drill press confusion

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I have been doing woodworking as a hobby for the last couple of months. After a couple of projects, I slowly acquired a tablesaw and other power tools and now in need of a drill press to make those accurate holes. I spent two whole days researching between 10" and 12" drill presses and between delta and ryobi. All my power tools are ryobi and all of them work great so naturally I am biased towards ryobi.
As a matter of fact I bought the ryobi 10" DP at homedepot yesterday for $99. It is the new model with laser crosshairs. It works fine. But I am wondering if I should have got the 12" ryobi new model which had lasers plus variable speeds. I could not find a single review of this new 12" ryobi DP. It has infinite speeds between 500 and 3000rpm. 5A motor.
Will it be worth spending $169 for the 12" one ? please advice. I dont want to outgrow a new DP very soon.
Thanks, -joy
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Joy, believe me when I tell you that you will quickly outgrow that drill press. I am in full agreement that the DP is one of the most used and abused tools in my shop. I have the Delta 16" VS DP and it functions very well, but even with this machine, I sometimes wish I had a larger model.
Take back the 10" and get the largest (variable speed is an absolute must) machine you can find. If you want to save a few bucks, look for a large used one. You will not be sorry.
Dave
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Report back in a year and see if you still feel the same.

Yes. I have a 12" and I'd never want to go smaller. It is not often I'd like larger, but 10" it too small long term. In a month you won't be happy with it.
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Thanks a lot everyone.
It now makes sense to go for a 12" DP. I will probably upgrade it today.
Now I wonder why I dont see a single review of the newer ryobi 12" with laser crosshair and variable speeds (500-3000). I will probably get that one unless someone can tell me good enough reasons to go for delta 12" with 5 speeds (620-3100).
I saw a 12" DP on craigslist for $100 but it is without the laser crosshairs and has fixed speeds. but it is the older ryobi with 280-3000 range.
Here is my woodworking gallery: www.pbase.com/jdutta78/woodworks
I saw the grizzly radial one, but not sure if I will order it online. I prefer to buy heavy stuff like these locally.
-joy
Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

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Joy, If this is going to be a serious hobby, forget about lasers and other gizmos. Buy the biggest, heaviest one you can afford. Used is not a bad option.
Dave
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I guess I am really liking woodworking as a hobby.
My other hobby is photography, but I cant do it just anytime I want. Woodworking is independent of time so I am getting more hooked.
I am looking at craigslist now to get a good deal on a 12" of not larger drill press.
thanks for the inputs. -joy

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Joy, I have several questions on digitally photographing pens. I've got some ideas I'd like to discuss with you. ( yes you can mix woodworking and photography :D )
Troy snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

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I would take a look at the older one if I were you. Every drill press on the market goes faster than what you need but few go slow enough. 500 is to fast for a lot of things. A variable speed drive on a drill press is nothing to pay extra for. You don't need it and will find that you don't change speeds much.

I'd
happy
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"CW" snip

Depending on how and what you use the DP for. I am constantly changing speeds, switching between small and large bits, forstners bits and between drilling large or small holes in metals. I would not have a DP without variable speed. Granted to OP may not need it today, but someday soon maybe - why limit yourself?
Dave
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I am loving the utility of the lasers and the variable speed. just what i wanted to have in a DP. As a starter, I am making a wooden game of abalone for my niece, and had to make 61 hemispherical crevices on the hexagonal piece. lasers made it fast. and i experimented with several speeds before getting a optimum one for the right cut quality. I used a router bit for this, and depth stop on the DP.
I will keep you guyz posted on my work. will upload my work on my woodwork gallery: www.pbase.com/jdutta78/woodworks
-joy

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You can use other techniques instead of a laser built into a drill. Machinists have been solving this problem for 100 years....
1. Use a small drill to find the exact spot. 2. Get a laser center finder.
http://www.ares-server.com/Ares/Ares.asp?MerchantID=RET01229&Action talog&Type=Product&ID191
3. Get a wiggler.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wiggler_(tool) (Amazon.com product link shortened)
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ok, so it looks like I got to try hard to get the older ryobi 12" DP with 280-3000 range or get it new from HD. i can make do without laser and continuous variable speeds. I wish the new ryobi had 280 rpm as slowest speed. what a pity they made a new model with bells and whistles and LED rpm readout but without a critical feature.
-joy
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote: > ok, so it looks like I got to try hard to get the older ryobi 12" DP > with 280-3000 range or get it new from HD. i can make do without laser > and continuous variable speeds. I wish the new ryobi had 280 rpm as > slowest speed. what a pity they made a new model with bells and > whistles and LED rpm readout but without a critical feature.
SFWIW, the last thing you need on a drill press is "ginger bread".
What you do need is low end RPM, long spindle travel, good bearing assembly.
At this point, continuous variable speed might be nice, but a 16 speed unit will let you do a lot of work.
If you have the floor space, consider a 16 speed, floor mount unit obtained in the used equipment market.
Lew
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just back from home depot. returned the 10" ryobi DP without hassle. now I find that both the older 12" and new 12" DP are at the same price of $169. I would really love to have the new one, but will be patient to search for a used one.
floor model could be nice, but right now my workshop is just a 5'x11' storage room...

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bit the dust and got the new ryobi 12" DP for $169. figured that I wont work on metal so 500rpm as lowest wont hurt. I would have got the older one if price was less.
Hope to use this dp for a long time now.
thanks to all for the inputs. -joy

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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Yeah, my shop isn't much bigger than that. I'd recommend forgetting both Ryobi models and getting the Ridgid floor-standing model at Home Depot - $270 or so is reasonable, I think, if there's any way at all you can afford it. I'll agree with everyone else that the DP is one of the most frequently used tools in my shop - I have a 50+ year old Atlas model with about 4.5" of spindle travel, and it's absolutely worth the space it takes up (compared to a portable bench-top unit). I was fortunate enough to inherit this tool, so I didn't have to pay for it, but I've added a LinkBelt, a table with fence + t-tracks, and a pulley/counterweight so the table is easier to move up and down. I've never wished for a laser. Another option, besides looking around for used ones (craigslist, ebay) would be to check out Harbor Freight if there's a store near you - I've heard their DPs (especially their higher-end ones) are not too bad. According to their website, they have a few 16-speed models, around 14", for $185-190. I would definitely say that size/weight upgrade would be worth $20 compared to the Ryobi. In my opinion, an extra 50 lbs of cast iron is a great feature to dampen vibration and just lend more overall "solidity". Just my opinions, Andy
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I really wish I could go for a floor model but it was way over my budget and i dont have any more space. its quite a long way for me to get my own condo/townhouse and a workshop in a garage. for now i have to make do with the biggest i could afford. the harbor freight floor model was tempting but no retail store near me :(
thanks for the great advice. -joy

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both are better than a hand operated drill, but..... I have been using a Rockwell 32" radial drill press since the late 70's and have never wanted for more. These typically will cost more than what you are looking at but will probably last you from here on out. Take a look at the Grizzly here, http://www.grizzly.com/products/G7945 .
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

I bought a tiny HF VS DP for $30. Works great. If I outgrow it tomorrow, that's OK. I'll get whatever I need then and be happy that I have a smaller drill press that does what it does. I'd feel the same way if I spent $99 on the Ryobi. Even if all you do is learn a little about DPs (including maybe that you need a bigger one), $30-$100 is dirt cheap for tuition plus materials-- especially considering that you can recover some value by selling, giving away, or repurposing the thing. As long as it works.
The VS on mine works by switching the belts around on stepped pullies, btw.
As for the aspersions some will cast on the Ryobi name: I've had the low-end Ryobi fixed-base router for years, and my father has had the same one for longer, and it's great (in contrast to the low-end Skil plunge router of the day, the 1823, which is unusable). Same goes for their 1/4 sheet palm sander. Their mid-to-upper range bench saws are undoubtedly lots of bang for the buck, and many people absolutely swear by them. They have their own little cult. Ryobi certainly outclasses competing brands of *consumer* grade tools like B&D, Skil, Tradesman, and probably the Delta Shopmaster brand. Ryobi makes *consumer* grade tools the way they should be made: functional and inexpensive.
I emphasize *consumer*. If you're on a budget, it is important to objectively ask yourself what market you're really in. I look at the must-have-the-bestest attitude of some of us weekend warriors and wonder if they're overcompensating for something. Anyway, someone's gonna sneer at your Ryobi tools. Let them have their fun, and you can have yours.
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:)
my $99 10" ryobi DP is also VS by switching the belt. the new 12" ryobi has a handle which varies size of pulleys so you can get ANY speed you want.
you are right about the tuition fact. In two days of my my exhaustive research on DPs I learnt a lot of stuff.
I always find that buying a little more than the cheapest item on the market is usually better. I am happy I bought the ryobi portable table saw bts20r for $220 instead of the cheapest $99 one. So I guess same could happen to this case too.
happy woodworking, -joy

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