HF Drill Press Opinions

Anyone out there have the 16 speed drill press that HF is advertising
for $179? I am considering purchasing one of these machines. I gave
one a cursory inspection in the store and it seemed to be ok
considering the price. The drill press has a round t slot table, 16
speeds, MT 2 taper, and a 1 HP motor.
Reply to
Douglas Baugher
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I have one similar from HF. Found the runnout to make drilling small holes impossible. Have'nt figured out what I can do about it, other than use my mill for small, less than 1/4", holes. The slop is in the bearing itselft. Oh, when I bought it, the chuck would not work. I called them and asked if they wanted it back as proof. they said just trash it and sent me another one as a replacement. It was not very good, either, but what can I expect for $150?
Reply to
GMasterman
It is my opinion that you need to hand-select at the store until you find one that's right. Here's how:
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("htbdrillp" is a shortened version of "how to buy a drill press")
I wrote this several years ago and it contains some simple and basic tips for what you can do to combat various illnesses of cheap drill presses. Since that time I have come to believe that many inexpensive pulleys have a whole lot of runout, which of course leads to vibration, excessive bearing wear, and noise. So I would add nowadays to set up a dial indicator on all pulleys and indicate them both radially and axially.
Following my own advice, I drove up to the Grizzly metalworking showroom up in Bellingham, Washington. I chucked up a piece of ground rod and indicated it without power. I did this on several models, horrified at what I found. The manager came out, curious. I showed him, and he got curious too and took me in the back, where we ripped open about 8 more. NONE of their cheap drill presses had runout less than 1/32"! Of course, a lot of that error could have come from the chuck. Later I went to a used machinery dealer that had a Jet 17" floor model. I repeated the experiment with that machine, and found TIR was within .001" - a whole LOT better. I bought that Jet and used it well and often and sold it to a friend who to my knowledge is still happy with it.
Oh. By the way, a little mill-drill is a much better drill press than any of the above!
Grant Erwin Kirkland, Washington
Douglas Baugher wrote:
Reply to
Grant Erwin
It's a good machine for the money. YMMV, but mine has a good, tight spindle, less than .0008 runout and runs well. Powerful enough for a 1-1/4" bit through 1" mild steel. Get an Albrecht keyless chuck with integral shaft; pitch the chuck it comes with. JR Dweller in the cellar
Douglas Baugher wrote:
Reply to
JR North
Thanks for the excellent advice Grant. The monograph you wrote about checking cheap drill presses out deserves an A++ and a gold star. I printed it out to refer to in the future. I doubt HF would let me check out several of their machines until I find an acceptable one. Given the fact that others had reported runouts in the .030 range and the inability to inspect the machine I get before purchase I think I am going to pass on the HF drill press.
Reply to
Douglas Baugher
I didn't buy the H-F model you're looking at, but got their 20" "Industrial" drill press on sale for $300. The regular price is close to $500.
I didn't buy until I checked the runout of an identical unit a friend had just bought. It was very low, less than a thou. I extended the quill and pushed it from side to side against the dial indicator: very little movement.
So, I bought one. Its runout is less than a thou, also.
My main objection to the machine is the cheap belts and pulleys. They can really set up an annoying vibration. It's impossible to keep the sheet metal belt cover from rattling.
If anyone gets this particular H-F drill, be prepared to buy a smaller chuck. The original one won't close down on smaller bits. IIRC, mine won't go smaller than 3/16".
Other than the rattle, I'm very pleased with mine--for the money, that is. So's my friend.
Orrin
Reply to
Orrin Iseminger
I've had one of those drill presses for years and it's only good for boring crude holes as far as I'm concerned. It's not just the spindle but the table itself. It is not really ridged enough and flexes forward when pressure is put on it making it hard to drill a parallel hole. Dick
Reply to
rhncue
I've always looked at the imported drill presses as kits. Usually doesn't matter where you get it, or how much or little you pay, with some work and a little thinking, they can be made to work well and accurately. (Doesn't mean I'm not happy to have my Craftsman [King-Seeley] though, even if I had to make a new column for that one.)
Others have said "pitch the chuck", and I'll agree, except I mounted mine on a reamer float for my turret lathes. Usually, a new chuck will cut down the runout considerably. (But not always.)
Reply to
Lennie the Lurker
On Wed, 25 Feb 2004 05:53:18 -0800, Orrin Iseminger brought forth from the murky depths:
Milled pulleys are available, but first try a linkbelt setup. I got 5' of green linkbelt at HFT for $17 on sale. I put it on my Grizzly bandsaw and it turned it into a purring kitten. I _highly_ recommend it in place of regular v-belting.
Run a bead of latex caulk, permatex gasket compound, or equivalent in the seat of the top. It stopped my $39 drill from rattling.
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Reply to
Larry Jaques
Douglass, That sounds like the one I have, I bought it for $170 on a special price. It has minimial runought, excellent table squareness (about +- .002, mostly in dips between the T-slots). Biggist problem I have is I am running it on a overloaded line (with 4 el cheapo flourocents) and the lights dimm when I first kick it on. I like the slow RPM's tho, but its a bit difficiult to get but a few of the "16" speeds due to excessive belt changing required, I mostly just use two speeds.
Steve Steven
Reply to
Steve Steven

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