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I need a drill press with a small footprint. Dremel workstation Proxxon or BangGood mini drill press.

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TQA222

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I need a drill press with a footprint no larger than 6 x 9 inches. It will be used for drilling metals like cast iron brass steel and aluminium mostly 1/8 th or smaller. .

My first thought was a Dremel 4300 rotary tool with the Dremel 220 - 01 workstation. I would like the rotary tool in hand held mode for some jobs. But all the Dremels and other rotary tools seem to run too fast for comfortable drilling in cast iron. Many consider 12,000 as slow and the slowest I can find is a variable speed Dremel is 5,000 rpm. Is 5,000 rpm too fast or am I worrying needlessly.

Next I looked at the Proxxon TBM 115 bench drill The front to rear dimension is more than I can comfortably accommodate but I could store it sideways and turn it around when I need it. It will run at 1,800 rpm on the slow setting of the belt and pulley adjustment and will also give me a lot more torque than the Dremel.

Both the above get good reviews although there are a couple of very negative reviews on Proxxons where there were significant alignment and run out issues.

Finally I came across the cheap chinese table top drill sold by a number of outlets eg
Amazon Small Benchtop Drill Press | DRL-300.00

It has a three position drive pulley and a variable speed control the motor is quoted at 100w which is a little greater than the Proxxon. I am not sure about it's slow speed capability but if I found it to be too fast I am sure I could turn up something for the pulleys that would give me something slower.This is the one that fits best into my limited workshop space.

Are there any other option?

Are there any 'gotchas' I have missed

Or should I just buy the Dremel and stop worrying about drilling cast iron at 5,000 rpm.
 

Bob Korves

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Drill speeds are all about tool diameter -- as well as material being cut. If a 1" drill is used for cutting medium cast iron at 60 surface feet per minute (SFPM), then you are looking at 228 rpm. With a 1/8" drill, the same SFPM is achieved at 1824 rpm, With a #80 drill (.0135"), 16,880 rpm. If somehow you were using a .001" drill, the speed would be 228,000 rpm. The question is, what size holes do you want to drill, and in what materials? Do the math and choose a machine that will give you what you need. As speeds increase, the quality of the drill press, the chuck, and the ability to control the tiny drills with sensitivity become more and more important. See "sensitive drill" presses, chucks, and drill bits.

If, instead, you are just doing ordinary home shop work with limited space, then figure out the speeds you need to get there by what size drills you plan to be using and in what materials. Lots of speeds and feed charts and calculators are available free on the internet.

Edit: Choosing speeds and feeds by guessing is a poor idea unless you have plenty of experience to base it on.
 
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Bi11Hudson

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Not to set you for or against any particular version, but I would bring up my own experiences with a Dremel as a stationary tool. There are a couple of points that do come into play though. I build models. For drilling circuit boards for "thru-hole" components, I use a # 71 drill. The Dremel worked fine there, using the Dremel drill press. For drilling "crank-pins", in metal, there was too much "play" in the Dremel. I ended up acquiring a "mini mill" for a drill press. This in addition to a small Atlas horizontal mill. The Dremel was just too "loose" to be of any use for close or repetitive work.

Your results may well vary. It's a function of what material you're drilling and what size drill. My experience with the Dremel is that it is a fine tool for hand held use. But not so much so for rigid work.

I also use an old sewing machine treadle as a speed controller and ON-OFF switch. I set the onboard speed to approximately maximum and the feather the foot control to fine tune things.

Don't know if I helped or hindered here.
Bill Hudson​
 

TQA222

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Working a 1/8th HSS drill as my bench mark

My book gives steel as 1500 to 3000 rpm and cast iron at about 2100 rpm

As a hobbyist I usually work at about 70% of the book for longer tool life and less heat build up.

So you can see why I am concerned about using a Dremel which seems to have a minimum speed of 5,000 rpm
 

ThinWoodsman

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Your results may well vary. It's a function of what material you're drilling and what size drill. My experience with the Dremel is that it is a fine tool for hand held use. But not so much so for rigid work.
Do you think this is due to the dremel collet (/spindle/etc), or the drill press structure for the dremel?

I've been looking at plans for the Universal Pillar Tool, with an eye towards using it as a hand tap and/or dremel drill press. Curious if inhernet flaws in the dremel device make it not even worth considering.
 

Aaron_W

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Keep in mind when the speeds don't match up to the recommendations you can adjust the feed rate to compensate to some extent.

I like Dremel tools for small work, I've used them for years. I currently have a Dremel 3000 with a drill press stand, I don't use it a lot, but it does work well. I've never tried drilling cast iron with it, mostly wood, plastic and aluminum. The 3000 is rated for 5000-35000 rpm.



Moving up quite a bit in price ($300-500) you might consider a heavier tool like one of these Foredom tools. You have to dig around to find the low speed, but it looks like they can go as low as 300-500rpm and upwards of 15,000. I have no experience with these, but it seems to offer the same advantages as a Dremel, plus a larger motor and much lower speeds. The flex shaft allows you a number of options for mounting the motor which might help with your space issues.

https://www.foredom.net/product-category/flex-shaft-tools/flex-shaft-motors-controls/

They do offer a drill press mount that looks pretty small.

https://www.foredom.net/product/p-dp30-drill-press/



Grizzly has a couple of small drill presses and mill drills with a footprint of around 9x12 if you have any flexibility on size. Their baby drill press is only $149, the little mill drill is $1150.

http://www.grizzly.com/products/Grizzly-5-Speed-Baby-Drill-Press/G7942

http://www.grizzly.com/products/Grizzly-Mill-Drill/G0758
 

Aaron_W

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Do you think this is due to the dremel collet (/spindle/etc), or the drill press structure for the dremel?

I've been looking at plans for the Universal Pillar Tool, with an eye towards using it as a hand tap and/or dremel drill press. Curious if inhernet flaws in the dremel device make it not even worth considering.
There are a lot of places that the Dremel drill press could introduce error, from the mounting of the tool, to the multi-position head (horizontal or vertical alignment) and even the spindle handle engagement. It isn't really sloppy or anything, but it isn't meant to be a precision tool.

It works great to drill a couple holes, and is plenty precise for eyeballing it, or measuring with a ruler. If you need the kind of accuracy where you need to use calibers to measure centers then not ideal.
 

TQA222

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Thank you for the heads up on the Grizzly I will have to mock it up and see if I can fit it in. It certainly has the speed range I am looking for.

I am not so sure about the Foredom but the footprint is just right and I may talk to them to see if they have a high torque low rpm option.
 

Aaron_W

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Thank you for the heads up on the Grizzly I will have to mock it up and see if I can fit it in. It certainly has the speed range I am looking for.

I am not so sure about the Foredom but the footprint is just right and I may talk to them to see if they have a high torque low rpm option.
I dug around in some of the technical info on the speed controllers and it sounds like they some can be run as slow as 100rpm. It seems odd to me that they put max speed right out there, but you have to do a lot of digging to find any low speed ranges.

It is here in the instructions for replacing the circuit board that I found minimum rpm listings. Really seems like that should be front and center, you can't be the only one interested in how slow can it go.

https://www.foredom.net/wp-content/uploads/otherdocs/ReplaceBoard-Manual.pdf
 

Asm109

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It may go slow, but it will have almost no power at the low speeds so it will just stall when you put the bit into the work.
 

TQA222

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OK I can not fit the Grizzly in so it looks like the Proxxon TBM 115 is the current favorite drill press for my bench with limited space. Although I will grumble about having to buy the separate chuck.

So I will cheap out on the rotary tool and get the WEN 2305 Rotary Tool Kit with Flex Shaft at 20$ delivered cheap as chips!
 
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