Jump to content

Drill Press Recommendations


dpm99
 Share

Recommended Posts

I've been thinking about this for a while, and I thought I'd throw it out there. I live in a small apartment, and don't have a lot of room for tools. In my estimation, the two large power tools needed for building electric guitars and basses are a band saw and a drill press. You can avoid the band saw by using a jigsaw or bow saw to rough cut, but can you get away without having the drill press?

I'm at the point in my build that it's time to make a decision. In fact, I'd planned to go out this weekend and buy a 10" Ryobi drill press from Home Depot for $99.

http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/stores...03+90401+501991

A friend pointed out to me that I won't consistently be able to reach the center of a body with something that small and recommended a 12" Delta drill press as an alternative. It's almost twice as much at $185.

http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/stores...03+90401+501991

I really don't want to spend that much money unless I absolutely have to. So I wonder if anyone has either found a way to work around having a drill press altogether, or found a cheap drill press with a long reach. I don't need fancy - just reliable. Incidentally, I've already been checking Craigslist. But I'd rather not go that route if possible. I've had some bad experiences.

Specifically, I believe a drill press is needed for the following:

1. Cutting holes for tuners (I don't know a workaround for this.)

2. Hogging out cavities and such (unless you use your router)

3. Bridge post holes (I'm using a Floyd for my current project, and I don't know if there's an effective workaround.)

4. Holes from string through bodies (I don't have any on this project obviously, but still.)

5. Dot inlays (Might be able to do this with a hand held drill?)

I'm sure there's more, but that's what I can think of off the top of my head. Anyone have thoughts or recommendations?

Thanks for your time,

-Dave

Edited by dpm99
Link to comment
Share on other sites

For my guitar build, the drill press and router have been the most vital and most used tools so far. I'm wagering it'll stay that way (for the most part). They certainly get props for versatility. If I were you, I'd invest in those two first. Of course, if you don't have a band saw you'll need a jig saw to do the rough cutting; also, a portable drill is a must.

As far as drill presses go, I have the 12 in. Craftsman. Got a deal on it at the store, otherwise it's about the same price as the Delta you mentioned. It's not amazing, but it gets the job done. It also got mostly favorable reviews just about everywhere I looked. I honestly don't know about the quality of those cheap presses (if you do go the cheap rout, you might want to check out Harbor Freight). Personally, I just feel a little more at ease paying a bit more to buy a name brand tool that has been oft reviewed and gives me access to customer service.

CMA

Edited by CrazyManAndy
Link to comment
Share on other sites

. Incidentally, I've already been checking Craigslist. But I'd rather not go that route if possible. I've had some bad experiences.

Well, you're lucky to live in a area that has such an active craigslist. In my life, I've certainly regretted some of the used items I have bought, but these days with just about everything made in China, I think maybe bad luck happens a little more often with *new* items.

Try not to rush it. I did buy a new drill press nearly 20 years ago, but it was still one hell of a long hunt. And I ended up traveling a fairly good distance to get it. So it wasn't a case where I just said "screw it" and drove to the nearest home-improvement store.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Specifically, I believe a drill press is needed for the following:

1. Cutting holes for tuners (I don't know a workaround for this.)

2. Hogging out cavities and such (unless you use your router)

3. Bridge post holes (I'm using a Floyd for my current project, and I don't know if there's an effective workaround.)

4. Holes from string through bodies (I don't have any on this project obviously, but still.)

5. Dot inlays (Might be able to do this with a hand held drill?)

Well, not having a drill press myself...

1. I have been drilling 10mm holes for tuners with a hand electric drill using a brad point drill and centre punching the location for the point. Holes turned out very neat (after I remembered to clamp wood against the rear side to prevent splintering on breakthrough :D )

2. I think you are right, you need a drill press if you're not using the router for the whole thing

3. I drilled the post holes for my stop tail piece with a hand drill. Haven't tried a bridge that needs post holes yet.

4. They are only small holes aren't they? I would try a hand drill.

5. I did small dots in rosewood using a brad point drill. Had to real careful to only just let the full diameter start cutting, then stop immediately. Worked well though. One that I cut a bit deep, I just didn't push the dot all the way in, let the glue set well before sanding. No probs.

One last thing, for very light work (like 4. above) you can buy a cheap "drill press" frame that clamps a hand electric drill into the frame and let's you lower it with a lever just like a real drill press. I am not suggesting it as a real substitute, but maybe something to help until you get one. I have one, but haven't needed to use it yet on a guitar. But then, I am only a beginner.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That's really good advice guys, and I appreciate it. I made my decision tonight. I'm going to try it Bluesy's way, with the hand drill and router I already have. So far, innovation and planning have been my best tools. And I'll just save up until I can get a really nice drill press.

Thanks for all the help,

-Dave

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm going to try it Bluesy's way, with the hand drill and router I already have. So far, innovation and planning have been my best tools. And I'll just save up until I can get a really nice drill press.

Just remember I am only a beginner. There may be better ways - but at least no-one has yet replied to my suggestions saying I am doing it all wrong :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This might be a little late in the thread, but what the heck. I feel like a drillpress is essential to me, but that it doesn't need to be a very fancy or expensive one. While even a high quality bandsaw has a learning curve both for tuning and using, a drill press really doesn't. I have a cheapo of some kind that works just fine. I built a wooden table that fits over the cast iron one and it greatly improves the flexibility of the tool, but it's always been accurate and powerful enough for whatever I threw at it. If I didn't have one already, I'd certainly consider a Harbor Freight cheapo and plan to adjust and modify it a tad if it needed. Drill presses are machine tools that we woodworkers use for something else other than what they were designed, which is metal working. For wood, they're usually up to the job even if they're cheaply made.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think I agree with you, Dugg. All the same, I'd rather have something that can reach to the middle of the body that settle for something I'll learn to hate. On this project, I'll be working with one of these:

http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/stores...uctId=100349264

I realize everyone hates them, but I'm hoping the key is understanding that it's a jig, not a drill press. I'll be using brad point bits. Then for me next project, I can have a good drill press (unless I just decide I can do without one).

Another factor to consider is that I live in a second story apartment. That means every time I need to use the drill press, I'll have to carry it down a flight of stairs, and back up again when I'm done. Plus, it has to stay reasonably clean. Probably worth it though. I'll just have to see how much things suck without one. I've been putting off these next few steps until I got a drill press.

Thanks for all the input!

-Dave

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah I'm kind of in the same boat as you dpm99. As in, I need a good drilling set up. You should at least have something to keep your drill at the angle that you want it, mostly perpendicular. Especially for the holes for string through bodies, cause last thing you want is to have all the strings coming out all crooked on the back of your ax.

:D

Edited by WAK Guitars
Link to comment
Share on other sites

http://www.grizzly.com/catalog/2008/Main/117

I may go with the floor model when I have more space.

Todd

That's the one I want!! Shipping on it is insane, but there's nothing else like it on the market, as far as I know.

Yeah I'm kind of in the same boat as you dpm99. As in, I need a good drilling set up. You should at least have something to keep your drill at the angle that you want it, mostly perpendicular. Especially for the holes for string through bodies, cause last thing you want is to have all the strings coming out all crooked on the back of your ax.

:D

Fortunately, my current build has a Floyd. I'm sure I'll be able to manage that without a drill press. But it would be foolish to buy one with only my current build in mind, because I may want to do a string through at some point.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah, well...

I like that Delta, and I love the Grizzly one, but they'll both have to wait. After making a decision to work without a drill press, I had to buy a couple more cheap little things. Now I've got about $175 to finish this project. I've got just about everything I need though, so I ought to be alright. But at this point, buying either one of those would put me in the red (and in the doghouse with my wife). This weekend I'll be doing some work that really ought to be done with a drill press, so I should have a good story to tell soon.

-Dave

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest RavenT

What about drill press, Floor model or table top? The 8” drill press is good for the tuners, pots, toggle and a fret press. But for any holes for long shaft drilling for the wires it is not the best. The floor model is the best for that. Unless you want a professional looking job get the floor model.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Test your technique on some scrap or sacrificial pine first.

Wise words.

What about drill press, Floor model or table top? The 8” drill press is good for the tuners, pots, toggle and a fret press. But for any holes for long shaft drilling for the wires it is not the best. The floor model is the best for that. Unless you want a professional looking job get the floor model.

Yeah, not gonna happen. It would not be fun to haul a floor model up and down the stairs every time I needed to use it. Those things are meant to stay in place. Someday.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...