraft also produced an 11-120 drill press in this time period but it came with the standard Jacobs chuck, with capacity of 0 to 1/2", and a list price of $43.95, an additional 10% for the standard chuck.

If an 11-110 and 11-120 were next to each other at a garage sale today and only a few bucks different in price, I don't know which one I'd choose. I like the novelty of the strange "hex key" chuck but also like the smaller capacity of a normal chuck. (in the comparison shot below, the 11-120 looks beefier than the 11-110, but in fact they both have the same dimensions listed in the ads)

One final thought. My drill press is missing the metal Homecraft name tag. I found a picture of one online, took a screenshot of it, printed it out, and rubber cemented it onto the drill press. From a few feet away you can't tell it's not real.

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