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Drill press recommendations?

Posted: Thu Jun 13, 2019 7:56 am
by Gjuui7
I'm looking for a drill press. Floor model, nothing too elaborate, for drilling mostly light metal and some wood.

Thinking of just ordering something from Grizzley, since I've had good luck in the past, and they can have heavy iron on my dock in 4 days.

Any advice?

Re: Drill press recommendations?

Posted: Thu Jun 13, 2019 8:48 am
by SteveM
What's your budget?

How large do you need it to be?

How large are the holes you expect to drill?

Take a look on Craiglsist.

Anything with a belt cover like this is cheap, made-in-china stuff, so if you are looking for good, they may not be your best option:
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Older ones like that may be made in Taiwan, which some have said are better.

Grizzly sells china stuff, but their customer service is better than others selling similar machines, and some have said that while the machines they and others sell look the same, Grizzlys are better.

Steve

Re: Drill press recommendations?

Posted: Thu Jun 13, 2019 9:31 am
by SteveHGraham
Fine Woodworking compares drill presses once in a while. You can find the info online.

I think I got pretty lucky. I found an old Rockwell 17" on Craigslist. It has a split-head design, so you can tighten the head up as it wears. It also has 6" of spindle travel, and it has a special chuck that allows you to put horizontal loads on the spindle without sending the chuck across the shop.

You might consider getting something cheap on Craigslist and then waiting around for an old machine of better quality.

I think you're right to go for a floor model, because the bench models don't really save space.

Re: Drill press recommendations?

Posted: Thu Jun 13, 2019 10:28 am
by Mr Ron
A drill press is a simple, straight forward machine that hasn't changed in over a hundred years. That said, I would look for an old DP, not a new one. I have an old Delta that was built in 1939 and is as good as new today. I use it almost every day. I got it for free, but there are lots of old DPs in the market place for very little money and they are made in the good old USA. The worst scenario is it may need new bearings, which are readily available.

Re: Drill press recommendations?

Posted: Thu Jun 13, 2019 12:33 pm
by liveaboard
I agree; huge and old is better than small and new.
Mine is really ancient and fairly huge; it does a lot of work for me.

Re: Drill press recommendations?

Posted: Thu Jun 13, 2019 2:46 pm
by SteveM
Mr Ron wrote:
Thu Jun 13, 2019 10:28 am
The worst scenario is it may need new bearings, which are readily available.
One of the nice things about many old machines is their use of standard bearings and not some oddball proprietary or secret part. Usually the bearing number is engraved right on the race.
SteveHGraham wrote:
Thu Jun 13, 2019 9:31 am
I think you're right to go for a floor model, because the bench models don't really save space.
When you figure the space of a bench, the benchtop machines take up as much, if not MORE floor space than a floor model.

The bench for my Pratt & Whitney 3C mill, a mill that only weights 180 lbs, it's so small, is larger than the footprint of a floor model Rockwell or Clausing mill. The original equipment cabinet takes up the floor space of a Bridgeport.

Additionally, the floor model drill press allows you to drill into the end of a four-foot long piece, as long as you can secure it.

Steve

Re: Drill press recommendations?

Posted: Thu Jun 13, 2019 3:02 pm
by Glenn Brooks
I’ve found the key with old drill press’s is to check the run out on the spindle. Old tired DP’s can have runout exceeding .010” due to bearing and spindle wear. Normal useage maybe under .003”. Like Mr. Ron, I found a really nice 1939 Delta DP that actually measures .001” runout. I use it all the time and love it.

The other thing, most light weight 14” drill presses are designed for drilling 1/2” or less holes. You might need a bigger DP if you need to routinely drill 5/8 or larger.

Glenn

Re: Drill press recommendations?

Posted: Thu Jun 13, 2019 6:32 pm
by spro
A few thousandths isn't too bad. The larger ones have a Morse Taper nose for fitting the tapered drills. Usually this is a good thing and very strong but who knows. You need measure that nose to see it isn't bent.

Re: Drill press recommendations?

Posted: Tue Jun 18, 2019 8:14 pm
by whateg0
My Taiwan drill press I bought at an estate sale has been pretty decent. If money isn't a problem, a friend of mine got me looking at old Clausing machines. But, yeah, you need some deep pockets for them!

The biggest thing aside from work envelope IMHO is the spindle speed. My DP lives on the slowest speed and at least for stuff up to 3/4" will just about eat through anything I can feed it. Also nice for holesaws, though some of the bigger ones could use a slower speed yet.

Dave

Re: Drill press recommendations?

Posted: Tue Jun 18, 2019 10:43 pm
by SteveM
If you find one that uses two belts and has a pulley system on top of the column, consider that your lucky day.

That's a slow speed attachment and gives you several extra lower speeds for large diameter cutters / drills.

Steve