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Why do I need a drill press?

Discussion in 'A BEGINNER'S FORUM (Learn How To Machine Here!)' started by Bamban, Dec 29, 2014.

  1. Bamban

    Bamban United States Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    A friend who is a machinist insisted that I buy a floor standing model drill press for my garage shop. I have a Bridgeport, what is the compelling reason why I need to buy a drill press?

    Thank you.
     
  2. terrywerm

    terrywerm New Member Liaison Staff Member H-M Supporter-Premium

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    A drill press is nice to have, but if you already have a vertical mill, there is no reason that you absolutely NEED to have a drill press. Personally, I like having both, but I could get by without the drill press if I had to. The only real advantage I can see with the floor model drill press is that you can get a greater distance between the spindle and the table with a drill press than with a mill, but just how often do you need that extra distance? Setups are generally faster with the drill press, too, but that's not really a deciding factor in my book.
     
  3. darkzero

    darkzero Global Moderator Staff Member H-M Supporter-Premium

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    For me it's convenience & quick to use. I've always wanted a better drill press even though I have a mill/drill but it's not on my short list. I just have a cheap little Craftsman benchtop drill press that doesn't have it's own spot in my garage. Still it's easier for me to pull it out, set on the bench, throw a drill bit in it, & drill the hole(s) that I need.

    I do use my mill to just drill holes sometimes but I tend to find myself spending more time on setup. Like if I need to drill a through hole, then I need to grab a set of parallels or blocks to space it properly. And if the mill had some other tool in it then I'd have to change it out for a drill chuck. And after all that, I might end up trying to dial the part in as it's just a habit when working at the mill when I didn't need that precise of a hole anyway. Too much time wasted for a hole that I could have drilled quicker than installing a drill chuck in the mill. And sometimes I might have a part already setup in the mill too.
     
    scwhite likes this.
  4. JimDawson

    JimDawson Global Moderator Staff Member Director

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    With a mill I don't need a drill press, but I use it a lot. Mostly for deburing holes, I pretty much always have a countersink in the chuck. It is also quick to setup to drill a hole or two.
     
  5. astjp2

    astjp2 United States Active User Active Member

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    Its an expensive Awe s#it if you drill your mill table, its only awe crap if you do it to a drill press. Tim
     
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  6. chuckorlando

    chuckorlando Active Member Active Member

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    It is just easier to use the DP some times. If you are going to buy one, buy a decent one. I own a POS and it seems I dont like using it for that reason alone. Even if it was easier to set up in the DP it's faster to do on the mill. And thats all because my harbor freight special. So you dont need one, but if your gonna buy one, buy a decent one
     
  7. chuckorlando

    chuckorlando Active Member Active Member

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    And harbor freight may very well have some decent ones. I dont know. But the one I got is not among them
     
  8. Mark in Indiana

    Mark in Indiana United States Active User Active Member

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    It depends on what your needs are. For me, I do a lot of woodworking. So having the capabilities to drill straight & consistent holes is a must. Even with a quill on your mill (which I don't have), it can be cumbersome using a mill for most drilling.

    There are plenty of good, quality brand, used DPs for sale. In my part of the world, they generally go for 50$ - 300$, depending on condition, accessories, etc.


    Edit: I have a 1948 Atlas No.74, 15" floor DP that is a staple in my shop.

    ATLAS DRILL1.jpg
     
  9. Bamban

    Bamban United States Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    To all responders, thank you.

    I think I will hold up in sourcing a DP. At least I will be getting more trigger time on the mill and getting my upper body work out for a bonus manually cranking on all axes. Will use the power feed when I am comfortable with what I am doing on the mill. That knee crank is wearing me out.... and the Y crank is harder to crank when the table is near either end of the travel.

    On the other hand, I set up an alert on CL for DP, if a good one comes up for the right price I will snag it.
     
  10. sd624

    sd624 United States Active User Active Member

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    I haven't turn my drill press on in ten years. It just sits collecting dust. I just find using the mill much easier.
     
  11. terrywerm

    terrywerm New Member Liaison Staff Member H-M Supporter-Premium

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    One thing that will help you, not to mention that you will want one once you do get a drill press, is a drill press vise. You will still need to bring the table up to an appropriate height, and then use the quill (assuming your mill has one) to actually drill the hole. The drill press vise is easily held by hand and will relieve you from having to move the table in the X and Y axis just to line up and drill a hole.

    If your mill is like Mark's, and has no quill, then you might want to reconsider obtaining a drill press. My mill does have a quill, but I still place high value on my drill press. It is one of those Chinese models, but still gets the job done in great fashion and saves me tons of work setting up the mill just to drill some holes.

    Do I NEED the drill press? No.
    Would I want to be without one? No.
    Would I go out of my way to get one? YES!
     
    Ken from ontario likes this.
  12. thomas s

    thomas s United States Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    I have a Jet 16 mill/drill and a 1939 Walker Turner drill press for one hole I always go for the drill press much faster. thomas s
     
  13. sk1nner

    sk1nner United States Active User Active Member

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    I say wait until a deal you can't pass up comes along. My small drill press was garbage picked, the switch had dirty contacts but after cleaning it is fine. My bigger dp (15 walker turner) I got for $25 at an estate sale. Since you have a mill a dp is just a convenient thing to have around. I do suggest getting a dp vise to hold work so you don't have to get the mill vise in perfect location. Just leave the mill vise where it is and move the table so the vise is out of the way and use the dp vise
     
  14. Shadowdog500

    Shadowdog500 United States Active User Active Member

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    I was just without a drill press for about 6 months when the motor I'm my 30 year old one bit the dust. I did all of my drilling on the mill during that time. Drilling on the mill seemed to take a bit more setup so it wasn't as quick, and I was always concerned about drilling the table. I was also a little concerned about saw dust getting in the ways which I hear isn't good for it . The mill could never give me the height range that the drill press does. It is also nice to have a dedicated machine just for drilling, so you can drill something while the mill is set up for something else.

    I just bought a new drill press a couple weeks ago. After looking for a while and reading a bunch of reviews I bought a porter Cable 12 speed 15" floor standing drill press from lowes on sale for $319. I couldn't be happier with the thing. When I was putting it together I couldn't believe how well made it is. I checked the runout with my dial indictator and the needle barley wiggled, so I tested it again with a 1/10,000 indicator and the runout was 0.0002". I started to make a video review that I will post when I finish. For my home shop it is perfect. It replaced a 13" drill press.

    I owned a crafstman drill press for 1 day about a month ago, but took it back after getting it home and trying to use it while it vibrated my work all over the table.

    Chris

    [UPDATE]. Here is a short video of the first hole I drilled. It is a #58 bit. Note how smooth and quiet the drill press is. This is part of the larger review video.
    http://youtu.be/CwNcd1DgHzQ
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2014
  15. furpo

    furpo United States Active Member Active Member

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    Didn't I read some where that a Series 1 BP is quite limited on how big of a drill bit it is rated for?
    Or am I wrong?
     
  16. zmotorsports

    zmotorsports United States H-M Supporter - Premium Content Staff Member H-M Supporter-Premium

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    There's really no reason to have a drill press if you have a BP milling machine. I have a 20" floor standing model drill press that I purchased a few years back when I upgraded from my 15" floor model. I had a benchtop milling machine and the drill press was a lot faster and more convenient at the time.

    Now with my BP clone I still find myself using the drill press a lot. I don't think it is something that I am going to get rid of, ever.
     
  17. Eddyde

    Eddyde Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    I have three drill presses, while it may seem a bit excessive, it is a great convenience. One is a 15" Rockwell floor press, I use it for special situations that I can leave setup for a while if necessary. The other floor type, a 15" Delta has foot pedal operated quill, that one I use for random quick use, as the foot pedal means I can often simply hold the work with both hands and safely drill it without having to clamp it down.
    The third is a 15" Atlas bench type that I leave set up with a tapping head. I feel the drill presses take up relatively little space for their shop value, so I'm not planning to let any of them go anytime soon.
     
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  18. xalky

    xalky United States Global Moderator Staff Member Director

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    A bridgeport will out drill all but the biggest of drill presses, diameter wise. I haven't found the limit to it yet. :))

    A drill press is nice to have but not really necessary if you already have a mill with decent quill travel. The drill press is quicker for those quick holes that really don't have to be all that precise.
     
  19. 18w

    18w United States Active User Active Member

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    The limit on Bridgeport drilling capacity you have heard about applies to the auto down feed. It was designed for boring which uses much less downfeed pressure. The quill feed will not stand the loads large drill bits impart on the gears, Bridgeport put a limit of 3/8 diameter when using the quill feed as I recall.

    Darrell
     
  20. Dave Smith

    Dave Smith United States Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    well the first good reason to have a drill press is---because your good machinist friend told you to get one--he -seen that you needed to stop using your nice mill for simple drilling -----the nice milling machine should be used for the precision work it was designed for------I have many more reasons also along with the many replies you have gotten from other members-----convenience of having DPs in several areas of your shop (some shops have three or even more---I have 5 floor models and 4 or 5 bench models)--NOT that ANYONE should have that many--I just do------if you have nice long drills with MT shanks the mill wouldn't handle these as well as a DP-------I have used small drum sanders in my DPs for deburring metal--not many machinists would like the grit on their mill--most wouldn't even want the wood dust and chips either-------you can move the DPs easier and having benchtop DPs on your workbench is much handier than taking each project to your mill for quick use-----I have many more whys -------but after looking at the first pictures that I am including of some of my DPs----you can decide if you would really use your mill for holding handy tools and stuff ???----I think not------:nervous::nono:---Dave davids camera 5-2012 062.jpg davids camera 5-2012 137.jpg davids camera 5-2012 180.jpg Davids machine pics 6-30-2013 022.jpg dec 2010 shop pictures to sort 011.jpg dec 2010 shop pictures to sort 018.jpg DSCF0005.JPG

    davids camera 5-2012 062.jpg davids camera 5-2012 137.jpg davids camera 5-2012 180.jpg Davids machine pics 6-30-2013 022.jpg dec 2010 shop pictures to sort 011.jpg dec 2010 shop pictures to sort 018.jpg DSCF0005.JPG
     
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  21. Smithdoor

    Smithdoor United States Active User Active Member

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    I have work in shops that did not have a drill press I use the Bridgeport for drill press
    Even in the shop I have today does not have a drill press. I just do not have the space for a drill press
    The times you need a drill press if more than one person is working in the shop and you do not want to buy a mill for a few holes. [
    Some time for a tall parts.
    Other times when had other working for me then did not know any thing about a mill so drill press was safer to use and low cost.
    Saving floor space over have a lot of mills

    Dave

     
  22. Bill Gruby

    Bill Gruby United States Global Moderator Staff Member H-M Supporter-Premium

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    To put it another way, most Hobby machinists have the Drill Press before the Milling Machine. Once they have the Milling Machine the Drill Press takes a back seat. Mine came first and was used a lot, now with the Mill, not as much.

    "Billy G"
     
  23. astjp2

    astjp2 United States Active User Active Member

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    I can set up a drill fixture in a drill press, drill 50-60 assemblies and still have the mill available. I really need a large one to do large holes, my little one only has a 1/4" chuck. Great for #53 drill bits, not so good for 1/2" holes.....Tim
     
  24. rmack898

    rmack898 United States Active User Active Member

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    The first stationary machine tool I ever bought was the green HF 16-speed floor stand model for $169 about 35 years ago. I still have that drill press and it is my "go to" machine when I need to put a hole in something quick.

    I have 3 other drill presses that go from the little Craftsman bench top to a 3500# DoAll articulating drill press with pneumatic positioning, power down feed, and tapping.

    They all serve a purpose and I wouldn't want to be without them. The Craftsman usually has a 1/8" drill in it and I use it mostly for putting screw or rivet holes in sheet aluminum. The walker Turner gets used when the HF Greenie is set up for a special job or other wise tied up. The HF Greeenie is pretty much my go to drill for anything 3/8" or less. The DoAll can punch a 1-1/2" hole in a 3" piece of steel without a pilot hole. It has power down feed and a built in tapping function. I use it a lot with hole saws in aluminum plate and for notching tubing.

    I have a BP and very seldom use it for drilling holes unless I need to use the bolt hole circle function on the DRO.

    I think a drill press belongs in every home shop.

    004.JPG 002.JPG
     
  25. darkzero

    darkzero Global Moderator Staff Member H-M Supporter-Premium

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    And if you need to drill multiple small holes & countersink, one of these comes in pretty handy. ;)



    20140921_202410.jpg
     

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  26. kd4gij

    kd4gij United States Active User Active Member

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    Come on guys. One can't have to many tools. Every machine shop should have at least 1 large floor model drill press.
     
  27. Round in circles

    Round in circles United Kingdom Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    I'd love a milling machine .. But at my age can I justify buying one??? :lmao:

    I have a very very cheap first wave imported Chinese table top drill press that is over 33 year old.
    It has a reasonable vice & six speeds , what I really find useful is the speed at which I can tilt the table to cut holes in at an angle on flat plate , bar , blocks etc . the vice clamps to the table very quickly ..I rarely drill a hole free hand or that is not dot punched these days .
    There is only one mark on the table and two on the vice which were put there by my son when he was a 16 year old ( Now 33 )0 I chased the little sod round the farm for a good half hour with a bit of rope till I caught him when he said , "So what ...it's only a drill press. " ( evidently the seat of learning exercise works well for whenever we've spoken over the phone or he has come to visit us he usually says , "Any more holes in table dad ?"

    I purchased a set of " Blacksmiths twist drills " , for those not familiar with they term , they are a set eight twist drills all over 1/2 " dia. up to 1 & 1/ 4 " that have turned down shanks so that they will fit into a half inch ( 13 mm ) chuck .

    Now I own an old antique lathe , I've managed to score a few of the larger size drills at garage sales etc for friends and turned the shanks down myself
     
  28. Dave Smith

    Dave Smith United States Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Age doesn't really matter about justifying buying a milling machine-- as much as-- if you have a need or desire to get one. they do cost more than a drill press but if you look around with the desire to have one--then one may come across your path for a song----many of us members are over 70 and still adding to our shops---you are not that old yet to work in your shop are you ?-----well milling machines are very fun and rewarding to have--just like drill presses-------Dave:))
     
  29. Shadowdog500

    Shadowdog500 United States Active User Active Member

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    Rmack,

    My Central Machenery drill press with the smoked motor was the table version of your green 35 year old HF one. I bought it 30 years ago at the Farm and Family Center that was in Millville back then. I also bought the full height one like yours but sold it to a friend when I moved out of a shop we shared and didn't have a place to store it.

    When the vibration started this spring I pulled the motor apart to find that the bearings were not sealed and the grease had dried out. One of the end cap bearing holders had cracked and the armature was badly deformed and was blue from overheating. If I would have pulled mine apart and relubed or replaced the bearings before this happened I may still be using it today.

    Dont know now if you lubed your bearings but you may want to think about it.

    Chris.

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  30. silence dogood

    silence dogood United States Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    The first drill press that I got about 35 years ago is a little 5 speed Foremost. It's HF quality and I paid nothing for it. One time I had to replace the strings and pinblock on a grand piano. After shaping and fitting the wood pinblock to the harp(cast iron frame), I had to drill some 220 holes that had to be canted at an angle about 10 degrees while the pinblock in the harp. I made a special canted base that was mounted to the original base which was turned 180 degrees so the bases faced back. Then I lowered the head on the column about 12" because the bit had to go about 4" below the bases. I was able to drill all 220 holes within specs. I now have a 10" 12 speed bench and a LMS mini mill. I still got that little bugger even though I don't use much. But it has served me well. Mark
     

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