Drill press recommendations

I'm looking at an Ellis 9400 drill press, which I can purchase for just over $2000 with a power downfeed (free option).
http://www.ellissaw.com/Drill-Presses/43/drill-press-9400
I have no doubt that this is a very well made, solid piece that will last me a long time. My question is, I have lots and lots of things that I need to buy and I don't have unlimited budget (big surprise) so is there anything out there that can compare to this unit but at a much better price? Obviously there are much cheaper drill presses, but they are also obviously lacking in quality, capacity, features, etc. I'm not really looking to give up quality and features, but I wouldn't mind saving a few bucks. :-)
I don't have access to any of the models in terms of actually trying them out, so no matter what I'm going to have to buy just off of appearance, price and owner recommendations.
Thanks, Jeff
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http://www.mckeanmachinery.com/inventory/detail.php3?TheKey=MT9064
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As a add-on to my question, I should ask if there are any mill/drill units that I should consider in this same price range. I realize that a mill/drill will never be as good of a mill as a true mill, but surely some drill presses make better mills than others. If nothing else, even for drilling and tapping I would like to have some kind of cross slide table to get accuracy on the hole placement. But it would also be nice to have another avenue other than a milling attachment for my lathe to do some actual milling.
Thanks, Jeff
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over
me
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give
Jeff, your question should be more in asking for advice once you tell us the machining operations you will be executing. Drill, tap, mill, turn, saw, file, grind, forge, cast, weld, braze, solder, broach, drill-jig ....
The machine you illustrate is ideal for quick change drilling and tapping... but not much else.
Wayne
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Hi Wayne,
In a perfect world I would have a lathe, mill and drill press. In a less than perfect world (i.e. my garage) I only have space for a lathe and a "drill press sized" machine. So the closer that I could come to true milling capabilities the better, no doubt about it. On the other hand, if the combo mill/drill machine is going to be a "lousy" mill and only an "average" drill press, then I'd rather just get a "good" or "great" drill press and move on. I won't be doing any heavy duty production type work, but I do desire to have a highly accurate (and perhaps more importantly) repeatable machine. I would be patient with having to make 2 small cuts when milling, vs. one heavy cut with a true mill, for example. I don't need huge capacity. I'm looking to make small custom automotive parts, most of which would be between the sizes of a 1" cube and a 6" cube. As far as material, it would be lots of aluminum, but also some stainless and steel on occasion.
Does that help?
Thanks, Jeff

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Jeff B wrote:

Get yourself a small bridgeport type machine or a bridgeport with a shorter table. that would give you a decent mill with drilling capabilities.
John
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john wrote:

i second this, but the power down feed on the brigeport isnt all that strong, (not for holes over 1/2" imo) and has limited depth compared to a nice drill press
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erik litchy wrote:

The power down feed is only for boring. You might get away with drilling small holes but you are likely to do some damage to the gearing.
John
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No...you wont hurt the gearing as there is a spring loaded clutch using matching gears and a spring holding them together..but it will only go clicktyclickityclickity past a certain point.
And John is correct..it IS rather feeble and only for boring. Ive used it for drills up to about 3/8" but with a good sharp split point and there are only 3 feed ranges..which often means you are having to compromise.
Gunner
Gunner
"If thy pride is sorely vexed when others disparage your offering, be as lamb's wool is to cold rain and the Gore-tex of Odin's raiment is to gullshit in the gale, for thy angst shall vex them not at all. Yea, they shall scorn thee all the more. Rejoice in sharing what you have to share without expectation of adoration, knowing that sharing your treasure does not diminish your treasure but enriches it."
- Onni 1:33
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Right on, Gunner! Power downfeed on a bridgie is a feature that is only for boring. But it is tempting for tyros to try to use it for drilling.
Bob Swinney
wrote:

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As a general statement, you can't mill on a drillpress. If you sideload a morse tapered drill chuck it will release and possibly give you a good slap, certainly an unpleasant surprise. Thats why milling machines have drawbars , to contain and hold the taper.
Jeff B wrote:

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Jeff B wrote: I only have space for a lathe and a

You're getting closer to the questions that you need to ask. There are several good quality small milling machines. For a mill, Google image "clausing 8250". Even if purchased for a dealer, it would be in your price range. I have a Hardinge TM with a vertical head, also very popular in the small shop. You will find small mills for sale (even here) often. It will help if you give your geographic region, as you probably are looking for something within "pickup" range.
Kevin Gallimore
-
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That 8520 and 8530 look like a nice size. Surely somebody today must make something that is in this same size range? Right or wrong, I just prefer to buy things new and keep them forever...
Thanks, Jeff
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I understand your feeling. Unfortunately, all the US manufactures of this equipment have discontinued operation. All that is available is Asian machines that look OK on first impression, but will be found sorely lacking in use. Your best bet is quality made US iron that has been used but not abused.
I think you'll be happy with a bridgeport type mill. There are lots of them around, parts are readily available, they last forever. That Clausing is great also, much harder to find.
Karl
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wrote:

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I believe that Jet sells a half sized "bridgeport" style machine. Ive seen them badged with a host of other brand names. I have one, horizontal and vertical spindle motors, hummm perhaps 2/3rd the size of a bridgeport..capable of doing pretty good work actually in a much smaller footprint than a BP, but far far beefier than the cute but flimsey 8520/30
Rockwell made several also
http://www.lathes.co.uk/rockwellmillers/page2.html
Gunner

"If thy pride is sorely vexed when others disparage your offering, be as lamb's wool is to cold rain and the Gore-tex of Odin's raiment is to gullshit in the gale, for thy angst shall vex them not at all. Yea, they shall scorn thee all the more. Rejoice in sharing what you have to share without expectation of adoration, knowing that sharing your treasure does not diminish your treasure but enriches it."
- Onni 1:33
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is this the one?
http://www.wmhtoolgroup.com/shop/index.cfm?navPage=4&iid 9687

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That would indeed be one of the genre. If the top of the motor comes to your eybrows..<G> its one of them.
Actually pretty handy machines in a rather nice footprint, with enough beef to allow you to do some good work. Id not try running a 5" facemill on it..but for most other tasks, good enough, particularly with a 1hp+ motor and a solid retangular ram.
Gunner

"If thy pride is sorely vexed when others disparage your offering, be as lamb's wool is to cold rain and the Gore-tex of Odin's raiment is to gullshit in the gale, for thy angst shall vex them not at all. Yea, they shall scorn thee all the more. Rejoice in sharing what you have to share without expectation of adoration, knowing that sharing your treasure does not diminish your treasure but enriches it."
- Onni 1:33
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See previous post of a moment ago.
If this is something you are interested in..contact snipped-for-privacy@aol.com and see if he can get you a deal on one, or even a scratch n dent.
He has some GOOD sources of Jet products, him being a warranty dealer etc.
Gunner

"If thy pride is sorely vexed when others disparage your offering, be as lamb's wool is to cold rain and the Gore-tex of Odin's raiment is to gullshit in the gale, for thy angst shall vex them not at all. Yea, they shall scorn thee all the more. Rejoice in sharing what you have to share without expectation of adoration, knowing that sharing your treasure does not diminish your treasure but enriches it."
- Onni 1:33
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