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Which bench pillar drill should I buy?

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henton49er

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I am looking for a bench mounted pillar drill to make up to 40mm diameter holes with forstner bits into turned hardwoods, to a depth of up to 50mm. I do not have the space for a floor monunted pillar drill and have therefore been researching bench mounted ones. There are any number of drills weighing around 15 to 20kg which I think are too light weight for what I want to do and have therefore been looking at the "next size up", machines weighing in at around 35 to 40kg. Theses are also about 850mm high compared to 550mm for the lighter drills.

I keep coming back to the Axminster WD16SB; this weighs 37kg, has a rack and pinion for the table, a MT2 taper (matches my lathe so all my existing drills should fit) and is priced at £126+.

Is this a good buy, or can I do better for my money? Any advice gratefully received.

Mike.
 

hamburglar

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I'd go for a second hand Fobco, Meddings or Startrite if you can. Very well made. Can be found on ebay or second hand dealers web sites.

Hamburglar
 

woodstainwilly

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About a year ago I was looking for a bench top drill and most in my experience
were not up to doing a good days work. Flimsy depth stops,table adjustments
that had to be pushed by hand and single belt drive which limits the speeds.
I settled for a Fox drill it is doing a good job for me. It is a robust machine with
geared table adjustment and a very positive depth stop.
Willy.
 

henton49er

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Thanks to all for your advice.

Hamburglar - I keep looking at second hand Fobco's etc on eBay; it is usually the distance from my home in mid-Wales that stops me getting one. If one were to come up within an hour's drive I would definitely be in for it!!

Woodstainwilly - are Fox drills any better than, say, Axminster, Sealey etc which all seem to be chinese imports?

Chunkolini - an excellent looking drill, but out of my price range unfortunately!! I only have about £100 to spend.

Diarmaid - comments re Fobco's as per my comment to Hamburglar.

The search continues .... but with added advice.

Mike.
 

beech1948

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Meddings owner here.

When I was looking I found that modern drill press had a very restricted depth of drilling. That is the quill would only move down by about 50mm. Not enough at all. After looking around today I would consider one of two options:-

1) An older Meddings,Startrite or Fobco. I don't see your location as an issue. If you want one you just have to suck it up and drive to get it. So mid Wales means that maybe Birmingham is within reach, Worcester, etc etc.

2) Axminster produce some half way good engineering drills with an 80 mm quill movement. They are a bit more expensive that the usual stuff but you get what you pay for.

After I bought my Meddings drill press I found a need for a DP with at least 20 inches between the drill bit and the column. I bought an even older Progress floor standing DP. Its an absolute beast.

Don't forget as well that a 40mm hole will take some effort to drill. Most of the cheaper DPs would not be able to do this reliably and go into the wood for 50mm. Thats a big hole.

Al
 

henton49er

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beech1948":3shq9oxb said:
Meddings owner here.

When I was looking I found that modern drill press had a very restricted depth of drilling. That is the quill would only move down by about 50mm. Not enough at all. After looking around today I would consider one of two options:-

1) An older Meddings,Startrite or Fobco. I don't see your location as an issue. If you want one you just have to suck it up and drive to get it. So mid Wales means that maybe Birmingham is within reach, Worcester, etc etc.

.............

Don't forget as well that a 40mm hole will take some effort to drill. Most of the cheaper DPs would not be able to do this reliably and go into the wood for 50mm. Thats a big hole.
Al, thanks for your input.

I agree that Birmingham (particularly Wolverhampton side) and Worcester are within range as is south Manchester, but I do have to factor cost of getting to and from in the drill price, I'm afraid.

I was hoping that the bench drills weighing around 40kg (as the Axminster one I referred to in my original post) would be able to do the job that I am looking for. Are you suggesting that it would not be strong enough?

Mike.
 

beech1948

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I do not know if it's "strong enough" or not. I would want to know that it would drill a 40mm hole 50 mm deep in hardwood within it's spec. The hole you originally mentioned is quite a bit larger than normal and I would want to be sure.

I notice that the Axi 16B2 has a more powerful motor and 80 mm of travel of the quill. Of course its more expensive but you get what you pay for.

Looking at the drill press you mention and the price points as a guessing guide then I would want to know what I was getting for the extra money. The issue is that manufacturers make down to a price these days but market up to a superb performance level.

Al
 

henton49er

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Al,

I think that your signature line "The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten" is very apt in the circumstances. The Axi 16B2 looks a good machine, but is well outside my budget at present. So I will have to chose between spending £100 or so less on a smaller machine or saving my pennies and doing without until I can afford something better. I live in hopes that a good second hand machine may become available within reasonable distance from my home at a price I can afford!!

Mike.
 

beech1948

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Well you could try replacing cash equity with sweat/travel equity. I just had a look on ebay and found the following:-

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Drill-pre...werTools_SM&hash=item3cbe2bee17#ht_500wt_1178

[http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Meddings...werTools_SM&hash=item4ab0a92b8f#ht_1502wt_925 Worcester as well

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Fobco-Sta...lway_Models&hash=item3cbe265045#ht_500wt_1178 Though there would be a courier charge with it.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Startrite...werTools_SM&hash=item2a1596d70f#ht_500wt_1178

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/PILLAR-DR...werTools_SM&hash=item3cbe62f448#ht_500wt_1178 Pacera was a good solid make with lots of cast iron. This will need sweat equity to get rid of the rust ( electrolysis) dismantle and replace bearings and clean but would give a good drill press after.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/PILLAR-DR...werTools_SM&hash=item3cbe62f448#ht_500wt_1178

I haver stopped there as its now upto you. I bought my Meddings drill for £45 from a guy 60 miles away so if you wait and are patient you may be lucky. Take care

Alan
 

beech1948

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By the way I am not trying to prevent you getting on with your project...lord forbid. Obviously if you can prove to yourself that a lesser drill will do the job you should go for it. Maybe ask people around you for what they do.

Also you might be able to do the job another way. eg Could you build a jig in which you could use a router and a 2 inch long straight bit. so a template with a 40mm hole plus 1/2 of the diameter of the bearing at the top of the router cutter. OR maybe use a hand held carpenters brace with a 40 mm bit ( if you can find one) OR maybe use a drill stand screwed to the bench and a corded drill in it.

Al
 

henton49er

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Al,
Thanks for the list from eBay. I am, in fact already watching a number of these. Fingers crossed that they remain within my price bracket!!
For some of the holes, I am wondering whether I can use a 40mm forstner bit in the jacobs chuck on my lathe. It manages 35mm holes but I must try a 40mm and see if it can cope. Limits the position of the holes, but maybe a short term solution. Also, as this is a hobby project, I do not mind if I have to take it slowly!!
Mike
 

diarmaid

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henton49er":2xz7iji4 said:
Thanks to all for your advice.

Hamburglar - I keep looking at second hand Fobco's etc on eBay; it is usually the distance from my home in mid-Wales that stops me getting one. If one were to come up within an hour's drive I would definitely be in for it!!
I only have about £100 to spend.

Diarmaid - comments re Fobco's as per my comment to Hamburglar.


Mike.
Mike, good luck with the search, check craigslist and gumtree, local papers, loot also, sometimes, where you live can be an advantage, as other people are too far away to collect, and as a result, are reluctant to bid. Check also generic terms like pillar drill variations like bench drill, or misspelled variations like piller drill pillor drill, pedestol etc...amazing what can go under the radar!

Meddings and Startrite are also brillint quality as is union etc. (as well as many other uk/european brands ive not yet heaard of).

hope you get something good, and if neccessary wait an extra month or 2, something really good quality is well worth the wait!

All the best,
Diarmaid
 
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