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  1. #1
    Super Star Member EddieWalker's Avatar
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    May 2003
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    14,818
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    Tyler, Texas
    Tractor
    Several, all used and abused.

    Default Drill Press advice appreciated

    I have several projects that I'm in the early stages of starting that will require allot of holes to be drilled through metal brackets. Then after those projects are one, there will be more that will require a pretty constant need to drill 3/8's and 1/2 inch holes into metal for a very long time. I'm not so much concerned with precission since close will work on just about everything that I have in mind. Mostly it's just bracket building and holes to hold wood together with bolts.

    I've never had a drill press and only used them a few times. My memory of them is that they drill much better through metal then a hand drill, which I absolutely hate to do. The thought of drilling a thousand holes with my hand drills terrifies me.

    I don't need the best or even great. I do want good and reliable for a fair price. What should I look for and do you have any suggestions for brands, sizes and who to buy from?

    Thank you,
    Eddie

  2. #2
    Super Member scott_vt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
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    5,040
    Location
    east wells,vt
    Tractor
    1986 MF 1040, 1942 Farmall A, 1949 Farmall Super A

    Default Re: Drill Press advice appreciated

    Good Evenin Eddie,
    I bought a free standing drill press for my wood shop many years ago. I ended up purchasing an AMT unit, its a nice little machine, it has 12 speeds that range from 250 to 3100 rpm. The chuck is 1/2" and can be removed if you want to insert a drill shank with a morse taper or another sleeve. I use it mainly for my wood working projects but it occassionally does some metal drilling, usually nothing larger than 3/8" or 1/2" holes and then I will drill a starter hole with a 1/8" bit so the hole is accurately centered ! The base and table are cast and I fabricated an auxillary wooden table for a bit more stability. Way back then I believe I payed about $250 so Im not sure what it goes for now.

    Here are a couple of pics of the machine, feel free to ask any other questions on it !
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails -drillpress-jpg   -drillpress1-jpg  
    scotty

    ,,,course,,it is gas,and gas is,,well,gas,,so,,but it kills the @#$$ oughta them yellow jackets,,,thingy

    http://www.tractorbynet.com/content/...onth-scott_vt/

  3. #3
    Super Member flusher's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
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    6,344
    Location
    Northern California-Tehama Co.
    Tractor
    2008 Mahindra 5525, 1964 MF-135 diesel, 1951 Farmall Super A, 1951 Minneapolis Moline BF, 1945 Oliver 60 Row Crop, 1949 JD B widefront

    Default Re: Drill Press advice appreciated

    Quote Originally Posted by EddieWalker
    I have several projects that I'm in the early stages of starting that will require allot of holes to be drilled through metal brackets. Then after those projects are one, there will be more that will require a pretty constant need to drill 3/8's and 1/2 inch holes into metal for a very long time. I'm not so much concerned with precission since close will work on just about everything that I have in mind. Mostly it's just bracket building and holes to hold wood together with bolts.

    I've never had a drill press and only used them a few times. My memory of them is that they drill much better through metal then a hand drill, which I absolutely hate to do. The thought of drilling a thousand holes with my hand drills terrifies me.

    I don't need the best or even great. I do want good and reliable for a fair price. What should I look for and do you have any suggestions for brands, sizes and who to buy from?

    Thank you,
    Eddie
    After looking around quite a while, I bought a Rigid floor drill press from Homely Depot.

    RIDGID 15 In. Stationary Drill Press - DP1550 at The Home Depot

    It handles wood, metal, plastic fine. The reason I bought that one is the 3-3/4" quill travel which allows you to drill a 4x4 post in one procedure without flipping the post 180 deg. Very few drill presses have this particular capability and the HD Rigid unit was the only one I found at the $300 mark.

  4. #4
    Super Member 3RRL's Avatar
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    Oct 2005
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    6,808
    Location
    Foothills of the Giant Sequoia's, California
    Tractor
    55HP 4WD KAMA 554 and 4 x 4 Jinma 284

    Default Re: Drill Press advice appreciated

    Hi Eddie,
    It's been so long since I bought a drill press, I wouldn't what brand or model to recommend any more.
    I think I have and older version of Scottie's dril press, except mine is a bench top model. In other words, the column does not go to the floor, but sits on a stand on top of a bench. They all have a table like Scottie's that can be moved up and down and sideways. My table can even be tilted side ways as Scottie's can, I'm sure. The floor model is nice if you EVER have to drill something tall. However, on my bench model, I bolted it to the top of a bench near the edge. So I can rotate the head and drill next to the table if needed.

    One thing I would recommend with GREAT concern is this, be sure to get one with the lowest RPM speed selection for steel work. Most drill presses are set up for smaller holes or woodwork where you can spin the drill bit at higher speeds. But if you are doing 3/8 and 1/2 holes or even larger, you will definitely want one that goes down to at least 120 or 150 rpm and up from there. (My milling machine goes down to 60rpm) So look for that when shopping and comparing. A half inch chuck is fine since you can always get Silver & Demming drills of larger sizes than 1/2 inch, but they have a 1/2 shank on all of them. (Some have 3/4 shanks but don't get those).

    A keyless drill chuck is great for smaller drill bits, but a keyed one like Scottie's will hold the larger size drills better. I use all three holes when tightening a large drill bit as each hole allows you tighten a little more than using just one. At lower rpm, your work won't get as hot, your drill bit won't get as hot and last twice as long between sharpening. I use air to cool my work and drill bit too. You can get a mister kit that uses a mist of air and coolant, and of course you can always use cutting oil too.
    Rob-
    ...The Older I get...the Better I Used to be...
    Member of the Month

  5. #5
    Veteran Member bigtiller's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    1,775
    Location
    central Iowa
    Tractor
    JD 2720

    Default Re: Drill Press advice appreciated

    Brands will be about the same as the ford, chevy, dodge debates. I have a Powermatic but I imagine they all make good, better, best models. One thing to watch for before buying is the amount of deflection when applying pressure to the spinning drill bit. I like the free standing models because they are not as limiting as bench tops. A minimum of 3/4 hp motor and a wide range of speeds. For metal drilling get one with the slowest speed you can find. If you can find one that goes slower than 250 rpm all the better. To make it perform safe and fast, bolt on a 6 or 8 inch milling vice.
    HAVE FUN

    Life is easier when you plow around the stumps.


    2720

  6. #6
    Platinum Member ampsucker's Avatar
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    Dec 2007
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    569
    Location
    Southeast Kansas
    Tractor
    BX24

    Default Re: Drill Press advice appreciated

    agree with above.

    i like a bright light mounted to the press itself. fancy laser stuff may look sharp but just one more thing to break. make sure it takes standard cheap incandescent bulbs.

    the cheapy ones have a lot of wobble in the turnstile and short throws on the chuck (can't drill as deep as noted above.) definitely get the longest throw you can find.

    more speeds the better.

    i like the 5/8" chucks if you have any larger holes. you can get bigger bits with smaller tips as noted above, but a larger chuck will grip with more surface area so you can get it to hold a larger bit better. i have a lot of older bits that i sharpen up with a drill doctor and some of them do not have the shank reduction so if i want to use them i have to have a chuck that can take a larger size.

    best drill press i ever used was an old sears craftsman circa 1950 or so. not any play in anything and purred along smooth as you please. they don't make 'em like that anymore. even the higher dollar ones i find have a lot of wobble in the controls and just don't inspire confidence. the table doesn't snug down, the turnstile has loose handles, the rack and pinion parts feel loose, etc.

    for safety i also like an easy to hit switch you can basically bump with any part of your body to shut down. if you ever let a piece get away from you when your drilling it and it starts spinning around like crazy, you'll appreciate a switch you can slap while running away fast in the other direction.

    motor size is less important with slower rpms as the gearing (belting?) gives a lot more torque.

    i am currently looking for a new drill press, so will check out the ridgid model recommended above at home depot. otherwise, clarke, grizzly, harbor freight all make budget models in different sizes. just make sure you find one that can handle your planned tasks and feels good in your hand.

    amp
    Kubota BX24 (loader, hoe, 60" belly); Ford 800 tractor; Scott's/Deere 42" mower; 5' and 6' rear blade; 54" Howse tiller; 20' 7,000 lb carhauler trailer; 2 other trailers; 5' dethatcher; 10" single bottom moldboard plow; middle buster plow; 600 lb roller; 3pt auger; front tire chains; Stihl and Honda small engine equip.

    Growing with you season by season.

  7. #7
    Super Member scott_vt's Avatar
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    Oct 2004
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    5,040
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    east wells,vt
    Tractor
    1986 MF 1040, 1942 Farmall A, 1949 Farmall Super A

    Default Re: Drill Press advice appreciated

    Quote Originally Posted by 3RRL


    One thing I would recommend with GREAT concern is this, be sure to get one with the lowest RPM speed selection for steel work. Most drill presses are set up for smaller holes or woodwork where you can spin the drill bit at higher speeds. But if you are doing 3/8 and 1/2 holes or even larger, you will definitely want one that goes down to at least 120 or 150 rpm and up from there. (My milling machine goes down to 60rpm) So look for that when shopping and comparing.
    Good Evenin Rob,
    Good addition on the speed capability, I kind of forgot to mention that I did some fancy pulley manipulation to slow the spindle speed just a bit !

    I sure do miss that 60 rpm Bridgeport low speed drilling capability !
    scotty

    ,,,course,,it is gas,and gas is,,well,gas,,so,,but it kills the @#$$ oughta them yellow jackets,,,thingy

    http://www.tractorbynet.com/content/...onth-scott_vt/

  8. #8
    Elite Member
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    Jul 2006
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    4,409
    Location
    Northwest, WA

    Default Re: Drill Press advice appreciated

    I've had this HF one for about a year now and I'm plenty pleased with it.

    Harbor Freight Tools - Quality Tools at the Lowest Prices
    ::Sent from a standard desktop keyboard::

    My Photobucket

  9. #9
    Elite Member CurlyDave's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    4,097
    Location
    Grants Pass, OR
    Tractor
    JD TLB 110

    Default Re: Drill Press advice appreciated

    I bought a real cheapy from some kind of a tool "liquidator" over 30 years ago and I have been very pleased with the result.

    1. Mine has a locking collar so that I can drill holes of a precise depth.

    2. Incandescent light bulb, which has already been mentioned. One of the secrets of life is to use "rough service" light bulbs for longer life. They have the filament supported better and do not fail from vibration.
    40 Acres on a hill - fantastic view. JD 110 TLB, 4-n-1, 12" bucket, 18" bucket, Addington thumb, rock bucket (doubles as root grapple)

    Not only do we not understand the universe, if someone explained it to us, we would not know what he was talking about.

    Isaac Asimov

  10. #10
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
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    1,906
    Location
    Brazos County Texas 77808
    Tractor
    Kubota L3130HST w/LA723 loader

    Default Re: Drill Press advice appreciated

    I have a 17" Delta floor model, 12 speed, lowest below 200 rpm. About 15 years old now. I don't see anything like it currently in the Delta catalog. I have become impressed with the quality of Grizzly tools and check them out first when I need something.

    Vernon
    Kubota L3130HST, BL4690B backhoe, LA723 Loader w/QA, 6' BB, 6' Bush Hog, 5' RB, PHD, ATI grapple, Hy-Reach Tree Shear, toothbar, pallet forks, grubbin bucket.

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