Mill drill versus drill press? Drill press runout?
Gents, I've got a frustrating situation I'm hoping you can advise me on. First, I'm primarily a wood-worker. Years ago I bought a 1944 Atlas/Craftsman lathe that I use almost exclusively for turning pens/bowls/etc. I've done a bit of metal work on it, supporting tool-making for the wood working. There are many projects I would like to do, but don't do, because I need to mill a slot or three but the work is too much to do on the milling attachment on the lathe: it's a stiffness issue. So, I'd like a 'mill'. But I'm VERY space constrained, and not made of goal.
I also have a Delta 17-990x drill press. When purchased it was advertised by Delta as their gold plated heirloom grade model. It's a piece of crap. The reeves drive needs new pulleys (cracked), the bearings are shot, etc. I've got all the parts. BUT, the taper on the spindle has some goobering up where a drill bit got caught in a piece and twisted. So the jacobs taper has a bit of gouge+burr. This is really driving me crazy. I have 3 major projects, 2 of which are wife related and one of which is daughter related, where I need the drill press. All have a time frame of 'Christmas', so this drill press issue is extremely unwelcome.
First question: what is the right way to clean up the jacobs taper? Is there a right way?
Now, the spindle is no longer available. So my choices are: a) replace the crap parts and fix the spindle gouging or b) replace the crap parts and live with any run-out caused by the spindle gouging or c) 'something else'. Making my own spindle is probably out as the 'other' end of the spindle is a long series of spines, I don't have the ability to grind/polish or harden accurately.
'Something else' would be a benchtop mill drill. Some questions about that.
1. Is there a sub-$2k benchtop mill/drill you can recommend? By 'recommend', I include the thought that the quality is such that I don't have to make it a major project to bring stiffness/backlash/etc up to snuff. For steel...
2. I've read the spec's of a few. Is there a specification that tells you the distance from the bottom of a drill chuck to the table? My main concern with mill/drill is having sufficient height clearance.
3. This sounds like a weird question, but it's a key concern. On a mill drill, would it be possible to bore a hole right through the X table, Y table, and casting so I can feed dowels/rod stock through the bottom for end-drilling? Or is there typically 'stuff' directly under the axis?
There are likely to be a couple of feed screws right through that area.
Originally Posted by jgourlay
it is "possible" that one could back out the table and crossfeed block so that there would not be a screw there in a particular position. Not a guarantee, depends how the screws are done, and where the nut is.
I'd expect that either the nut or the screw would pretty much always be in the way for most any mill or mill-drill.
So, in the 'homeshop', what do most people do when they need to pop a hole in the end of a piece of wood or barstock that is tool long for the lathe (or two fat to feed-through)?
Do most folks have both DP and Mill?
We get inventive.. Now, if your too lazy to make a guide for your portable drill, you can try turning your drill press head around on the round collumn and using clamps/blocks to support the work off the ground.
Originally Posted by jgourlay
Or you can tilt the head in a mill and clamp the work at an angle to the table (or parallel to the table but raised a few feet up off the side)
And yes, I have a small DP and a large mill, the DP sits out in the wood shop for polishing pens, wire brushing stuff, small holes when im to lazy to go to my mill. etc.
BM: it's not about 'lazy'. It's about 4 kids and 60+hr/week job: if I get 2 uninterrupted hours on a Saturday where I can really focus and think out in the shop, it's a very unusual week. What tiny scraps of time I have for 'inventiveness' and 'creativity' are spent designing the entertainment center my wife wants, or designing Christmas boxes for the nieces.
I'm not in a position to spend 30, 40, 50, 90% of my free time in activity which, in the final analysis, is making fixtures for making jigs for making tooling to upgrade the shop so I can make better fixtures for improved jigs for better tooling to improve my tools. With not much benefit to the rest of the family. I'll leave the topic of 'lazy' by noting that the VAST majority of projects I see on the hobby machining forums are things which solely benefit the machinist in his shop, rather than something his wife can sit on or his children can cherish after his departure. I don't have the luxury to spend all my spare time and money on myself. At the minimum, I have to have enough family-benefitting output to make my wife feel okay about not being able to park her car in the garage when it rains.
Thanks for the suggestion of tilting the mill head: this is a capability for me to look for in these machines, and would address that concern assuming the angle of tilt is enough to all the spindle axis to clear the table. That would solve the issue if I switch the mill-drill for the DP.
I have a round column RF30 type mill-drill similar to this Grizzly:
This allows swiveling the head around the column. Depending on the table it is mounted on you should be able to use it to end drill long items similar to the way you use your drill press.
I use my mill-drill mostly for milling. It isn't great but it works well enough to do what I need. It's also a very nice and quite powerful drill press. However, it is still good to have a drill press for most drilling.
You'd need a JT reamer to clean up your drill press taper. They're scarce to non-existent:
Careful work with a round file and then carbide paper might remove the burr and allow the taper to seat again.
[Gadgetbuilder and I were posting at the same time]
I don't know a lot about them, but I'd look closely at the class of round column mill/drills that allow one to rotate the head of the mill around, including off the edge of the table entirely.
These are usually NOT recommended because they are a pain to keep aligned when changing tools.
In your particular case, they might work well because:
1) You are mostly drilling, and only occasionally milling
2) They will rotate off the edge and allow straight drilling in to the end of things
3) They can be surprisingly inexpensive for a decent used one
What are the limitations of your machine? What do you not like about it?
Originally Posted by GadgetBuilder
Find a local metalworking club in your area. Or find a member here who lives close to you. (It would be helpful to post your location.) Borrow a Morse taper reamer to clean up your spindle taper. It shouldn't be a Jacobs taper unless the spindle has a male taper on the end, in which case it's easy to stone off a burr.
It isn't impossible to stone off a burr on a female taper either, just need a round stone.
If your Delta is one of the old ones from the '30s, '40s or '50s then it might be worth keeping. Once the name got sold to China you're just buying garbage and their "gold plated best" model is still just garbage. There is a place for cheap machines that are a misery to use but not a drill press that gets used all the time. I might watch your local craigslist for a decent deal on an '80s or '90s Taiwanese DP. Perhaps the best of those was the Jet 17-MF. Those generally worked OK. Have a look at this:
Though it was written in 1998 it seems to be still applicable.
Originally Posted by jgourlay
My Clausing 8520 was sub 2grand, is high quality and small. It's stiff and for the small amount I've had the chance to use it, it works like a dream.