If one looks at the Delta 16-1/2 floor DPs, there is a LARGE (double!)
difference in price between the VS(17-925) and the multi-speed(17-965,
with 16 speeds).
Is there anything more substantial to the differences between these two
machines than this?
And 2ndly, from a woodworkers use POV, is there any practical
difference btwn. true VS and multi-speed? (Ease-of-use, yes...)
I have had a Rockwell multi speed drill press for about 27 years. I seldom
change speeds. IMHO unless you are using the drill press daily for a
variety of reasons go with the multi speed vs. the variable speed. You
really do not need all those in between speeds and typically manually
changing speeds on the multi speed units is pretty simple and trouble free.
I'll go even further than that -- go for something with a reasonable number
of speeds (like 5), and don't get sucked into thinking more speeds is
better. I bought a Jet 17" drill press which has 12 speeds, selected by
changing two belts (there's an idler shaft between the motor and the
quill). It's a pain in the neck to move the belts, and you have to look up
on a little chart which combination of pulleys give you the desired speed.
A normal 5-speed single-belt system spanning the same range of speeds is
just as useful and a lot easier to use. There's no speed setting chart; if
it's too fast, move the belt up. If it's too slow, move it down. Simple.
Even I can figure it out. I can't think of any job where 900 RPM wouldn't
be just as good as 840 or 1065 RPM.
I agree, but pay attention to the SLOWEST speed.
I find really slow speeds to be more useful in woodworking than more or
higher speeds. The slowest speed on my DP is about 500, and I often
wish for something much slower, like 100, when using large forstner bits.
Rarely do I use anything over about 1500 in woodworking. Other crafts
use high speeds all the time.
Can you elaborate on how this helps you? Most of my customers prefer
runnign faster than the charts suggest in wood because it gives them a
cleaner cut. Then again, most are not concerned with "burning" the ID of
For instance, I regularly send out drills doing 1" holes in wood at 500+
RPM... The cart says 330 for typical woods (maybe wet or sappy woods?)
I _am_ concerned about burning the hole. <G>
If the hole won't be visible, then a bit of burn is OK, and as long as
the temperature stays below bit damaging range, all is well.
If the hole will be visible, I don't want crappy looking burnt edges in
Big bits get hot fast.
That probably explains it. Most of our folks are doing either clearance
holes in structural parts (where a burn edge is better I hear?!?) or many
holes down the length of a part where other parts will be inserted such as
railings, fence post tops, dowel holes, etc.
The only time we had a customer who wanted to go slower was when they wanted
to build a machine that did the door knob, loclset and hardware holes in
three automated steps... And the door had a plastic skin.
Production vs. the one-off furniture that most of us here make.
I'm always impressed at the speed of some of the production drills.
Even the relatively slow pocket hole machines almost seem to shoot the
hole through! The first time I saw something like that, I blinked and
missed it the first time. <G>
Just to reinforce Barry's point - he's absolutely right. I've had a Delta
drill press for about 5 years now and I've changed the speed probably less
than a half-dozen times. Most woodwork is done using the lowest possible
speed, so look for a model that goes below 500rpm if you can. I do not like
my Delta but it was not an expensive one so when I replace it with something
better, I won't be out anything.
Out of all the tools in the shop, that's one I went cheap on and now wish I
hadn't since I didn't think I needed a more powerful drill press - wrong. A
bigger motor, slower speed capability and a better table will be the
features I'll be looking for.
Actually and at least up to a 1-3/8" forstner bit 700 is plenty slow. With
a single bit I have drilled in excess of 1000 holes at that speed with no
resharpening and no burning of the wood or discoloration of the bit.
Roy, Barry, thanks for your input.
It's not the 16 speeds that interested me in this press (multi speed
17-965), but the size/throat capacity, and quill stroke (4-7/8"). Plus
a good review or two I've read, though Drew's problem w/ the motors
below sours that.
This press has 5 speeds below 510 rpm, the lowest being 215.
The motor that came with my 17-965 vibrated enough that without a link-belt
wood would walk off the table. The local motor shop (authorized Delta
Warranty center) said cheap Chinese motors did that.
The first warranty replacement may be a little better although it makes
a strange rattling noise when run in a vertical position.
The second warranty replacement feels the same on when run on the ground,
although I haven't tried mounting it yet.
The drill-press seems well built, has no play in the quill, runout was on
the order of .001", but the motors suck. Customer service at Delta was
excellent apart from the few month back order waiting for a slow boat
from China. Maybe the 17-925 is a better quality machine otherwise?
I wouldn't buy another 17-965.
<a href="http://www.poohsticks.org/drew /">Home Page</a>
In 1913 the inflation adjusted (in 2003 dollars) exemption for single people
I had a similar problem with a Griz 17" DP, although it sounds like
you had it worse. After the third motor showed no improvement over the
first two, I solved it with some rubber doughnuts to make a vibration
absorbing motor mount, combined with linkbelts. Works well and even
with the extra expense of the motor mounts and linkbelts it was less
expensive than a DP that worked right to begin with. I still get POed
when I think about it, though, since I certainly should not have to do
that to make it run vibration free.
Alex -- Replace "nospam" with "mail" to reply by email. Checked infrequently.
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