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Old 9th October 2010, 03:33 PM   #11
LAJ is offline LAJ  United States
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Default Buy a table top one.

Mine is a Craftsman. The important thing for me was that the chuck close down to "nothing." That is important if you are drilling circuit boards because those #60 drills are awfully small. Some chucks will NOT close down that small.
Also if you get a table top drill press, you will most likely have to bolt it to the table for stability.
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Old 9th October 2010, 06:09 PM   #12
Seraph is offline Seraph  United States
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Good point on the chuck which can be easily overlooked. This is an essential part of a drill press and has to be of the highest possible quality that one can afford.

I actually looked at a couple of Craftsman models this morning. They appeared to be well made. However, the person over the power tools section who himself is well known woodworker was not in yet. So I will be calling him later to discuss various models. Buying a drill press definitely takes quite a bit of home work before hand. Unless one has worked with a drill press, one may not be aware of certain limitations of a given drill press.

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Old 9th October 2010, 06:34 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LAJ View Post
Some chucks will NOT close down that small.
The vast majority of chucks will not close down that small, especially 1/2" consumer grade chucks. The good news is that chucks come in a couple of std threads and tapers. so upgrading a chuck is fairly straightforward if needed.

I changed out the chuck on my Makita Cordless drill for the exact reason mentioned above........enlarging PCB holes.
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Old 9th October 2010, 07:29 PM   #14
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So would a smaller chuck say meant for 3/8" drill bits and smaller shaft size bit be better in terms of closing--regardless of build quality?

The Ryobi I returned had a 1/2 inch chuck that closed beautifully.
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Old 9th October 2010, 08:14 PM   #15
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Quote:
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So would a smaller chuck say meant for 3/8" drill bits and smaller shaft size bit be better in terms of closing--regardless of build quality?
Not necessarily, it's a bit of hit or miss. The 3/8" chuck that I removed from my cordless makita did not close all the way. We have chucks for our Bridgeport mill at work that close completely in 1/4", 3/8', and 1/2" sizes, although they are fairly high dollar Albrecht's, etc. If you have tiny number sized drills take a small one with you when evaluating drill presses.

Of course, you could always set up a hand drill for the tiny holes and not worry about it on the drill press...........

The ones that close all the way are typically precision machined chucks; I'll see if I can snap a picture or two to show the difference. IIRC, the ones I bought for the makita were old stock Kawasaki chucks that someone was selling on Ebay.

Edit: Pics attached. First picture is a relatively new stock chuck that came on my makita cordless drill; no chance of holding tiny numbered bits. The second picture is the Kawasaki keyless chuck that I put on my old makita drill, closes pretty much to zero. Third pic is a Chinese Albrecht knockoff 1/2" keyless chuck from my Bridgeport, also closes pretty much to zero.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg stock makita chuck.jpg (176.8 KB, 193 views)
File Type: jpg kawasaki chuck.jpg (161.7 KB, 194 views)
File Type: jpg mill chuck.jpg (148.1 KB, 190 views)

Last edited by boywonder; 9th October 2010 at 08:30 PM.
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Old 9th October 2010, 09:54 PM   #16
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I just put a pin chuck in the main chuck for drills < 1mm.

Maybe I'm lucky, but it is perfectly true.
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Old 9th October 2010, 10:40 PM   #17
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IMHO a drill press needs very few features:

1) A high quality 1/2" capacity chuck that closes down reasonably small. I don't expect it to hold a #67 drill without a pin vise or a sensitive drilling attachment.

2) No significant run-out or vibration.

3) A table that's perpendicular to the drill bit in both planes.

4) Some easy means of adjusting the speed.

5) A robust depth stop.

It doesn't need lasers or digital readouts. Almost anything American made over the last 50 years or so will beat the pants off today's imports. If you have a used machinery dealer anywhere close by, try them first.
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Old 10th October 2010, 01:33 AM   #18
Seraph is offline Seraph  United States
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Cheers Conrad for spelling out the basic and important features a decent drill press should offer. I'll look for local used machinery dealers. I have some time before I run out of patience.
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Old 10th October 2010, 02:18 AM   #19
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Conrad, used machinery dealers or auctions where machinery from businesses gone belly-up is hammered off for cigarettes money - paradise!...hell - everybody has access to the yellow pages in the phone directory, why not use them?
Im proud owner of a Festool router - handles nicer than someone I might once have married.
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Old 10th October 2010, 04:12 AM   #20
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Hey Pit, you're lookin' mighty familiar.......
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