Adequate Hobbyist Drill Press?

I’ve got a reference rod I’ll chuck up and indicate.
Yes if it shows a low amount of run out let us know.
If your local HF is like ours, they are already sold out.

If policy is the same at all stores the floor display model should still be there to check.

I did some more product spec comparisons and for $400 the HF's next model up has about double the HP rating, a larger square table, including T slots.
It also has a lower lowest speed under 200 RPM and larger diameter main column plus IIANM a taller/ larger spindle case, which may add rigidity and better bearing support to the spindle.
 
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Agreed. Mid January is also Inventory time, and any old stock, over bought, and slowing sales, could lead to a sale.
:)

now I am confused.
I am not the OP...
But have been looking for a floor standing DP
Oh I got the wrong person, soz. :oops:
 
Yes if it shows a low amount of run out let us know.
If your local HF is like ours, they are already sold out.

If policy is the same at all stores the floor display model should still be there to check.

I did some more product spec comparisons and for $400 the HF's next model up has about double the HP rating, a larger square table, including T slots.
It also has a lower lowest speed under 200 RPM and larger diameter main column plus IIANM a taller/ larger spindle case, which may add rigidity and better bearing support to the spindle.
Yeah, the two nearby HFs are out - stores don’t list that unit in their inventory system, so not worth a long drive to check other HFs.

I settled for a 12in Wen Benchtop Drill Press $215 delivered from Amazon - it’ll go on a garage workbench rather than a floor stand unit in my basement workshop area.

If I need to, I can take a workpiece to our nearby Makerspace, where we have a large commercial drill press unit.


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Picked this Powermatic 1200 up for $350 at a school district auction just up the street. Took it home, leveled it, and that was that. The old Taiwan HF floor press that my dad gave me for my 22nd birthday (a real workhorse, don't get me wrong, just gutless and ugh, sheaves) is now serving coat rack duty by the door, waiting for a new home. I haven't moved it because I don't like Craigslist games. If anyone in the area needs one, hit me up. Once you go Reeves drive, it kind of ruins you for good. The Powermatic came with a drill speed/bit size chart riveted to the head.
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I've also got the German big-box store equivalent to the Wen benchtop. It's a good little drill press.
 
Yeah, the two nearby HFs are out - stores don’t list that unit in their inventory system, so not worth a long drive to check other HFs.

I settled for a 12in Wen Benchtop Drill Press $215 delivered from Amazon - it’ll go on a garage workbench rather than a floor stand unit in my basement workshop area.

If I need to, I can take a workpiece to our nearby Makerspace, where we have a large commercial drill press unit.

I hope you realize the lowest speed on the Wen is 580 rpm. That's considerably faster than the lowest speed on the HF model you were looking at. Several years ago, I purchased a Jet JDP-125VS from a machine shop that was closing down. It was offered to all the other shops in the company with the catch that it had to be put on the books at the current price the closing shop was carrying it.

For some unknown reason the closing shop was carrying it at a value of $2,500.00. That was a bit ridiculous in that the machine was already 12 years old and a new one was only a few hundred dollars more. As it turned out no one would take it and it was destined for the scrapper. I asked if I could buy it and they said I could have it for whatever the scrapper was offering. For $25.00 I walked out the door with a 700 lb. functioning drill press.

The machine had a 2 speed 220/440 volt 2 hp motor with speeds from 150 rpm to 2,000 rpm. It could be programmed to drill to a set depth at one speed, slow to tap, and reverse when reaching the set depth. When I got it the control transformer was sketchy. I tried to order a new one from Jet, but like most foreign made machines it took months. I needed to use it, so I replaced the original controls with a simple rotary switch. It took nearly 10 months before the transformer finally arrived. I put the restoration on the "to do list" and moved on with life. The new transformer and the controls are still sitting in a box on the shelf twenty some years later.

The machine runs fine as it is so there's still no rush to complete the restoration. The first 2 pictures are as it looks today. The second 2 are as it should look when restored.
 

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I settled for a 12in Wen Benchtop Drill Press $215 delivered from Amazon - it’ll go on a garage workbench rather than a floor stand unit in my basement workshop area.
I started with an old Craftsman about that size. I sold it when I got a larger generic floor standing unit. By then I’d built an intermediate pulley to slow it down. I sort of wish I’d kept it.
Enjoy your brand new drill press! It’s awesome that you’ve got a maker space nearby too.
 
I hope you realize the lowest speed on the Wen is 580 rpm. That's considerably faster than the lowest speed on the HF model you were looking at. Several years ago, I purchased a Jet JDP-125VS from a machine shop that was closing down. It was offered to all the other shops in the company with the catch that it had to be put on the books at the current price the closing shop was carrying it.

For some unknown reason the closing shop was carrying it at a value of $2,500.00. That was a bit ridiculous in that the machine was already 12 years old and a new one was only a few hundred dollars more. As it turned out no one would take it and it was destined for the scrapper. I asked if I could buy it and they said I could have it for whatever the scrapper was offering. For $25.00 I walked out the door with a 700 lb. functioning drill press.

The machine had a 2 speed 220/440 volt 2 hp motor with speeds from 150 rpm to 2,000 rpm. It could be programmed to drill to a set depth at one speed, slow to tap, and reverse when reaching the set depth. When I got it the control transformer was sketchy. I tried to order a new one from Jet, but like most foreign made machines it took months. I needed to use it, so I replaced the original controls with a simple rotary switch. It took nearly 10 months before the transformer finally arrived. I put the restoration on the "to do list" and moved on with life. The new transformer and the controls are still sitting in a box on the shelf twenty some years later.

The machine runs fine as it is so there's still no rush to complete the restoration. The first 2 pictures are as it looks today. The second 2 are as it should look when restored.
Excellent!!
Both the machine and the way you acquired it.
 
I hope you realize the lowest speed on the Wen is 580 rpm. That's considerably faster than the lowest speed on the HF model you were looking at. Several years ago, I purchased a Jet JDP-125VS from a machine shop that was closing down. It was offered to all the other shops in the company with the catch that it had to be put on the books at the current price the closing shop was carrying it.

For some unknown reason the closing shop was carrying it at a value of $2,500.00. That was a bit ridiculous in that the machine was already 12 years old and a new one was only a few hundred dollars more. As it turned out no one would take it and it was destined for the scrapper. I asked if I could buy it and they said I could have it for whatever the scrapper was offering. For $25.00 I walked out the door with a 700 lb. functioning drill press.

The machine had a 2 speed 220/440 volt 2 hp motor with speeds from 150 rpm to 2,000 rpm. It could be programmed to drill to a set depth at one speed, slow to tap, and reverse when reaching the set depth. When I got it the control transformer was sketchy. I tried to order a new one from Jet, but like most foreign made machines it took months. I needed to use it, so I replaced the original controls with a simple rotary switch. It took nearly 10 months before the transformer finally arrived. I put the restoration on the "to do list" and moved on with life. The new transformer and the controls are still sitting in a box on the shelf twenty some years later.

The machine runs fine as it is so there's still no rush to complete the restoration. The first 2 pictures are as it looks today. The second 2 are as it should look when restored.
Yep - saw that. Where does that low-end speed most matter? Large holes, small holes, aluminum, steel? I could do with some learning! Thanks.
 
Yep - saw that. Where does that low-end speed most matter? Large holes, small holes, aluminum, steel? I could do with some learning! Thanks.

When I run larger bits at too high of a speed because my drill press won't turn slow enough I end up burning up a lot of drill bits. Too high of a speed and the drill bit gets cooked. It seems like I pretty much only have problems with steel.

I anted-up for the 17" floor standing HF drill press 30+ years ago and I am still using it. Any really big bits I just use the mill. My BIL gave me a 13" floor standing HF drill press from a lot of tools he bought and in my opinion it is too small to be used for any kind of decent sized metal drilling. Wood drilling it is OK. The belts on the 13" DP I had where narrower than most equipment belts (like 3/8" wide belts instead of the usual 1/2" belts) so there was limited torque before the belts started slipping, even on the lowest gear. I traded the 13" for a day of helping me clean up the shop from one of my daughters high-school friends.

I have a 16.5" Delta variable speed (Reeves drive) drill-press and it isn't the be-all end-all I thought it would be. Even at 150rpm the belt slips with big bits if they get too deep of a bite in a hole. The old HF 17" just keeps chugging away with bigger bits. The VS Delta 16.5" Delta sits in the woodworking side of the shop (it was really designed and sold as a WW drill press). The HF sits in the metal working side.

I assume that the Powermatic VS (Reeves drive) drill presses are more designed for (geared towards) metal working than my Delta/Rockwell VS (Reeves drive) drill press.

I also have a 12" Walker Turner DP. It has the tightest spindle bearings and is the smoothest running DP I have ever used. All my other DP's have some slop in the spindle bearings which make a bit of a ruckus when drilling. My other DP's drill round holes like the WT and since you always start a hole with a center punch the play in the spindle bearings are not really a hinderance... but you can easily tell the quality difference in the DP's.

Aluminum is just soft, gummy, drill bit eating metal. Because of it's properties aluminum is exceptionally good at grabbing the tip of the drill bit and stopping it from turning while the upper part of the drill bit is still turning and... SNAP! Slow controlled feed with plenty of clearing strokes to clean the swarf from the flutes of the drill bit and add lube is what is needed when drilling aluminum. I have had drill bits saved many times by under powered drill motors and slipping belts stopping the drill bit AND drill spindle rotation before the bit shears.
 
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