Decent but cheap bench drill press?

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My first post to this group--thanks for all the help available. I'm looking for a benchtop drill press that wouldn't be used that often but would be just what I need at critical points--truly centered holes in dowels, that kind of thing. I also do a fair amount of work on vintage radios and communications receivers from about 1930 to the end of the vacuum tube era, and sometimes need to drill holes in aluminum fittings or bar stock.
I don't want to get off-brand stuff, and I'd be happy with used if in decent shape. I figure I need 8" or 10".
Comments? Anybody have something suitable they're looking to sell, ideally near Washington, D.C., to avoid shipping? (I'm in the Maryland suburbs.)
Avery
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Decent --- Cheap I don't see any relationship between the two.
Best value can be had with used.
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Okay...substitute "inexpensive," and I agree that an inexpensive new tool is very unlikely to be close to the quality of a more expensive new tool. I did say I'd be happy with a used drill press in decent shape.
Avery
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Shoot for a refurb'd good one? Since you'll need a quality machine but want to limit your expense...
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want to limit your expense...
I'd be okay with refurbed, but the ones I've seen aren't that much cheaper than new.
Avery
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Avery wrote:

And if they were decent to start with, they wouldn't need to be refrub'ed would they???? :)
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Dunno about that.. :)
My 12" Delta was $125 refurb'd. A significant enough savings for me...
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Avery wrote:

Let me throw out my usual suggestion to look at floor models too. I bought a 10" benchtop, and then within about two years I sold it at a considerable loss and traded up for a 15" floor model. (Both Crapsman.) Full-sized drill presses are a lot more useful. I found both the shallow depth to the column and the short table travel to be confining. Not insurmountably confining, but I'm really glad I made the move up to a big'un, and I wish I had started with a big'un originally.
You'd be surprised how often you need to drill something that's 3/4" too tall to fit on a benchtop's table. There's about 2-3" of dead space between the top of the table at its lowest point and the top of the base. I found myself having to come up with all kinds of crude ways to build the bottom up 2.25" to hold the work at the right distance to gain the 3/4" I needed for the operation. The numbers are all made up, but the principle is sound. I ran into that limitation with frustrating regularity.
I like the big'un so much better all the way around. Dramatically better chuck, quicker belt changes (because there's a tension lever on the intermediate idler pulley, instead of a lame arrangement involving the use of three hands,) and everything is just more solid and sure all the way around. My drill press has been one incredibly useful machine.
--
Michael McIntyre ---- Silvan < snipped-for-privacy@users.sourceforge.net>
Linux fanatic, and certified Geek; registered Linux user #243621
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Silvan wrote:

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Michael, I appreciate a new perspective, especially one that comes from experience. Thanks. I could wind up making the same ultimate choice you did, for the same reason, but my budget, floor space, and feeling that a big'un would be far more drill press than I'd ever need (another name for guilt if I went that route) will dictate a little'un for now.
fyi, last night at Lowe's I picked up not the GMC LSR13DP I'd intended on buying--a 10-inch benchtop that I'd seen reviewed favorably and that Lowe's is selling at $78--but a Delta DP200 for $89. Even though the GMC had a 1/3 hp motor compared to 1/4 for the Delta, and the GMC came with laser line indicators, some of the trimmings seemed like junk (light-gauge table extensions, light plastic table crank), and $89 for a new DP200 looked like an awfully good price compared to what I'd seen elsewhere. I've got a slight case of buyer remorse this morning, but I'm sure I'd have one if I'd gone with the GMC, too. Besides, in this price range, could there truly be a huge difference?
Thanks to all who weighed in--your comments and advice were very helpful.
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I bought an import GMC 12 inch 12 speed benchtop DP last night at Big Lots for $59.99. Had heard about being on a closeout on another woodworking board. Same as the Ryobi DP120 and an HF model varying in price from $79 - $99. Speeds ranve from 300 - 3000 rpm. Heavy as heck and all steel except for plastic pulleys which may be its downfall eventually. Motor is 5.0 A rated at 3/4 HP.
Basically I boought it for quick and dirty drilling rather than having to get out a hand drill or having to set up my Shopsmith as a drill press for the kind of work I do - certainly nothing that requires a high degree of precision. The shopsmith gives me about a 20" table and close to 4' from chuck to table plus I can use it as a horizontal boring machine and the fence and miter gage give me quick jig capability..
I checked the runout at the chuck on a drill shank in the chuck and it is about .003". Dunno if that is considered good or bad but plenty good for what I do with it, mostly repairing old machinery and building cabinets.
Steve
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I'll agree with Silvan on the floor model and mention one other additional point. Floor drill presses don't take up any more room that bench models. If you are one of the few that stores his bench drill press and only brings it out when needed, this is not true but for most, it is. Generally people end up building a stand for the benchtop. What they end up with is something that takes up as much space as but is not as useful as a floor model.

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They both have good and bad points. In general, the floor models are larger making them more versatile and can handle deeper pieces to drill. As you point out, it should be ready for use at any time.
I have a benchtop (Delta 12") and I did build the cabinet for it. The benefits of that are: It is on wheels It also houses my small compressor It has drawer to hold accessories for the table, bits, etc.
If I had lots of room I'd have a floor model and an even taller cabinet next to it. This is a good compromise for me.
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Since it's rare that you drop the drill pres table all the way down on a floor model (at least for me), I built a box that mounted on the base. Holds drill press accessories and hand drills. Both can work. The biggest problem with most bench models is usually not height, it's swing. Used to be, there were a lot of benchtops made that, the only difference between them and a floor model was the post height. The market seems to be flooded now with the Chinese miniatures. Housing the compressor is a great idea.

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I was able to put my drill press on a mobile base as well. I hardly ever move it, but it can be done.
Delta recommends that you bolt a large piece of 3/4 plywood to the bottom of the drill press anyhow for stabitity, so it's easy to put one of those mobile bases that can adjust to any size on it.
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I agree completely CW. That was the deciding factor in why I bought a floor model. I figured that I'd probably spend $50+ building a nice plywood stand for a desktop unit anyhow.. Worked out for rationalizing buying a floor model.
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Hi Avery, I don't have one for sale, sorry. Look out for a Ryobi drill press. I have one and like it a lot. I found mine on ebay and it was new-in-the-box (NIB). The only bad thing about the transaction...the seller charged me $35 to ship it across Ohio. Another brand to consider...ShopFox. Hope this helps. 73 Joe KB8QLR
Avery W3AVE wrote:

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found

about

I have the 10" Ryobi, bought on sale at the orange Borg for about $65 a few years ago. I'm very happy with it-- no problem with runout and it's made holes in everything I've tried it on. Good forstner bits make a huge difference, which I expect is true of any DP. I use sanding drums quite a bit too, and since adding this press to my "shop" I think I've used a hand brace more often than my old corded drill.
-Derek
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I have the 10" Ryobi, bought on sale at the orange Borg for about $65 a few years ago. I'm very happy with it-- no problem with runout and it's made holes in everything I've tried it on. Good forstner bits make a huge difference, which I expect is true of any DP. I use sanding drums quite a bit too, and since adding this press to my "shop" I think I've used a hand brace more often than my old corded drill.
-Derek Thanks for the Ryobi endorsement. It's one I was considering.
Avery
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12" Ryobi drill press. I have used mine for 2 yrs and its decent
Fud
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found mine on ebay and it was new-in-the-box (NIB). The only bad thing about the transaction...the seller charged me $35 to ship it across Ohio. Another brand to consider...ShopFox. Hope this helps. 73 Joe KB8QLR
Hey, another tool-using ham! Did you get your Ryobi just last week from a guy in Takoma Park, Md.? I bid on it and lost.
I think I've settled on a GMC LSR13DPUL from Lowe's. The price is right at $78, and although GMC isn't exactly a brand name unless you're into trucks, it got a surprisingly positive reaction by OnlineToolReviews.com (www.onlinetoolreviews.com/reviews/gmcls13dp.htm), and the eight customer ratings on the Lowe website gave it a much higher average rating than buyers of other bench drill presses in the $75-$150 range. It's even got a laser line generator. Anybody else have this model?
Avery W3AVE Potomac, Md.
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