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  • Hitachi B16RM Drill Press

    OK, there are 100 posts in the bargain alerts thread on this DP at Lowes. If half of us bought it then there will be at least 50 owners in this forum now.

    Time to start a technical thread! What is your experience, discoveries, shortcomings, favorite features etc on this Drill Press?
    Anyone want to review it?

    I'll start.

    Assembled quite easily. Only problem: The ring on the top of the column that holds the rack for elevationg the table - it was not perfectly level and had in fact been cocked. Loosened the set screw and used a rubber mallet on the low side to free it and set it horizontal and now the table is free to swing 360 degrees around the column (which it could not before. Make sure there is a little play for the rack to rotate.
    Oh yeah, definately get two people to help lift the head onto the column. Everything else can be done by one person.

    In keeping with a tip I learned, and experience with two other DP's, I put three wraps of teflon tape on the threads of the three handles that raise/lower the bit, to keep them from coming loose.

    Cleaned mine up with WD-40. Applied Boeshield T-9 to the exposed iron/steel parts, put a coat of Johnson's paste wax on the table and column.

    All the hardware fasteners are metric.

    The one cheesy thing on the DP seems to be the table tilt.
    It was off a hair from perpendicular. The manual is very sparse on this. It seems there's a Big nut that has to be loosened to adjust the tilt. The nut is located in the middle of the end of the U-channel that holds the table so its impossible to get a open-end wrench on it and have any swing. The sides of the U won't allow a crescent adjustable wrench to get in there. And, I have a well equipped tool box but nothing near the 24-mm size of that nut in the 12-point closed end wrench or even a socket of any kind. Further, there's a small nut and stud. apparently you turn the nut to jack out the stud -I think they are telling me that this is a pinned to zero. (I'm not sure yet since I can't loosen the big nut). Even the picture shows the degree scale on top but on my DP its on the side. The indicator did not line up perfectly with the scale "0" and it did not have the adjust range to make it. Most DP's I've seen use a manual knob like the lock for the table elevation - but the table is very heavy and the mass sits up high avove the center of rotation so it will fall over if the nut is loosened and you don't hold it. So maybe the lack of a manual knob is a safety concession.

    I used a 2" 50-W reflector bulb instead of a 60W round bulb and it seemed brighter as well as not protruding from the bulb socket as much.

    Laser works good, it was easy to adjust, easier than my Craftsman.
    Unlike the Craftsman which has the two laser lined perpendiular to each other but 45 degrees from the up-down,right-left axis, this one has the two lasers at 45 degrees from each other (like 3:00 o'clock and 1:30). They are also not quite as bright which is actually good because sometimes the Craftsman lasers were so bright as to make it hard to see the markings on the workpiece.

    The stroke is 3.25", I would have liked 4" but I really liked the price. The depth limit and hold down were three nuts on a threaded rod with a easy to read ruler. Its substantial enough it won't flex like I've seen on cheap DPs. I still like the center of the hub depth limit on my old Delta, you could set that with one hand while operating the lift handles. The depth limit rod is attached to the laser housing. If you want to use this with a mortising attachment I suspect you'll have to remove the laser and therefore the depth limit, too. But that's not an issue with me.

    This is my first DP with 3 pulleys. Its rather complex in that you may have to swap the order of the belts to select a goven speed. But, I do like the belt tensioning mechanism - there's a lever on the right that you throw to move the motor back and forth. Required a little more force than I thought at first but reasonable considering the size of motor. Actually much easier to move than my 12" benchtop. And two knobs to secure the motor in place once tensioned.

    Everything else works as it should and the fit and finish seem to be nice although the table casting and machining is a little rough.

    On a slightly off-topic, would you guys consider bolting a DP like this to a furniture dolly (which has non-locking casters that swivel in all directions) for mobility? Is locking in place necessary when a tool only applies pressure in a downwards direction and the workpiece doesn't move with relation to the tool? The torque is countered entirely within the tool-motor-column-table assembly so there's no danger it will spin around.

    Loring in Katy, TX USA
    If your only tool is a hammer, you tend to treat all problems as if they were nails.
    BT3 FAQ - https://www.sawdustzone.org/forum/di...sked-questions

  • #2
    Glad you started this thread. I purchased the B16RM on clearance for $150 at the local Loweís before the thread in bargain alerts started here. I still think it was a good deal even though I didnít get it at the $129 or $100 prices that some here did, because they were all sold out the next day so I donít think I could have gotten it at a lower price anyway.

    My assembly and set-up experience was similar to yours, Loring. However, the laser guide seemed to move while I was drilling holes in the legs of the BT3 stand for the Herc-u-lift installation. But it may have been that I didnít have the table lockdown tight enough Ė I havenít had time to check yet. But it seems like a great piece of machinery for the price even if it didnít have the laser guide. It sure made quick and accurate work of drilling the holes for the lift installation on the BT3 stand.

    As for a movable base, I bolted it to a piece of 3/4" plywood and cut 4" squares from a cheapo HMW cutting board that I found at Big Lots and screwed those to the bottom corners of the plywood. It works well for me because I donít have to slide it very far and when I have finished moving it, it is very stable and stationary with no castors to lock down and it didn't increase the drill press height very much. I think UHMW would have been better but again, Iím just moving it a couple of feet at a time. If you are moving it very far or if you donít have a suitable floor surface (mine is concrete), then I would think something on castors would be the way to go. Not sure that locking castors would be necessary for drilling, but if you were to use a sanding drum I would think you would want to lock it down because of the lateral pressure. Keep in mind this 2 cents is from a novice.

    Bruce

    Comment


    • #3
      quote:Originally posted by WoodTherapist

      ... Not sure that locking castors would be necessary for drilling, but if you were to use a sanding drum I would think you would want to lock it down because of the lateral pressure. ...
      Bruce
      good point, but I avoid that kind of usage because I hesitate to put a large side load on my DP, I'm not sure the bearings were designed for that and don't want to give it an excuse to develop a large amount of runout. I now have an osc spindle sander for that.

      Loring in Katy, TX USA
      If your only tool is a hammer, you tend to treat all problems as if they were nails.
      BT3 FAQ - https://www.sawdustzone.org/forum/di...sked-questions

      Comment


      • #4
        Thought you might say that. I agree, although I threw that in because some people use a drill press with a sanding drum, at least occasionally. For the reasons you mentioned, I donít intend to use mine that way either. I intend to try Jim Fryeís ďDrill Powered Drum Sander for the BTĒ as described on the Articles page of the BT3Central site, because I donít have a spindle sander but I do have an old Portalign drilling gizmo and an old electric drill that is about shot anyway. If anybody reading this has tried that, I would be interested in how it turned out (please PM me or start another thread Ė I donít want to hijack this one - thanks).

        Back to the B16RM. Loring or anyone, how do you intend to attach a woodworking table to this machine since there are no through holes in the stock table? I was thinking about running a couple of two-bys under the stock table, adding spacers the thickness of the table and bolting it to the new table on both sides. Is there a better way?

        Bruce

        Comment


        • #5
          quote:Originally posted by WoodTherapist

          ...
          Back to the B16RM. Loring or anyone, how do you intend to attach a woodworking table to this machine since there are no through holes in the stock table? I was thinking about running a couple of two-bys under the stock table, adding spacers the thickness of the table and bolting it to the new table on both sides. Is there a better way?

          Bruce
          Bingo! That is the question I wanted to ask but forgot in my previous enthusiasm.

          The table is obviously a metalworking style, it has a closed bottom with one threaded drain hole for coolant.

          I really like the woodworking style with parallel slots running fore and aft.

          It appears that there's a few options:

          1 A clamp as Bruce suggested. (sorry bruce, But that's **** ugly in my opinion)
          2 Use the T-slots and a captured nut or carriage head bolt which may be difficult given a flat top WW table. They're big slots so a bolt whose head would not turn would be very large (like 3/4" shank)
          3 Drill some holes through the bottoms of the slots which is what I'm thinking of because I don't plan to use it for coolant capture.
          4. make some wooden T-nuts with 1/4-20 threaded inserts!


          Loring in Katy, TX USA
          If your only tool is a hammer, you tend to treat all problems as if they were nails.
          BT3 FAQ - https://www.sawdustzone.org/forum/di...sked-questions

          Comment


          • #6
            Hey, I like option #3 (drilling holes through the stock table). Hadn't thought of that. Now if I could only find a drill press for the task. Oh yeah, I have one now!

            Comment


            • #7
              quote:Originally posted by WoodTherapist


              Back to the B16RM. Loring or anyone, how do you intend to attach a woodworking table to this machine since there are no through holes in the stock table?
              Fine Woodworking, Feb. 2006 #182, has an article on an aux. table. They use two rabetted cleats on the bottom of the aux. table that sort of clamp it onto the DP table.

              JR
              JR

              Comment


              • #8
                quote:Originally posted by JR
                Fine Woodworking, Feb. 2006 #182, has an article on an aux. table. They use two rabetted cleats on the bottom of the aux. table that sort of clamp it onto the DP table.
                Thanks, I'll look for that article.

                Comment


                • #9
                  quote:Originally posted by WoodTherapist

                  Hey, I like option #3 (drilling holes through the stock table). Hadn't thought of that. Now if I could only find a drill press for the task. Oh yeah, I have one now!
                  Sort of like cutting the end of your BT3 miter fence off on purpose, to avoid dreading the day you do it by accident...

                  Having drilled your DP table you no longer have to dread the day you accidentally drill it!
                  Loring in Katy, TX USA
                  If your only tool is a hammer, you tend to treat all problems as if they were nails.
                  BT3 FAQ - https://www.sawdustzone.org/forum/di...sked-questions

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    quote:Originally posted by LCHIEN

                    quote:Originally posted by WoodTherapist

                    Hey, I like option #3 (drilling holes through the stock table). Hadn't thought of that. Now if I could only find a drill press for the task. Oh yeah, I have one now!
                    Sort of like cutting the end of your BT3 miter fence off on purpose, to avoid dreading the day you do it by accident...

                    Having drilled your DP table you no longer have to dread the day you accidentally drill it!
                    Now youíve done it. As an innocent newbie, I hadnít dreaded eitherÖ...until now.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I saw this DP table in the new Grizzly catalog...
                      http://www.grizzly.com/products/H7827

                      It looks pretty nice for the money.

                      Tom

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        When I click on the link it says $29.95 - seriously!

                        In Oz I'd buy up all their stock [:O]

                        Downunder ... 1" = 25.4mm

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          quote:Originally posted by RodKirby

                          When I click on the link it says $29.95 - seriously!

                          In Oz I'd buy up all their stock [:O]
                          Shipping is $9.75. I'm not real impressed with their clamp to the DP table but we could come up with something better.
                          Hmmmm.
                          Loring in Katy, TX USA
                          If your only tool is a hammer, you tend to treat all problems as if they were nails.
                          BT3 FAQ - https://www.sawdustzone.org/forum/di...sked-questions

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            The Grizzly table looks about the same as the one MLCS sells, but the Griz is $30 less.

                            MLCS does have free shipping, though.

                            Tom

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Great review Loring. I checked my local Lowes for this DP but they didn't have it. Looks like a keeper to me.
                              Monte (another darksider)
                              Reporting Live from somewhere near Kalamazoo

                              http://community.webshots.com/user/monte49002

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