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Repairing a "smile" in a drill press table using JB Weld?

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Nelson

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Some guidance please...

I have a drill press with a typical "smile" arc of holes in the table. I realize that this is purely cosmetic, but can I fill these holes with JB Weld and then sand it down smooth to make the table look better? Will it last?

Has anyone done this, and if so, are there any tricks to it?

Thanks,


Nelson
 

CharlieW

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There has been a lot of talk over the years about how to repair the infamous "Arc-of-Shame". I had some tables that were pretty bad. My documention has some holes in the process. I just decided to experiment on some of the ones I have to see if I could improve them. I figured...what do I have to loose. These are all off of machines that went on to be restored or are in process now.

Here is what I ended up with.

[size=14pt]Example #1[/size]
I started with this table from a Delta 14" DP. I have some CI rods that are for repairing cast iron with a tourch. They are used just like brazing rods except these require much higher heat to melt/fuse in. As you can see in the picture below, the results left a lot to be desired. It takes way too much heat. I could have heated the whole table up first which probably would have helped.

Table-Top-DP-220.jpg
Table-Bottom-DP-220_2.jpg

A few weeks later, I thought I would give a try welding it up with the MIG welder. The results were quite a bit better.

Table-Bottom-DP-220_4.jpg
Table-Bottom-DP-220_3.jpg

The top is just ground down with a disc grinder. I thought that this method was worth further experimentation.

[size=14pt]Example #2[/size]
This is the Walker-Turner 900 table as it was, once I managed to remove it off of a very tight and rusty column. As you can see, it is pretty well drilled up and would be a rather ugly distraction on a restored machine. I did not clean up the table at all before welding. One of the results of not cleaning up the metal first is it creates a lot of voids/pits in the weld.

Table-Top-WT-5.jpg
Table-Top-WT-2.jpg
Table-Top-WT-3.jpg
Table-Top-WT-1.jpg

[size=14pt]Example #3:[/size]
This table is off of a Delta 15" and was severely broken. I was going to scrap it but it drill mark free and a challenge so I gave it a shot. I clamped all the pieces around a short piece of column to maintain the column hole size and shape. I V'd the cracks out and started brazing it. I did one crack at a time and then ground out another V and brazed that crack. I continued the process until it was completed.

P8060138w.jpg
P8060139w.jpg
P8060140w.jpg

The table is fully functional and went on to a restored drill press.

[size=14pt]Example #4:[/size]
I had to post the picture of the drill press contraption that the next table was on. I am not sure what it was for but my best guess is that it was some sort of production screw feeder.

PA283565w.jpg

Notice the holes and slot in the front of the table.

PA283567w.jpg

I used an angle grinder and countersink to clean all around the areas to be welded. I made small plugs to fill the holes. The plugs were made to sit about 1/8" below the surface.

P8060143w.jpg
P8060142w.jpg
P8060141w.jpg
PB252299w.jpg

I was going to grind everything even but the underside was taking too much time so I decided to leave it since it is on the bottom.

[size=14pt]Example #5:[/size]
I don't have any pictures of this method but it works well on isolated holes.
Drill and tap the hole for a pipe plug. Soft iron plugs work well. Use JB-Weld or similar to adhear the plug into the newly tapped hole. When the adhesive is hardened, the plug can be ground flush with the table surface. This makes an easy and almost invisible repair.


Things I learned.
1. All rusty areas need to be cleaned of corosion before any welding is done.
2. Don't try and fill large areas with weld. Make plugs to fill the holes first.
3. Work small bits at a time and don't try and do all the welding at one time. Weld some and let it cool and then weld some more.
4. Weld the plug around the edge so that you are attaching the plug to the cast iron first. Let it cool and then fill the rest of the area over the plug in the weld ring you made in the first step. If you work in small amounts and only heat the part minimally, there is far less cracking from the shrinking weld pulling away from the stressed interface of the CI and the weld filler material.
5. If you have some cracking after you have ground the patch flush, you can V out the crack with a small grinder and re-weld it. It doesn't seem to crack on the re-weld.

I hope you found this little pictorial helpful and informative. Now I need to come up with a way to regrind the machined surface.

Charlie W.
 

AR1911

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Nelson, I hate to try to add anything to Charlie's very comprehensive reply.

Without a pic of your table, I'm assuming it's a series of holes bored through, perhaps not as bad as charlie's first example?
If so, the ideal would be to tap each hole for a steel plug. Tap them shallow to leave a tapered thread. Screw in either a set screw or a regular cap screw (if you have a mill). Leave the setscrews even with the surface, cut the capscrews off flush. Fill the remainder with JB weld. File, sand or mill smooth.

If it's just small pits, JB Weld will work fine. I've seen it used on milling tables and it's lasted for years.
 

jim_geib

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Nelson,

Charlie's work is great, but don't forget to leave one open and stamp OIL HERE next to it. :)
JB will work but it will not do wonders. I have used it to repair ports on two-cycle engines when I over did the porting. It lasted long enough to get two or three races out of them.
 

AR1911

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My table is fine, but it's a bit small for my tastes. I'm going to make a bigger table to attach to the standard table.
 

cyrusb

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I have done what Shadow suggests, with one difference, I just screw it down with with countersunk screws. It's surprisingly handy having a sacrificial plate.
 

AR1911

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Actually, I have some pieces of heavy laminated desktop. I think I'll cut a table from that. Thanks for the ideas.
 
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