What to look for in a drill press? - Router Forums
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post #1 of 47 (permalink) Old 04-21-2016, 12:56 PM Thread Starter
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Default What to look for in a drill press?

Reading this string reminds me that the one tool I would like to replace is my bench mounted drill press. A small one just doesn't have the reach. Back to cheap compromise not being adequate. I think Jet has a good unit. Any suggestions on good what would be a good choice.
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post #2 of 47 (permalink) Old 04-21-2016, 07:06 PM
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Reading this string reminds me that the one tool I would like to replace is my bench mounted drill press. A small one just doesn't have the reach. Back to cheap compromise not being adequate. I think Jet has a good unit. Any suggestions on good what would be a good choice.
Try to avoid any DP with a table that has x slots to attach things to. That's probably going to jack then price up but you won't regret it in the long run. I have the 16.5 Delta and I don't recommend it and any that look like it are probably clones. The X makes it hard to position things under the chuck since the spacing between the arms of the X dictates where you go plus the underside of the edges aren't flat and there are flanges close to the edge so clamping and keeping clamps tight are hard.

Someone I consider a master woodworker once told me that a master woodworker is not someone who never makes mistakes. He is someone who is able to cover them up so that no one can tell.
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post #3 of 47 (permalink) Old 04-22-2016, 07:42 AM
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Try to avoid any DP with a table that has x slots to attach things to. That's probably going to jack then price up but you won't regret it in the long run. I have the 16.5 Delta and I don't recommend it and any that look like it are probably clones. The X makes it hard to position things under the chuck since the spacing between the arms of the X dictates where you go plus the underside of the edges aren't flat and there are flanges close to the edge so clamping and keeping clamps tight are hard.
Not quite sure I follow what you mean Chuck, what slot pattern would be better? I got a drill press with X slots because I figured they would give a lot more flexibility in positioning drill vices of different sizes than parallel slots would, and it does seem to work out pretty well.
I agree about the incovenience of the ribs underneath the table though. I don't know how much money you have to spend to get a table that's flat underneath... they never show that angle in the catalogue pictures!
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post #4 of 47 (permalink) Old 04-22-2016, 09:16 AM
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The Delta 20 (back when I bought the 16.5, don't know if they are still available) had T slots like a milling machine table. I don't know if they had a flat bottom but it wouldn't matter as much if the top is more usable. I have a cross slide vide, which is really handy for drilling accurate holes in small pieces and I had to mount it on a board so that I could mount the board on the table.

I guess part of my rant about the tables on the cheaper DPs is based on adding attachments but it can be over come by adding on a wooden table or two layer wooden table with one staying attached to the table and other(s) going on and off as needed.
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post #5 of 47 (permalink) Old 04-22-2016, 01:22 PM
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The Delta 20 (back when I bought the 16.5, don't know if they are still available) had T slots like a milling machine table. I don't know if they had a flat bottom but it wouldn't matter as much if the top is more usable. I have a cross slide vide, which is really handy for drilling accurate holes in small pieces and I had to mount it on a board so that I could mount the board on the table.
Oh I see, yes I have seen drill presses with T-slots. Only on commercial-grade machines north of 1000 though. I can see they would be much better. But out of my price range. The smaller, cheaper machines all seem to have through-slots, either parallel or diagonal.
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post #6 of 47 (permalink) Old 04-22-2016, 09:14 PM
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Andy it just always seem I am frustrated by trying to attach anything to the X's. Maybe I just need to use more ingenuity. It just seems to me that they could more user friendly.

I think I'll move these posts to a new thread. I think it deserves it.

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post #7 of 47 (permalink) Old 04-22-2016, 11:10 PM
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Would seriously consider old rebuilts like mine.
Its salient features are indicated.
But just as important, its new large work surface (MIC6 aluminum), casters and through the cutter hole vacuum.
More on drilling machines.
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post #8 of 47 (permalink) Old 04-23-2016, 12:14 AM Thread Starter
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I tend to buy new most of the time, so specific brand and model recommendations will work. However, on this tool I think I might dig around among used machines. I can see that there should be zero play in the quill or drive shaft (bearings worn). What else should I look for in a 110v machine? Looks like decent new machines begin around $600, which means used should start around $300. That sound about right.
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post #9 of 47 (permalink) Old 04-23-2016, 09:37 AM
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4-6" of quill travel would be nice.
And there is no substitute for electronic variable $peed, (VFD,3 phase).
I would not expect much machine for 3-600$ new or used.
Drilling 1" holes in 2 x 4's? Then nothing much matters.
But close order drilling requires a flat square table and fence.
<.003" total runout, VS and machine that doesn't vibrate.
A means for clamping the work is essential too.
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What old drills are great? They must be re-built x reputable sources. But if done well, they pay for themselves 5x over.
Buffalo, Atlas, DoAll, Davis & Wells, Powermatics, Rockwells, General, Clausing, Delta, Pre'65 Sears, walker-turner, Duro, & Wilton.
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post #10 of 47 (permalink) Old 04-24-2016, 11:22 AM
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Finding the perfect drill press.

They have recommendations along with info like price, etc. I hope this could be of some use to you.
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