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Drill Press Suggestions

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indychuck

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#1
Hello, I’ve been perusing the hobby machinist site for a while prior to setting up an account. I like what I’ve seen from a polite, cordial and helpful forum. There are multiple ways to do things and it’s refreshing to see that one person’s way is not” better” than another’s way, it’s merely different. Nothing insulting from what I’ve seen at all.

I’m not a machinist or a millwright or a mechanical engineer, I’m just simply signing up to get ideas on how to do different tasks in your field and to get opinions on some tools that I may be in the market for.

I’m currently making small scale sized flags that requires some drilling in the flag poles. The flag poles are wooden and range in diameter from .5” to 1.75”. I will be cross drilling small holes to insert threaded rods to secure cleats and pulleys to the flag pole. I’d like some suggestions on some smaller drill presses that will work for this type of small work. I don’t necessarily want the lower end drill presses, but I don’t think I need a higher end one either. What is it that separates the higher end drill presses to the lower end model ones?


Here is a link of models that I think may be good candidates, but I’m not sure. Other suggestions for this type of work would be appreciated.

Thank you,

Chuck
 

jpfabricator

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#2
Welcome aboard! The difference I have seen personally is mainly aesthetics. As with everything I'm shur there high grade bearings, and motors on the upper end units. I would search craigslist, and EBay for something older that could be put to work.

Sent from somwhere in east Texas by Jake!
 

MozamPete

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#3
I had a cheap small bench press (of the type in the photo below) and the thing that most annoyed me about it was the flexing of the table under drilling pressure. Probably not a problem if you are only drilling wood, but for drilling metal I found it a pain (possibly I needed sharper drills).
Also due to the low column length you need a low profile vice - I brought a X-Y cross-slide vice for mine but couldn't use it on the table as even set to the lowest position there wasn't enough space left for anything but the shortest drill bits.

Just a couple of things to check if your comparing models.

1000516246_4_644x461_ryobi-5-speed-bench-drill-press-handy-table-home-garden-tools_rev004.jpg
 

CluelessNewB

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Of all the tools in my shop the drill press is the one I use the most. My first DP was a horrible radial thing made by AMT back in the late 60's. My second was a 16" Taiwan made Reliant purchased new, it had bad run out, a worthless chuck, sticky power switch... I then inherited my Dad's 15" Walker Turner, that was a revelation. I have since added another 15" Walker Turner (and two more 15" WT's that need work) and a 12" Power King (Atlas) my wife uses for jewelry work. I would seriously recommend looking for an older machine like Delta, Walker Turner, Atlas, Powermatic, South Bend, Craftsman (older), Buffalo Forge and other similar machines from the 1940's, 50's and 60's.
 

indychuck

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Of all the tools in my shop the drill press is the one I use the most. My first DP was a horrible radial thing made by AMT back in the late 60's. My second was a 16" Taiwan made Reliant purchased new, it had bad run out, a worthless chuck, sticky power switch... I then inherited my Dad's 15" Walker Turner, that was a revelation. I have since added another 15" Walker Turner (and two more 15" WT's that need work) and a 12" Power King (Atlas) my wife uses for jewelry work. I would seriously recommend looking for an older machine like Delta, Walker Turner, Atlas, Powermatic, South Bend, Craftsman (older), Buffalo Forge and other similar machines from the 1940's, 50's and 60's.
Thank you for the suggestion on an older machine. If I do find an older type, like the ones you've mentioned, how difficult is it to find someone that repairs or refurbishes them? I've got a couple old film cameras that are in need of repair, but finding someone for that kind of work is not easy at all. Would finding someone to repair old machinery like a drill press be similarly difficult?
 

47convertible

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I would look for a jewelers drill press that would seem to be designed and sized for the work you are doing. Not to be a smart a$$ but price is one good clue to precision. You can Google jewelers drill presses.
In general what distinguishes a quality drill press would be a true variable speed motor (not changing belts to change speeds), a positive stop for downfeed, a very tight quill with run out measuring .002 or less at the end of a proven straight rod in the chuck and a quality chuck with bearings. Albrecht is sort of the top of the heap in that regard and makes various size chucks including very small for the type of work you are describing.
Jerry
 

Uglydog

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Think about the materials you intend to drill, softer woods and metals allow higher speeds than harder woods and metals.
Smaller drills tolerate a higher speed than larger drills.
Their are charts for metal. I'm guessing there are charts for wood.
Choose a drill press which will accomodate the spindle speeds you need and the chuck size required.

I checked the Mooresville Indiana Craigslist. There are several cool vintage DP listed.
http://indianapolis.craigslist.org/search/sss?sort=rel&query=drill press

Daryl
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JimDawson

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#8
Would finding someone to repair old machinery like a drill press be similarly difficult?
Most of the older drill presses will be completely serviceable in their used condition if you can find a good one. They were built to last forever. If you are not able to do the work yourself, given the cost of labor, the cost to pay someone to rebuild it would far exceed the value of the drill press. The best option in that case might be to find a hobbyist that loves to work on older equipment.

For your current application just about any drill press will work fine. You don't need NASA precision for cross drilling dowels.

A drill guide something like this would be helpful

upload_2016-10-10_9-23-43.png
upload_2016-10-10_9-29-0.png
 

CluelessNewB

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#9
Thank you for the suggestion on an older machine. If I do find an older type, like the ones you've mentioned, how difficult is it to find someone that repairs or refurbishes them? I've got a couple old film cameras that are in need of repair, but finding someone for that kind of work is not easy at all. Would finding someone to repair old machinery like a drill press be similarly difficult?
It may not be easy to find someone else to do repairs but as far as machines go a drill press is relatively simple. You can do repairs yourself! Changing belts is easy and bearings aren't that difficult either. Manuals and parts diagrams for most older machines can be found either here under downloads on the HM site or on the Vintage Machinery web site http://www.vintagemachinery.org/. There is also loads of restoration threads on the Old Woodworking Machine web site http://www.owwm.org/index.php .
 

westsailpat

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#10
If all you are going to do is drill wood then obviously you will not need anything to robust . But I would say once you get one it will open up all kinds of possibility's . One thing you might not be aware of is that some DP's have what they call a counter shaft . One thing a counter shaft does it gives you more speeds and lets you get lower RPM's , you still have higher RPM's but if all you are going to drill is wood you might not want that feature and it costs more too . I bought this drill press http://www.sears.com/craftsman-12in...SellerId=Sears&prdNo=2&blockNo=2&blockType=G2 it has a counter shaft , they have a smaller version that does not have a counter shaft . I'm not real pleased with this DP for one thing it won't hold a drill smaller than 1/8 , it has depth stop but it's hard to use and it does not have a spindle lock . It does have a nice work light and the lazer x finder is interesting . I like what CluessNewB is saying about getting a older DP I plan to do that . But I sense you want to get something new . I'm not real up on the newer stuff , but those ones in your link look good . One thing I can say for sure is that you will need a good work holding device . If you are mainly going to drill round stuff you could make a nice vee block with a piece angle stock and and a piece of flat stock welded to the bottom . Good luck .
 

indychuck

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Most of the older drill presses will be completely serviceable in their used condition if you can find a good one. They were built to last forever. If you are not able to do the work yourself, given the cost of labor, the cost to pay someone to rebuild it would far exceed the value of the drill press. The best option in that case might be to find a hobbyist that loves to work on older equipment.

For your current application just about any drill press will work fine. You don't need NASA precision for cross drilling dowels.

A drill guide something like this would be helpful

View attachment 137334 View attachment 137335
Thanks for you input Jim, much appreciated! I like that tool you've shown as well. I also have a center finder tool that I've not yet used. Once I have my drill press and I'm not satisfied with the tool I just picked up, I may try the one you've shown.
Here is a link to the tool that I will try first for finding the center of my round stock. Have you had experience with these? https://www.facebook.com/Scott-Photography-71729994139/

Chuck
 

indychuck

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#12
Think about the materials you intend to drill, softer woods and metals allow higher speeds than harder woods and metals.
Smaller drills tolerate a higher speed than larger drills.
Their are charts for metal. I'm guessing there are charts for wood.
Choose a drill press which will accomodate the spindle speeds you need and the chuck size required.

I checked the Mooresville Indiana Craigslist. There are several cool vintage DP listed.
http://indianapolis.craigslist.org/search/sss?sort=rel&query=drill press

Daryl
MN
Thanks for the link Daryl, I have looked at these but it appears there is quite a lot to look at when inspecting one based on Jerry's input. I'm not sure I'll be able to check...... Jerry> "In general what distinguishes a quality drill press would be a true variable speed motor (not changing belts to change speeds), a positive stop for downfeed, a very tight quill with run out measuring .002 or less at the end of a proven straight rod in the chuck and a quality chuck with bearings". I may need to take someone with me that knows the ins and outs on what to look for in a quality older drill press.

Chuck
 

Uglydog

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Bringing someone with who has already made mistakes, and will likely make more is a huge benefit (we all do).
Primarily because you can learn from their prior errors.
Variable speeds are great. However, they usually cost alot more.
Therefore, most of my machines are belted.

Daryl
MN
 

Charles Spencer

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#14
Back before I retired and became a machine tool nut I bought this drill press and vise from Lowes.

http://www.lowes.com/pd/Skil-3-2-Amp-5-Speed-Bench-Drill-Press/50084024

http://www.lowes.com/pd/IRWIN-4-in-Vise/50168511

It worked pretty well right out of the box and did everything that I needed. I still have it as a second drill press. I had to file the flash out of the mounting slots in the vise but that has worked pretty well too.

There is a somewhat smaller one at Harbor Freight for less than half as much if you use a coupon:

http://www.harborfreight.com/8-in-5-speed-bench-drill-press-60238.html

It's on sale until the end of the month:

coupon.jpg



Oh, and every drill press I've had uses belts to change speed. That includes two Atlases, a Delta, and an Enco with three pulleys.
 
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brino

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#16
Hi Chuck,

I’m not a machinist or a millwright or a mechanical engineer, I’m just simply signing up to get ideas on how to do different tasks in your field and to get opinions on some tools that I may be in the market for.
The beauty of Hobby-Machinist is you do not need credentials, you just need an interest in doing things.
So it is definitely "your field" now too!
Welcome to the group!

The link in your first post covers a huge range of drill presses. I only clicked on a few, but the TruePower one is $66 and the Proxxon is $238. (I may be seeing Canadian prices). Those are totally different machines.

The TruePower:
-infinite speed selection within three speed ranges (0-5000, 0-6500, and 0-8500 RPM)
-Max. Chuck Capacity 6mm
-Spindle travel 1"

The Proxxon:
-provides 3 spindle speeds of 1,800, 4,700 and 8,500 rpm
-uses a collet system not a 3-jaw chuck (threaded spindle would accept a chuck)
-a 1-3/16 inch (30 millimeter) feed

Both machines have very limited spindle travel, you would have to re-position the table to drill thru a 1.75" dowel, and when you do the table can swing and mess up the alignment. Even my cheap little "Job Mate" drill press has over 2" feed. I think I got it new for ~$50. That Lowes one above has 2.25" travel.

The Proxxon seems to only have very high speeds and would be great for drilling small holes very accurately (think printed circuit boards) but not great for larger holes or mild steel. Those speeds would be okay for cross drilling wooden dowels, but you might get more use from one that could do slower speeds too.

Wood will move so much from humidity changes that you would not even notice a little spindle run out that would make the hole oversize.

My advice would be to make short list of features that you consider "required", and then see if you can find a small used bench top drill press to meet those needs. Use it, learn it, get to know its limits (if anything) and upgrade if required. You'll only be out a little money and will have gained valuable knowledge.

-brino

EDIT: Please let us know how you make out.
 
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indychuck

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#17
Hi Chuck,



The beauty of Hobby-Machinist is you do not need credentials, you just need an interest in doing things.
So it is definitely "your field" now too!
Welcome to the group!

The link in your first post covers a huge range of drill presses. I only clicked on a few, but the TruePower one is $66 and the Proxxon is $238. (I may be seeing Canadian prices). Those are totally different machines.

The TruePower:
-infinite speed selection within three speed ranges (0-5000, 0-6500, and 0-8500 RPM)
-Max. Chuck Capacity 6mm
-Spindle travel 1"

The Proxxon:
-provides 3 spindle speeds of 1,800, 4,700 and 8,500 rpm
-uses a collet system not a 3-jaw chuck (threaded spindle would accept a chuck)
-a 1-3/16 inch (30 millimeter) feed

Both machines have very limited spindle travel, you would have to re-position the table to drill thru a 1.75" dowel, and when you do the table can swing and mess up the alignment. Even my cheap little "Job Mate" drill press has over 2" feed. I think I got it new for ~$50. That Lowes one above has 2.25" travel.

The Proxxon seems to only have very high speeds and would be great for drilling small holes very accurately (think printed circuit boards) but not great for larger holes or mild steel. Those speeds would be okay for cross drilling wooden dowels, but you might get more use from one that could do slower speeds too.

Wood will move so much from humidity changes that you would not even notice a little spindle run out that would make the hole oversize.

My advice would be to make short list of features that you consider "required", and then see if you can find a small used bench top drill press to meet those needs. Use it, learn it, get to know its limits (if anything) and upgrade if required. You'll only be out a little money and will have gained valuable knowledge.

-brino

EDIT: Please let us know how you make out.
Brino, thank you for looking at the presses that I had interest in, your break down is most helpful too!

I like the idea of making a list of needs, then marrying those to the drill press that is best suited for the task. As with most things, I'm sure the more versatile the machine, the more expensive. I'll try to narrow down the intended use of my future drill press.
 

mikey

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#18
To add to Brino's post, you are essentially looking for a "sensitive" drill press. These are manual machines that are typically belt driven and manually fed. They are intended for high speed drilling with small diameter bits. Many ran at about 10K rpm. Small diameter bits break easily, especially in hard materials, and the drill press let you feel when the bit was or was not cutting well.

I don't know anyone who makes a good modern one nowadays. From your initial list, the Proxxon looks to be about the best, with the limitations as Brino stated.

The only place I've seen these things is on Craigslist. I've only seen one in the last 10 years and the guy wanted almost $500.00 for the thing, but it was probably worth that if you had the need.

With all that said, just about any modern drill press will probably work for what you need. Almost nobody in the US makes a good drill press anymore; well, maybe Clausing but you don't want to pay for one. Of the offshore brands I think Jet is the best of the lot, mainly because Jet specs their machines a bit better than most Chinese machines and they usually have a longer spindle travel. None of them are precision drill presses anymore but they can be made to run very accurately with the right bearings, arbor and chuck.

The other thing to consider is that you might think you only need it for small work but once you have it, you will find it useful for a great number of other things as well. As you abilities and projects increase in scope it will come in very useful so don't just consider small machines.
 

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#19
I have seen those centers but have never used one.
 

savarin

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#20
I'm also in the market for a new drill press to replace the very cheap one I purchased years ago.
Its a pretty poor machine, the table flexes, the chuck kept falling off the taper, the quill can be moved side to side approx 2 mm at the drill point and the column had to be shimmed to get the drill bit exactly vertical.
Every DP I've checked out in the tool stores here has a wobbly (my definition) quill right up to the large high priced ones so my opinion is dont buy on line but personally check out the one you decide upon.
 

rrjohnso2000

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#21
Craigslist and eBay are great for an older drillpress. The older benchtops can be had for under $150. They are very heavy and quite solidly built.

I highly recommend these. They are usually in good shape as have been used by hobbiests.

There are quite a few options for small sensitive drill presses. They are usually a bit more cash. Sensitive drilling attachments are a good compromise.

http://sherline.com/product/1012-532-sensitive-drilling-attachment/

Best of luck finding something that will work for you
 

indychuck

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#22
None of them are precision drill presses anymore but they can be made to run very accurately with the right bearings, arbor and chuck.
How are they made to run very accurately with the right bearings, arbor and chuck? Is this something that is done at their factory or is something that can be done in the field by a qualified person. Are the existing bearings, arbor and chuck replaced by precision bearings, arbor and chuck?

I'm just curious how one would go about accurizing a drill press that is not accurate.

Thank you,
Chuck
 

mikey

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#23
No, its done by the owner. Just pull the factory bearings in the spindle and drive sleeve and replace them with quality bearings. The OEM bearings are typically cheaper shielded bearings but aftermarket deep groove bearings will get the spindle running very accurately. A Jacobs or Alrecht arbor and an accurate drill chuck and you're in business. My drill press has 0.0005" of run out and it is a Craftsman drill press with Nachi bearings.
 
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#24
they are as accurate as your center punch
 

xman_charl

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#25
bench drill press

original had 1/2 hp ac motor

now blue dc motor, 1 1/2 hp

Jacobs chuck

table spins 360 and angles

front.JPG side.JPG








Charl
 

indychuck

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#26
Would this one make a good candidate for a good quality drill press? If it is not currently in a good/accurate state, does it have the potential to be made in to one?

I'm not certain of availability on parts of an older Delta.

It's a DP220

http://indianapolis.craigslist.org/tls/5805857273.html
 
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mikey

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#27
I wanted to suggest that you think about your needs a bit. Right now, you think you're only drilling small pieces of wood but like all machine tools, a drill press extends your capabilities. I'm all for getting the right tool for the job but the job may change and then you're stuck with a small machine with a limited speed range. Bear in mind that the smaller the drill, the faster the speed needs to be and the larger the drill, the slower you need to be able to go.

If it were me, I would look at benchtop machines with at least 12 speeds. I would prefer an American-made machine but Taiwan machines can be made to run quite accurately with a bit of work. I would also want something with at least a 1HP motor and a 1/2" drill chuck. The head on these machines would be the same as that found on a full-sized floor model, just with a shorter column. Yes, it might be more than you need for your flagpoles but one day, when you need to drill a larger piece of steel then you'll be set.

As for the Delta in the CL add, I would pass. If he priced it at $50 then I might consider it as a second machine but not as a primary - too limited a speed range.
 

rrjohnso2000

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#28
Indychuck, I'm in west Lafayette and saw two great drillpresss at Purdues surplus store today.

I should have got some pics. They are a very good deal. A smaller one at $50 and a larger one( buffalo )at $100. If you want I could go back tomorrow.

They will hold something for five days. I would be happy to front the cash if you want one and can come pick it up.

I would jump on both personally if I didn't already own a bench and a small sensitive.

Just let me know
 

indychuck

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#29
I wanted to suggest that you think about your needs a bit. Right now, you think you're only drilling small pieces of wood but like all machine tools, a drill press extends your capabilities. I'm all for getting the right tool for the job but the job may change and then you're stuck with a small machine with a limited speed range. Bear in mind that the smaller the drill, the faster the speed needs to be and the larger the drill, the slower you need to be able to go.

If it were me, I would look at benchtop machines with at least 12 speeds. I would prefer an American-made machine but Taiwan machines can be made to run quite accurately with a bit of work. I would also want something with at least a 1HP motor and a 1/2" drill chuck. The head on these machines would be the same as that found on a full-sized floor model, just with a shorter column. Yes, it might be more than you need for your flagpoles but one day, when you need to drill a larger piece of steel then you'll be set.

As for the Delta in the CL add, I would pass. If he priced it at $50 then I might consider it as a second machine but not as a primary - too limited a speed range.
Mike, thank you for your candor and input on the type of machine I'm looking for. I will keep an eye out for the minimum 12 speed, 1HP motor and 1/2" chuck options out there. I am 100% in agreement on having something that overlaps with my intended purpose (without going overboard). A young family of 3 house hunting should not be looking at 2 bedroom homes, they probably shouldn't be looking at a multilevel mansion either....the analogies can go on and on.

I appreciate the characteristics you've pointed out on the type of drill press I need to be looking at for my particular project + other potential drilling needs. This has been most helpful.

chuck
 

brino

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#30
Would this one make a good candidate for a good quality drill press?
Hi Chuck,

Re: that 1940's Delta Craig's list ad....
Although I really like that age of machine for the "look", I also see that "arc of shame" across the table....that's the string of holes drilled into the table when the user didn't know or care about where the drill bit would end up after drilling thru the work.

To me, it shows a huge lack of respect for the equipment and would make me wonder what else was abused on it.

Like @mikey said above for the right price I would get it expecting to do some work on it.
I would definitely look into Ralph J.'s (@rrjohnso2000) suggested source above.

-brino
 
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