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drill press recommendations?

Discussion in 'Tools and Fabrication' started by swelltimes, Sep 8, 2017.

  1. swelltimes

    swelltimes SILVER Star

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    Hi all -

    I'm looking to add a drill press to my shop, primarily for use on metal items for my trucks and random machine / house / property projects.

    I have the space for either a bench mounted unit, or a standing unit. Could go used or new. I have 110 and 220v in the shop.

    Most metal would be steel, less than .75 inches. A buddy of mine has a massive drill press I could use for thicker stuff, but I'd like to have something at home.

    Budget of $500 or less.

    Anyone have a machine they're really happy with?

    Thanks,

    Steve
     
  2. PAToyota

    PAToyota Keystone Cruisers SILVER Star

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    Mine is a early ’70’s Craftsman that my father bought new. I keep saying I’m going to upgrade it one of these days, but I really can’t complain about it. From what I’ve seen, even the ’80’s Craftsman models started going downhill.

    The main thing you want is slower speeds for metal work although I’ve seen stuff on the web of how people have added pulleys to slow drill presses down further. Personally, I’d be looking for older equipment with some heft to it over the new Chijapawan stuff.
     
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  3. swelltimes

    swelltimes SILVER Star

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    Thanks for the advice.

    For folks that have floor-based drill presses: are you drilling stuff that needs the added space from drill bit to the movable plate, or is bench space the main concern?
     
  4. chap79

    chap79 SILVER Star

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    I have a 30+ year old Delta bench top model. Has been adequate for my uses of metal fab and wood. The thing I use it the most for it wire wheeling bolts and crap :meh:
     
  5. Steve83

    Steve83

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    I found a babied Craftsman floor-standing drill press on CL for a couple hundred, and added a ~$350 cross-slide vise. I use it for all kinds of crap that I used to fight with a big Milwaukee 1/2" Holeshooter. I like the height which makes drilling crazy objects easier than a bench stand would.

    [​IMG]

    It's worth noting that MOST jobber-style (-price) drill presses I've seen (floor or bench) are made from the same castings. They're painted to look different, and some actually have different fittings installed (depth stops, lights, belt tensioners...), but they probably all come from the same Chinese foundry.
     
  6. PAToyota

    PAToyota Keystone Cruisers SILVER Star

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    When my father gave me his floor model, I found an old pristine Delta bench model for him. He’s still over here every now and then for things that don’t fit the bench model. I’ve also got a mag-drill for the stuff that is too big to bring to the drill press.
     
  7. NCFJ

    NCFJ Supporting Vendor

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    I have a standing model Grizzly that I have used regularly for over 25 years and still going strong. It gets used all the time.
     
  8. KLF

    KLF Frame waxer SILVER Star

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    I have a no-name Chinese floor standing drill press, I have used the heck out of it but sometimes I wish I had bought better quality. The quill runs tight but the depth lock is awkward to use. The belt tension clamp broke so I have a chunk of wood jammed into it now. My biggest complaint is it doesn't go low enough, I think it only goes down to about 500 rpm. I have some Grizzly equipment in my shop at school and they are well made, I would buy from them again.

    But my point is that I would definitely go for a floor standing model, I have done some long deep stuff, and I doubt a bench model would be able to do something like this:

    AirLineDrill.jpg

    (drilling the housing for an ARB air line fitting)

    I would keep an eye on craigslist, you can get some good bargains there.
     
  9. FJ60Seth

    FJ60Seth SILVER Star

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    Rusty 72 likes this.
  10. swelltimes

    swelltimes SILVER Star

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    For folks that have older units from Craigslist, etc: have you had trouble finding parts for specific makes / models for repairs?
     
  11. PAToyota

    PAToyota Keystone Cruisers SILVER Star

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    I can’t say that I’ve had to replace or repair anything on my 45 year old Craftsman other than bits.
     
  12. swelltimes

    swelltimes SILVER Star

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  13. Steve83

    Steve83

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    If it needs hard parts, I'd steer clear. Mine needed a belt (easy on eBay) & a tool to knock the quill out of the spindle (which I fabricated).
     
  14. half k cruiser

    half k cruiser

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    The lowest speed on that is 250rpm,faster than you are going to want for metal.

    I bought this one 17 in. 16 Speed Drill Press from HF last year to help @Jorgito get ready for his trip to Russia. I wouldn't say I use it every day, but its been a huge asset to me. I think the lowest setting is 220 RPM. For the price though you can order a drill press reduction kit from @RogueFab and really crank up the power. Personally I prefer a standing unit to the benchtop models.
     
  15. swelltimes

    swelltimes SILVER Star

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    Thanks to all for the continued feed back.

    For working with metal, what the's rpm range for which I should be looking?
     
  16. half k cruiser

    half k cruiser

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    I've seen guys drop down to 80rpm and even some using adjustable motors that dropped lower than that. You could count the revolutions of the bit. Essentially slower will cut better. Like I mentioned above you could try the HF press and if you needed more get the 4:1 reducer from Rogue Fab and still come in under your $500 budget.
     
  17. PAToyota

    PAToyota Keystone Cruisers SILVER Star

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    This should give you a good idea of the speeds you’re looking for:

    [​IMG]

    Note that for most materials you’ll be fine with 250rpm and above unless you’re getting up to drill sizes over 1”.
     
  18. swelltimes

    swelltimes SILVER Star

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    That's great info, thanks!
     
  19. Steve83

    Steve83

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    Mine does 250-1300 RPM, and it works fine in all metals. I keep it at 250 all the time, and use cutting oil for hard metals, deep holes, large holes, & hole saws.
     
  20. S4Cruiser

    S4Cruiser

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    Old school used then restore it gets my vote. Parts that you would need to replace on these old units are generally available - I recently purchased new spindle bearings to hopefully eliminate runout and bout them from Amazon.

    [​IMG]