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Forum topic by tvrgeek posted 02-12-2020 09:28 PM 477 views 0 times favorited 35 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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tvrgeek

109 posts in 2281 days


02-12-2020 09:28 PM

Topic tags/keywords: drill press

Looking for a 15 to 17 inch class drill press to do both woodwork and metal work. Could not have guessed it would be this hard. Some don’t go slow enough for wood, some don’t go fast enough for metal. Stroke a bit short on some. Metal work tables etc.

Here is my first question to those who have a T-slot table. How suitable is it for woodwork? I have only had an open X slot to use my clamps and vice in, easy bolt through fence etc. The T-slot would look to be most inconvenient for woodwork. Aux table? Sure wish more would offer the choice of a metal T-slot cooling fluid and a larger X slot for wood.

How important is the table to go to 90 degrees? Drill the end of long stock. Most only go 45 degrees. Can’t say I have ever needed to do so, but never had the capability.

Has anyone tried swapping the sheave cluster to get a better selection of speeds? Come on, 16 speeds but not enough range. Kind of like the 6 speed I had in my RSX. Close ratio but needed a taller gear.

Has anyone been able to swap the spin-nut depth adjusters with the quick release from the better ones?

To get the stroke to drill a 4×4, decent depth adjustment ( rules out the JDP17) X-slot table, and a wide enough speed range, 250 to 3000 or so, it comes down to only the WEN ( $500 ) or Powermatic ( $1500) As I expect it to work, I have to rule out the Delta as I have never seen such a long list of Amazon reviews more negative about quality for anything! I don’t want a computer with a two year warranty in my drill I expect to outlast several lifetimes. Klutch, 600 RPM minimum. Rikon, 2200 max, Baileigh, 500 RPM min. Oliver? Maybe. Grizzly? wrong tables, crap chucks. Palmgen wrong table and a bit higher price compared to similar. Better quality, or just more bucks? Same with a couple of Dayton. Powermatic on sale this week, but man is that a lot of money. Maybe the other end ( WEN) is the safe bet.

Some say the variable speed eat belts, but I bet they would outlast me. I also bet I would change speeds when I should more often.


35 replies so far

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MrUnix

7680 posts in 2830 days


#1 posted 02-12-2020 09:44 PM

Has anyone tried swapping the sheave cluster to get a better selection of speeds? Come on, 16 speeds but not enough range. Kind of like the 6 speed I had in my RSX. Close ratio but needed a taller gear.
- tvrgeek

I hate the new stuff out there today… too much plastic and limited functionality for out the nose prices! A while back I stumbled on a 15” Floor standing Craftsman (Atlas) press from 1937 that had the optional Hi-Lo speed accessory installed. In that configuration, the drill has a speed range of 200 rpm up to 14,000 rpm! They even at one point sold a router attachment where you could flip the drill head over and use it as a router table. And even being over 70 years old, runout on the spindle nose is less than 0.001”

Not sure how much one would have to pay to get the same performance today, but I’m sure it’s way more than the $85 I paid (total restore cost was ~$170 after adding cost of bearings, paint, wire, etc…).

Cheers,
Brad

PS: I never tilt the table… and will use a jig instead if needed. I also do not have any problems using the t-slots. Actually, I have a little benchtop press that has the x pattern and find it more annoying to use!

-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

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Madmark2

829 posts in 1220 days


#2 posted 02-12-2020 10:26 PM

Instead of trying to make one tool do double duty why not get a pair, one for wood, one for metal? I really don’t like mixing metal chips with the sawdust. Keep metal work and wood work at opposite ends of the shop.

-- The hump with the stump and the pump!

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Redoak49

4404 posts in 2620 days


#3 posted 02-13-2020 02:51 AM

Nova Voyager DVR with variable speed and 6” stroke. No belts or shelves but just a knob to easily change speeds.

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therealSteveN

4859 posts in 1206 days


#4 posted 02-13-2020 04:06 AM



Nova Voyager DVR with variable speed and 6” stroke. No belts or shelves but just a knob to easily change speeds.

- Redoak49

I’ve been on a don’t need it today, but down the road want a really good drill press hunt for many years. That Nova standing DP is a piece of work. I think whenever I do get the shop close to being done. I’ll sell off my old Shop Fox, and buy one of those.

Reading I was kinda impressed the OP sees the DP as a speed range first kind of thing. After 40+ years of owning my own tools, and having a rather complete shop I have to say I probably haven’t changed speeds but a few times. It has never seemed that big a deal to get a hole drilled. Now not having enough throw on the depth, that pops it’s head up almost every time I drill, or at least swap from drilling one kind of piece, to another.

The max depth a drill can go (spindle travel) is the #1, MOST important thing in my book. Everything else you can work with to some extent. Having to gain depth, by raising and lowering the table is a huge PIA, and there are only 2 ways to get an item under the bit. Change the entire table, or just crank a little more or less on the spindle handle. The later is so far and away a win, I can’t even see anything but.

#2 is going to be POWER. It requires what ever HP motor to drill through a piece of 6” Something Something wood, and having a squirrelly little 1/3 hp POS motor ain’t gonna get er done. I would think a minimum of somewhere near 1 HP should be a suggestion.

Just didn’t see much in the discussion about either of those, so I thought I’d drop a little real world into it.

-- Think safe, be safe

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Redoak49

4404 posts in 2620 days


#5 posted 02-13-2020 11:48 AM

With my old Jet drill press, I rarely changed speed as it was a hassle. With the Nova Voyager DVR, I change it every time. It has the screen on it that helps you get the best speed.

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tvrgeek

109 posts in 2281 days


#6 posted 02-13-2020 12:27 PM

I looked at the Nova. Nice performing. Easy. But, I expect a drill press to last 50 or so years. Computers don’t. Actually, if you plot the failure rate ( bathtub curve) for virtually any electronics, it tells us that we should expect about seven years life. After that, it is free. An aux readout for speed, readout for depth etc would be fine as if they failed, they would be easy to hack something to replace it. If the computer failed in the Nova, it will be, “nova”

Guarantee on the motor and controller is only two years. Not much confidence. I almost had to scrap a perfectly good stove because the computer died. It was less than ten years old. We found a shop to repair the old board, but at a very high cost. If the Nova just worked with electronic speed, I might risk it as I know now to build a replacement, but not with it integrated into all the other features and sensors. I hate to be a pessimist as it is a beautiful machine, but what happens in ten years?

I don’t have space for two. , so I guess the only one is the Rikon as having a too low top speed is a lot better than a too high low speed. The Wen seems just a little light weight. When I blow the dust off my checkbook, I may change my mind. I have several WEN tools and they are very good for the price, but are not intended to be top of the line. I see them as a good tool, but at just over a Horrible Freight price. Still thinking about the T-slot table as that would include Powermatic. Gad is it a lot of bucks.

Some say the Reeves drive wears out belts, but probably not in my lifetime. Worked fine on a Moped I had back in the 70’s. Funny, some think it is a new invention. I believe da Vinci sketched it out 600 years ago.

Many nave suggested used. Fine. I have been watching Craig’s list for some time. Nothing. Worn out junk, benchtops, or $10,000 gear driven production machines. Of course, not getting variable speed in an old one.

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HorizontalMike

7826 posts in 3546 days


#7 posted 02-13-2020 12:27 PM

My suggestion is to “bite the bullet” and buy the 20in Grizzly Drill Press:
https://www.grizzly.com/products/Grizzly-20-Floor-Drill-Press/G7948

FWIW, I nursed and old 8in drill press for ~20yr, always making up excuses “to just get by”. I was apprehensive about buying the “BIG” one, that is until a 10%off coupon from Grizzly that sealed the deal for me. After 3-1/2 yr of using the 20in DP I wonder how I ever got buy without it (Spindle speeds: 12, from 180-3240 RPM).

OR, you can go for the Shopfox M1039:
https://www.grizzly.com/products/Shop-Fox-20-Floor-Drill-Press/M1039
(Range of speeds: 210 – 3300 RPM)

PLUS, these DP tables tilt 90 L or R.*

Bottom line, IMO, either one would be very useful. And you can add on such things as :
“Grizzly G1064 – 4 Cross-Sliding Vise

or
what I ended up choosing:

Grizzly T10440 - Precision 3 Way Drill Press Vise

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

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tvrgeek

109 posts in 2281 days


#8 posted 02-13-2020 01:13 PM

Thought about the bigger ones. 20’s are a bit big for my space. The more I think about it, the more I would regret not getting the variable speed drive. Killer is the collar is to big for a mortising attachment. Good thought though. I am in the same place, why am I putting up with a toy, both DB and band saw.

I have an Z-Y sitting in my attic just waiting for a DP big enough. If I place it on my bench-top, it sags the table several degrees! The better 17’s should do OK.

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ChefHDAN

1516 posts in 3481 days


#9 posted 02-13-2020 01:32 PM


Killer is the collar is to big for a mortising attachment.
- tvrgeek

I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone that was happy with the mortising attachment on a DP. I see mortisers frequently for almost full price with the same story, ”... rarely used…collecting dust..” If I find one with a killer price I might try it but for now it’s been simpler and quicker to just drill out the majority of the waste a grab a chisel.

-- I've decided 1 mistake is really 2 opportunities to learn.. learn how to fix it... and learn how to not repeat it

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HorizontalMike

7826 posts in 3546 days


#10 posted 02-13-2020 01:41 PM

Ditto above… WHY a mortising attachment? BUILD one:

Horizontal (Mike) Router Mortising Machine
HorizontalMike just HAD to make a Horizontal Mortising Machine, don’t cha’ know… ;-)

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

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tvrgeek

109 posts in 2281 days


#11 posted 02-13-2020 03:17 PM

I looked into dedicated machines. Too many bad stories on cheap ones, don’t do enough for a good one, So, Forsner bit and chisel for now. That was one of the problems with my Craftsman, Table so flexible it did not drill strait. I had not heard of bad results with them, but need to be super sharp and they take a lot of force.

Actually, if a sturdy drill, then the X-Y should be able to mill a slot. Might have found an old monster Dayton on Craigs.

Enough getting depressed listening to the news, Gotta get moving.

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Foghorn

33 posts in 18 days


#12 posted 02-13-2020 03:20 PM

I bought a 17” Steel City quite a few years ago now. 1 HP, 6” quill travel and the split head design of much larger presses. My understanding at the time was that presses with long quill travel without the split head went the way of the dodo, or at least that was a machinist’s opinion. I must say that 10 years later, this press is still rock solid. Too many speeds but goes from 200 to 3000 if I recall. Measured run out is .003” I did switch out the original chuck as I got a killer deal on a Golden Goose at a going out of business sale. If you were to find a used one somewhere, I believe it would be a good choice.

-- Darrel

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teetomterrific

89 posts in 993 days


#13 posted 02-13-2020 03:57 PM

+1 for the Nova Voyager. I’l never buy another drill press unless Teknatool or a competitor comes out with something even better. The whole idea that it won’t last 50 years is malarkey. DVR technology is here to stay and will just get better and more pervasive. You are starting to see some bandsaws with it now. If a DVR board fails it is easily replaceable, but my expectation is you will see an extremely low failure rate. By the time my Nova Voyager is 10 to 15 years old my expectation is that there will have been board upgrades that offer new features and probably CNC DP tables that raise and lower on the z axis and position work on the x and y axis programatically for more precise drilling. Woodworking is changing and so are the tools.

My Nova Voyager

-- Tom, Adams, TN

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PaulDoug

2329 posts in 2335 days


#14 posted 02-13-2020 04:04 PM

I do a lot of wood working, hobby stuff, and I hate, hate to drill metal on my drill press. As stated above, metal filings, oil, rust, etc and wood project do not mix well. If I did a lot of drill metal and wood, I would have two drill presses.. I use to have two, one got used so rarely I sold it,,, big mistake, didn’t cost anything for it to sit in my garage, where I do any rare metal work that may be required.

-- “We all die. The goal isn't to live forever; the goal is to create something that will.” - Chuck Palahniuk

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xeddog

273 posts in 3639 days


#15 posted 02-13-2020 05:10 PM



+1 for the Nova Voyager.
- teetomterrific

I sure do like that table you have there. A lot.

wayne

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