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Looking for an accurate drill press

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nick61

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I once had a small modern cheap drill and found that simply replacing the chuck and drive belt were transformative. This was followed by a bigger capacity Meddings, undoubtedly very good, but I like to use taper shank drills so I now use a Denbigh which I got from a scrap merchant I know. What a joy to use; they certainly have the best belt changing system with sprung loading and heavy latch to the cover and a lever in an angled slot that releases and then takes up the tension. The table also has T slots which are much easier to use for holding down than nuts and bolts through table slots with rough cast undersides.
One word of caution; industrial strength drill presses are not light.
 

bjm

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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.
Thanks for the picture - it makes it so much easier to get a handle on the problem :) (sorry for the pun)

That is definitely best achieved with a small lathe (the type used for pen turning) fitted with a chuck. As Trevanion mentioned in the first reply it is self-centring and any play can be dealt with by using a smaller drill bit. Have a look for secondhand lathes.

The problem with trying to do this on a drill press is locating the dowel exactly central with the drill bit - hence the engineering comment. You could use a brad-point bit but there is still room for error.

I would add that if you are only trying to achieve this a few times then buying a lathe would be a bit extravagant. In that case I would go down the brad-point route and some sort of alignment jig on the drill press. Just accept a high failure rate to get the number you need - dowel is cheaper than buying a lathe!
 

Daniel.l

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I bought a Pacini drill press last year has worked great so far I can't vouch for the accuracy because I haven't done anything that requires that amount but it was reasonably priced. I got the 750w version
 

Cheshirechappie

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If only a few are needed, taking some time to make a simple jig to hold the dowel and a guide bush for the appropriate drill in alignment would do the job. It need not be anything fancy, and the drill could well be driven by hand or by battery drill.

Even something as simple as two pieces with neat 90 degree vee-notches screwed together such that the dowel can rest in one vee and be held by finger pressure whilst the drill rests in the other vee to spot the centre and run the hole would suffice for a couple of dozen or so workpieces.

For a larger production run, I agree with BJM that a small lathe would be the tool for the job. They are stiffer than all but the most rigid drill presses, and it's pretty easy to chuck the job, catch the drill in a tailstock chuck, and get a central hole within woodworking limits time after time.
 

evildrome

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Consider auctions. That's your best bet for a good price on an industrial drill.

I bought three Fobco 7/8's at an auction for between £180 & £220.

I kept one for myself and sold the other two for £600 each.

So I got a free drill + £600 for a days work.


1600935642355.png
 

toolsntat

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You could use a flat bit the size of your dowel to drill into a fixed/located block of wood. This would position and keep the dowel still, directly under the required drill.
Extra depth hole would allow you to probably do doubles with a longer drill or turning over.
This is unless the drill is truly knackered....
Cheers Andy
 

cammy9r

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You could use a flat bit the size of your dowel to drill into a fixed/located block of wood. This would position and keep the dowel still, directly under the required drill.
Extra depth hole would allow you to probably do doubles with a longer drill or turning over.
This is unless the drill is truly knackered....
Cheers Andy
I was about to suggest this. Also the warco 2b12 I got last week was able to do what the OP is looking to do, 4mm hole through 45mm. If it is out then it is barely 0.5mm, in fact small enough to need a micrometer. Anyway the drill was only £310 and seems not bad, however the warco 3 in 1 formit shear/brake/sliproll I got this morning is utter garbage and better be going back.
 

pcb1962

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Evildrome, the main question now is, where are those auctions ?
BPI has frequent machinery auctions, unfortunately they tend to be way too far north for me.
If anyone knows of anything similar in the south I'd like to hear.
 

RyanSmith

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You could use a flat bit the size of your dowel to drill into a fixed/located block of wood. This would position and keep the dowel still, directly under the required drill.
Extra depth hole would allow you to probably do doubles with a longer drill or turning over.
This is unless the drill is truly knackered....
Cheers Andy
This is actually what I've done already. I can't say it was my idea but did have a search on the net a while back and someone else mentioned it. It's been perfect for holding the dowel in place.
 

RyanSmith

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Thanks for all of your help guys. I hadn't even considered a lathe so this adds even more into the mix! Lots to think about and mull over. In answer to asking how many I was making, I usually make between 50- 100 a week so it's a fair amount and at the moment it's just the time it takes rather than the cost of the dowel as it is so cheap.
 

TheBeeBoyKid

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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.
I was searching for a old bench top drill press recently and people seem to have caught on that the old machines really hold their value. I was searching for months and didn’t see a fobco or meddings for less than about £550 in good condition.
 

bjm

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... I usually make between 50- 100 a week so it's a fair amount and at the moment it's just the time it takes rather than the cost of the dowel as it is so cheap.
Why not farm that out to someone who has a lathe?
 

evildrome

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Evildrome, the main question now is, where are those auctions ?

Ollie

Auctioneers are everywhere.


Google "auctioneers <my area>" substitute, <my area> with err... your area.

E.g. "Auctioneers Middlesborough"

Bang! Here we go:




£425 for a Myford? Someone got a bargain.


What you're looking for are general auctioneers selling anything... some of them just do furniture or art.

So NOT this: Home | Thomas Watson Auctioneers

And avoid anything with the word "Property" in it. The word "Gallery" isn't usually what you want either.
 

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