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Thread: Need Suggestions for a Drill Press

  1. #41
    Boolit Master Clark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    On an island in a lake in a rainforest of liberals
    I got my Jet made in Japan drill press used in the Boeing parking lot for $35 in 1979.

    I got a Rockwell floor model from a widow.

    I rebuilt my 21-100 Rockwell mill in 2009. I made a drawing of the spindle and calculated tolerance build up.

    I am currently of the opinion that one should not rebuild drill presses, but mills are worth the time.
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  2. #42
    Boolit Master Hannibal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    40 miles from nowhere and plum out in the sticks
    Bottom line is, trying to use a drill press for a milling machine is akin to showing up to a gun fight with a knife.

    Either buy the correct machine, or accept the fact that you can not do milling machine projects unless and until you can buy one.

    I'm in the same boat. So don't feel like the 'Lone Ranger'.

  3. #43
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    W.R.Buchanan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Ojai CA
    If you really want a small Milling machine look around for a Clausing. They are 1/2 HP machines and will take up to 1/2 diameter tooling. These are not heavy duty machines!!!!!!!!!!!!! They are meant for very small parts.

    You could make some small gun parts on one.

    If you go to a used machine dealer in your area (Google them) you will probably find one as they are really quite common.

    Other than that, the next step up the line is a Mill/Drill and then a Bridgeport which weighs 2200 lbs. and is much more of a commitment to own. Mill/Drills are available many places and only require a stand or bench to sit them on.

    Make sure it is easy to clean around the tool as all mills make big messes.

    "It's not how well you do what you know how to do,,,It's how well you do what you DON'T know how to do!"

  4. #44
    Boolit Master Clark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    On an island in a lake in a rainforest of liberals
    My brother has a Clausing 8520 since 2000.
    I gave his neighbor a Rockwell 21-100, after using it from 2003 to 2015.
    They are about the same, but the Rockwell takes R-8 tooling, while the Clausing takes #2 Morse taper tooling.
    I now have a Bridgeport that at 2000 pounds is more than twice as heavy as either.

  5. #45
    Boolit Master

    Shiloh's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Upper Midwest
    As stated milling isn't suggested. I have however seen some light milling done on a laminated wood stock that worked out great.
    The problem arises when the bearings are abused from the sideways stress and you get a wobble in the shaft.

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  6. #46
    What's just one more person among so many saying a bench drill isn't suitable for milling? Besides the limitations of the bearings and the chuck, a drill table often isn't rigid enough when the load isn't straight downwards. Even for demanding drilling on a ¾HP bench drill, I have found it worth having a few different lengths of two by four timber, with wedges, to support the table against vibration.

    A compound table can be very useful for drilling accurately located holes, and perhaps even for working wood with router bits. But you can spend a large part of the price of a mini or used mill on a table good enough for metal, and still find the drill letting it down. The cheap ones just add their own problems.

    I have a 350W mini-mill of a type which is probably sold under various names in the US. Nothing could be better for sights and mounts, trigger parts, breechplugs, reamers etc. Size permitting, it is even what I go to first for a drilling job. A professional gunsmith needs something be bigger, but for the hobbyist who wants only one machine, preferring that to a bench drill is worth considering.

    One other point about a bench drill is that if I was buying another, it wouldn't go on the bench. A pedestal model is easier to clean up around, and second best is a low stand which puts the workpiece close to eye level. I have a twelve-foot bench, and it still gets full up with three-foot jobs.

  7. #47
    Boolit Bub
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    What is your price range? Grizzly has several, affordable benchtop type milling machines that might suit your needs.

  8. #48
    Boolit Bub
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    I totally agree about not doing milling with a drill press. They are just not made for it, the bearings will not last and you will wish you had purchased the small mill.
    I have been using Grizzly for years, and another Chinese Mill Drill. They are fairly decent low budget mills, and if you take your time, realize your slop and take it for granted, keep your tooling sharp, and use a good vise, you can do quite a bit of work with them. They are not a Bridgeport...or other decent machine, by any means, but they can do a lot of lighter work if you watch your slop and don't go to fast or cut too much.
    For a hobby machine, they are not bad.
    If I could upgrade, I would search for something better, but with the little work I do anymore, it doesn't seem like a great investment now.

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