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Posted: 1/9/2006 6:55:54 PM EDT
I keep needing to drill holes in either wood or metal but have no way to do so. I know nothing about drill presses. I want one that will enable me to drill through the softest wood or the hardest metal, all for between 200-300$. Also, if someone could explain how the part to be drilled is held in place--I'm assuming a vice. Just don't know if it usually comes with a drill press or what.

Please assume I know nothing because it's a good start. (Links OK since my google-fu is weak.)
Link Posted: 1/9/2006 6:59:04 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/9/2006 7:01:14 PM EDT by GoGop]
If it's for occasional household use you can get by with a cheapy from Harbor Freight Tools, but if it's for constant use you should probably spend more and get a better quality one.

They usually don't come with the vise/clamps included.


EDIT--

order.harborfreight.com/EasyAsk/harborfreight/results.jsp
Link Posted: 1/9/2006 7:00:09 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/9/2006 7:13:14 PM EDT by bastiat]
Usually you hold the piece in place with clamps.

Although rockler has some nice drill press accessories so you can produce better results.

The things you want to be looking for are:
Brand reputation
Travel Distance
Chuck / bit size
HP / RPM speeds available

And most importantly, RUNOUT. Once you have it narrowed down to a few drill presses, see what users have to say on the web about runout for those models. Too much and you'll end up messing up projects.
Link Posted: 1/9/2006 7:00:58 PM EDT

Originally Posted By GoGop:
If it' for occasional household use you can get by with a cheapy from Harbor Freight Tools, but if it's for constant use you should probably spend more and get a better quality one.

They usually don't come with the vise/clamps included.



What he said. My dad got one from HF a dozen years ago, and it's fine for non-critical work. I wouldn't try to mill with it.

Check around for used / liquidated industrial equipment as well. If you're looking in person, you want to make sure the chuck holds tightly, isn't out of line, and the the table stays where you put it.
Link Posted: 1/9/2006 7:01:43 PM EDT
BTW, here is a link to rockler's drill press & accessory page:

http://www.rockler.com/CategoryView.cfm?Cat_ID=1506
Link Posted: 1/9/2006 7:10:06 PM EDT
just make sure it doesnt say made in china on it.
Link Posted: 1/9/2006 7:10:51 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/9/2006 7:17:13 PM EDT by Quarterbore]
I bought and use a cheap drill press but I am in need of an upgrade and I have been looking. Wood is easy but for metal you need a solid table and heavy duty cnstruction pust the abuility to slow that baby down. I don't think HP is as critical as the robustness of the press and the gear or pully reduction to get the slow speeds.

I have been looking at one from Sears with a 1/2 HP motor that looks pretty nice but I am waiting for it to come on sale... I recall it is just about the $300 mark or perhaps a little less. I wanted a bench mounted drill press but the small ones lack the speed contols I need to metal...

EDIT wrong on many levels... this is what I was thinking of:

www.sears.com/sr/javasr/product.do?BV_UseBVCookie=Yes&vertical=TOOL&pid=00922900000&cat=Bench+Power+Tools
Link Posted: 1/9/2006 7:35:36 PM EDT
Keep your fingers out of the way.... use clamps/vice to hold whatever you're drilling a hole in, Don't try to hold it by hand and drill, the results could get ugly fast, when it gets away from you......
Link Posted: 1/9/2006 8:09:35 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/9/2006 8:10:40 PM EDT by C-4]
Thanks guys! Keep it coming.

GoGop, I looked at the harbour freight sight and they talked about "Chuck capacity: 1/8"-5/8'''. Does it mean that you can't drill holes smaller than 1/8" with that drill press?

]www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/Displayitem.taf?itemnumber=43389[/ulr]



Quarterbore,

I like that Sears one you posted. How are you going to decide which one to get? The one at the Harbour Freight sight is 1 HP and the Sears one is 1/2 HP.
Link Posted: 1/9/2006 8:12:53 PM EDT
It won't clamp tightly enough on a bit smaller than 1/8". The bit would either fall out or just spin in the chuck when pressure was applied.
Link Posted: 1/9/2006 8:22:56 PM EDT

Originally Posted By GoGop:
It won't clamp tightly enough on a bit smaller than 1/8". The bit would either fall out or just spin in the chuck when pressure was applied.



Can you buy smaller chucks that would allow for smaller diameter drill bits? The holes I would want to drill would run from less than 3/32" on up.
Link Posted: 1/9/2006 8:25:57 PM EDT

Originally Posted By C-4:

Originally Posted By GoGop:
It won't clamp tightly enough on a bit smaller than 1/8". The bit would either fall out or just spin in the chuck when pressure was applied.



Can you buy smaller chucks that would allow for smaller diameter drill bits? The holes I would want to drill would run from less than 3/32" on up.



That would vary with the manufacturer. Definately make sure of that before you spend your money. You don't want to end up with a $300 paperweight.
Link Posted: 1/9/2006 8:37:12 PM EDT

Originally Posted By C-4:
Thanks guys! Keep it coming.

GoGop, I looked at the harbour freight sight and they talked about "Chuck capacity: 1/8"-5/8'''. Does it mean that you can't drill holes smaller than 1/8" with that drill press?

]www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/Displayitem.taf?itemnumber=43389[/ulr]

www.harborfreight.com/cpi/photos/43300-43399/43389.gif

Quarterbore,

I like that Sears one you posted. How are you going to decide which one to get? The one at the Harbour Freight sight is 1 HP and the Sears one is 1/2 HP.




You get a special insert chuck to get smaller than 1/8" or you buy a separet tabletop drill press that is specifically for the smaller drills. Or you go and buy a REAL tool from Foredom for doing flexshaft work with, not one of those POS Dremel's.
Link Posted: 1/9/2006 8:41:48 PM EDT
Sears power tools (after they switched makers) have a shitty reputation.

I'd stay away from them.
Link Posted: 1/9/2006 8:42:28 PM EDT
How deep is her vagina?
Link Posted: 1/9/2006 8:54:30 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/9/2006 8:55:16 PM EDT by Papertargets]

Originally Posted By Morning_Wood:
just make sure it doesnt say made in china on it.



Good luck following this advice if shopping at Harbor Freight.

110VAC drill presses are (edited to add MOST OFTEN) belt driven.

There are table top versions and floor standing versions.

If you value your fingers, you are right to make sure you get the vise and clamps to hold the piece.

The vise gets bolted to the table using T-bolts in slots so you can position the piece to line up with the axis of the drill. Large C-Clamps or C-Clamp Vise-Grips can be used.

Drill holes in the drill press table is often looked at as a sign of someone who screwed up the set-up or operation.

Since Sears is now charging 15% for returns, I'd shop at another hardware store or in the local paper for a used one.

Good luck.
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 5:02:37 AM EDT
BTT for day crew.
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 6:48:31 AM EDT
You asked above how I was going to decide... I don't know as that is why I have not bought yet! I have a place near me that sells surpluss tools and sometimes they get some really heavy duty stuff and their prices tend to be decent. My problem is I want something more rugged then a toy but not so heavy that I can't move it myself if I want to. I have a 1500# Bridgeport Mill if I really need anything that big and heavy although I have yet to find the time to wire up the 220v VFD to get me the 3-phase power I need.

What I tend to like about sears is that they tend to carry parts to repair tools and while they may not be as good as they used to be they are still better then the cheaper of the cheap stuff.
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 6:58:33 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/10/2006 7:05:16 AM EDT by A_Free_Man]
I got a drill press that does all I need at Home Depot. It is a benchtop model, Ryobi 12" DP120, about $130.

Store SKU # 281650
Internet # 165670
Catalog # 100068666

www.homedepot.com/prel80/HDUS/EN_US/diy_main/pg_diy.jsp?BV_SessionID=@@@@0064992775.1136908748@@@@&BV_EngineID=ccdjaddgjllleggcgelceffdfgidgki.0&CNTTYPE=PROD_META&CNTKEY=misc/searchResults.jsp&MID=9876&N=2984+3966&pos=n24





To hold your work you will also need a "drill press vise". These come in more than one size. They can be bolted to the drill press. I picked up one that suits most of my needs for $16.00.

Wilton
4 In. Drill Press Vise
Model 69997




Online catalog shows prices higher than what I paid.
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 7:05:24 AM EDT
Drill presses are VERY top heavy, and are not designed to be moved...at least full size floor models. In fact they should be bolted to the floor to prevent serious injury. Table top DP's are not industrial machines, and if accuracy is important, stay away here. Delta is known for quality tools. Home Depot has the Ridgid tool line, and their floor model is rather basic, but rated very high, is under $300, and was recently rated "best buy" in a wood workers magazine...not the highest rated, but the best buy for the money. Quill stroke was acceptable, and run out (wobble of the quill) was the best of all the DP's tested.
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 7:13:55 AM EDT
This is one of Harbor Freights "diamonds in the rough". It gets great reviews from everybody I know on the internet that has one and the price can't be beat, especially if you get it on sale or with some discount coupons.

HF 16-speed drill press
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 10:25:45 AM EDT
Wish I could remember what speed range mine has.

The one we have at work runs way too fast at it's lowest speed.
It tends to burn up bits when drilling harder steels.

Mine at home runs much slower on it's slowest speed, and I've never
burned up a bit.

Link Posted: 1/10/2006 10:34:00 AM EDT
Harbor Freight is one of those strange places - everything is cheap. Some of it is crap, and some of it is a hell of a good buy. In my opinion, the drill press is the latter. It's a fine press to everyone but a machinist, it's cheap and it's durable. I know of one that's been in constant (and abusive) duty for 3 years at a custom motorcycle shop. I'd buy one in a heartbeat.
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 10:35:44 AM EDT
I bought a Ryobi from Home Depot. It was $100 and works great. Drills through 1/2" steel plate with ease, and has multiple speed settings via belt pulley change/adjustment. I believe mine is the 10" model.

Bill3508
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 10:43:03 AM EDT

Originally Posted By A_Free_Man:
Ryobi 12" DP120



This is what I use to drill 16 gauge steel on a near daily basis. It has 12 speeds and is belt driven. Just make sure you use a slow speed to drill metal, or you will melt your $40 Unibit. Don't ask me how I figured that out.
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 10:51:44 AM EDT

Originally Posted By GoGop:
If it's for occasional household use you can get by with a cheapy from Harbor Freight Tools, but if it's for constant use you should probably spend more and get a better quality one.




My Harbor Freight Drill press sees some pretty heavy use in the shop at work. It is better to replace both belts with quality automotive V belts. It will run much smoother with minimal slippage. The chinese belts are crap.



Link Posted: 1/10/2006 10:54:50 AM EDT
The Rigid (Home Depot's brand)drill presses are good quality for the money. Find a 20% off coupon and you can get a very good deal. They come with a 3 year no questions asked warranty as well, which doesn't hurt if you use it a lot like I do.
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 1:41:51 PM EDT
For what it is worth
http://www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=1&f=5&t=426281
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 4:13:52 PM EDT

Originally Posted By snarfbatt:
For what it is worth
www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=1&f=5&t=426281



Good stuff.

Thanks guys for all the information. I will now try to digest it all. BTT one last time.
Link Posted: 1/23/2006 6:38:56 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/23/2006 6:43:00 AM EDT by Quarterbore]
I looked at a few more drill presses and I really did need a bench mounted one as I have a Bridgeport Milling machine if I need something a little bigger...

With all the smaller presses I looked at I finally decided to go with the one that follows... I paid about $150 and all the adjustments seem easy and reliable plus the shaft can be slowed down to the 280rpm range for working on hardened metals.

I have the box in the truck and I hope to get her to work on drilling some stainless for me real soon!


Originally Posted By A_Free_Man:
I got a drill press that does all I need at Home Depot. It is a benchtop model, Ryobi 12" DP120, about $130.

Store SKU # 281650
Internet # 165670
Catalog # 100068666

www.homedepot.com/





Link Posted: 1/23/2006 1:26:47 PM EDT
Cool. Let us know how well it works for your projects.
Link Posted: 1/23/2006 3:20:51 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/23/2006 3:22:14 PM EDT by C-4]

Originally Posted By Quarterbore:
I looked at a few more drill presses and I really did need a bench mounted one as I have a Bridgeport Milling machine if I need something a little bigger...

With all the smaller presses I looked at I finally decided to go with the one that follows... I paid about $150 and all the adjustments seem easy and reliable plus the shaft can be slowed down to the 280rpm range for working on hardened metals.

I have the box in the truck and I hope to get her to work on drilling some stainless for me real soon!


Originally Posted By A_Free_Man:
I got a drill press that does all I need at Home Depot. It is a benchtop model, Ryobi 12" DP120, about $130.

Store SKU # 281650
Internet # 165670
Catalog # 100068666

www.homedepot.com/

www.homedepot.com/cmc_upload/HDUS/EN_US/asset/images/eplus/165670_3.jpg






I picked up the exact same one last night! The irony is that instead of going to Home Depot and just getting a drill press there, I searched for hours on the internet for a DP in my price range and finally decided on the Ryobi 12" DP120 above. When I searched for places to buy it, I found it at Home Depot.

The other drill press I was considering was the Delta DP350 (www.rockler.com/product.cfm?page=10508 but I read terrible reviews. Popular Mechanics (www.rockler.com/product.cfm?page=10508) actually recommended it but Amazon.com had nothing good to say about it.

ETA: Thanks again for all the suggestions!
Link Posted: 1/23/2006 3:25:06 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Quarterbore:
I have been looking at one from Sears with a 1/2 HP motor that looks pretty nice but I am waiting for it to come on sale... I recall it is just about the $300 mark or perhaps a little less. I wanted a bench mounted drill press but the small ones lack the speed contols I need to metal...

EDIT wrong on many levels... this is what I was thinking of:

www.sears.com/sr/javasr/product.do?BV_UseBVCookie=Yes&vertical=TOOL&pid=00922900000&cat=Bench+Power+Tools


I just bought that exact drill press from Sears.

$213.

Yes, $213.

Link Posted: 1/23/2006 3:34:04 PM EDT

Originally Posted By SubnetMask:
Harbor Freight is one of those strange places - everything is cheap. Some of it is crap, and some of it is a hell of a good buy. In my opinion, the drill press is the latter. It's a fine press to everyone but a machinist, it's cheap and it's durable. I know of one that's been in constant (and abusive) duty for 3 years at a custom motorcycle shop. I'd buy one in a heartbeat.



I concur- mine runs really well.
Link Posted: 1/23/2006 5:34:32 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/23/2006 5:34:56 PM EDT by red65]
Buy a cheap POS press so you can have the fun of replacing it in 3 years after you become completely disgusted with it.

Also, never clamp or otherwise secure the workpiece. Just let the bit grab it and rip it out of your fingers.

Link Posted: 1/23/2006 7:01:56 PM EDT

Originally Posted By red65:
Buy a cheap POS press so you can have the fun of replacing it in 3 years after you become completely disgusted with it.

Also, never clamp or otherwise secure the workpiece. Just let the bit grab it and rip it out of your fingers.




Too late: I bought a vise. But I'm sure I'll find some other unique way of injuring myself.
Link Posted: 1/25/2006 7:39:18 AM EDT
tag
Link Posted: 1/25/2006 8:02:58 AM EDT

Originally Posted By GoGop:
If it's for occasional household use you can get by with a cheapy from Harbor Freight Tools, but if it's for constant use you should probably spend more and get a better quality one.

They usually don't come with the vise/clamps included.


EDIT--

order.harborfreight.com/EasyAsk/harborfreight/results.jsp



+1. I bought a cheapy and it's running fine. I love Harbor Freight Tools. Like a gun shop or Gun show for tools.
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