drill press substitute?


I'm thinking of getting a "Drill Guide" or "8inch Drill Stand" ($27 and $40 by Craftsman) as a temporary substitute for a drill press. I know they're not replacements, but space and money are both issues right now. Has anyone used either of these products? Is one style better than the other? Are there better brands available for a similar price? I'm mostly interested in drilling right-angle holes (for dowels, shelf hangers, etc.) but it'd be nice to use a spindle sander too. Thanks
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I bought something like that years ago. I could never get the whole thing to work correctly. I finally sent it to the trash barrel. I was using a Rockwell Unidrill with a Craftsman device. Jim
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Try the GMC range at Lowes, for $30 I bought a 1/3 HP bench drill press.
Its nowhere near as good as my Jet floor standing drill press and it will bog down if you try it with a large forstner bit. But it has more power than most cordless electric drills and more than enough to make most holes you might want to make. It is probably better than the drill stand attachment.
It is also a lot lighter to carry about if you want to work upstairs in the house.
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At Woodcraft today, I put my hands on the new Triton 18V Cordless drill with built-in drill guide. I was very curious after seeing it in the mags. Like most 18V drills, this one's pretty heavy.
Push the drill guide in once, and it releases and extends much like the guide you're talking about. It can be retracted, as well. My initial impression was the guide had a little more play in it than I'd like, enough that I wouldn't be confident it would perform with precision. Pretty pricey at somewhere around $300.
Andy wrote:

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I have an old Craftsman drill guide, made from cast aluminum and metal rods (no plastic at all). It worked great as a drill press substitute, and well-built. It will leave marks on a wall, but I found you can put masking tape on the aluminum base to prevent marring. The base has a V where you can drill dowels. I found that this this base is useful to hold dowels steady on my drill press table.
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I've got that Craftsman model made with the cast aluminum base and the steel dowels the drill slides between. It never worked correctly, when attached to it, the drill wobbled as if the short length of spindle in that bridge thing wasn't straight. The drill itself was o.k., but when attached to that fixture the drill wobbled. I'd say this piece of equipment is junk. But so is a lot of Craftsman stuff, so I'm not surprised. I never did use it. Didn't take it back either.....
Nowadays I use a Delta drill press. That works pretty nice.
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Andy says...

Don't have any experience with the Craftsman models, but I owned the one by General and it was worthless. I took it back and then bought the one from Harbor Freight. The HF model was bigger, sturdier, made better and half the price. The runout on both of them is pathetic. This translates into bit wobble, which in turn makes the whole thing wiggle, shake and vibrate in use. It was so bad on the General, that was why I took it back. Still, the one from HF is useful enough that I didn't get rid of it. It is good for some things that you can't get to a drill press, like drilling dog holes in a bench, but by and large they are junk.
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I have one, brand unkown and like it a lot. It's great for drilling holes in walls with a masonry bit when you want it plumb and of a particular depth. It was invaluable for drilling the holes in the ends of the long stretchers on my bench where getting it straight is important. All the dog holes in my bench were drilled with one and an augur bit, the handle being useful in controlling the torque and the depth stop being just about adequate, especially after tightening it.... My el cheapo Black n Decker hammer drill is seldom out of it.
Peter
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they work ok if your drill fits well.. I'd suggest taking your drill along when you look at them..
I borrowed 3 different types, and none of my drills (especially the one's that I was willing to clamp in for an indefinite period) fit the holder/straps/bands correctly, which seems critical if you want any accuracy at all..
mac
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