Well, I had to return my drill press. It was a Canadian Tire Mastercraft Maximum and it was a nice little drill press.
I replaced it with a BusyBee CT020N. This is identical to the Radial Arm Drill Presses sold by Grizzly and ShopFox and functionally identical to many others, including the Mastercraft I just returned. So far, I've compared 10 different drill presses and all share the same parts. Busy Bee Tools Product Detail
Here's the problem:
When I turn the handle to bring down the quill and the drill bit it is as if the pinion is out of alignment with the rack. The noise is wicked like two pieces of metal grinding themselves to death. This is with the motor turned off. It is much worse with the motor turned on, even at the lowest speed -- 5XX RPM.
I have eliminated the following:
1. the belt has been removed and the problem persists. I put the belt back with the same result.
2. I adjusted the belt tension so it is slacker, no change.
3. While the belt was removed I tried just rotating the front pully no noise. I rotate the pully by hand and bring down the quill, death march.
4. I removed the spring and the handle and the pinion and the pinion looks fine. I can't see much of the rack.
5. I put the pinion back with a bit of synthetic grease (a dab on the end of my index finger in total) no change.
6. I have adjusted the tension on the spring, I've adjusted the spring.
BusyBee is going to send me a new pinion and see what that does. In the mean time, I'm having to work with this thing and if there is something that I can do to make it serviceable, I will.
Have you had similar experiences to this? What was the fix -- the quill or the rack or the pinion? Any place that I haven't looked yet?
Thanks for the help.