Looking for a Drill Press - How's this one?
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I'm slowly, and I mean s..l..o..w..l..y.. putting together stuff to complete all the amp boards I've bought


I started thinking about getting a drill press, since my hand drilling job on my first two mint cases didn't come out as clean as I would've preferred. The only problem is, I don't have much free space in my apartment. In fact, I really don't have any space for a drill press, as my roommate pointed out, but she just doesn't understand


So, what do you guys think about this one?
http://www.sears.com/sr/javasr/produ...id=00921499000

The 9" Craftsman is on sale for $88, and it comes with more stuff. However, this is smaller and almost half the price. I just don't know anything about this brand and how durable it is.

Are there any other ones I should look at?

Help me spend even more of my money
 
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bg4533

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I have a 10" Delta that I bought from Lowes for under $90. I looked at Sears, Home Depot and Lowes and liked this one the best. So far it is working well.

The ones at Sears seemed a little worse in terms of build quality. Also take a look at how the tray adjusts. My Delta has a crank I turn. The Craftsman tray just slides up and down the post.
 
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Jose Perez

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Companion is for the most part a chinese made "generic" brand that Sears sells to lure in customers. The build quality is adequate but lots of corners get cut on their tools. If you're looking for something to use on a rare occaision then they're OK but if this thing is going to get any kind of regular usage then I would step up to a better machine.

As BG4533 mentioned, a similar DP is available from Delta (a VERY reliable brand even in their lower end ShopMaster series of tools) is available for not too much more that what you've mentioned. I would also look at the Craftsman model you mentioned as well. They're made by Ryobi which makes decent inexpensive tools.

If you do decide to go with the Companion DP then the first thing i would do upon setting it up is to check it for runout, that is to say the degree of centricity between the motor, the arbor, and the chuck. All you have to do is take a pencil or some such thing and, as the arbor is spinning, move it towards arbor while holding it perpendicular to the arbor. Once it comes into contact with the arbor check to make sure that the pencil tip stays in contact with it. If it doesn't then return the DP and try again. Repeat this with the chuck installed and the same basic test method applies.

A SMALL amount of runout is acceptable, but these cheaper tools are notorius for having visibly noticable amounts of runout. The big problems you'll encounter if this isn't addressed is wobbling drill bits (which will wear them out and cause them to break sooner), non-circular holes (aka slop), and chatter in the motor which can cause not only a lot of noise but premature failure.
 
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Jose Perez

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Harbor Frieght makes surprisingly good quality tools for the money. But one way they shave $$ off their price is by keeping pretty lax QC standards, much like the Companion you mentioned earlier. But if you get a good one then expect to get some mileage out of it.

Same drill goes as before (pun intended
) Set it up and test it as soon as you get it home and return it IMMEDIATELY if there is something wrong. The HF store near me has a return policy that is a lot like the Capitol One commercials...they ALWAYS say no. I hate having to fight with them to honor their own warranties, but luckily I have only had to do it once out of three power tools purchased there (the dust collector I bought from them wasn't generating the air flow they claimed it should and it obviously had a bad motor).
 
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Thanks again for the feedback.

Thought I should follow up with some more info I found, in case anyone else decides to go down the same path (don't do it!!!
)

I found a review of the GMC press. Apparently, it's a Chinese made model, but supposedly of decent construction. The reviewer claimed to find a runout of "roughly .005" at the chuck". Seemed to think this was pretty good for the price. I consider it quite loose, but I'm used to dealing with machine shops that can handle parts with Profile callouts of .0005"


It does make me wonder what I should expect to see with a Delta or Craftsman/Ryobi.
 
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bg4533

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Nospam,
I would just buy a press based on features, size and return policy. If the runout is too much return it and try again. Most DIY stuff doesn't require extremely high precision. I have a feeling all of these brands have problems ocassionally. I would measure the runout on my Delta for you, but I doubt the measurements of my press are representative of the population for a fairly cheap tool.
 
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