How to Replace the Return Spring on a Drill Press

Drill presses come to be mounted on stands or bolted onto work benches. They consist of a base, column, spindle or "quill" and an induction motor. A drill press has a three-handled wheel that rotates to move the spindle and chuck up and down during use. The spindle assembly drives an attachment that holds a drill chuck and drill bit. The return spring is located near the "quill" of the drill press. It's possible to over-tighten or overwind a return spring, which may cause it to slip out of its housing. When this happens, you need a new spring.

Remove the lock ring and cover plate from the return spring housing by loosening the screws that hold the housing together. Remove the spring from the housing, carefully pulling the end or "tongue" of the return spring from the slot where it is inserted so that it doesn't recoil and injure you. Put the return spring down and let it unwind completely.

Insert the outer end of the spring into the return spring notch located in the edge of the return spring housing cover of the drill press. Rotate and press down on the spring housing cover as you feed the spring back into its housing.

Mount the spring housing onto the press so that the innermost end or "tongue" of the spring catches on or slips into the return spring slot located on the drill press's cross shaft. Loosely tighten the screws that hold the spring cover and housing in place so that the housing is secure and you can still rotate it to adjust the return spring's tension during use.


If the return spring slips out of its housing, most of the time you can reinsert it into its housing, so don't run out right away and purchase a new one before attempting to put it back into place.


Always wear gloves when handling the return spring as it can recoil and injure your hands and arms.

Things You'll Need

  • Screwdriver
  • Leather work gloves
  • Return spring
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About the Author

Alexis Rohlin is a professional writer for various websites. She has produced works for Red Anvil Publishing and was one of the top 10 finalists in the 2007 Midnight Hour Short Story Contest for Rohlin holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in English from Madonna University.