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BP J-head loose key in quill down feed speed selector


Hot Rolled
Sep 28, 2006
Spotsylvania, VA
I have had trouble selecting the quill down feed with the 3 position selector since I bought this mill a few years ago. I pulled the selector cover off this afternoon and discovered that the key had shifted down in the keyway. I pushed it back up with a punch and a light tap with a hammer and then tried to seat it in the keyway but it is still loose and fell right back down when I put it together.
Any suggestions for keeping the key in the keyway that doesn't involve a teardown and a new key? I tried to slide the key out while holding the gear set at the top but no go.


loose key1.jpg

Dan from Oakland

Sep 15, 2005
Oakland, CA
clean the oil off with laquer thinner or brakekleen and put a drop of locktite or superglue behind the key, and slide it back into position. Or, if the key is soft, put a few center punch marks on the key where it fits into the shaft and tap it back into position.


Mar 24, 2005
Palmer, Alaska
Looks like key is slightly bent....

Not too terrible to fix properly...

Pull motor, 2 nuts.. Set on table so it can't roll off..

Pull belt housing, 3 nuts.

Pull quill feed worm cradle, Allen screw or 2.

Pull vertical shaft and bushing, Allen screw or 2.

A bit tough to get the bronze bushing to go up freeing problem shaft, not too bad...

Watch for Allen set screw, on top of another setscrew..

Don't use power quill feed, to drill larger than 3/8th diameter holes in steel..

As you can see, nothing beefy in that little gearbox..