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Drill Presses


CrazyManAndy
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Well I'm looking to find a good drill press (and hopefully one that won't break the bank). I've heard that floor models are better than bench models, especially if you plan on using it for more than its intended purpose. What about these "heavy-duty" bench models I see? Any good deals out there you guys know of? I don't want to get one online, to save on shipping. Hopefully I'll find a good one somewhere locally.

Anything I should know?

CMA

Edited by CrazyManAndy
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I'm increasingly unhappy with my Ryobi 10" benchtop drill press. (It's not their current model with the laser, it's the older one.) It started out fine but now there's an unacceptable amount of runout. I did use it to fret a neck with Stew Mac's arbor and caul, so I may have caused that myself.

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Add an inch to any throat measurements you need. While the drill press I'm using isn't mine (it's my fathers) on multiple occasions I've found myself stymied by the fact that the drill press simply will not reach the location for drilling my bridge stud holes; despite the fact that I was certain it would when I started! (Okay, sorry this doesn't help you, but it's my new recurring frustration this week!)

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Watch those floor mounted models as some of them flex badly over their length and thru the base. We have a couple in my school metal work shop and unless you anchor the drill column to a wall with a bracket they move annoyingly at times.

The distance from the column to the chuck is something you need to take into consideration, as when drilling Tuneomatic bridge holes many smaller drill presses don't have enough reach.

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Well I'm looking to find a good drill press (and hopefully one that won't break the bank). I've heard that floor models are better than bench models, especially if you plan on using it for more than its intended purpose. What about these "heavy-duty" bench models I see? Any good deals out there you guys know of? I don't want to get one online, to save on shipping. Hopefully I'll find a good one somewhere locally.

Anything I should know?

CMA

I'm happy with my Delta 10" bench top press. Had it for a couple of years now and works fine.

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I have a floor model. I never need the "full capacity" it allows by being a floor model. If I could do it over, I'd get the bench version of the same DP I bought. That way I could have the DP up higher. I'm 6'-1", and have to hunch over most of the time when using my floor model. Seems they modeled the height for someone around 5'-5". Ok, I do compensate by sitting on a stool in front of the DP pretty often. But it's a bar stool, so I keep getting handed shot glasses of whiskey.

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I have a Delta floor model and its great for a number of applications. I also use it for other woodworking, such as motising. One builder, in his "Making of a Strat" blog (in PM), used it with his robo sander and for drilling the truss rod acess hole. As previously mentioned, there are bench models that are fine. Also, if you do a search in the PG forum, you'll find a number of threads on the same topic. Delta does make drill presses with various size pillars. I guess if you go to their website they can tell you where to get these as usually only the standard sizes are sold by retailers.

By the way, if you mount the floor model on 1" ply, as suggested, that also helps with the height issue. Good luck with your choice.

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I have a Delta floor model and its great for a number of applications. I also use it for other woodworking, such as motising. One builder, in his "Making of a Strat" blog (in PM), used it with his robo sander and for drilling the truss rod acess hole. As previously mentioned, there are bench models that are fine. Also, if you do a search in the PG forum, you'll find a number of threads on the same topic. Delta does make drill presses with various size pillars. I guess if you go to their website they can tell you where to get these as usually only the standard sizes are sold by retailers.

By the way, if you mount the floor model on 1" ply, as suggested, that also helps with the height issue. Good luck with your choice.

Yeh, I have that "Making of a Strat" blog backed up onto my HD, it is great. Have you ever had any flexing issues like Acousticraft spoke of?

Thanks for all the great responses so far, very helpful!

CMA

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Nope. I do believe you get what you pay for in most instances. Check the size, circumference and thickness of the steel of the pole. Also check the gearing and track. You'll also want to explore the ease of speed changes, motor size and quality of the chuck. Like any tool, look for the biggest bang for the buck; it doesn't have to be Delta. It could be Jet, General or even a not-so-well-known brand that's made well. You may be able to get a Riggid at Home Depot. They're not too expensive. Check "craig's list" for a good used one someone might be selling.

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Well I'm looking to find a good drill press (and hopefully one that won't break the bank). I've heard that floor models are better than bench models, especially if you plan on using it for more than its intended purpose. What about these "heavy-duty" bench models I see? Any good deals out there you guys know of? I don't want to get one online, to save on shipping. Hopefully I'll find a good one somewhere locally.

Anything I should know?

CMA

Every week someone seems to want info on a drill press. A good hand drill costs $250 and a basic drill press should be at the very least double that.

Bench top or floor standing they both do the same job.

If you need to drill out a hole at the bottom of a glued on necked instrument and need the room to attach the full guitar then a floor standing models the way to go.

I refuse to give buying advise other than this info

1. Buy a $60--$99 drill press and you will join the many people crying because it broke, it's unstable, uses a $5 chuck etc. Its cheap because it is a piece of garbage plain and simple. Why do you think the price is so low.

2. weight and depth are important and will save you a lot of setup issues.

3. The chuck, the most important piece of the Drill press seems to be a mystery to everyone (never comes up). An accurate chuck alone costs $200 plus. Most $400 - $500 drill presses come with $30 chucks and they should be replaced (my experience) look for a keyless chuck for only a few dollars more but worth the additional convince. Exppect to pay in the $50-$70 range for an accurate keyless chuck.

4. The bigger the drill press the larger the bit size you can use safetly.

5. Check for runout with a test indicator if its way off send it back.

My 2 1/2 cents for what its worth

Woodenspooke

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Thanks for the tips Woodspokes, I'll definitely keep them in mind!

That's a great find cherokee! But my Dad, who is funding this venture, doesn't like to buy used tools (or even refurbished ones). When it comes to tools, he doesn't really care about price that much (unlike me) as long as the tool is quality. I guess that is a good thing though. :D

We'll probably go out looking around soon and see what we can find.

Thanks guys,

CMA

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Thanks for the tips Woodspokes, I'll definitely keep them in mind!

That's a great find cherokee! But my Dad, who is funding this venture, doesn't like to buy used tools (or even refurbished ones). When it comes to tools, he doesn't really care about price that much (unlike me) as long as the tool is quality. I guess that is a good thing though. :D

We'll probably go out looking around soon and see what we can find.

Thanks guys,

CMA

The current issue of FWW rates table top drill presses.

Woodenspoke

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Me, I'm think of replacing my cheap 'n' nasty drill press with a mini mill. Should do what I want for drilling, and add milling to the mix and I'm certainly happy.

Going to buy a dedicated oscillating spindle sander (little one) so I can retire the drill-press mounted sanding drums, which aren't doing the quill any favours.

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Me, I'm think of replacing my cheap 'n' nasty drill press with a mini mill. Should do what I want for drilling, and add milling to the mix and I'm certainly happy.

Going to buy a dedicated oscillating spindle sander (little one) so I can retire the drill-press mounted sanding drums, which aren't doing the quill any favours.

I have a CNC'd HF mini mill and the full capabilities are lets just say 4" x 8" of travel. Unless you are working on just hardware look for a larger drill press. Before I CNC'd the mini mill it was the best dam small metal drill press I ever used, (I dont know why the CNC drilling is worse) but unless you are just drilling tuner holes your $400 would be better spent toward a monster drill presses with mill like features.

Woodenspoke

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Me, I'm think of replacing my cheap 'n' nasty drill press with a mini mill. Should do what I want for drilling, and add milling to the mix and I'm certainly happy.

Going to buy a dedicated oscillating spindle sander (little one) so I can retire the drill-press mounted sanding drums, which aren't doing the quill any favours.

I have a CNC'd HF mini mill and the full capabilities are lets just say 4" x 8" of travel. Unless you are working on just hardware look for a larger drill press. Before I CNC'd the mini mill it was the best dam small metal drill press I ever used, (I dont know why the CNC drilling is worse) but unless you are just drilling tuner holes your $400 would be better spent toward a monster drill presses with mill like features.

Woodenspoke

Well, it's drilling tuner holes and bridge holes, mostly, but I do want to give metalwork a shot, and potentially CNC it in future.

The main reason I'm not looking for a larger, heavy duty drill press is that I'm very strapped for space; tiny shop, already a bit too full, and a floor-standing press simply won't fit, and even a hefty table mounted model (requirement for any upgrade: that I can reach the middle of a standard sized guitar to drill string-through holes and the like). I'm swinging by my equivalent to Grizzly on Thursday, checking out the mill as well as their alternatives (machinist's drill presses, f'r instance).

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Me, I'm think of replacing my cheap 'n' nasty drill press with a mini mill. Should do what I want for drilling, and add milling to the mix and I'm certainly happy.

Going to buy a dedicated oscillating spindle sander (little one) so I can retire the drill-press mounted sanding drums, which aren't doing the quill any favours.

I have a CNC'd HF mini mill and the full capabilities are lets just say 4" x 8" of travel. Unless you are working on just hardware look for a larger drill press. Before I CNC'd the mini mill it was the best dam small metal drill press I ever used, (I dont know why the CNC drilling is worse) but unless you are just drilling tuner holes your $400 would be better spent toward a monster drill presses with mill like features.

Woodenspoke

Well, it's drilling tuner holes and bridge holes, mostly, but I do want to give metalwork a shot, and potentially CNC it in future.

The main reason I'm not looking for a larger, heavy duty drill press is that I'm very strapped for space; tiny shop, already a bit too full, and a floor-standing press simply won't fit, and even a hefty table mounted model (requirement for any upgrade: that I can reach the middle of a standard sized guitar to drill string-through holes and the like). I'm swinging by my equivalent to Grizzly on Thursday, checking out the mill as well as their alternatives (machinist's drill presses, f'r instance).

FYI Cummings tools sells the Mini Mill $399 mini mill. Really called the Sieg X1. Dont get the MT model grizzly only the R8 collet model.

Woodenspoke

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FYI Cummings tools sells the Mini Mill $399 mini mill. Really called the Sieg X1. Dont get the MT model grizzly only the R8 collet model.

...since I live in the Netherlands, that's going to cost a little too much to ship :D

I'm checking out a local place that brands them as 'Black and Red' mini mills, but it's the same machine, comes with a drill head, but they've got several sets of alternative collets/etc.

Still have to wait until I get a few more invoices paid and the like, though, since it's not like I actually need the thing right now. I just want it. Sanders are more 'urgent'.

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We went out looking around today and looked at a bunch of different drill presses.

I went to Harbor Freight and found what looked/felt like a solid bench top model. 16" I believe, 3/4 HP, Central Machinery brand. The steel pole on it was massive (similar to the larger floor models). All that for $190. I'm a little suspicious there.

Went to Woodcraft (was my first time, that place is crazy, I think I could live there :D) also. They had a variety of solid looking machines, all top name brands. Similar experience at Lowes, but with a little less selection. Lowes had a very nice looking Delta floor model for $370. Home Depot pretty much sucked on this one.

I don't know what to get. I don't want to get anything too wimpy, but I want to avoid going overboard if I can. I know you recommend spending at least $500 for a drill press, Woodspokes, but I think If I'm not doing anything heavy, just guitar building, a cheaper model would be plenty.

And by the way, where would you get a "good" drill press chuck? Woodcraft had one of those $30 Jacobs keyless chucks but that's about all I could find.

CMA

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I think in this 'made in China' era we are stuck in, it's not so wise to be stubborn with " we only buy new". In many cases, "they don't make 'em like they used to" is way too true.

Edited by soapbarstrat
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