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I took a drill press apart that was given to me a while back and used the parts to make a small lathe until I can afford a real one. My question is, does anyone know of a way to attach a faceplate or anything other than the drill press chuck to the tapered shaft? It's not perfect but it works ok for someone who has never turned before but I wish I had threads instead of the shaft.
 

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Turn a spindle to a taper that will fit in where you put the drill chuck. Attach a face plate or glue block to that spindle. If the taper is drilled through, use a threaded rod to make a drawbar to secure it.

I would use this only for small items because there won't be much strength in a wood spindle that size. If you were to turn that spindle from a solid brass rod, it would be much stronger than wood. Brass will cut easily with HSS and carbide.
 

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The JT taper for drill chucks is a short self holding taper. The common JT taper for 1/2" drill chucks is JT33.
It is designed for axial thrust only. Radial, or side loads can cause the chuck to fly off the taper.
However, some older drill presses like Craftsman and Walker Turner used a locking collar built into specific Jacobs drill chucks to hold the chuck on the spindle taper for using sanding attachments in the chuck.
So, be careful on side loading drill chucks or anything attached to the short taper.
 
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