Improved DP with a washer

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Scott
User
I have the ubiquitous old Delta 17 inch 17-900 Taiwan drill press. ( same basic sold as Craftsman, Grizzly and Porter Cable among others. Likely made by GEETECH.) Not great, but it should be OK. Already replaced the crap Chinese belts with Gates AX, replaced the off-center rear sheave with an aftermarket, modified the motor bracket so you can actually align the sheaves. Much improved. Amazing the previous owner put up with it for 20 years.

But I noticed the deep holes I drilled were off angle just a tad. OK, look at the table. As I had no precision drill rod, I found my Starrett marking gauge rod to be very true. Cool. Yup, off by a good half a degree side to side. Good front to back when locked to the column. Pull the stop pin. Tweak snug, slips.
What idiots. Bolt head torqueing on a rough casting. Of course it is going to move! Added a nice hardened flat washer. Now no problem. I know everyone wants to make a price point but gee-whiz. A washer is all it took! Yes, the fixed 90 degree stop pin was drilled off. What a terrible design that it is not adjustable. Wrench to pull it out, hammer to put it back. Is this a 19th century design? They could have made the pin eccentric at least!

So, still vibrates more than I like, but not bad. Runout with the new chuck is only a couple thou. But play in the quill right at the head is about 10 thou. Too much for me. ( I do as much metal work as wood and it is enough to let a bit slip even out of a prick. ) Looking at a couple of Jets and a Palmgren. I would be tempted by the Delta if and only if it is a local store and I could keep returning them until I got a good one. I did notice, a jump in 17 inch drills from the roughly 1K ones we are used to to the more industrial with the same specs for 3 to 4K. I wish I knew what was so different for the price. I don't see they have split heads. What is different in the quill? Better balance on the sheaves? Another 100 Lbs in the base? Palmgren advertises half a thou runout, but what is the quill play?
 
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Oka

Casey
Corporate Member
I also do a fair amount of metal work and I have come to the conclusion that I probably be better served to get a mill. The drill press I want costs almost as some mills, so thinking maybe getting a bench top mill might be the way to go.
Now I live on an outer island I really do not access to the shop like I used to so having the ability to mill here would be useful as well for me.
 

tvrgeek

Scott
User
If I only had the room. A Smithy would be nice. If one popped up on Craig's, I might buy it. My other complaint I need to make a more permanent jig for is the flex. When drilling rough holes for a mortice, there is too much flex using a forsner bit. I need a simple jack support. Tools spec the OD of the column, but not the thickness. When there is over 100 Lbs between two similar machines, the weight is somewhere.
 

Oka

Casey
Corporate Member
The extra weight probably the column a heavier gauge, tge base having more metal and the top being slightly beefier.

Going from sch 10 (Typ) to 1/4 inch tube is approx 5-6lbs a ft.
 

tvrgeek

Scott
User
If only they would say so. When you have two tools with the same published specs, one $1000 the other $4000 they need to tell us the difference. It could be real. The expensive one could be worth it. But the ad writers don;t have a clue. Even Jet WEB can't tell the difference between a Reeves drive, gear box or variable speed motor. I had to look at the parts diagram to figure out what they were actually selling.
 

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