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Bench vs floor drill press

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  • Carlos
    replied
    Yeah, if that's your budget range, you're going to have to cut corners and just hope for luck. Been there.

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  • durango dude
    replied
    I bought a 10" 12 speed bench top from HF.

    Can see where they cut corners.

    Not pleased with run out.

    Will try to re seat. If that doesn't work, will take it back.

    Right now, using it for pen mill. That operation is fault-tolerant.

    Cannot use it to drill blanks ---- where the opening needs to match the tubes.
    Cannot use it for precision work ---- mortise/tenon, for example.

    Scratching my head and grumbling some.

    Last edited by durango dude; 10-16-2019, 04:29 PM.

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  • capncarl
    replied
    When asked how I can justify the cost of tools like a milling machine? I have purchased 3 floor drill presses for a combined total cost of more that the drill/mill. I wish I had bought it first. It cost less than a Festool Domino 750 or Kapex.

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  • capncarl
    replied
    Its top spindle speed is around 3000 rpm so it is an adequate router for woodworking, with mill control of x,y and z axis. Your imagination is the limit to what you can route or mill with it. It’s a great drill press. I think it has 6” of spindle feed so it will drill a really deep hole. It’s a nice mortise machine that creates a domino shaped hole, really big mortises if you want them!
    As for milling metal, it’s a good small mill. New it has little slop. It would make any gunsmith proud. As for making a lower, it should be on par with with a Bridgeport vertical spindle machine without the use of its swivel head. A lower has several irregular shapes that would be difficult to cut on any non CNC milling machine.... but not impossible. A heck of a lot better than a router. I have seen these mills converted to cnc controlled, making them far superior to a cnc router
    capncarl

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  • Carlos
    replied
    How does that machine do as a woodworking machine? Now I'm kind of sorry I don't have that instead of my Powermatic. Sure would be easier to mill AR-15 lowers on it than with a router or my current DP.

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  • capncarl
    replied
    Right Carlos, moving the powerhead was the reason that I scrapped my thoughts of a benchtop drill press, gave my floor drill press to my kids and purchased this beast. I had full intentions to imbed it in a workbench. I wanted a milling machine anyway. At that time I was building roll bars and roll cages and needed a drill press or mill capable of spinning a 1 1/2” hole hog ( heavy duty hole saw ) 225 rpm. My 3/4 hp drill press wouldn’t operate that slow.
    After I got the mill/drill I found that it was too deep for my workbench that connected to my miter saw so it couldn’t be part of my outfeed table. I fabricated a floor stand for it.

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  • Carlos
    replied
    Fixing the table to a bench and making the head move...wow...that sounds like a much better way to do it than the current way. Hmm.

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  • capncarl
    replied
    I have owned 3 different floor model drill presses and I thought that I would like a benchtop drill press built into the workbench so that the drill press table is workbench height. Then it hit me that that wouldn’t work because of the need to adjust the table height for different drill sizes and depths. So that meant that a benchtop model would always be in the way if you depended on that workbench too as infeed for something like your miter saw. A benchtop drillpress is also useless if you have to us it to drill into long pieces or have to tilt the table much for thicker material.

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  • leehljp
    replied
    I have a storage cabinet around my floor DP for everything "drilling". It about inches wider (20 inches wide) than my DP base and comes up to 28 inches high. If I took that much horizontal space away from my tables, it would hurt a tad. I just don't have tons of bench space. I need it for working. And by building a cabinet for "everything drilling", I have ALL my drilling things right at the base of the DP instead of scattered across 3 or 4 drawers.

    Once a DP is on a bench in a smallish shop, it isn't going anywhere other than the top of the bench!

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  • cwsmith
    commented on 's reply
    My wife and I attended a ShopSmith demo way back in 2002. It was just before my retirement and it sort of gave me the idea that I'd like to get back into woodworking. Up until that time the only stationary tool I had was my RAS. While I was definitely impressed with the versatility, I was concerned about the time it would take to set-up for each operation. We had only years before purchased a Soloflex and one of the challenges of using it with any regularity was the process of constantly taking it apart and reassembling it for another exercise.

    Nice machine, but that take-down and assemble for the next operation left me with the impression that individual tools would be the best way to go.

    CWS.

  • cwsmith
    commented on 's reply
    Carlos,

    "long-ish piece with repeating holes"... that is probably the most often type of project I've used my DP for, bookcases for our library! I made a pattern for the sides and then go through the process of punch-locating the holes on a fresh piece of 1 x 10 stock, cut it to length on the RAS, and then go through the process of drilling through the fastener and depth-stopped pin holes. After just the first two bookcases, I was really appreciating the much simplified process, not to mention the precision of such a repetitive task.

    I made a gun cabinet for a friend of mine and used Forstner bits and a router to cut stock and barrel supports as well as the locking bar and for that the drill press proved to be the perfect tool, at least for me.

    Only misgiving I had with that project was that we built the components here and he took the parts back to Painted Post where he did the finishing and assembly. I never did see the finished cabinet.

  • durango dude
    replied
    I used to have a shopsmith ------ and had it set up almost exclusively as a DP. It was the one thing I felt the machine did pretty well.

    I seriously thought about shortening my unit into what's widely known as a "shorty."

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  • Carlos
    replied
    My PM came with their already-expanded "woodworker" table, then I added the Woodpecker precision table also. It's not in the photo. I agree that it's great for a lot of jobs, particularly a long-ish piece with repeating holes, or multiple piece drilling. I've also always added a base to my DPs, because they seem unstable otherwise. So basically it means a bunch of space is no longer usable. Anyway, if a GOOD press were available as a bench mount, I would absolutely buy it. I even considered throwing the post on this one through the metal bandsaw to shorten it.

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  • cwsmith
    replied
    Carlos,

    I don't agree, my floor drill press probably takes up less floor space than any other large tool that I have. Of course my Ridgid isn't as big as your Powermatci (?). My drill press has a 26 x 20 inch foot print, which would perhaps be a couple of inches bigger than a bench-top; but still, even a 18-inch foot print on my bench would be more work surface than I'd care to give up. Like you, many would possibly build something around the base, but then of course that limits the greatest advantage of a floor DP, in that it limits the work height of stock you might want to end-drill, unless of course that is easy moved out of the way for such occasions

    As mentioned in my previous post, I added a table top to my DP, which expands the 'footprint' to 34 x 29, but that enhances my woodworking ability; and, as presently positioned it works with my RAS to provide additional support for both tools.

    The question is of course is what is best for the particular worker and the tasks that he wishes to address.

    CWS

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  • Carlos
    replied
    I don't understand that. A floor press takes up a lot of space and makes it otherwise useless. So I built a cabinet around mine, below the table and around the post. If it were a bench mount press, I would have built a dedicated bench for it. I made my cabinet mobile in case it needed to be pulled out of the way, but it never has.

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