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Need advice: what floor-standing drill press should I buy?

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cazclocker

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#1
I haven't posted here for a LONG time due to health setbacks and other stuff. But wife & I just moved to new home, had to sell my old Delta bench-mounted drill press (and a large lathe) before moving. I need a new drill press, but this time I want a floor standing one. I'd like to buy used, to save money. I drill into some steel and aluminum, but probably into wood about 70% of the time.

What brand/model would you more experienced guys buy? All I know is the little Delta machine I had before did me just fine, even though it was probably Chinese-made. I just do NOT want Harbor Freight-level machines, for quality reasons.

Thanks in advance.
 

FOMOGO

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#2
I'd go with this one. Seriously, keep an eye on Craigs list. Something like a 17" Delta can be had very reasonably. Cheers, Mike
 

cazclocker

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#3
Thanks. That makes sense. But I love that huge drill press!
 

Dave Paine

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#4
Many drill presses are designed/sold to woodworkers so often have low speeds which can be too fast for drilling metal, especially if you need to drill decent sized holes.

I have a Powermatic drill press, designed for woodworking. It has minimum speed of 300 rpm.

Think about the desired speed range you want as you look at the used machines.

If you do not find something in the used market and need to look at a new machine, take a look at Rikon. This machine has minimum speed of 220 rpm. This is made in China, as are most of the machines you will find. My Powermatic was made in China.

Rikon 17in drill press at Woodcraft
 

bill70j

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#5
I need a new drill press, but this time I want a floor standing one. I'd like to buy used, to save money.
You may want to consider setting up a search on Craig's List and waiting until a good one shows up.

Like you, I have had a 12" Delta bench drill press (11-990) for a long time. It is Taiwan-made and has served me well. But I also wanted a floor model, and didn't want to spend a lot of money.

Finally, an old Craftsman showed up on CL for $75. You can see it was a real mess. But all it needed was new pulley spindle bearings and a cosmetic clean-up. I am very impressed with the quality of this machine. It's Heavy and runs true. The downside is that the cast table is very hard to adjust, due to its weight. But there are a lot of ideas out there on how to remedy that problem.

Good Luck!!

CL Photo of Vintage Craftsman Floor Model Drill Press
CL CraftsmanDrill Pressw.jpg
 

Ken from ontario

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#6
I have an older Grey color Ridgid DP which is not too bad for woodworking but i've been looking for a better floor standing drill press for a while now,
A metalworking DP should be at least be able to:
Go as low as 250 RPM,
Have a 17" or larger swing,
1 HP motor, 12 speed (variable would be great but not a deal breaker),.
And most importantly have a large table with T slots.Something like this:
https://www.kijiji.ca/v-view-details.html?adId=1365879316&requestSource=b

$_59 (2).JPG
 

GoceKU

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#7
Best advice i can give is to look around at craigslist, flea markets, machinery auctions and finde drill press that is in good shape and the size you need, then do your research for known faults for it, if it checks out buy it.
 

chips&more

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#8
I would look for a Clausing. If you are going to be a bear, be a grizzly (not the company!).
 

47convertible

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#9
Jet 17 or 20 inch. Just the basic one. T slot table and large variety of speeds. Parts available.
 

middle.road

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#10
As seen in Ken's photo in post #6, one feature to make sure any drill press it has is the 'rack & pinion' mechanism for adjusting the table.
My ol' Duro didn't have one and it is a royal PITA.
Finally after 20 years I jerry-rigged a pseudo block & tackle pulley setup hung off the ceiling to assist. Needs a Rev.B design modification...
 

brino

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#11
Two things that I have learned I want on any drill press that I would buy:

1) t-slots in the table. I got lucky that the drill press I bought had t-slots that take the same t-nuts as my mill. That opens a world of possible hold-down options. I figure if I make it easy to use clamps and hold-downs, then I won't try to hand hold things that could get away and either break my wrist or slice a finger when the drill grabs it on hole exit.

2) speed options: either having the centre step-pulley from the start, or at least a hole in the top of the column to have a place to upgrade it to a two-belt/three-step-pully design. Adding this was discussed here:
https://www.hobby-machinist.com/threads/gearing-down-a-jet-drill.42251/#post-362773
and here:
https://www.hobby-machinist.com/threads/slowing-down-my-drill-press.33007/

.....possibly a 3rd nice to have....a motor that supports reversing. On my old drill press I added a toggle switch (that must be set _before_ turning it on) that changes the motor direction. I needed it to support some "back spot facing" tools, that I wanted to use as normal spot facing tools, but of course the teeth were facing the wrong way for the standard "forward" direction.

-brino
 
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SSage

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#12
If I had to go the drill press route I would go to the large very old ones with a low speed setting that's easy to access. Never found a nice heavy American one around here. I always figure it would be better to get a used mill if I was going to spend much money on one.

I've seen some cheap Chinese round colum mills around here, that would be a better choice than a regular drill press.

I would keep checking craig's list and find an old vertical mill of some sort, I've seen cheap bridgeports or the clones with 1 hp single phase motors on them occasionally. They are big and sometimes very cheap because they are such a pain to move.

Last year I bought a Chinese made Precision Mathews PM-727M and replaced my old iron with it, takes up much less room and is far more accurate since its not worn out. I haven't used my last remaining chinese drill press since. I should have upgraded years ago, I fussed with drill presses and old worn out stuff for way to long. :bipolar:
 

cazclocker

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#13
Thanks guys, for all the input. One idea I really like is a T-slot table... I really liked my little Delta benchmount DP, and I did some nice work on it... but I was forever coming up with the most idiotic-looking ways to clamp my work. Before this last move to our new home, I not only had to sell my drill press but I also had to sell my Little Machine Shop bench mill. I always loved how the T-slots let me clamp my work so solidly... I honestly didn't know some drill presses came that way too.

I'm going to start watching CL, and there's a few farm machine auctions around here so I'll watch them too.

Thank you all for lots of food for thought!
 

cazclocker

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#14
Jet 17 or 20 inch. Just the basic one. T slot table and large variety of speeds. Parts available.
I was just looking on Jet's website. The ONLY drill presses I see with slotted tables are the ones for metalworking, and the lowest speeds for those are in the 400's. Nothing in the 200's. They only have ONE woodworking drill press in a floor-standing configuration, and the speed goes down to 210... but it has a standard flat table. What am I missing? I don't want to buy a new Jet woodworking drill press, and then hunt around for just the table off of a metalworking one...
 

ezduzit

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#15
Avoid imported drill presses of any brand. Look for a solid, US-made, used unit in excellent condition.
 

RobertHaas

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#16
Avoid imported drill presses of any brand. Look for a solid, US-made, used unit in excellent condition.
I bought a Jet, it is imported but is the best $800.00 tool in my shop.
 

Silverbullet

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#17
I'd say the same watch for an older drill press, at minimum 17" but 20" is better. As the others large tables mean a very lot when using them. Morse taper spindle of 2-3 is desirable also. Most of the larger ones have racks for table some for the head also. My lust for press is an older RADIAL ARM walker Turner or delta of the same type. But there running about a grand to buy. Why not look on eBay at them to get an idea of what is around. I've never understood why there speeds are so high. There nothing out there that needs more then 1,000 - 1,500 max rpms and the lows should start at 100 rpms or less.
 
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stupoty

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#18
I'd go with this one. Seriously, keep an eye on Craigs list. Something like a 17" Delta can be had very reasonably. Cheers, Mike
does the drill bit have a lifting eye ?

:)
 

Buffalo21

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#19
People laugh at them, but I have a Harbor Freight 20” floor drill press, that does between 100-200 holes a day, everyday (in a production setting) and has done so for the last 10 years. I’m on the second motor, changed out about 4 years ago, and the third drill chuck. Used to drill, 1/2” bolt holes in 5/16” plates and 2” x 2” x 1/4” angle iron.
 

randyjaco

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#20
There are a lot of good suggestions, if you can find them. Buffalo's suggestion is sound. I used one of those HF 20 " machines for a couple of years . A lot of value for the buck. I would still have it, if I hadn't gotten tired of doing belt changes. But with 21 available speeds, it will handle about anything you throw at it.
Randy
 

cazclocker

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There are a lot of good suggestions, if you can find them. Buffalo's suggestion is sound. I used one of those HF 20 " machines for a couple of years . A lot of value for the buck. I would still have it, if I hadn't gotten tired of doing belt changes. But with 21 available speeds, it will handle about anything you throw at it.
Randy
Yes, a lot of suggestions. Thank you all! I've decided that whatever I get, it HAS to have a T-slotted table. So that rules out Harbor Freight, and nearly everyone else. Can anyone suggest a floor mounted drill press with a T-slotted table?
 

RandyM

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#22
Yes, a lot of suggestions. Thank you all! I've decided that whatever I get, it HAS to have a T-slotted table. So that rules out Harbor Freight, and nearly everyone else. Can anyone suggest a floor mounted drill press with a T-slotted table?
You mean other than this one?

Jet 17 or 20 inch. Just the basic one. T slot table and large variety of speeds. Parts available.
Edit:

Never mind, I just noticed you are looking for wood working machines on a machinist site. :grin:
 
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DoogieB

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#24
Yes, a lot of suggestions. Thank you all! I've decided that whatever I get, it HAS to have a T-slotted table. So that rules out Harbor Freight, and nearly everyone else. Can anyone suggest a floor mounted drill press with a T-slotted table?
Actually the big Harbor Freight drill press mentioned by Buffalo21 does have a large T-slotted table. You might want to check that out a bit closer.

Quill travel is pretty important as well. I wish my press had the 4 3/4" travel of the bigger HF 20". Yikes, I see the new 17" DP's are rated as only having 2 3/4" of quill travel and that's sad.
 

ezduzit

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#25
...I've decided that whatever I get, it HAS to have a T-slotted table...
In many decades of working in my shop I believe I have only used drill press table T-slots once. Most of the time one is simply clamping the work or vise down using a pair of those Vise-Grip type clamps.

Of my 3 drill presses my preference is for the one with the fast-acting, (relatively) lightweight table that is so quick to make gross adjustments, not the big crank-up table (with the T-slots) that seems to take forever to make these adjustments.
 

Bi11Hudson

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#26
Don't know if this will help, but a description of my DP may turn you off to the brand. Some years ago, maybe 20 or so(m/l), I acquired a Craftsman 17 inch machine. Necessary for one job at the time, no longer the case.

The issue was that it was a Chinese made Craftsman brand, even then. But, as a floor model, it was long enough to do the job. A throat depth of 17 inch diameter, rack lift for the table, and slots for 5/8 inch "T" nut hardware. Were you close by, I would swap you for a bench version straight across. (Had my eye on one but the owner passed away before I could comsumate the trade) Oh, it did have the 4th pulley by the way. I don't recall the slowest speed, but it was low enough to do the "metal working" project I had at the time.

The main point is that the quill was Chinese even that far back. "Assembled in U.S.A" was the marketing point. It resembles the Jet mentioned above. The middle one........ Again, I don't know if it would be any help, but here it is.

Bill Hudson​
 
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randyjaco

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#27
Yes, a lot of suggestions. Thank you all! I've decided that whatever I get, it HAS to have a T-slotted table. So that rules out Harbor Freight, and nearly everyone else. Can anyone suggest a floor mounted drill press with a T-slotted table?
My HF had a T-slotted table.
Randy
 

cazclocker

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#28
You mean other than this one?



Edit:

Never mind, I just noticed you are looking for wood working machines on a machinist site. :grin:
No, that's not the case I failed to make myself clear. I do about 50/50 metal work and wood work. I came to this forum because I thought some of you might be helpful.

I'm probably missing something, but when you said "You mean other than this one?", I didn't see a reference to "the one" you're referring to. If you posted it, I apologize but I didn't see it. And.... in answer to your question, I would say "Yes, other that this one.". Reason being I'd like to know if there's a choice out there, or if "that one" is the only one in existence. Can you please provide a link to "the one" you mean?
 

cazclocker

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#29
I should add that I had a LMS 3960 bench milling machine for years, in addition to my Delta drill press. Unfortunately I had to sell my milling machine prior to my recent move to the midwest, but I plan to get another one next year. When that happens, it would be nice to have a drill press with a slotted table so the holding fixtures can be used for either machine. Of course, that will only be true if the slots are the same. That's why I'm interested in seeing if there is more than one floor-mounted drill press with a slotted table. I realize I may have to settle for an Asian-made machine. That's okay with me, some of them are good enough for me.
 

RobertHaas

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#30
I have a large two axis vise mounted to my Jet drill press and can not think of having it any other way.


here is a small picture for scale.

It does look small next to my Mill but it is a pretty beefy DP

20180205_172124.jpg
 
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