what can i reasonably expect of a drill press?


I've looked at a few in the 100-300ukp range. Ignoring the obviously atrocious models, there doesn't seem to be a lot to choose between them - they all seem cheaply made with the more expensive ones just bigger, heavier versions of the cheaper ones, with the same problems and vibration exacerbated by their bigger motors. Is this par for the course, or have the models I've looked at been unrepresentative?
Strangely there doesn't seem to be any models in between this price point and the cheap end of proper engineering drills. Presumably all these manufacturers are unimaginatively competing by providing almost exactly the same thing in different paint colours!
For completeness the machines I've looked most closely at are:
Axminster ND16F ~110, ~250W (http://www.axminster.co.uk/recno/4/product-Axminster-ND16F-Pillar-Drill-28943.htm ) - the table was dished (maybe 0.5mm low in the centre) - poor, but probably not an issue (0.5 degrees on a 10cm workpiece) - measure runout by how much the workpiece wobbles side-to-side - nasty depth stop which doesn't grip enough to actually 'stop' - some vibration for the motor, but as it's only 250W it's not heavy enough to matter much
Jet JDP-17F ~300, ~700W (http://www.axminster.co.uk/recno/11/product-Jet-JDP-17F-Floor-Standing-Pillar-Drill-362517.htm ) - loose idler pulley (*1) - the hole in the casing was too big for the shaft - entire machine gently oscillated forwards-backwards on the pillar by ~1cm - chuck spindle-to-quill excessive play - it seemed quite good on initial inspection, but noticeable play when putting some force into testing for sideways movement, and when under power but not load substantial amount of noise from spindle/quill area as chuck lowered. Suspect it's just packed out with grease to make it look good. Which also explains why an ex-demo one I looked at had an obvious and truly shameful amount of slop in the spindle. - so much for "swiss precision", "guaranteed concentricity", etc. - can measure runout by amount workpiece moves side-to-side :-( - btw, I think this machine bears no relationship to the US 17MF, that Jet is just a franchise and that in the UK this is actually Axminster - good positive depth stop - best feature of the machine.
Record DP58 ~300, ~700W (http://www.recordpower.co.uk/index.pl?p=DP58P&a=i ) - keyed chuck, but chuck key wouldn't fit in one of the three holes - so much vibration from the motor that it rattled the workpiece and walked it off the table - motor couldn't be adjusted high enough to align pulleys - table not square to pillar
graham.
*1 - is that the right term for the middle pulley of the three?
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graham wrote:

Are those your only choices? In the US, it's not that expensive to get a drill press that doesn't wobble all over the place when in use. Certainly not hard at all to get a drill press that is accurate enough for general woodworking. If you don't like the Jet, can you look at a Delta? I have their floor model, and it's great (other than the power switch breaking twice).
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Which model Delta? I'm wondering about drill presses too. Do they all come from China now?
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I recently bought a fox floor standing drill from Rutlands (www.rutlands.co.uk - F20701). While it does what is required of it I have to say that I expected a bit better build quality for the price. The chuck has a bit of movement in it and the overall it does not feel like a precision machine. I have not had any problems with it though and it has done everything asked of it (mainly cabinet making) although the morticing attachement I got for it does not fit so I have not been able to really put stress on it.
Rory
Andrew Williams wrote:

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Andrew Williams wrote:

Hi, it is Delta's floor model drill press. It's about 10 years old. It was made in China. It was about $300 (USA)
I think most hobby grade drill presses are made in China now. However, the brand name ones are still good. Certainly accurate enough for woodworking. I was surprised the OP observed the Jet one to be crappy.
I highly recommend getting a floor model drill press over a bench one. The bench one needs a stand or takes up bench space anyhow.
I have my floor drill press on a HTC mobile base, so I can move it in a pinch. (The drill press is attached to a large piece of 3/4 plywood attached to the base for stability). You don't want to have to roll this thing out every time you need it, but it's nice to be able to move it when you absolutely have to, which is maybe once every 2 years.
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bf wrote:

Yeah, I expected the Jet to be better, actually a lot better. I suspect it's just representative of its price point, and that "Jet" isn't the same thing in different countries. Also, given the manufacturer's drive to compete on features and price, not quality, there's probably a fair bit of luck in whether a given drill is good or bad. Maybe I should keep buying until I find a good one!
I don't live near enough to a delta stockist to try one, but from the specs and pics it looked just the same as any other - same specs, price & country of manufacture (not that Chinese goods are bad per se, more that all the "manufacturers" (brands) are using the same labour market at the same price point).
rgds. g.
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Mon, Aug 28, 2006, 1:26pm (EDT+5) snipped-for-privacy@no.spam.thanks (graham) doth burble: I've looked at a few >in the 100-300ukp range. Ignoring the obviously atrocious models,<snip> with the same problems and vibration exacerbated by their bigger motors. <snip>
I expect my drill press to drill holes. It does. It's a bench model, and cost me $50-60 new, maybe ten years back and still works just great. It's plenty accurate enough for woodworking, no discernable runout. What can I say beyond that?
I put a hole cutter in it yesterday. I h ad about 1/8" runout minimum. Took it out and put it back in right and was fine then.
JOAT Justice was invented by the innocent. Mercy and lawyers were invented by the guilty.
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