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Trav

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So, I'm about to graduate to getting a drill press for my shop but I'm not really sure what my considerations should be. I was looking at a 13 inch bench top press, 7.5 amp, 220-3600 rpm, but was wondering if I should save a few bucks and get the smaller 10 inch, 2.5 amp, 620-3100.

I'm only doing wood working, no metal working and I'm thinking the lower range rpm of the 13 inch model might be useful. My initial impression was to go with the 13 inch but I don't want to over purchase and waste money that could go to other toys.

Any thoughts? I've never bought a drill press before. Are there other considerations I should keep in mind?
Bucko

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Reply with quote  #2 
Excellent question, I've used for about 10 years now the largest size bench top drill press from Harbor Freight without a single hiccup. I haven't had reason to change the speed on it either as its set at midrange.
  My first thought is that you may want to think ahead for drilling a taller item, here's 2 examples I have pictures of, 1 is the cannon for the Madagascar Pirate Ship and the other I'm thinking is the bed of a Truck.
  The old saying of buying the best you can afford will be a welcome reward upon satisfying results. drillcannon_opt.jpg  drill barrel_opt.jpg  IMG_0486.jpg

john lewman

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Great tips and photos. Thanks for taking the time to share your skills. It is very helpful.
Trav

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Reply with quote  #4 
Thanks Bucko. I think I'll end up going with the larger model. It's within my budget and it was my gut instinct to go with that 😉 I'll probably swing by and grab it tomorrow after work.
AES

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Reply with quote  #5 
I second Bucko's advice. Basically, as with all such things (e.g. vice, lathe, etc, etc,) buying the biggest you can afford (and can house) is a good idea, provided the quality is OK. A big drill press (or lathe, or vice) can easily handle little stuff, whereas a little version can't handle the big stuff.

In my own case, my bench top drill press has a chuck capacity of from 3 mm (one eigth inch ) to 16 mm (nearly three quarter), but I also have a small and quite cheap but accurate chuck (0 to 3 mm) with a hex shaft on it which goes into the big chuck for drilling small holes. Works fine and a very versatile set up.

Buying the biggest and best you can afford is a always good move IMO.

HTH 

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BadBob

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Reply with quote  #6 
Several years ago (10-20) I was getting ready to do some heavy drilling in steel and I didn't want to use my Shopsmith for that. What I found was that unless you wanted to spend a lot of money, all of the larger drill presses were pretty much the same. The differences were cosmetic. I bought the largest one they had at Harbor Freight. An earlier version of this one. I had to replace the switch once but other than that it works great,

I soon discovered that the chuck would not clamp down on smaller bits. I went shopping for a chuck or adapter and found that I could by a small bench top drill press for much less. So I bought a benchtop drill press too.

Even the bench top drill press would not hold the tiny bits. For those, I have a Dremel mounted in a drill press stand.

The point is that it depends on your needs. What is the largest hole you ever want to drill? What is the smallest hole you want to drill? Do you need to drill steel? Do you need a drill press rated for continuous duty? If you want to drill 2-1/2 inch holes through oak with a Forstner bit a small bench top drill press probably isn't for you. 

If they are available in your area and your only going to use it for woodworking. You might want to consider a used Shopsmith. It's a pretty good variable speed drill press plus it can do horizontal boring. Then there are the other things like a 12-inch disk sander, lathe, and table saw. I've seen the sell complete and in working order for $200. Sometimes they come with other tools like a bandsaw. They are not for everyone but if there are a lot of them in your area its worth looking into. 

Harbor Freight Drill Press - My go to
20171223_193035_HDR.jpg  Horizontal Boring on a Shopsmith - Bad Bob Motors Coupe - Wooden Toy Car Build
20171221_143149_HDR Horizontal Boring on a Shopsmith - Bad Bob Motors .jpg  My occasional shop helper loves the drill press. I was fascinated wth my grandfather's post drill when I was his age.

20171207_203019 Drilling Odin.jpg 


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john lewman

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Reply with quote  #7 
Thanks for the input BadBob. I am preparing to completely refurbish my workshop and your input is invaluable. I want to build the new shop completely from scratch with new tools, worktops and cabinets that are precisely what I need for prototyping and model making-no more and no less. The plan is to create it in the smallest space possible and with each tool being light enough to move in my old age so I can reconfigure the shop into any arrangement needed for building toys up to riding toy size. My goal is to make it the ideal shop for any level of toymaker. 

Any ideas that any of you have on this will be considered and I will document setting up the shop with photos and videos. I am going to put it together in my walk-out basement. I have a finished room down there that is very well lit and even has a nice little utility closet for materials and supplies and it is heated and air-conditioned!
Trav

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Reply with quote  #8 
Thanks guys. This helps a lot. I have no plans to work on steel but using larger Forstner bits in hardwood is likely so I probably need one of the larger bench top models. This is what I budgeted for from the start so it’s nice to have some confirmation. I suppose i’ll have to be prepared for the possibility that i’ll need to figure something out if I have trouble with smaller bits but I don’t see myself needing them much in this machine. Plus I can always get a press stand for my dremel (good suggestion Bob).
Woodworking is a hobby for me so I try not to go overboard (or at least not too much) with the cost. Although i’m sure my wife would say that line was crossed a long time ago. Anyway, my point being that my tools mostly only get weekend and evening usage.
BadBob

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Reply with quote  #9 
Whatever you get be sure you drill press has a table that raises and lowers with a geared hand crank. I have one that just slides up and down. It's a real pain to adjust. 

I also don't like keyless chucks in a drill press. Think about to hold the bit in place while you tighten the chuck, You almost need three hands. 

Put rare earth magnets on it to keep track of your chuck ket and store bits that you use often,

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BadBob

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John, you might want to take look at the Dewalt Contractors table saw. I have friends that swear its the best table saw they have ever used. It comes with wheels you can fold it up and lean it against the wall. I would also be watching the battery operated tools. I would not be surprised if you will be able to equip most of your shop with battery powered tools. Dewalt has a sliding compound miter saw that runs on two lithium batteries.  Ridgid has a battery powered router and I would expect others to have them soon.

I've got things I'm planning to get rid of because I know one day I will not be able to lift them so I fully understand where you are coming from. Got to at least have everything on wheels.

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AES

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Reply with quote  #11 
That's a definite +1 from me re BadBob's advicere a drill press! (I don't know anything about table saws).
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gazz

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Reply with quote  #12 
I use a ratchet chuck key it has two different size key as its bigger i can't say i've lost it.

https://m.ebay.co.uk/itm/Ratchet-Chuck-Key-10-13mm-Tools-Power-Drill-Drilling-/222416847068?nav=SEARCH

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retired13

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Reply with quote  #13 
The only thought I could add is to check the chuck. Some of the larger models will only go down to 1/16th drill. If you are going to drill smaller holes you may hvve to put another chuck either od or in the existing chuck.

AES

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Reply with quote  #14 
That's an excellent-looking tool gazz. I can't say I've seen on of those before, thanks for posting.
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Trav

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Reply with quote  #15 
I second the Dewalt contractor saw. That's what i have. I have a 7x 4 foot island in my workshop and the end is notched out lower so that the table saw and my table router sit there flush with the rest of the bench top. The whole unit is on wheels so I can move it if I'm dealing with a larger project.
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