Drill Press Uses?

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I bought a Delta benchtop drill press a couple of years ago, thinking it would be one of the most used machines in my workshop. I bought it to make mortises, drill shelf pin holes, holes for inset hinges, etc. But, two years later, I find I rarely even plug it in. All the things I bought it for, I tend to use my cordless drill for instead, or use different materials or techniques that don't require the drill press.
It took me years to finally purchase a drill press, so I don't really want to get rid of it. But I'm curious what other people do with their drill press to get more use out of them?
Ideas please... :)
Thanks,
Anthony
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HerHusband wrote:

Don't router bits fit in a drill press? ;-)
I don't have a router table but a bit of ingenuity on the presses table makes a make shift guide for routing rebates and the like.
--
Sir Benjamin Middlethwaite




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Yes, but drill presses aren't designed for lateral stress. The chuck tends to fall out. Plus, they don't spin nearly fast enough to get a good cut.
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DJ Delorie wrote:

Mine came with a drum sander and the cuck has an allen screw holding it in so the chck doesn't drop out.
I have also used a drill press to make circular plywood disks, and somebody makea 'vertilathe' (TM) attachment for small spindle turning.
--

FF


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I use my shopsmith for large routing jobs, but it's designed for it... seems like a "normal" DP just wouldn't stand up to the side forces in routing??
Mac
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Probably, but I already have two routers and a router table. No need... :)
Anthony
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HerHusband wrote:

Yeah, I use mine a lot - any time it would be beneficial to have a hole exactly perpendicular to my workpiece (and the workpiece fits under the DP). And for drilling mortises with forstner bits, or any time holes need to be overlapping - forstner bits can do this, but not safely with a hand drill. And any time I'm using a larger bit and it would be hard to hold a hand drill steady. And if the hole is at an angle (support workpiece at an angle on DP table) such that a hand-held drill would deflect. And occasionally for a drum sander. And with a tenoning/doweling bit to make a round tenon. And to make plugs (OK, I don't have the plug cutters yet, but they're on my list...) Anyway, the DP is one of the more frequently-used tools in my shop, especially now that I have a decent home-made table with T-tracks and a fence, and counterweights so it's easy to change the table height. In fact, I had to get pretty creative recently with a doweling jig and a plunge router when I needed to drill 3/4" dia holes, 2" deep, into end grain of 80" long bed rails, that had to be exactly parallel to the rail. This would have been a no-brainer if the board had fit under the DP. Hey, if you don't use your DP, I'm sure some beginning woodworker would love to have a handy tool, so sell yours used and keep the cash for a tool you would use. I know some people even like to have multiple DPs set up for various operations, so it shouldn't be too hard to unload yours. Good luck, Andy
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wrote:

Besides drilling holes in wood, plastic, and metal I use my drill press for sanding, counter boring, buffing, mortising, cutting wheels, holes, etc. Most of these things don't work too well with a hand-held drill, plus you get a more precise speed. Basically, I'd be at a loss without a drill press. I use the drill press more than the band saw, and I don't even own a cordless drill after my last (expensive) one bit the dust.
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The DP was my first shop tool. It is also the one that I use least. I mainly use it for light wirebrushing because I don't have room to leave my grinder out. Maybe I should sell the DP and use the room for my grinder w/wirebrush?
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Tony,
I've always had 'some sort' of 'drill press'. First one was a simple 'adapter' to hold a drill that attached to a board . . . could be used horizontally or vertically. Many years later it was a 'Craftsman' unit that was basically variable speed hand drill components in a plastic housing that slid on a 24in tube.
Because of the type of work I do, and the restricted space, I looked for a long time to find a DP that suited MY requirements. A few years ago I got a Grizzly Bench-Top RADIAL. Like many tools - unless you are a production shop with specific set-ups - the press is there for 'when you need it' . . . and when you need it . . you NEED it !!.
One of the reasons I settled on a RADIAL press, and mounted it on the corner of a bench, was for the large 'swing' and the ability to put a tall item on the ground and get the abilities of a 'floor standing' press in a compact package. One of the main reasons for ANY drill press is the relative ACCURACY of the drilled holes - 'squareness', 'placement', and 'repeatability'. Also, depending on the press . . . holes with a 'Specific' {and repeatable} angle. At the other end of the spectrum is such 'exotic' uses as a 'vertical lathe', etc.
I would suggest a visit to your local library and the 'Woodworking' section of the stacks. Just browse. While there should be at least one book specific to the 'Using the Drill Press', there will be others with 'Tips & Techniques', or 'Woodworkers Projects' that will typically give you a good idea of various uses.
Regards & HAVE FUN . . . Ron Magen Backyard Boatshop

SNIP But I'm curious what other people do with their drill

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HerHusband wrote:

Mortises, big forstner bits, plug cutting
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HerHusband wrote:

I have a mid-60s Craftsman floor standing DP with a maximum speed of 8550 rpm. I have chucked a router bit in it for some touch up work. I also use wire brushes and drum sanders. This in addition to the usual precision hole making (drills, hole saws, circle cutters, etc). I couldn't be without the DP.     mahalo,     jo4hn
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"jo4hn" wrote in message

A drill press is one of the best dowel 'sizers' known to mankind.
I don't use mine daily, but like many tools in the shop, when I need it no other tool will do.
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I am curious about the size of benchtop drill press you have. Is it the shortened version of the full-size Delta floor model; or the small machine intended for hobby use (priced around or under $100)? The small ones are limited in capability. However my 30 year old Craftsman floor model gets a lot of use and has been updated a couple of times.
What do I use it for? Mainly drilling or boring holes. (I agree with others that the drill press is not intended to withstand the lateral loads that come with routing or shaping.) It is very difficult to drill a perpendicular hole in anything with a hand-held drill motor or a dowel jig. It also difficult to drill repeated and parallel holes, on even spacing, without a drill press. The drill-press adds precision to any drilling/boring operation. Some drill presses do a pretty good job with a mortising set (if it fits) but mine is not compatible with the sets.
Go to the library and check out a drill press book or a general tool book with drill press info. There are dozens of tricks, jigs and fences that will increase the utility of the machine. Many of the jigs can be made easily from scrap plywood and hardware.
Nearly all store-bought drill presses are designed for metal work. Thus the small, rough, cast-iron table. The most useful improvement you can make for your machine is a good-sized drill press table with a fence. My old Craftsman has a table that is about 10" to 12" square. I built an add-on from a double layer of 3/4" Baltic Birch Plywood that is 17" x 30" in size and outside edges slide out to provide an additional 10" of support on each side. I put "T" slots in it and built a maple fence that also includes a "T" slot and a sliding/locking gage-block that makes repetitive work a snap. Most of the top and fence were made from stuff I had in the shop. I had to buy the "T" slots and associated hardware.
Look around for info. The drill press should be an indispensable part of your shop.
RonB

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It's a small 10" Delta model, I paid $88 for. :) Heck, I paid twice that for my corded DeWalt hand drill, so I guess I can't complain...

I guess the reason I use the drill press so little is because none of the projects I build have really needed holes drilled.
Most of my projects are simple cabinets in one shape or another. The face frames are assembled with pocket screws using a jig and a handheld drill. I use another jig with a handheld drill to make the shelf pin holes after the cabinet has been assembled. And, I use surface mount hinges, so I haven't needed to drill holes for the hinges.
The biggest thing I've used the drill press for is a rack for my pipe clamps. I clamped a couple of strips of plywood together and drilled a series of 1- 1/4" holes through them both. One strip went at the top, the other at the bottom, and the pipe clamps sit down through them. Quick, cheap, and works well.
Anthony
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I recently used my Delta benchtop DP to drill 308 precision holes for doweling together large slabs of glue-up, then joining later with threaded rods. Every one of the 308 holes lined up, not a single hole had to be reamed.

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IF YOU CAN REMOVE THE CHUCK, AND TRY TO FIND A NEW ONE THAT WILL MOUNT TO YOUR DRILL PRESS.
IF YOU DO NOT LIKE THE DP IN A VERTICLE POSITION, TRY MOUNTING IT ON ITS SIDE AND USE IT AS A HORZ. BOREING MACHINE. DIFFICULT BUT CAN BE DONE. DID THIS YEARS AGO. I HAVE 6 DP'S ALL GET USED
GOOD LUCK WOODWORM

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J. Mohnike wrote:

Is your caps lock key in overdrive?
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Sir Benjamin Middlethwaite




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Dude, you might want to think about using one of them DP's on that stuck cap lock key!
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The most recent was using it to make sure I was tapping a 9/16" thread straight into metal. I combined it with a spring-loaded device which fit nicely at the end of my T-Wrench.
Other uses *) press fitting pens together. *) A mini-mill. (Get an X-Y table). I once wanted to cut a 1/16" slot in the edge of a 1/4" thick metal disk, so I put a dremel-type bit in it, an cut around it with my drill press.
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