Good drill press?

Hi all,
Dunno if this'll be good for an argument or not, but here goes:
My drill press is a Northern Tools 16mm capacity / 16 speed job -
similar to the Sealy/Clarke type, I think. Half-way between bench-top and floor standing. I got it cheep from an auction cos the cut-out switch that kills it when the drive cover is opened was faulty. Bypassed the switch with a blade-type fuse and away. (I'm not going to stick my head/hand/etc in there when the thing is running, so no worries)
Lately it's seeming a little under-powered and inaccurate. The table is on a rack & pinion, and the rack is screwed to the shaft, but there's still at least 20mm of side-to-side play when the table is loosed. I'm using Jacobs chucks on a 2MT.
So I would like to ask y'all: what's a good, well sized, accurate DP? Fobco? It doesn't need to be super-huge, mega-powerful or laboratory accurate. Enough to make you think "yes, that's a good drill, not giving me any concerns".
I've also been using one of them cheep x-y drill vices, with all the wobbliness they come with. Is an X-Y table with t-slots a good investment? Being able to line up a hole by just turning a couple of handles makes life so very easy!
cheers!
Zed
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On 28 Mar, 14:05, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

HI ZED
It's one of those cheap Chinese piles of crap that got me into all this machining four years ago
My cheapo chinky crap (nutool rhymes with you-fool) drill press would only drill small holes as it was 250 rpm MIN
And had play here there and everywhere ...and generally wasn't up to the job of boring one inch holes .... which is what I was tryng to do with it.
So I bought this Jones and shipman drill for 100 from a machinery dealer in Whitworth near Roachdale.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v190/aboard_epsilon/smart%20and%20brown/jspiller2.jpg
Problem ...it was three phase ... so bought a converter .... then as soon as i realised how cheap these three phase machines were ...i was away on a spending spree....
and i was also carried way way...way into this hobby. now and enjoying it immensely.
my advice ...buy something substantial and up to the job ...and you have a machine that will last you a lifetime ...
as the machine in the above pic was made over 50 years ago ...its got every chance of lasting another 50 years unlike the piece of crap i had before it.
All the best...mark
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wrote:

Sounds familiar...I have a nasty Clarke drill press that has a table that (a) can't be adjusted square to the column because the mating faces aren't square to start with, and (b) has so little metal in it that it flexes even when you are drilling quiet small holes. One of these days I will re-machine the table mount to make it square, but its such a POS that it hardly seems worth the bother. Bloody thing rattles like a bag of spanners too.
Regards, Tony
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/snip my advice ...buy something substantial and up to the job ...and you have a machine that will last you a lifetime ... /snip
I started with a chinese mini-lathe and soon realised that I wanted something better- Myford/Boxford /Colchester Bantam etc. and had a machinery dealer I know keep a lookout for something suitable. After 6 months or so of waiting, I picked up a Boxford AUD elsewhere and now he tells me he has found a Smart & Brown 1024 complete with DRO if I wanted it. I has made me think....
Archie
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That's the younger version of Dad's old J&S (which came out of the Ransomes plough works at Ipswich for �35, along with our buggered old Edgwick lathe which was free - petrol to get them home ran to �75 though cuz the 2.6 Landy's always been a tad thirsty). Guy in the neighbouring workshop had one just about the same as yours('cept he gave �450 for it ;-) ).
Probably going to put a gear reduction single phase motor (which was a freebie on a scrap feed mill that I bought for some auger conveyors for another contract) on it when we get it home. It should give us a better range of speeds for bigger drills.
I'll try to find some pics and stick 'em in me photobucket album.
For a bench drill (frankly I wouldn't bother with a conventional pillar drill, they aren't rigid enough for my tastes) you can't go wrong with: Fobco, Meddings, Elliott, Arboga, Progress, Denbigh, Herbert (I had a lovely little Herbert once that was the mini-me of that J&S in the pics until some sod stole it from my lockup)... The list goes on ad infinitum. Buy more for condition than brand, inspect it carefully (even if it means checking the spindle with clock and square before you buy) and walk away if it don't seem quite right...
HTH
Cheers, Scruff.
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Hi,
Thanks for all the replies, most helpful. I'll try to be less hesitant of 3 phase when looking.
Scruff, what do you mean by bench drills vs pillar drills?
My Northern tools thing isn't particularly rigid. Mark's is ace, looks damn solid. Has a lot in common with the Beaver Mill they have at work. The works DP is a Fobco 7eight (or Seven8, one of them), which looks quite beastly large, but is still on a tubular pillar. Shurely the greater the diameter of the pillar the more rigid?
Cheers,
Zed
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You won't go wrong with a nice Fobc
-- Myford Mat ----------------------------------------------------------------------- Myford Matt's Profile: http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/member.php?uf19 View this thread: http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?tf348
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Zed
My dad has a Meddings Pacera bought new over 50 years ago - still as good as new in ME type use. I have a hybrid Kerry/Meddings which is 3 phase and still a sound machine after a hard life in industry. You can't go wrong with a nice Fobco either. I just get upset by seeing machines where a monkey operator has tried to drill the table off. Don't be afraid of 3 phase like I was - I have had a converter for a few years now and the three phase collection has grown to 5. The shaper (number 6) which has a modern 6 terminal motor you can change to run on 240V delta, runs nicely on an inverter from single phase.
Steve (Sheffield)

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I also should have said, I looked at all the Clarke etc machines as the price is attractive, but found they all had headache in the quill when in the shop new. That finished them for me. Some new bearings wouldn't hurt my hybrid* but the quill is still spot on. *(Meddings head and table, Kerry chromed tube floor column and base casting, column diameter was identical for both machines)
If I need any x-y malarky I use the Dore Westbury as a drill and pick up the pops with a wiggler. Them there machine taps are the best thing since sliced bread used in the DW in bottom speed backgear.
Steve (Sheffield)
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On or around 28 Mar 2007 06:05:49 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com enlightened us thusly:

Bit late responding here... The Clark mill/drill machines are a fine drilling machine. as a milling machine, I'd not use it for precision work, it's not solid and accurate enough. But it makes a fine drill press.
CCMD12-summat, I believe, costs multiple hundreds new though, so if you're looking for "cheap" it ain't except by comparison with other comparable milling machines of better quality.
--
Austin Shackles. www.ddol-las.net my opinions are just that
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