View Full Version : Quality time with my import drill press

08-09-2014, 03:06 PM
Curiosity got the best of me and I brought home a small import bench top drill press.

Did a little fiddling to try to 'make things right'.

Was it worth it? probably not.. but had a nice relaxing Saturday.

Video features a quill build with some rack cutting on the shaper.
That, and some random musings.


08-09-2014, 03:44 PM
super well done video!

Tony Ennis
08-09-2014, 03:55 PM
Heh, fun!

08-09-2014, 04:12 PM
Shades of Joshua Slocum's Spray! Very well done video.

08-09-2014, 05:48 PM
1:30: Quick, catch it before it runs away! It knows whats going to happen to it!

3/16" thick cast iron eh? Wow those chinese have almost solved the problem of how to directly cast sheet metal.

I have the same dial micrometers, except in chinese for $20 each. isn't that dial readout wonderful? Sure you can learn to read those side markings and add them all up, but that just seems prone to error to me and takes longer.

2 thou 'tilt' on the new quill, Yea, its pretty tricky to hit those dimensions dead on with CRS. I bet it was hot from roughing and contracted, your CNC(?) sure does feed heavy, I saw sparks! Make sure to allow critical parts to cool down to room temp (Air blast speeds this up massively) after machining before doing final passes. I still find it best to file to size if you are trying to get better then a few thou over a distance, lathes always have a bit of twist.

Nice surface grinder btw. Wish I had one. sure seems like you feed that bit into it hard when doing the sides... Not that I know how to use one, just anything hitting those wheels hard scares me. Also you forgot side relief :)

Hehe at magnetic protractor. Some stainless is magnetic! And some 'stainless' still rusts... *shrugs* I think the only defining characteristics of stainless steel is expensive and its got enough chromium in it to be a pain in the ass to machine. :P

That rack cutting video reminds me of why despite spending very good money on a high quality rotary table 'So I can save thousands by cutting my own gears!', I still have not cut a single gear... Takes too damn long.

Nice vid. Grey is nicer then that bright red.. I was impressed the cast iron bore was so good.

08-09-2014, 08:18 PM
Nice work turning a sows ear into a silk purse.
Now turn it into a milling machine.

08-09-2014, 10:52 PM
Absolutely a professional (high end) video with superb narration.

Paul Alciatore
08-09-2014, 10:55 PM
Boy, that's a lot more than I would have done with one of those. But a noble effort.

One thing I think you skipped, or perhaps you didn't, is checking the tram of the table for a precise 90 degree angle. I know that the left-right tram is set each time you change the table angle, but many of the inexpensive drill presses will have a front-back angle error built in. This can only be corrected by some work on the two surfaces on the bracket and table that mate to establish this angle. I would think that this would be a more important consideration for precision work than the amount of play in the spindle fit. Or at least, just as important.

I have an inexpensive (~$50 around 40 years ago) bench top drill press that I used in factory condition for a number of years and it has been a very handy and serviceable machine. It has certainly earned it's price. It probably has as much wobble in the spindle as yours and is only three speed. I have envied the five speed models that came out shortly after I bought it. But not enough to make new pulleys: the originals are metal, probably steel as is the quill. It was somewhat better balanced and it does not walk around the bench on it's own.

One thing that I did do with it a few years ago was to add a precise depth stop.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v55/EPAIII/P1010006.jpg (http://smg.photobucket.com/user/EPAIII/media/P1010006.jpg.html)

That's 3/8" - 16 threaded rod and a speed nut in the same thread. The aluminum bracket is machined to fit the protruding part of the spindle and is attached with a split on the other side that is tightened with a cap screw. I believe it is 1/2" thick and is real sturdy. The stop bracket is just a piece of 1/8" x 1" HRS that was laying around. I believe I filed the existing lug on the head casting flat for a better fit.

This addition immediately put it in the realm of a precision machine instead of just a hole driller. Blind holes, countersinks, counterbores, and many other tasks are possible with repeatability to a few thousandths of an inch. With the speed nut, it can be quickly set and quickly taken out of use to restore the full vertical range. 1/16" equals a full turn, 1/32", 1/64", and even 1/128" are quickly approximated. Then you can easily adjust to thousandths by the results. I love it and plan to make one for my floor stand drill press when my shop is finally set up again.

Another accessory I made was some pieces that form an auxiliary table. Here is the problem:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v55/EPAIII/P17NP18.jpg (http://smg.photobucket.com/user/EPAIII/media/P17NP18.jpg.html)

There is a range of sizes of work that fall between the base's table and the column table that just can not be accommodated. So I made some aluminum parallels and a table that can be bolted in place on the base table with various heights to make up that range in short increments. Different lengths of countersunk cap screws allow it to be bolted in place over that range. The parallels and table are each 3/4" thick and I made three lengths of parallels, in pairs. The holes are drilled both through the edges of the parallels and through the face so each parallel can be used either horizontal or vertical. Thus, each pair of parallels used vertically can be used for three different heights by using it: alone, with one pair laying flat or with two pairs laying flat. That covers a 2 1/4" range for each pair or a 6 3/4" range overall. This increases the usable range of the drill press.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v55/EPAIII/P21Reduced.jpg (http://smg.photobucket.com/user/EPAIII/media/P21Reduced.jpg.html)

I just noticed, this photograph somehow got reversed, left and right. And one of the first pair is too. Probably happened when I was cropping them.

08-09-2014, 11:18 PM
Tony,I am amazed that you actually found a cheaper POS bench drill than the ones Harbor Freight sells:eek: Plastic pulleys,Aluminum quill good grief!

I had one from Sears,same size and model machine,but everything was cast and the motor was decent.I used it to drill a zillion 1/8" pilot holes in steel parts over the years.The other drill press I had was large,old(worn out) and slow so anything over 3/8" diameter needed a pilot hole.

I can't complain about the thing,only paid about $120 for it new,used it about ten years and gave it away to a friend in need when I traded up to a better floor drill press.

Nice job,nice video and nice Shaper!:cool:

08-09-2014, 11:21 PM
One of the better presentations we've seen here. Nice job on the rescue!

08-10-2014, 02:44 AM
That is an excellent presentation. It may inspire me to do something similar for my mill/drill machine, although I don't think I'll make quite so many new parts. I always learn a little something more every time I watch a video such as this. I don't have any experience with a shaper and seeing the teeth being cut on the ram shows how useful (and simple) it is. The gear tooth cutter profile reminds me of those I've seen elsewhere for spur gears, with the profile formed using a conical drill. But that involves annealing and hardening tool steel, whereas using a grinder eliminates those steps. There are almost always more than one or two ways to do something, and as long as the end result is acceptable, it is arguable what is "best".

I've been in "electronics mode" lately, so I haven't done much more than fondle and ogle my machine tools for a while. But I'm getting the urge to make chips and swarth (and smoke and funny noises and smells).

Thanks for that nice video! :)

Billy Hill
08-10-2014, 11:20 AM
Video is nicely done, great job on the build too!

3/16" thick cast iron eh? Wow those chinese have almost solved the problem of how to directly cast sheet metal.

^^^ Coffee. Nose. Keyboard.^^^

08-10-2014, 12:15 PM
Nice video. Another source of vibration on these types of machines is the belt taking a set on those small pulleys.

Tony Ennis
08-10-2014, 01:00 PM
"Yakkity Sax" was a nice touch.

08-10-2014, 02:59 PM
Thanks glad you guys enjoyed it.

Black: its not CNC, just sounds that way when you speed the video up. DOC is typically 0.020-0.025 when I'm
roughing. dull insert + DOC = sparks. that and it makes the video more exciting :)

Paul: didn't officially check for tram but did put small square on the table with some drill rod in the chuck.
looked close enough for what this thing will see.

I debated adding a depth stop (I threw the plastic factory issue one away with the "chuck guard" or chip
shield or whatever the heck its called) .. the one or two countersinks I've done with it I set by dropping the
table almost out of range.. It's only got 2" quill travel.. set the table to ~1.9 and I've got a "depth stop" :)

Rich: never thought about belt taking a set. I plan on getting some link belt for the grinder (I've been reading
good things about them).. maybe I'll get a couple of extra feet to throw on the drill press.


Black Forest
08-10-2014, 03:57 PM
Great job on the drill press. I learned a lot from watching the video. The Benny Hill theme song on the fast motion video was perfect.

I converted a drill press nearly like that to a tapping station. Put a tapping head on it and a three phase motor with a gear reducer. Works perfect up to 10mm.

08-10-2014, 10:55 PM
Was a honey do list day but I managed to watch the video during a couple of breaks between the do's.
Benny Hill theme song was a perfect touch, been humming it all day. Takes me back a few years. Benny Hill was on later in the evening. Wasn't expressly forbidden to watch but homework etc better be done first. What do you know, nothing changes.

08-10-2014, 11:51 PM
haha... thanks for posting... job well done.

08-11-2014, 02:33 AM
Thanks glad you guys enjoyed it.

Black: its not CNC, just sounds that way when you speed the video up. DOC is typically 0.020-0.025 when I'm
roughing. dull insert + DOC = sparks. that and it makes the video more exciting :)


I'll warn you right here, last time I did an interrupted cut with a dull insert (ok the interrupted cut dulled the hell outta it) and saw sparks, afterwards one of the compound nut (the 2 that let you swivel it/lock its swivel) where stripped!

Keep those tools sharp or the forces become immense, using a dull insert is like cutting with a chunk of dull rebar as a tool, sure it works, but only because an unstoppable force meets an immovable object and something has to move outta the way. The force against a dull insert will also make it duller and duller in no time at all.

08-11-2014, 09:11 AM
Very nice video! There are times I wish I had someone take video of a process or job I am working on and then speed it up and all that. I find those kinds of videos neat.

It does remind me that I crashed my drill press not long ago with a 4" hole saw and now I have runout at the chuck. I need to look into that some day.

One other thing I noticed and was thinking threwout the video was I wish I had time to play around like that. :D

08-11-2014, 09:53 AM
Don't recall if the dimension was mentioned in the video, so this may not be possible. Remake the spindle with a Morse taper socket. Even if there's only enough meat for a MT#1 it would make the machine more useful. More power would be transfered from the motor to the cutting edges through a taper, than by lines of contact in a drill chuck.