As some of you may recall I was soliciting suggestions/advise on what
to look for and or look out for concerning the purchase of an "Upgrade"
Drill Press. I had pretty much narrowed my decision down to a Delta but was
not quite sure which one, the 17" or the 20" variable speed. Friday morning
Swingman and I got together and played hooky until mid afternoon. To
justify wasting an afternoon other than having a good time he bought 20 lbs.
of screws, I bought a new guard bumper for my 20 year old Senco finish
nailer. But first things first, we went in to one of our local suppliers of
really cool tools, one he frequents more often than I. We walk in the
doors, he hangs a hard left, I continue to walk back to the sales counter,
turn left walk down a few isles, turn left again only to see that Swingman
beat me to the target, the line up of Drill Presses. Damn! I had to get in
line behind him to touch and feel. ;~)
Any way we looked at all the offerings, Jet, Powermatic, and Delta. I
paid particular attention to the 17" 17-959L, and the 20" 20-950 Deltas. I
learned that the 20" variable speed Delta actually has a low speed of 200
rpm, I was looking for 250 or slower. This immediately qualified it to be a
consideration, so side by side I had the opportunity to compare the two
feature for feature. The real differences I saw between the two were, 1.
The 20" DP is tall, I am 6' tall and I felt I was looking up at Darth Vader,
just over 75" tall according to Swingman's trusty pocket tape measure given
to him by an ex-, I probably should not go there. 2. The 20" DP has a
larger table, about 24" wide vs. 18" on the 17" DP IIRC. 3. The 20" DP has
a 6" quill stroke, just over 1" more than the 17" DP. 4. The 17" DP has
the wired-in Laser, the 20" has none, a feature that really did not matter
to me. 5. Oh yeah, the 20" DP is variable speed. 6. The 20" DP has 1 hp,
the 17" DP has 3/4 hp. 7. The 20" DP is about 50 lbs heavier than the 17"
DP. 8. The 20" DP is 38% more expensive than the 17" DP.
Arriving back home and being greeted by the beginning of a 3.75" rain
that lasted 26 hours I began doing a little more research on the 2 DPs.
Yesterday morning it was dark and raining so I went to my local supplier of
ww stuff and inquired about the Delta DPs. They were sold out. ;~( BUT,
I decided that the 17" DP was the way to go and I would wait for Fathers Day
to see if any one would put it on sale. But that is two months away. ;~(
Later yesterday afternoon my wife and I left to go to our weekly get
together with Swingman and his lovely wife for our weekly wine, cheese,
cracker, and fruit feeding frenzy, which is followed up by dinner, and his
and my ass whoopin playing Canasta against the "girls". On the way over, my
wife and I stop at still another of our local ww supply stores. We walk up
to the doors and I see a sign that indicates that they close at 5, it was
5:20, I almost cried. Then like magic the door opens and a hand reaches
out to point out the words on the sign, "beginning May 3" we will close at
5. We walk in!.
The manager asks what he can help me with, I said I am looking for a
17-959L. He says look over there, I look over there and see a Powermatic
DP. Where? Over there! I still see a PM DP. Where? He looks and sees a
PM DP and says OH! we have not put it together yet, let me look in back. I
said don't bother I am not going to buy yet, it was still pouring down
raining out side and it was not Fathers Day. He spins around looking at me
and my wife and we being the only customers in the store asks what is it
going to take to sell me that drill press? I knew his price was the
cheapest I had seen anywhere including the internet so I said, should I
decide to buy right now I want my offer to be fair to both of us. I threw
out the suggestion of his regular price less 8.25% which is equal to our
local sales tax. He looked at me square in the eyes and countered with 10%
off. DAMN! he did not like my offer. Oh wait! his offer is better than
mine, SOLD! I'll pick it up next Saturday when my son can help with the
heavy lifting and hopefully it sill not be raining.
The biggest plus that the Delta has over its competition and ultimately
steered me in that direction is that the table is made for a wood worker.
The table has a removable sacrificial MDF insert, accepts T-bolts, tilts 90"
left and right, and tilts forward 45", smoothly. Second in line of choices
was the 17" Steel City.