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Old 29th Jun 2020, 3:30 pm   #1
Martin Bush
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Default Drill press advice

Hi all

Hopefully this is allowed. Not vintage tech, but a piece of kit for working on it.

I am looking for advice on drill press stands - the type that allows you to use your existing drill.

It would be used infrequently, but even so I know that a duff one would be as bad as none at all. I once had a car foot pump that buckled on its first use... I don't want something like that to happen.

I see there's stands on ebay for around the 20 mark. Does anyone have any experience of these or similar?

Martin
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Old 29th Jun 2020, 3:43 pm   #2
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Default Re: Drill press advice

Mine is an elderly Stanley Bridges now on it's second drill. It is basically a sloppy design but not too bad if you hold a side pressure on the operating lever to take up the slop. Other designs might be better.
I recently bought a Lidl table top pillar drill for I think around the 50 mark. Way, way better than the drill adapter. One of those "why didn't I get one of these years ago" purchases.
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Old 29th Jun 2020, 3:48 pm   #3
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Default Re: Drill press advice

They used to be rather common in the US.
Since the Chinese imports become available, they lost favor. The Chinese ones are complete drill presses, with five variable speeds and a larger chuck.
They're cheap and cheerful and work well enough, although a bit more money, but worth considering.
Dave, USradcoll1.
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Old 29th Jun 2020, 4:05 pm   #4
Martin Bush
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Default Re: Drill press advice

Cheers chaps.

I will look at the full drill presses. That would take us to three drills - is that too many or can you never have too many drills?
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Old 29th Jun 2020, 5:40 pm   #5
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Default Re: Drill press advice

It is possible to have too many drills, but quite hard. I only have too many because recently my Dad asked me to clear his shed as he was moving house, and I gained another three (or maybe four) B&D mains drills. Oh and of course I replaced my 14.4 NiCd based cordless with 18v Lion ones and haven't sold the 14.4v ones yet either. All told I reckon over 20 right now! That IS too many.

I do have a small pillar drill, bought when the cheaper ones started to appear in places like Wickes, best part of 30 years ago. Sometimes I regret not using it for a particular job as they are great for being sure the hole you drill is perpendicular to the surface. Often it doesn't matter that it's spot on, but sometimes it does. I did have a stand for using a drill with the 'modern' collar, but for stability the dedicated pillar is leagues ahead.
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Old 29th Jun 2020, 5:43 pm   #6
brian_mk
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Default Re: Drill press advice

I would also advise you to go for a dedicated drill press.
It doesn't need to be a big expensive floor standing model unless you plan a lot of engineering/fabrication work.
I bought mine a long time ago and could not live without it.
It is one of the most useful tools I own.
It was quite cheap, made in China, but still better made and more useful than a drill stand.
It has three speeds. The bearings sound a bit rumbly but it still works ok.
It can drill holes <1mm for PCBs all the way up to 1/2".
You will probably also need a drill vice - another very useful item.
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Old 29th Jun 2020, 5:45 pm   #7
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Default Re: Drill press advice

I've lost count of how many drills.

Don't worry about number.

A pistol type hand drill has the bearings not much separated, so with longer drills, there is a bit of wander. Bench drills separate the bearings, which is good, but have a sliding quill shaft which puts a bit of slop back in, but generally they are better. The descent mechanism of the electric drill adaptor is usually a lever pushing and sliding on something and the end result is unsmooth and you don't ge much feel. A pillar drill has a rack and pinion descent mechanism and much more rotation per inch. You get a lot more control and feel.

Once you've used even a cheapie bench drill, you won't want to go back. Instead you'l be keeping an eye open for an old industrial grade one to refurb. Mine's a floor standing pillar job with gears giving 10 speeds. Smooth and capable aren't the words for it.

David
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Old 29th Jun 2020, 9:44 pm   #8
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Default Re: Drill press advice

One day I went into Aldi for a loaf and bottle of milk and came out with a small Pillar Drill!

It came with a vice and was about 60 and though it doesn't get that much use it has paid me back already.

Machine Mart also seem to stock a similar model for a similar price.

(I'm sure I've seen them in stock at Aldi recently - might be worth checking the website.)
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Old 29th Jun 2020, 10:27 pm   #9
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Default Re: Drill press advice

I bought a 2nd hand Sealey drill press for not much but you need to be careful as the smaller cheap chinese ones wreck fairly easily.
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Old 30th Jun 2020, 1:40 am   #10
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Default Re: Drill press advice

I have got a much more substantial drill stand in cast iron.
It has been under a bench since I came home from Aldi with a few food items and a real drill press with a vice.
If anyone wants to re home it I will put it up in the items for sale section.
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Old 30th Jun 2020, 2:07 pm   #11
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Default Re: Drill press advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin Bush View Post
Cheers chaps.

I will look at the full drill presses. That would take us to three drills - is that too many or can you never have too many drills?
1)You can NEVER have too many drills 2) Pity you are not over here in NZ as I was looking at an old but good B & D drill in a chinese drill stand a few days back and wondering if I want to toss it - but it's a bit far to come and collect.
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Old 30th Jun 2020, 5:20 pm   #12
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Default Re: Drill press advice

I have a Stanley 2 speed (gearbox) drill and it's stand that I have not used for years. I used to use it with a thyristor speed controller.
All in good working order - yours if you want? I'm in Essex
PM me if interested (free!)

Alan
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Old 30th Jun 2020, 7:10 pm   #13
Lloyd 1985
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Default Re: Drill press advice

I bought myself a proper drill press last year, it wasn’t expensive, only 25! It was a well used one with a bit of surface rust and quite dirty, but it cleaned up lovely. I also looked at the ones to put a normal hand drill into, but it would have been more expensive in the end than the used drill press! I don’t know how I managed without it, and I can think of so many jobs that I struggled with in the past which would have been made so easy if I’d had the thing before.

There are some drawbacks, it’s only speed control is by moving the belt on the pulleys, and it’s slowest speed is still pretty fast, it’s also quite large and it’s mains powered. I did see one in an antiques shop that had a large handle crank to power it!!

Regards
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Old 2nd Jul 2020, 1:02 am   #14
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Default Re: Drill press advice

There's this one at screwfix for 49.99
https://www.screwfix.com/p/energer-e...230-240v/1009j
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Old 2nd Jul 2020, 2:09 am   #15
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Default Re: Drill press advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by whiskas View Post
There's this one at screwfix for 49.99
https://www.screwfix.com/p/energer-e...230-240v/1009j
I bought one of those. Took the motor off and gave it away, chucked the chuck away too. Removed lots of parts, turned up a plastic holder to take a small Weller soldering iron with a specially turned bit and the cable going up the hollow quill shaft and turned it into a manually operated heat-staking machine.

The cost of the little bench drill was cheaper than making the press parts and the base and it gave me a heck of a flying start.

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Old 2nd Jul 2020, 2:52 am   #16
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Default Re: Drill press advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by whiskas View Post
There's this one at screwfix for 49.99
https://www.screwfix.com/p/energer-e...230-240v/1009j
I seen the picture of the pillar drill available at Screwfix. It's basically the same as the one I have. The only difference is, as it doesn't have the plastic chuck guard.
On my first entry, I failed to mention that the speeds are changed by moving the belt on the pulley. It's good value for the money.
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Old 2nd Jul 2020, 3:01 am   #17
Bazz4CQJ
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Default Re: Drill press advice

Regarding the 50 Screwfix drill, their website says "90 of 114(79%) reviewers would recommend this product".

Of course this raises at least two questions,

(i) how much faith do we want to put in the feedback which numerous suppliers, as well as Screwfix, put on their websites?
(ii) how good or bad is a 50 pillar drill?

Looking on an auction site, I see that it is possible to spend ~5k on a pillar drill, though for something like 1k, you could probably pick up a nice refurbished "good British" drill. However, I suspect that if we ran a poll of the membership, less than 10% would own a pillar drill that cost anything like 1k.

My own Far-Eastern pillar drill cost appreciably more than 50, and I have to say that I wish I'd bought something better, but it's been in use for ~15 years, and I cope with its imperfections. I recall the definition of the word "Quality" which I learned in my first job - "Adequacy for purpose". I suspect that many of the people who buy the 50 drill think it's "OK", a bit agricultural, but "adequatish", especially if you still have a big mortgage to pay off.

B
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Old 2nd Jul 2020, 8:31 am   #18
duncanlowe
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Default Re: Drill press advice

The Screwfix one, is unsurprisingly sold under many names and in many colours. Mine is green with red plastic on the chuck guard. I bought over 20 years ago and the design doesn't seem to have changed. It's still in use (though not frequent) and does the job I need it for. Likewise the identical one I bought when I was equipping a lab at work, 17 years ago, does what is needed of it. If anything bigger or better is needed the workshop next door is asked to do it.
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Old 2nd Jul 2020, 8:46 am   #19
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Default Re: Drill press advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin Bush View Post
I see there's stands on ebay for around the 20 mark. Does anyone have any experience of these or similar?

Martin
Around 50 years ago I bought a Black and Decker stand which I still use from time to time. Presumably whatever stand you buy it will need to fit whatever drill you have. The main problem with it is that the drill can move slightly sideways. Sideways pressure helps to keep it stable but especially with larger bits the force is too large to be able to stop the drill wiggling and you end up with weird-shaped holes. It seems to be OK with small bits if you centre punch the hole first. Not really the thing for precision engineering though.

Pillar drills are much better if you want to spend the extra money.
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Old 2nd Jul 2020, 9:13 am   #20
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Default Re: Drill press advice

A number of years ago I went through this process too. I went out looking for a stand to fit my existing electric drill, but discovered it was much cheaper to buy a complete pillar drill. Mine came from B&Q, I think, but looks identical to the Screwfix one. I have to say I'm much happier with it than I would have been with a drill stand. It's always there, ready for use, and makes drilling safer and more accurate. The guard is useless but I just move it out of the way and wear safety goggles when appropriate. Changing speeds is a bit of a nuisance, moving the belt and retensioning the motor, but for undemanding work I just leave it on the middle speed.

Having a drill press, however cheap, has saved me countless hours over the years. Recommended.

Chris
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