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Looking for an accurate drill press

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RyanSmith

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Hey everyone. So I'm a complete novice when it comes to a drill press and have a reallly cheap and nasty one that I've been getting by with for now. I've noticed that there is slight lateral movement in the drill so I'm unable to reproduce completely centred holes going through a pine dowel (end to end, 3cm in length).

I'm looking for a reasonably priced drill press which can give me the results I need. How can I tell which are the ones to avoid and which ones to look into as, for obvious reasons, there's no mention of any kind of lateral slippage on any reviews out there.

Any suggestions or recommendations that you could make would be really appreciated.
 
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Ollie78

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I suggest strongly that you get something second hand and designed to be heavy duty.
We got an old multico off ebay for less than £100, to get a new one as nice would probably cost £700. My Dad also found a huge industial bench top model for very cheap, there is zero detectable runout or vibration.
These machine were designed to work hard in proper factory environments, should last forever and can be refurbished quite easily.

Ollie
 

RyanSmith

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Mark centre point on dowel, put dowel in drill chuck, put drill bit perpendicular in drill vice, run spinning dowel into stationary drill bit, perfect centred hole.
I tried this but as it's only a very small hobbyist drill press it doesn't accept the width of the dowel in the chuck unfortunately.
 

RyanSmith

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I suggest strongly that you get something second hand and designed to be heavy duty.
We got an old multico off ebay for less than £100, to get a new one as nice would probably cost £700. My Dad also found a huge industial bench top model for very cheap, there is zero detectable runout or vibration.
These machine were designed to work hard in proper factory environments, should last forever and can be refurbished quite easily.

Ollie
I wouldn't even know where to start with older, more reliable and truer presses. As I'm new to the world of tools in general I don't recognise good brands from bad brands etc. Any suggestions?
 

AJB Temple

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For old ones: Fobco Star, Meddings, Multico. Single phase. There are lots about but they can look dauntingly rough. Usually that is cosmetic but some have been abused. Unfortunately the modern ones at the low end of the price scale are pretty much all Chinese and branded variously. Typically they do not run true. To get that in a modern drill press, think £700 upwards. For an old one that will be much better than the £700 new one, if you buy carefully or take someone with you who knows what they are doing, maybe £300. Will last you a lifetime.
 

RyanSmith

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For old ones: Fobco Star, Meddings, Multico. Single phase. There are lots about but they can look dauntingly rough. Usually that is cosmetic but some have been abused. Unfortunately the modern ones at the low end of the price scale are pretty much all Chinese and branded variously. Typically they do not run true. To get that in a modern drill press, think £700 upwards. For an old one that will be much better than the £700 new one, if you buy carefully or take someone with you who knows what they are doing, maybe £300. Will last you a lifetime.
Thank you, my budget is around the £250 - £300 mark so this fits in well. I'll have a look around and see what I can find. Thanks for all the help.
 

sunnybob

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I dont normally say this, but if youre after that kind of accuracy, an old (20 year plus) used machine is what you should be looking for. Youre unlikely to find it from a brand new drill press that could be called a "reasonable price"
Quality control is what costs the money, and theres very little quality control on small modern machines.
I paid over 200 for my new modest drill press, it arrived completely unusable. I had to drill and tap holes just to assemble it. I still cant get the drill vertical in both planes.
 

Bm101

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Paid £130 for my Meddings. Probably £300 all told to restore, paint and all that. Equivalent modern drill would be an industrial standard drill that would cost me in excess of £1000. More like £2k. You have to invest time and effort and be willing to learn as a newbie. People will help. You can do it. It's possible. No doubts there. You takea gamble with one being abused but heres a trick. Take your time. Buy local. Go and see it. Before parting with cash, extend the quill. Try and wiggle it. If there is little/no movement you probably have a good drill.
 

bjm

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....... so I'm unable to reproduce completely centred holes going through a pine dowel (end to end, 3cm in length).
Can I ask what it is you are trying to achieve? Is the dowel the main component you are trying to machine or are you trying to drill a hole in the dowel of a larger component? This could require engineering-level positioning!

If it's just the dowel (?) an inexpensive small lathe (with chuck) would solve your problem?
 

Ollie78

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This is very similar to the one my dad got.

Also this looks good.

Also if you like awesome old drills check this out.
I always find myself watching stuff like this when i should be working !
 

RyanSmith

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Can I ask what it is you are trying to achieve? Is the dowel the main component you are trying to machine or are you trying to drill a hole in the dowel of a larger component? This could require engineering-level positioning!

If it's just the dowel (?) an inexpensive small lathe (with chuck) would solve your problem?
So the aim is to put an insert nut into the dead centre of the dowel so that I can then screw in an M4 furniture screw. The dowel will then sit inside a copper end feed pipe to create some small copper pulls for drawers and cupboards. It needs to be pretty accurate and it's only by sheer luck that I've managed to do it a few times before.
 

pcb1962

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Phil Pascoe

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Here's an image of the finished product. The dowel is obviously inside the copper ends with the screw insert facing up and the screw sticking out. Hard to explain but easier to see with the picture.
You could fill the copper with two part woodfiller filler and push a length of threaded rod into it, putting a domed nut on the inside of the drawer. A bit simpler.
 

Daniel2

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You could fill the copper with two part woodfiller filler and push a length of threaded rod into it, putting a domed nut on the inside of the drawer. A bit simpler.

Or buy some solid copper bar. Then drill & tap it.
 
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