Reply by therealSteveN

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Posted on Drill Press Quill Travel - How much do you *really* need??

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7701 posts in 1660 days

#1 posted 02-20-2020 08:20 PM

If I could get 12” quill travel, I’d pay extra for it. My current DP has 4” of travel, and I often find myself debating if I will just use a hand drill, instead of mousing around with table height adjustment to just drill some stinking holes.

I view adjusting your table height to just drill a hole, a failure of the product you are using. You spend a while setting the fence just right, as soon as that table moves, well, there went that set up time. It’s not just lifting the table up and down.

Quill travel is my #1 criteria of a good drill press, everything else can be wiggled out. It’s a matter of fact the “better” drill presses are the ones with a longer quill travel, so those better tools will also be more accurate, have greater motor capacity, finer adjustment, and a whole slew of features your POS 2” travel junk presses will not have. At some point in the cheap scale, just using a hand drill is a very real comparison.

Inherently in all woodshop equipment the design of the tool puts in features meant to create accuracy, fences on TS, Jointers. 4 posts for equal height adjustment on planers. All but the drill press, cheaply made ones have no accuracy, you need to pay for it, and quill travel is going to be there when you arrive. You can adjust a POS cheap TS to make a good cut, it may not stay adjusted, but you can get there. On a cheap DP, you just can’t make something spinning around like a drunk, go straight, and until you get straight it’s junk.

I’ll admit to being a hole snob, thank you very much. Actually those holes generally define if the piece is well made or not. Haphazard hole placement is death in any other trade, yet many woodworkers try to limp past it. At the same time the tools they say are for woodworking are often the worst tools woodworkers own. In all of the answers an accurate, and YES more expensive tool is what can fix that problem.

Yeah I know life sux.

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