View Full Version : Drill Press

12-05-2003, 03:16 PM
Hello Everyone,
I have been using my HF Mini-mill, for a drill press, mainly because the spindle has a lot less TIR than my Delta(POS). I have been looking at some of the small import model "Industrial Duty", MT2 type spindle, presses and was wondering what your opinions would be on one of these. I make folding knives and usually I am only drilling up to 3/16" holes in a maximum thickness in steel and titanium of about 1/8". Mainly what I need is the least TIR for the best price. I know most people will turn their nose at the JT33 type import presses, so I was wondering if the MT2 type spindle would be any better quality as far as accuracy is concerned. My budget is a max of $400, but would like to keep it around the $250 range, as my knives are not bringing any income right now. Thanks for any input!
Chris S.

12-05-2003, 03:26 PM
Check any drill press for runout and shake. Avoid the ultra cheap ones you see as door busters at Home Depot or Lowes.
Invest in the best drills you can find, as these are what produce the hole. A cheap or poorly sharpened drill in a good drill press will more be likely to drill a poor hole than a good quality, properly sharpened drill in a cheap drill press.
When the hole size is critical, a reamer should be used to finish the hole to size, as very rarely will a twist drill produce a hole that is round and to size.

12-05-2003, 03:27 PM
i see you call your delta a pos

i was trying to drill some accurate(ish) holes on my fairly new delta drill press and put a dial indicator in the chuck to level the table and was horrified to find the table is higher at the front than rear and not flat either , the spindle also moves considerably-
so ticked off i wanted to through the thing over board .and would have done if there was any water nearby.

looked on the side yup
made in china -quality is so poor it should never have been sold.
oh and the other day it would not turn off-
the contact for the on off switch looks like it is lead had welded the contact in the on position
so much for delta .

12-05-2003, 04:52 PM
Nothing beats old iron

12-05-2003, 06:31 PM
line up

Excitable Boy
12-05-2003, 06:35 PM

I don't have any input on your drill press issue, but am wondering about your knives? I'm setting up a small shop for the same purpose. Got any pics?

Do you visit bladeforums.com or USN?


Pursue Excellence and the rest will follow.

12-05-2003, 06:38 PM
Thanks Guys,
So I guess no one owns one of these type presses and would care to give there opinions on?? Note: These have the MT2 type spindle.
OR the Wilton, which seems to be the same drill but about twice the cost. Probably still and import??..??

12-05-2003, 07:04 PM
just posted a bad picture of my delta replacement.

12-05-2003, 08:16 PM
I heard this is a good drill press to get, infact, If I get a new one, this will be it.
Rather get an older american made one used though. Plenty of them for sale around here.

Im thinking if you need to drill precision holes, get a mill/drill, like the Rong Fu RF20, or grizzlies version of it http://www.grizzly.com/products/item.cfm?ItemNumber=G1005Z Or maybe get their 495$ mill/drill.
I actually use my harbor freight micro mill for drilling up to 3/8th's. IF I have to use a 1/2" drill, I use my 40$ drill press, but that thing cant really do it either.

12-05-2003, 09:22 PM
I just bought a Homier drill press at one of their tent sales.
Paid $72 with tax. After buying an $85 Jacobs chuck and MT2 arbor, its a pretty good drill.

12-06-2003, 12:35 AM
I have a Harbor Freight equivalent floor model drill press and I can't say that I would recommend it especially if you have a mill. I would rather recommend a larger capacity mill, there's nothing the drill press will do that a mill of equivalent workholding capacity won't do better...

12-06-2003, 01:35 AM
If I'm in a store where drill presses are sold, I usually check the display models for looseness, and smooth operation. There's usually a screw to take up play in the spindle, but if there's a large gap in the bore, the thing's a pos. Sometimes I find one that isn't too bad, and if a cheap drill press is what's called for, you can find the best one, and then live with what you paid for. My friend bought one, and I was obligated to show him how bad it was.( I had to use it). I then picked one out, which he exchanged the first bought one for, now he and I are happier. Same size machine, same cost, maybe built on a better day? I would take a specially prepared rod with me, one with about a 5 inch long straight section, then a near right angle bend, with about an inch of stub left. This is first chucked the long way, and the spindle turned by hand, to see if the chuck can hold something straight. If it can, then rechuck the short stub, allowing the long end to sweep around the table. Adjust the table height to just the point where the rod touches it, clamp the table, then rotate the spindle 180 degrees from this spot. You'll see how badly out the table is. If it's pretty close, you could have a reasonable cheap machine for non-critical work. If you were willing to spend multi hundreds, I'd do these tests anyway. You wouldn't necessarily get a more accurate machine, but maybe you would. If larger and more expensive, it should be more rigid. As stated earlier, a mill is a drill press, but seldom is a drill press good, or safe, for even the lightest of milling.

12-06-2003, 01:47 AM
Some of the old and clunky used DPs have a split casting take-up in the quill bearing that will allow the quill to be tightened up and some play removed. Usually it really isn't set up to do much, as there isn't an adjustment at the top end.

Finding a decent new DP seems to be hard under $1k.

12-06-2003, 02:03 AM
In my business I have five DP's. 4 Atlas/Craftsman from the fifties (best small DP ever made IMO) and one Delta production type from the sixties.

All have 1/2" 33 taper direct mount on the spindle Jacobs chucks with the safety locking collar. I wouldn't have a small DP with a Morse taper. What's the point?

I think the most I paid for any the DP's was $250 for the Delta because it had the production coolant table.

Even these machines that have been in use 50 years run smoother and more vibration free than the best of the third world stuff. If you've got deep pockets I think the Delta model is still available for around $1600!!!

We use these as support next to my CNC machines for drilling and countersinking type operations that for whatever reason aren't convenient on the part while fixtured in the CNC. One thing I always have to watch out for is to be sure the machines are not left running overnight, they're so quiet that after all the big machines are shut down for the night it's easy to overlook one of these DP's still turned on. Once left one running for a week+ plus over the Xmas break.

12-07-2003, 02:21 AM
If you build a jig with hardened bushings and use properly sharpened drills, you don't need a new drill press.

12-07-2003, 10:28 PM

I use my Maximat 7 millhead instead of a drill press. I use collets most of the time and it is dead nuts accurate. I can use a drill chuck mounted on a straight shank in the collet holder if I like and it is still dead nuts. Or, I can replace the collet holder with a 5/8 keyless or 3/4" Jacobs 18N chuck or a 3-1/2" 3 jaw chuck. All are extremely accurate.

My point is (I knew I had one somewhere) if your minimill is doing the job now, then just use that. Invest in some high quality M-42 135* split point drills (stubbys are better) and you will be much happier.