Can I use my drill press as a mill?

I just bought a 15" Ridgid drill press at home despot because when i extended the ram and tried to rip it off the press :-) i got NO slop.
none. i have never seen spindle bearings so tight. except in my 8x14. The spindle ends in a jt3 arbor. i tried to put my keyless mt3 chuck on it but it wouldn't fit. i thought i was going nuts when i realized it was a jt3 which i vaguely remembered hearing about. its rated at 1/2 horse, but i really think its at leat 2 horse. it really really draws a hell of a lot of power. either capacitor run or start, i'm not sure. it listed for 300, but was mispriced at 249.00. i'm a happy camper. total weight is 152 lbs fwiw.
also,fyi there was a guy on tv who built a 6" tall bridgeport, fully functional. little dials, teeny hand wound motor. under a camera, in action, you couldnt tell the difference.
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Yes, you should be able to do that but: You will of course need a compound slide table of some sort The drill press doesn't have the precise vertical feed to allow you to mill to a set depth easily. The spindle bearings and supports are not really that strong in a sideways direction so you will have to go slowly. The min spindle speed may be too high for larger cutters. Drill presses do not retain their chucks positively, i.e. they're not bolted in. There is a possibility that the cutter could fall out of the taper. So yes it should work, but not very well and with lots of restrictions in use.
John

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Thanks for the info, I'll just save my pennies for a mill then. I wonder if a rotary table for my 8x14 would do the trick?

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I'm assuming your "8x14" is a lathe. Many people mill on their lathes. You need a vertical slide to attach to your cross slide/compound rest. You won't get very much room, but it's useful for some things.
When people ask me at work if they can mill with a DP, I tell them that mills are made for a reason. The thing that really gets me is the idea of a cutter coming out of the machine while it's running.... I cut myself on milling cutters enough when they're not moving (usually trying to remove them from collets).
Regards,
Robin
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Hey everybody, it's time for
Can I mill on my drill press? again!

Actually the bearings are. It's the taper joint between spindle and chuck that's weak, that is, it flys off. And the rigidity in almost any direction other than vertical is appalling.

I drilled my JT 33 for M6x1 and put a socket head cap screw inside the chuck. It didn't fit. So I used a pan head cap screw. It holds on great.
I self-drilled it by holding the bit in a v groove in the cross vise, bolted down to the table, and centering by eye with dye.
You can also (preferred) turn the whole thing sideways, set up blocking precisely and take a lathe tool at center height to the face of the spindle, carving the starting V hole by hand. I've done this on motor spindles and the accessories run true.
To read about my senior project at ODU, Go to Google Groups and enter dgoncz along with any or some of these words: ultracapacitor electric bicycle motor generator fluorescent energy display
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A matter of degree. Small drill presses typically have half inch diameter spindles that run in two small electric motor grade bearings, about 6 or 8 inches apart on the quill. There is no real attempt at preloading them in opposition.
Compare that with a bridgeport J head spindle, which is about 1/5 inch diameter, and runs at the bottom on two angular contact bearings that are preloaded accurately. Then there's another single bearing about four inches up inside the quill.
One will probably never take the drill press bearings or spindle to failure by using for milling. But rigidity is another issue...
Jim
================================================= please reply to: JRR(zero) at yktvmv (dot) vnet (dot) ibm (dot) com ================================================
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You got what you paid for and it is not a milling machine. If you had wanted a milling machine I could have sold you a little Index vertical for about the same price but you would have had to crank the table up for each hole you drilled if you wanted to use it as a drill press. (I'm in SoCal) You can use a drill press for a lathe just about as effectively as you can a mill. All you have to do is mount the lathe tool on the table and the work in the drill chuck. You then push the tool into the work as required or pull it away while raising or lowering the quill. If you put a grind stone in the chuck it can be used as a grinder, again not very effectively but it will work. Buy the machine made for the application and you will be much happier. Leigh@MarMachine
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