Drill Press Features

rcarmac

Robert
Corporate Member
I am thinking about upgrading my drill press. It’s an old one, early 1970’s. What features and options are a must have? Any suggestions?
 

pop-pop

Man with many vises
User
I am thinking about upgrading my drill press. It’s an old one, early 1970’s. What features and options are a must have? Any suggestions?
IMO, more than the usual 3” or so of quill travel is the biggie.
 

rcarmac

Robert
Corporate Member
I guess the top end would be around $1700. That’s based on the Nova that was the grand prize at the raffle. I do pens, bowls, toys, detailed toys. Don’t do large furniture.
 

chris_goris

Chris
Senior User
Well, the Nova Viking has probably everything you could ever want for under $1000. from the sounds of it, you dont need a floor standing model. In all the years ive had my old 16-1/2" delta, (probably 25 yrs) I cant think of one time ive needed very much height that a bench top wouldnt have worked.
 

marinosr

Richard
Senior User
What's your old DP? And what do you find lacking? Ain't much changed with drill presses over the last hundred years (with the obvious exception of that Nova) and your golden oldie might be equal or better than what you can buy new.
 

ScottM

Scott
Staff member
Corporate Member
Many years ago I was lucky enough to score a floor model Rikon radial arm drill press. New the floor model sells for about $500. The table top version for about $400.
 

Michael Mathews

Michael
Corporate Member
several years ago I bought out a lady that was geared up for a pen making business. Small Jet Lathe, 14" Rikon Bandsaw, and Steel City floor standing Drill Press. Although the drill press doesn't have variable speed, the things that are very well done on this are the depth stop, and the table adjustment (up/down/left/right). Tilting can be done, but is much better done with an angle jig. Changing the belts is not all that bad, but turning a dial or pushing a digital button would be much nicer! The depth stop uses a large knurled knob with a spring loaded button. Press in the button and slide the knob up and down. Release the button and you can spin the knob on the fine threads for fine adjustment. I love that part of it. Honestly, I don't change speeds often as I mostly only drill wood!
 

gator

George
Corporate Member
If you plan on doing pens, quill travel is of prime importance. The more the better.

George
 

Canuck

Wayne
Corporate Member
If you plan on doing pens, quill travel is of prime importance. The more the better.

George
+1

If you can find a gently used floor standing Steel City drill press, you will have plenty of quill travel. Bought one new about 8 years ago before they unfortunately went under. Had performed well!

Wayne
 

Wiley's Woodworks

Wiley
Corporate Member
If $ is no object get a state-of-the-art electronic that has infinitely variable electronic speed control and a laser drill point locator. I use doweled joints frequently, and when I am drilling sockets using pencil marks done freehand I really wish I had the laser locator.
 

McRabbet

Rob
Corporate Member
I have one of the Delta 18-900L floor model drill presses that includes a huge table, 6" quill travel, multiple speeds (belt driven), a laser and built-in LED swing arm lamp. It is a great DP, but expensive these days.
 

rcarmac

Robert
Corporate Member
Well, the Nova Viking has probably everything you could ever want for under $1000. from the sounds of it, you dont need a floor standing model. In all the years ive had my old 16-1/2" delta, (probably 25 yrs) I cant think of one time ive needed very much height that a bench top wouldnt have worked.
That’s interesting thought. I was thinking a floor model but this might be the ticket. Need to think on that some
 

rcarmac

Robert
Corporate Member
What's your old DP? And what do you find lacking? Ain't much changed with drill presses over the last hundred years (with the obvious exception of that Nova) and your golden oldie might be equal or better than what you can buy new.
It’s a Rockwell. Needs a lot of rust cleanup. Wobbles so I have a little problem with run out
 

rcarmac

Robert
Corporate Member
If $ is no object get a state-of-the-art electronic that has infinitely variable electronic speed control and a laser drill point locator. I use doweled joints frequently, and when I am drilling sockets using pencil marks done freehand I really wish I had the laser locator.
Those are the bells and whistles I wondering are worth it
 

rcarmac

Robert
Corporate Member
I have one of the Delta 18-900L floor model drill presses that includes a huge table, 6" quill travel, multiple speeds (belt driven), a laser and built-in LED swing arm lamp. It is a great DP, but expensive these days.
That’s about the same price as the Nova?
 

Alan in Little Washington

Alan Schaffter
Corporate Member
The biggest issue I find with my DP, that is more of a pain than changing belts (I solved that by using a more powerful 3 phase motor a VFD, and a digital tach) is changing the table height. The crank and rack and pinion are worthless making it a real pain to change the table height. I have two designs to solve that, but have found neither the time nor motivation to implement either one. :rolleyes:
 

bob vaughan

Bob Vaughan
Senior User
6" throw is great.
quality made USA is even better.
Below are three USA presses. The one on the left is a restored DC-drive 1941 14" Delta but it only has a 4" throw. That one is being replaced by the Delta in the middle that has a 6" throw and is a 15" press. The one on the right is a 380 lb. Powermatic 1150, the king of 15" presses IMO. It has a production table. I got the Delta 15" for $106.00 and the Powermatic for $55.00 at public surplus auction. Both needed restoration work which I gladly did to get the end results. I've seen the Asian stuff at the Woodcraft stores and I feel sorry for anyone burdened with having to choose a new drill press as their only choice.


1  DPs - 1.jpg

Naturally not all USA made and old drill presses are worth the restoration process

1 USA-made and old.jpg
 

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