Yes, I think that's the key there (that and adjusting the speed for the
job) - the drill bits make the most difference, and having a good drill
with crappy bits is far worse than having a crappy drill with good bits.
Yes, good advice. I'm bad about not doing it either ;-) (for small
diameter holes, inserting the drill bit as far as you can is good too, so
it's less likely to bend and go off-center)
Bought my Harbor Freight drill press 4 or 5 years ago, on sale for
They're $89.95 now, and go on sale periodically for $69.95.
Not a 'precision' machine by any means - spindle bearings allow some
play in the chuck, but it's well suited for the home craftsman's needs.
I'd buy it again, even at the now increased price.
Yeah, that's what I've found with the cheap ones - there's a bit of slop
in the system which isn't there on the better stuff. I've not found it
really matters for wood, but on harder materials it can sometimes be an
I wish I'd got a bigger drill, too - not necessarily a floor-standing
one, but at least with a bit more depth than what I have (I don't
remember the numbers - only that sometimes it's not really quite
 the temptation's always there to modify the bench-mounted one that I
have... either extend the pillar, or somehow rig it so I can swing it out
over the edge of the bench.
I bought a floor standing honking 5 foot plus tall 1/2" chuck with moveable
table and something like 128 speeds. I use it on most of my stuff except
for small things, where I use the small one. I like being able to stand up
there, and have the work at a comfortable height, and also that the bed
moves up and down and tilts. The light is nice, too. It's a Chinese one,
but I paid $100 for it. I didn't use it for years, now, use it mostly.
It's overkill most of the time, but with the Drill Doctor 750, it sure makes
drilling those jobs with lots of holes a lot easier.
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Assuming you find the right drill press/whatever, don't even think
about starting the drill and tap job without a T-type tap wrench. Go
to www.use-enco and look at the 325-49280 and similar tap wrenches on
page 110. The $66 may give you sticker shock, but it will perform the
job faster than a Bridgeport J2, even with a Harbor Freight drill
press. If you factor in all the time, wasted work pieces, broken taps
and other problems it is a real bargain. Virtually every journeyman
machinist, tool and die maker will have a set of these in his tool
box. In combination with solid fixturing and clamping, the job will go
And by the way, any 1/3 to 1/2 HP drill press will do just fine. A
floor model with a hefty column would be better, and higher priced
models usually give you less spindle run out.
On Mon, 16 Aug 2010 21:28:46 -0700 (PDT), Molly Brown
Drilling stainless you want more than enough, ather than almost enough
- because you need to keep the bit cutting. Don't consider easing the
bit through - you'll just end up burning the tip off.
If you are using the aircraft type bits just about any half-inch
capacity press will do the job.
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