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Drill Press For The Home Shop

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BillShop322

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#1
I'm working on setting up my home shop and one of my first purchases will be a drill press. I will be doing mostly clockwork and other small toolmaking in my shop. I'm not looking for some amazing totally awesome high power drill press, just something that will hold up over time and have enough power to drive say a half inch bit through some crs. Any suggestions? I'd like to keep the price under 350 if possible.

Youtube: search BillShop322
 

Uglydog

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#2
You mention 1/2inch.
Will you plan on drilling larger? If so, then you will want a machine which spins slower than if you wanted something for drilling in wood or watches.
It really comes down rpm, runout, and envelope.
Some are easier to rebuild than others. I prefer vintage and will pay more for rusty old iron than I will for new in crate and shiney.
I believe I get a better value. That's my decision, others may argue different. Please make your own decision.

Regardless, understand RPM and think about what you need to do with her.
If you are occasionally running 2inch+ drills than a chuck or taper which accepts the large tapers is handy.
If you are like many of us you will likely change out tools several times as your ability and focus becomes clear.

Regardless, please know that HM is a safe place to ask questions.
Do you understand about RPM, runoute, and envelope?
If not, then we will help you.

Daryl
MN
 

47convertible

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#3
A natural enough choice and nothing different about having a limited budget. We've all been there and some of us still are. But a DP will not maximize the tasks that need done. A drill press drills. That's about it. They are no good at doing other things like milling that you will quickly want to do.

I've been fooling around with metal fabrication and then machine work for decades. Were I to start over and if I had the goals you have, the first power tool to help me do the things you say you are going to do, would be one of the Seig mini-mills: http://littlemachineshop.com/products/product_view.php?ProductID=4962

It will drill up to 1/2 inch plus it will do milling. Both with more precision than a drill press. They can be had for around $600 on sale new and less used. Given that you can get by with 1/2 drilling you are correct that you don't need a large floor DP like a 20 inch Jet for example. Take a look at the specs on that mill and maybe you will choose to save up a few more dollars and go that way. With either choice, DP or mini mill, a decent quality vise that can be bolted to the table of the machine is necessary.

Just my two cents worth,
Jerry
 

BillShop322

Swarf
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#4
I like the mill idea and it has crossed my.mind because you're right in saying that soon enough I'm going to want more capability. I will want to drill, then ream and maybe tap and bore and counterbore and slot and...the list goes on. Thanks a lot for the input.
 

rrjohnso2000

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#5
I would say even if you decide to get a mill the drillpress will never be regretted. It's built for drilling, reaming, and tapping. Having both allows you to do a lot more without breaking down setups.

I agree with uglydog on buying something old. I bought a post war craftsman bench top for $120 last year. It's in great shape and for its size quite a beast. When I was looking I found a lot of very nice drill presses for under $150.

I thought it needed a reduction pulley to slow it down but I came across a treadmill motor that might take its place.

Either way welcome and good luck
 

Uglydog

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#6
I had a mill/drill. I will not suggest that they are bad machines. That would be untrue.
However, they have limitations. Like everything.
Be sure that you understand the limitations, and are ok with them before the purchase.

Daryl
MN
 

TOOLMASTER

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#7
SOUNDS LIKE YOU ARE MAKING SOME SERIOUS CLOCKS
 

dlane

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#8
Craig's list
 

silence dogood

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#9
If you are going to do a lot of clock work, may I suggest a "sensitive drill press". You have to search for a used one since they expensive.
 

Terry Werm

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#10
It has been said already, but Craig's List will be a good friend for you. Be patient, and keep your eyes open, you may find something more to your liking, and for less money than you ever thought possible.
 

Charles Spencer

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#11
I think the mill/drill is a pretty good idea. Of course, with tooling it will come to at least twice the original amount mentioned.

Now I will suggest some heresy:

Before I retired and got back into machining I was just a somewhat handy home owner. I had three machines: a table saw, a bench grinder, and a drill press. The drill press was a Skil I got at Lowes for about $120 if I recall. The vise was $20. $150 (tax) got me going. It had a rack for cranking the table up and down. Frankly it worked fine for everything I did. I even used it to drill through and repair the wife's cast iron bird bath. Later on I got a nice old Atlas that was definitely more heavy duty. But that Skil is still set up as my secondary drill press because of the crank table.

Just my experience.
 

Eddyde

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#12
I would get the drill press first than the mill, look for a good used one. Drill presses are one of those tools that are indispensable in a shop, I have 3, all get used.
 

sign216

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#13
I'm looking for a home drill press too. I bought a Delta Homecraft, but at 120 lbs I need something smaller, that I can move in/off the bench when it's not in use. This thing is too heavy for my hobby needs.
I'd rather not get a Chinese press.

Any good American presses? Chuck of 1/4 to 3/8" with a weight of 40 to 70 lbs?
 

T Bredehoft

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#14
"sensitive drill press"
My tiny (15' by 16') shop has four bench drill presses, three of them are 'sensitive.' The return spring has been removed and replaced with half a dozen rubber bands. Yeah, they break once in a while, but I can drill a 1/32 hole in aluminum and feel the drill when it touches the bottom of the hole. I cannot do this with my PM25 mill, it isn't 'sensitive' enough, I wasted several drill bits ramming into the hole before I realized what was happening. The last DP I bought cost about $53, it's cheap, but it will drill tiny holes in aluminum all day long.
 

rtp_burnsville

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#15
One of the better 'cheap' drill presses I have used is the Harbor Freight, 16 speed, floor press. Recently picked one up for a friend and it is nice for about $220. It has a range of speeds, especially on the low end which most inexpensive presses do not have. The fit and finish was better than average for an import.

Robert
 
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