Drill presses?

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Jeff Perry, Jan 8, 2004.

  1. Jeff Perry

    Jeff Perry Stunt Coordinator

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    I need a drill press, both for metal work, and woodworking. I prefer a floor standing model, rather than a benchtop.

    Unfortunately, other than knowing that some stand on the floor and some sit on benches, I know absolutely nothing about them. I'm hoping someone here can educate me. What sort of features should I look for? What brands are good? Any other advice would be great.
     
  2. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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    I chose the Delta 17-965 16-Speed 16-1/2" Floor Drill Press. There are a few features about this machine that I prefered over other brands. One of the useful features is the depth gauge, which uses a spring loaded mechanism to quickly change the depth. I also liked the press mechanism for its smoothness, and the motor is also pretty beefy. If you can find one that is a Series 2000 it also has a transferrable lifetime warranty.

    When looking a presses, some things to consider are how wide the material you are drilling into is, which will determine how much clearance you need. The size of press (in inches) is double the clearance to the stand. Look at the speed range and options, as different materials require different drilling speeds. Look at the size of the chuck as well - bigger is better, allowing the use of higher quality bits.
     
  3. Jeff Perry

    Jeff Perry Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks Jeff. Cool name, by the way. [​IMG] I looked at the Delta 17-965, looks like a nice one. I've put it on my short list (so far, it's the only one there... [​IMG] ).

    Does anyone else have any insight into this, or are drill presses not used much around here?
     
  4. Ron-P

    Ron-P Producer

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    I have a Delta 10" table top drill press. Not sure of the exact model #, it's about 3 years old. I don't use it too often and I've only used it for wood working. Very nice machine though.


    Peace Out~[​IMG]
     
  5. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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    Drill press use is a boring job... it takes a bit to get used to... [​IMG]

    I had looked at Ridgid's DP1550 (I think), but it only has 12 speeds, and is a lttle smaller all around. I didn't like the depth guage. Others I'd looked at had cheaped out in places.

    I'd also recommend Delta's magnetic work light as an accessory.
     
  6. Jeff Perry

    Jeff Perry Stunt Coordinator

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    Yeah, I consider the work light a necessity, quite frankly. I'm surprised this press doesn't come with one, for the price.
     
  7. Greg_R

    Greg_R Screenwriter

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    Real metalwork or just drilling holes in 1/4" metal? If you're planning on doing some serious work (tapping, milling, boring, etc.), you'll want a gear driven unit with metal working features (auto reverse, sliding tables, lots of power, water capability, etc.).

    If you just plan on drilling some holes, look at a variable speed drill press. You'll want the slower speeds to drill metal (or handle large WW bits). Things to check out while shopping:

    - Actual power (drill a 1" hole in a hard wood like maple to check the drill's power)
    - Clamping system. Can you easily clamp and remove workpieces from the drill platform?
    - Easy belt adjustments (for various speeds).
    - A good work light is a bonus.
    - Size of drill platform (you may want to build / buy a large platform to set/clamp workpieces on).

    Check for a Rockler or Woodcraft store near your house... they carry Delta and Jet (two popular manufacturers). Also, various woodworking journals frequently review drill presses.
     
  8. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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    This is Delta... they make their money on the accessories. What I have found though from looking at a number of their machines is that they do pay attention to details, so while you may get more features on a similar competing product, the build quality or design detail generally makes up for the difference.
     
  9. Jeff Perry

    Jeff Perry Stunt Coordinator

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    Well, that's a good question. My situation is thus: I'm just beginning to outfit my garage to be a "real" shop. I started with woodworking because I wanted to build a piece of custom furniture for my home, so I've been buying woodworking tools.

    But now that I've been playing with wood for about a year, I'm starting to get into metalworking. At this exact moment in time, all I need to do is drill some perfectly straight holes into a few light metal beams. But I don't want to buy another drill press next year when/if I decide it's time to get deeper into metalworking.

    Is there a nice metal-specific press that can also handle wood well, or is this a case where you really need two different presses?
     
  10. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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    I think the machine depends on your needs. A decent drill press should drill metal just fine, but some common sense is required when deciding what you will be doing with it, and how you are drilling your holes. I have known several smaller shops that used their presses for milling non ferrous metals with a milling vise, but there are limits to what you can do, especially in off axis cutting, and you have to take your time with multiple passes. I also think you'll be looking in an entirely different price bracket ($2000+ range) for something that will mill steel easily, though I haven't really researched that type of equipment.
     
  11. Jeff Perry

    Jeff Perry Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for your help Jeff, & everyone else. I have a lot of research to do yet and a lot of thinking, but the responses here have me a big step forward.
     

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