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Discussion Starter #1
Good morning, I now need to decide on what kind/brand drill press to purchase for my build. I do a lot of woodworking around the house and the drill press will be used a lot after the 1919 build is over. There are so many to choose from. What kind do you guys use???
 

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+1 on the mill if your budget will bear it. At the minimum a square column mill/drill. Better yet a used Bridgeport or Bridgeport clone. Careful shopping will turn one up in the $3k to $5k range. Then take machinist classes at your local community college or on line if you are unsure how to maintain and operate one.

Chances are close to 100% that this 1919 will not be your last gun build (don't let your spouse see this thread :D ) and a good mill gives you so much more flexibility and precision than all but the most expensive of floor mount drill presses with aftermarket x/y axis vises.
 

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If your main work is woodwork a mill/drill might not be your best choice, but for anything metal related a mill would be much much better. I have an RF31 round tube mill/drill and it has served me very well in building needs. A square column will save you some re-setting or indexing the head if you move is up and down. Not a major issue, but some prefer to not be bothered with it.

Like they said - no matter what you think - this very well may not be your last build. Ask us how we all know that. :D
 

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I would agree that if it is in the budget the better way to go is with a mill. Before I purchased my mill a buddy of mine found a 1948 Buffalo drill press which we completely reconditioned including replacing all the bearings. The thing is 6 feet tall, made of cast iron and weighs at least 300 lbs and work's great. I haven't used it once since I bought my mill.
 

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Depends on how much $$ you want to spend. All I wanted was a tabletop drill press.

I got one on sale at HF with a 25% off coupon (search online for the 25%) and it came to $53 out the door. At that price if it breaks I throw it away.
 

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drill

My opinion, but HF electrical stuff is junk, go for Craftsman if you can or try local Craigs list for a used commercial model. I have a bench top Enco available but shipping will knock your lights out, get the best you can afford you won't be sorry.
 

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My opinion, but HF electrical stuff is junk, go for Craftsman if you can or try local Craigs list for a used commercial model. I have a bench top Enco available but shipping will knock your lights out, get the best you can afford you won't be sorry.
That's where I started. I found plenty of reliable, antique floor models, but I wanted a table top. There were also lots of table tops as well- but the Craftsman I found were pretty worn out. The others- Grizzley included- after a bunch of research I discovered the damned things are all the same as the HF! So I got a brand new HF branded drill press for less than people were asking on Craig's List for used!

Be careful about generic comments about HF. My HF grinder is a re-branded Makita for 1/3 the price. And, if you read in another thread on mini mills, the HF mill is the same as a number of other vendors. IIRC the other-brand on Amazon was $900 and the HF I could have bought for $400. So the smart buyer will figure out what at HF might be a good deal...might still be junk, but better to pay less for junk than pay more for something pretending not to be. But don't buy HF drill bits, never, ever.
 

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For what its worth. I started out with an Enco Mill Drill that worked very well for a build. It can be used for woodworking but not recommended because of wood chips interfering with the ways and oil. Check Craigslist for Mill Drills and you may be able to pick one up for $500 or less. New ones are about $1500 and up without DRO's. DRO's are real helpful when working with metal. The cost of a new Jet 20in Drill press is about $700 to $1000 depending where you buy it. Most Mill Drills and Drill Presses are made in China, maybe in the same factory.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Gents thank you for all of your recommendations. I've been looking for old Drill Press' and mils for a while now. I've wanted American made. Nothing close enough to warrant a purchase. I went with a 10" HF Drill Press, it might be fool hardy or it might work out great. I've done some wood work this weekend already and it has worked great. No run out, not too loud, and the pulleys run nice and smooth, no wobble. My plate should be here by the end of next week. That'll be the true test. Ive got nice drill bits on the way, I SHOLD be GTG. Stay tuned!
 

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Since it was mentioned, You can make your own DRO set cheaply and easily. Look up CDCO.com's website.
Look in their measuring drop down.
I haven't done mine yet, but it looks simple and fairly cheap. Some guys do it by affixing digital calipers to their machines. This place has them with the readouts facing all the right directions.
Did I mention they were cheap? Yeah, Chinese. Whaddya expect??:tongue:
 

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Since it was mentioned, You can make your own DRO set cheaply and easily. Look up CDCO.com's website.
Look in their measuring drop down.
I haven't done mine yet, but it looks simple and fairly cheap. Some guys do it by affixing digital calipers to their machines. This place has them with the readouts facing all the right directions.
Did I mention they were cheap? Yeah, Chinese. Whaddya expect??:tongue:
Use http://cdcotools.com/ if you're looking for CDCO.com.
 
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