I don't really know what hp is required to do what, but I probably would be drilling annealed steel about 1/4 inch thick at most, maybe brass or nickel that was thicker. I know a lot of drill presses are 1/2 hp, twice that, or even more, but would 1/4 hp be enough? Even if it would do the job, I don't want something that would burn up in a few months. Thanks.
Hmm ... my first thought it to look at the chuck capacity, and the speed range. I see a 1/2" chuck, and a minimum speed of 700 RPM, which calculates out to 91.6 SFM.
Free machining steels with HSS drill bits are suggested at
100-150 SFM, so you are fine there.
1040 steel, however, is suggested to use 75 SFM, so you would have to make a smaller size your maximum drill bit for that material.
Aluminum alloys suggest between 350 and 500 SFM, depending on the alloy, so you are fine there.
Free-cutting brass is about 160 SFM
I don't find pure nickel, but nickel-silver is 60-65 SFM, so that won't work at full chuck capacity.
And the 1/4 HP would do a lot better on this with pulley steps to allow a slower minimum speed.
We are sort of overwhelmed by the lack of detail in the web page, but what I would check on first are things like:
1) The throat -- how close the drill chuck is to the column, limiting where you can place holes in larger sheets of metal.
2) How much distance you can get between the chuck and the table. My guess is that with a standard jobber's length 1/2" drill bit, you would have perhaps a maximum of 4-5" above the table at its lowest position -- and if you use a drill press vise to control the workpiece (a very good idea for safety reasons), that may take up another three inches, limiting the size of workpiece in that direction as well.
3) How much side play you have in the spindle -- usually the quill on these cheaper units are a very sloppy fit in the headstock casting, so you can't easily get reliable hole placement.
4) These smaller ones tend to have a male Jacobs taper on the end of the spindle -- no female Morse taper, so if there is runout on the end of the taper, you are stuck with it. Or, if you try to handle too big a job, and bend the end of the spindle, again, you are stuck with it. (You can, at least, probably replace the chuck with a better one -- which may well cost more than the drill press does. :-)
With all of that said, for light work with small drills, it is probably a better bet than an adaptor stand for a "drill motor" (a hand-held electric drill).
So -- if you can keep your projects small, it might work out for you -- and it *is* only $50.00. :-)
And I think that you can find them selling for less than that on eBay -- until you count the shipping in. Look closely at that. :-)
But my own choice (in the inexpensive ones) would be a floor-standing one, with a crank on the table to adjust the height, and a Morse taper in the spindle, and a larger distance between the chuck and the column, and an intermediate stepped idler pulley, so you can get a lot more speeds.
All of this said -- quite some time ago, I did buy one of this size and quality -- I think for $25.00 back then -- and not too long after that, I got the floor-standing one, and gave that one to a friend.
Yes. I have a 1/4 horse motor on small drill press & have not wanted for any more. On occasion, I have drilled 1/2 inch dia. in mild steel. Think of it this way for "hobby" use: it will stall out if you get too aggressive whereas a more powerful motor could throw the work into your face?
Your link's dead, but I assume it's a 5-speed generic benchtop. Nothing wrong with having a 1/4 HP DP. However, most of these little imports are closer to
1/10HP. I bought one advertised as a 1/3 and it wouldn't drill anything. Quality was so bad it only made oval holes, too. The motor started smoking, parts fell off, total garbage. I got it for about $40 brand new.
You can get the same thing from Harbor Freight for $10 less. I have one, much better than past cheapies, but would be struggling with anything bigger than 1/4" drill in steel. The quality of the small drills has increased, but still pretty gutless. Small work, fine, and the quills aren't even sloppy, but the chuck might be.
If you have had your work "Thrown in your face" you aren't using youy drill press correctly. Use a vise. If your work won't fit in a vise, clamp it down. I use a 15 H.P. radial drill in the shop, I use a small drill press at home. Either one, if I can't put the work in a vise or clamp it, I don't drill it. Never try to hold your work down on the table with your hand.
I'd be concerned about runout on a cheap drillpress. I've got one now that will not drill a decent hole less that 1/4" because the chuck/shaft is not true. Next one I buy will be checked at the dealer with a indicator before I buy
and probably get the same thing for about half of that when they are on sale.. if you have a local retail harbor freight in your area then you should go look there.. but dont buy it for full price as they usually go on sale for about 1/2 of the asking price about every other two weeks... hope this helps...
Looks like the same thing that HF sells, got mine for about $25 at the store. For $25, it's not a bad deal. I'd consider it a replacement for one of those "drill press stands" that Sears has for use with a standard electric drill. Works fine for that sort of thing, better than any of those stands or jigs. How well it lasts depends solely on the luck of the draw, the smoke comes out of the Chinese motors a little easier on some than others. The HF unit I have is rated at 1/3 horse, TSC probably rates it closer to actual horsepower. It fits a hole in my line-up between heavy floor model drills and the electric and pneumatic hand-held drills. I've used it on steel, aluminum and wood for several years, 3/8" is probably the largest you can go in steel with the speeds available and that's pushing it. I've run mine off my inverter and a 12v battery, adds to the uses I can put it to. If you decide to go for one, don't order by mail, get one from the store and inspect it before you leave the parking lot. Chuck runout seems to be a problem with a lot of the units, a new domestic-made chuck will run more than the whole thing cost originally.
Hmmm. I've never found that concentricity of the spindle was a problem, but have found one that had a bent spindle, two minutes in the press took care of that. They're not hard, straighten as easily as they bend. The chucks are a different matter, if you get one to run true, "This, too, shall pass." I have remachined the ends to
1/2"-20 and used a cheap Jacobs. Works well for a while.
I've drilled more holes than most of you-all put together probably ever will... You learn what you can and can't hold with your hands... I like a low torque motor on my press... if your bits is sharp you dont need high HP. I never hold very short pieces or any tin...
From reading your accounts of everything that burned up or fell apart, about the only logical conclusion is that you'd have trouble with Hardinge. Get off it, John. I've had quite a few of the import machines, and a bunch of them that I've reworked for other people that wanted better squareness than they come with. (They're really no worse than what Sprunger used to sell in this regard.) Work within the limits of the machine, and they do quite well. Use the ham fist and they don't stand up too well. (And yes, I'm beginning to believe the problem is the guy with his hands on the handles.)
I don't know what you're talking about, but you really need to get a hold of yourself. Exactly what makes you think I caused any of the problems this POS had? It's the only stationary tool I've ever had trouble with. I'm as careful as anyone can get with my stuff.
The motor would get smoking hot at idle and would stall in a second. Both cord strain reliefs were made out of plastic that cracked when I uncoiled the cord out of the box. Original belt was undersized and like a lumpy rope. Several holes in various places were drilled out of alignment. The plastic slip-on downfeed lever tips all cracked in normal use. Chuck taper was machined out of true. Most of the original bearings were loaded with casting sand that was never cleaned out of the machine. One ball bearing had never been installed and instead had a loose plastic bushing. The quill hole in the head was machined with a taper and about 1/16" oversized. The downfeed pinion gear's hole in the head was 3/16" oversized.
In an effort to save this thing, I replaced all the bearings. Also got a new belt and made new strain releifs. I then split the head with a saw and installed bolts to help tighten up the quill, and shimmed the pinion shaft. Checked motor for electrical faults but it was all in the design.
After all this, it still wouldn't drill a round or straight hole, wouldn't drill anything but soft wood, and got burning-hot. You may never have owned one this bad, but they're very much a reality. It was a generic DP I got for $9.99 plus shipping. Ended up giving it to the neighbor in exchange for some light fixtures.
And that reminds me, I actually have a Sprunger 15" floor-standing drill press. Just finished restoring it. The design isn't as good as my Rockwell 11" benchtop, but it's more capable. Both these machines are so many lightyears ahead of the Chinese benchtop it's hard to fathom.
My bench top 3/8" cap. 1/6 HP has been converted to a floor model and re-motored to 1/3 HP Works for me although it would be handy to have a larger chuck and greater throat depth every once in a blue moon. Gerry :-)} London, Canada
What would make me expect it? Simply because anyone that mentions any of the imports, you've already burned one up. I find it very strange that I and many others can use them and have very few or no problems, but you can't. I've had or reworked five of the small imports, a couple of which I paid $20 for, NIB, and unless I did something stupid with them, never had a problem. Even then, repairing the problem was easy. The ones I reworked, I milled the table mounts so they were square, such an impossible task, must have taken ten minutes. Three of the Homier $7 angle grinders, one of which got hot enough to smoke, then I looked to see what was wrong with it, and replaced the bearing. Another ten minutes, terrible. I've probably gotten 50 hours use out of it since then, I don't know how I stand the expense of the $2 surplus bearing and the few minutes to replace it. The two $20 drill presses, I reworked the spindles to 1/2-20 threads and put cheap Jacobs chucks on them, both are still running after more than two years. POS this, POS that, POS pulling the handles sounds more logical. My $9 bench grinder runs just fine, although gutless, after more than four years. As does every other machine I've bought that was an import. Oh, wait. That's right. The motor on the mill/drill burned out, after 9 years. Guess that's a POS too?
BUt the big thing, for $40 you didn't pay for a Craftsman made by King-Seely, and you ain't gonna get one either. The new HF I have, runs quiet, has no slop in the quill, and I just finished 60 holes in