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Drill Press issues

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I have a ~20 year old drill press that I bought from Wickes, looks a bit like this, so cheap and cheerful.

The problem I have with it is that the further you drop the handle to drill, the more play it has. When you have it at full depth, you can move the spindle with your hand by a good few mm.

The first question is can I fix this? or is it just built in slop on account of it being cheap?
The second question is, if I was to replace it with something new, would I be able to get something with better tolerances? with the caveat that it needs to be a similar size, i.e a small bench mounted drill. I don't mind spending £200-300, or even more if need be. But it needs to be small as I use a wheelchair, and need to have it mounted to a bench I can sit under.

In the past, I have considered something like the Bosch PBD 40, but am always put off by the reviews.
 

Richard_C

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Many drill presses, even cheap ones, have an adjustment for quill play (the quill being the hollow shaft that moves up and down but shouldn't move side to side by much).

Have a web search for adjust quill play: on my very very (very very etc.) cheap screwfix one, the adjuster was an unlabelled and undistinguished bolt on the side and there was nothing in the instructions. You might be lucky.
 
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Many drill presses, even cheap ones, have an adjustment for quill play (the quill being the hollow shaft that moves up and down but shouldn't move side to side by much).

Have a web search for adjust quill play: on my very very (very very etc.) cheap screwfix one, the adjuster was an unlabelled and undistinguished bolt on the side and there was nothing in the instructions. You might be lucky.
Yes, it does have a grub screw on the side with seems to tighten up the spindle, but I can't get it to a point when it helps for the whole of the travel. If I fix it for the end of the travel, it gets jammed at the start of the travel.
 

Lard

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i had the same issue years ago......I referenced a YT vid, I used to solve my problem, in a posting previously....see my #14 post within link below

 

Cordy

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I bought the Bosch PBD 40 last year.
This replaced a very good Sealey bench-top d/press which had got too heavy for me to keep lifting on and off the workbench

For woodworking the Bosch is excellent !
It needs to be bolted down -- I fitted INSERT THREADS which are quick and easy
I styled my drill press table on THIS

If given the choice now; Sealey or PBD 40, I would go for the Bosch
 

powertools

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I have a ~20 year old drill press that I bought from Wickes, looks a bit like this, so cheap and cheerful.

The problem I have with it is that the further you drop the handle to drill, the more play it has. When you have it at full depth, you can move the spindle with your hand by a good few mm.

The first question is can I fix this? or is it just built in slop on account of it being cheap?
The second question is, if I was to replace it with something new, would I be able to get something with better tolerances? with the caveat that it needs to be a similar size, i.e a small bench mounted drill. I don't mind spending £200-300, or even more if need be. But it needs to be small as I use a wheelchair, and need to have it mounted to a bench I can sit under.

In the past, I have considered something like the Bosch PBD 40, but am always put off by the reviews.

My advice is very different to the others.
If this is just for woodworking then I think that the Bosch would be the way to go.
You say you are a wheelchair user so one big advantage is that the quite large table sits on the bench and the second advantage is that to change speed you don't have to mess about with belts.
I got the Parkside version of this drill and there is a small amount of play in the chuck but with brad point bits this is not an issue for me the fact that the table sits on the bench made it to low for me so I made a table for it to sit on but for you that could be a big advantage.

PXL_20210517_152540543-1.jpg
 

mr rusty

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+1 for the pbd 40. I looked for ages at pillar drills, and in the end I decided I didn't like the idea of cheaper "traditional" pillar drillswith clunky speed change. The PBD wouldn't cut it for precision engineering in metal (although it's perfectly capable for most jobs), but for wood the easy speed adjustment and laser crosshairs, plus an easy hold down (I also have a vice clamp) sold it. When I got mine, the crosshairs were a small smidgen off, but you can easily take the wheel and side cover off. The 2 lasers have clamp allen screws, so easy to tweak. Had it a while now and don't regret the decision.
 

Fergie 307

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Yes, it does have a grub screw on the side with seems to tighten up the spindle, but I can't get it to a point when it helps for the whole of the travel. If I fix it for the end of the travel, it gets jammed at the start of the travel.
Unfortunately all the adjustment does is push the key further into the keyway in the quill. this is common in many small drills. It gives the illusion of tightening the clearance, but all it actually does is push the quill over. There are very few cheap machines with any genuine adjustment of the quill to bore clearance. I would agree with those who have said look for an old quality machine. You would have to pay a small fortune for anything new that's anything like as well made.
 

Daniel2

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Unfortunately all the adjustment does is push the key further into the keyway in the quill. this is common in many small drills. It gives the illusion of tightening the clearance, but all it actually does is push the quill over.
My thoughts exactly.
And possibly pushing the quill out of perpendicular.
 
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Cheers guys, I think I am going to try the fix Lard suggested, by tapping into the cast iron and using nylon grub screws to take out the play. It's worth a try before exploring other products.
 

Gordon Tarling

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Rather than using nylon grub screws to bear on the quill, I'd suggest giving ball-ended grubscrews a try instead. The ball in the end is spring loaded, so the ball will be able to rotate with quill travel and thus probably less likely to wear than the end of a nylon screw. Linky I'd suggest either M6 or M8 for your application.
 

powertools

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Cheers guys, I think I am going to try the fix Lard suggested, by tapping into the cast iron and using nylon grub screws to take out the play. It's worth a try before exploring other products.

If you intend to keep the drill you have your best bet is to buy some good quality brad point drill bits and that will solve most of the problems.
 
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Rather than using nylon grub screws to bear on the quill, I'd suggest giving ball-ended grubscrews a try instead. The ball in the end is spring loaded, so the ball will be able to rotate with quill travel and thus probably less likely to wear than the end of a nylon screw. Linky I'd suggest either M6 or M8 for your application.
Cheers


If you intend to keep the drill you have your best bet is to buy some good quality brad point drill bits and that will solve most of the problems.
If I am trying to make a perpendicular hole and the spindle has play towards the end of the cut, isn't even a brad point drill going to wander off 90?
 

Lard

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I’ve been reading all the comments and can confirm that, after several years, my original nylon bolt (6mm number plate bolt) is still there and still doing the job. I can understand the suggestion that all I’ve done is push the quill over BUT if I have it’s not apparent at all and has definitely sorted out the problem. It’s not that I’ve screwed and screwed it in as far as possible as that would definitely unalign everything. You did say, like me, that it was only a cheap drill and so you’ve nothing to lose by trying. I didn’t hold out much hope of ever improving it but was very surprised with the result. It’s made a relatively unusable machine very usable and, speaking from my own experience, accurate.
Due to the success of my plastic bolt I didn’t have to think further ahead (eg a ball-ended grubscrew) although I did assume that it would wear down eventually and so my intention was to simply replace it with another.....which, as I say, I haven’t had to do......perhaps I don’t use it enough for this to happen?
😁👍
 

powertools

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Cheers




If I am trying to make a perpendicular hole and the spindle has play towards the end of the cut, isn't even a brad point drill going to wander off 90?

Sorry I have only just seen your question.
Others will tell you that you need to buy an industrial quality drill to eliminate the problem and that for sure is one way but for woodwork you can in my opinion overcome the problem by using a brad point bit that in truth in my opinion is the best type of drill to use in all woodworking regardless of the drill in use.
Start the hole with the table as near to the bit as you can to the position you want the hole, start the hole and as you drill the hole will support the drill bit and the point will also help to keep the bit in line.
If you want to modify your drill with grub screws then there is no reason not to do it but I would still suggest you buy at least 1 brad point bit and give it a try.
 
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