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OT - why cant I just buy a drill press that works properly!

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  • OT - why cant I just buy a drill press that works properly!

    About 10 years ago I purchased a cheap Chinese 8" drill press (Job Mate)for like $50. It wasn't perfect and maybe I got lucky but the chuck was wobble free, it was quiet and its been quite reliable. Even power has been fine although I tend to leave it on a low speed and I take my time with it.

    I now need a slightly larger drill press and so I purchased a 10" Skil which is made in China as well so I figured I would get more of the same. Well the first one had a dead laser and a slightly noisy motor. Took it back and exchanged it for another. That one had pretty bad chuck wobble. (I made sure its not the bit by trying a couple and also trying them in my 8" DP). Took that back. I purchased a 10" Mastercraft which is a house brand for a Canadian hardware store. Also made in China and looks to be identical to the Skil. Anyway the problem it had was far too much play in the shaft that goes up and down when you lower the drill and it had severe vibration somewhere in the pulleys that hold the belt.

    I've wasted so much time assembling and taking stuff back. Now I've had it. I will take my chances on a used old drill press. I found one that looks clean for its age and the owner says all does work well. Its a brand called Jet and I googled it and seems its not too bad. The model is a 13R like this one (looks the same)

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/1035528...n/photostream/

    So anything wrong with going with a well used but still working older drill press?

  • #2
    Re: OT - why cant I just buy a drill press that works properly!

    Jet makes nice stuff, but as with anything used, it depends on how well the previous owner took care of it. I say go and check it out, if it's in good working order it should easily outperform any of the newer (junk) tools that are on the market. You may have to clean it up and oil it here and there, but if the moving parts are in good shape and the motor runs good, it's a good deal.
    My modest builds:
    Armadillo TM, A.K.A. Lil' Dillo
    Tarkus/Armadillo build #2
    Armadillo Center Channel
    Au-Rock-O Sub
    Tarkus
    Staining MDF tutorial

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    • #3
      Re: OT - why cant I just buy a drill press that works properly!

      Any wrong with that? Ummm, nope. A smart move actually.

      From the looks of it your were trying the bottom of the barrel brands. BTW there's nothing wrong with made in china, it's all about the QC they paid for... the brands you were looking at didn't pay for that QC. Quality tools will last for generations so no worries about it being "old" as long as it's not rusted out or beaten up. Plus if you are buying a more recognizable brand like Jet, if you need a part you can find it. When you go to look at the drill press ask them to turn it on - I bet you'll find it runs a ton smoother than what you were dealing with before. Also with a better built machine they will use some industry standards, meaning that Jet will probably have a standard Morse taper for the chuck so you can go anywhere and get one you like and just stick it in and it works.

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      • #4
        Re: OT - why cant I just buy a drill press that works properly!

        I have a floor standing model almost identical to your pic. I found it at a school. It needed a chuck and I found one with the proper taper at a good hardware store. It has served me well for years.

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        • #5
          Re: OT - why cant I just buy a drill press that works properly!

          see if you can find an older Clausing. I'd stay away from anything that's made in china. First gen of Chinese made tools had horrid QC and tolerances. Latest generation is just cra.p.
          In general, look for 40+ years old machinery.
          http://www.diy-ny.com/

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          • #6
            Re: OT - why cant I just buy a drill press that works properly!

            Originally posted by contoursvt View Post
            I now need a slightly larger drill press and so I purchased a 10" Skil
            That was the error made. I've never seen any Skil product worth its salt, even for the occasional weekend user. Some house brands are OK, but most are bottom of the line. Jet has earned a reputation as a well made brand. Grizzly is another well respected, if not well known, line of shop tools.
            www.billfitzmaurice.com
            www.billfitzmaurice.info/forum

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            • #7
              Re: OT - why cant I just buy a drill press that works properly!

              I dunno about Grizzly, Bill. There are 7 woodworking shops on our floor and not a single Grizzly machine. One of the shop owners purchased a 24" thickness planer from them and send it back. The tables were warped and the head offed. I have worked on a couple of other machines and cannot recommend it.
              With Jet, you have to look at a particular machine.
              http://www.diy-ny.com/

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              • #8
                Re: OT - why cant I just buy a drill press that works properly!

                rockler is usually a pretty good bet on info/recommendations
                http://www.rockler.com/how-to/bencht...ress-workshop/

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                • #9
                  Re: OT - why cant I just buy a drill press that works properly!

                  Originally posted by billfitzmaurice View Post
                  That was the error made. I've never seen any Skil product worth its salt, even for the occasional weekend user.
                  In general I agree, but if I recall correctly Skill made/makes a 7-1/4 In. Worm Drive "Skillsaw" that was\is? a standard in the construction industry for worm drive saws. A heavy beast compared to regular sidewinder circular saws, but it had power and gave extra reach which was good when cutting thru the middle of full sheets of plywood etc..

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                  • #10
                    Re: OT - why cant I just buy a drill press that works properly!

                    Ditto on the clausing, some have a mechanical variable speed. The Dayton brand typically available thru Grainger might also be worth a look.

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                    • #11
                      Re: OT - why cant I just buy a drill press that works properly!

                      I guess I got lucky with my $140 HF floor stand press. It's been going strong for 15-years, and runs true - even after abuses like fish mouthing 1.5" steel tube for an entire roll cage.

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                      • #12
                        Re: OT - why cant I just buy a drill press that works properly!

                        Originally posted by chad1376 View Post
                        I guess I got lucky with my $140 HF floor stand press. It's been going strong for 15-years, and runs true - even after abuses like fish mouthing 1.5" steel tube for an entire roll cage.
                        I hope you meant to type 1-5/8" steel tube for a roll cage ;)
                        Craig

                        The lowest possible F3 box alignment is not always the best alignment.

                        Designing and building speaker projects are like playing with adult Lego Blocks for me.

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                        • #13
                          Re: OT - why cant I just buy a drill press that works properly!

                          The iron triangle: Done cheep, done right, done fast. Pick two.

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                          • #14
                            Re: OT - why cant I just buy a drill press that works properly!

                            After a lot of research I ended up getting a Rigid drill press from HD. Unfortunately, it seems like $600 is about where 'decent' starts to happen for floor standing. I've seen decent ones on craigslist for about half that.
                            When it got shipped the top cover cracked and I got a replacement very quickly without any fuss.
                            It's not a refined tool, but the table is square to the bit, and has very little runout. The depth stop takes some getting used to, but works.
                            I've had very good luck with ryobi tools when I want to go cheap.
                            Woodworking is a damn expensive hobby, even if you buy used.

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                            • #15
                              Re: OT - why cant I just buy a drill press that works properly!

                              Originally posted by PWR RYD View Post
                              I hope you meant to type 1-5/8" steel tube for a roll cage ;)
                              No, just 1.5". The cage went into an old VW Thing that pokes along in the desert at 20mph - not a wheel standing Mustang ;) Lots of triangles though - and it did survive a tipover with no issues.

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