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Drill Press Buying Advice

Drill Press Buying Advice

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David Cambridge28/08/2018 17:57:17
252 forum posts
68 photos

Afternoon all

Here is a video of my old drill press in action.

I’m hardly putting any pressure on the quill, and you can see the problem. In absolute fairness I bought this maybe 15 year ago from Aldi with the intention of drilling through balsa wood – and for that it was fine. Now that I’ve transferred my attention to metalwork it is time to upgrade.

Space is an absolute premium, and buying better quality but second hand just isn’t my thing. I’m hoping people may have some recommendations for a UK new purchase.

I’m thinking of one of the below (axminster ATDP13B), but since you’re a knowledgeable bunch of people I’d like to check first.

https://www.axminster.co.uk/axminster-trade-series-atdp13b-bench-pillar-drill-102552

 

Usage is light hobby stuff, with up to maybe 16 mm holes through 5 mm mild steel very occasionally. For precision work I already have my trusty Warco WM16 mill.

David

Edited By David Cambridge on 28/08/2018 18:00:43

Edited By David Cambridge on 28/08/2018 18:01:51

Nick Hulme28/08/2018 18:31:19
711 forum posts
37 photos

Just use a combination of threaded rod, tube and a nut to support the front edge of the table on your drill, it'll cost you under a tenner and will be more rigid than most things you might buy.

not done it yet28/08/2018 18:32:15
3556 forum posts
15 photos

I would be considering doing something with that table, before spending, unless there are other issues. Your ‘UK new purchase’ is, of course, likely of chinese manufacture.

I would have given that table some support long since. A ‘mini-acrow’ comes to mind. Or a hydraulic jack on a suitable 1,2,3 block of some material.

Mike Poole28/08/2018 18:32:52
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2187 forum posts
52 photos

My first drill press had similar problems and I bought a secondhand Meddings, the table is very heavy and not adjustable apart from up and down and swing round the column. I understand Meddings philosophy is a fixed table and if you need an angle then use a fixture. Tables that tilt and rotate may seem attractive but the tilt in particular leaves room for error, even if dowelled at the zero you still want to tram the table. If the table is fixed then do a tram check for piece of mind and then it will never move. I would look for a fixed table if possible but if not possible go for the heaviest table with secure locking. Also look at the speed range and motor power to be sure it will suit your requirements, drilling large holes in steel does need power and low speeds. My first purchase was fine for wood use and light steel drilling but it’s limitations became apparent with larger drills in steel.

Mike

Lambton28/08/2018 19:21:15
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687 forum posts
2 photos

David,

"but second hand just isn’t my thing."

Why?

I would recommend some English made classic drill presses that I have used over the years. Fobco Star, Meddings, Startright. Elliot etc.
None of these suffered from the problem that you are experiencing. If you are a bit patient you will find a second-hand one of these makes in good condition.

I have owned a Meddings MB4 for 30 years and it totally rigid ( also very heavy) and15 very accurate - a pleasure to use.. I also inherited a Clarke drill similar to yours that has exactly the same fault so it only gets used occasionally with a Honda scissor jack supporting the front of the table.

I have found that most Far Eastern drills are very inferior to older English made ones most of which are now, sadly only obtainable second hand

Eric

Emgee28/08/2018 20:07:44
1267 forum posts
210 photos

David, I think you will experience problems drilling 16mm holes with many of the so called Hobby drill presses, even if the low speed is OK many will lack the power required for such a size drill.

Emgee

John Reese28/08/2018 20:35:37
798 forum posts

I second the idea of purchasing a used machine from a quality maker. My current drill press is a 15" Clausing of uncertain age. It is far superior to any of the home shop machines available today. The only thing lacking is a mechanism to elevate the table. I can solve that deficiency by adding a counterweight to the table.

Neil Wyatt28/08/2018 21:38:07
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Moderator
16740 forum posts
689 photos
76 articles

Well I've got a CDP302B from Machine Mart. Definitely new and definitely Chinese. Solid as a rock, happily takes a very heavy (~10kg) vice and it has a mechanism to elevate the table

I'm sure the Axminster drill press will be equally robust looking at the size of the table support castings, and I note it is trade rated which means it should stand up to regular daily use rather than just occasional hobby use.

Neil

Edited By Neil Wyatt on 28/08/2018 21:39:36

Mark Rand29/08/2018 01:21:22
798 forum posts

I'm afraid that the Axminster drill will still suffer table deflection with large pieces or heavy pressure (as will the machinemart one if you push it...) I've got its floor standing ancestor (80mm column), that I inherited from dad and it's not at all happy with more than 30kg on the table and a 12mm drill. Drilling the 5mm oil holes in the sides of the milling machine saddle (60kg) needed the crane to keep things square...

 

I have considered making an additional collar around the column about 150mm down and attaching it to both the existing one and the table to form a triangular brace. It'd need a minor redesign of the table pivoting arrangements , but it would transfer most of the bending stress onto the column, which is far stiffer than the table mount (at least on the floor standing version).

 

 

Edited By Mark Rand on 29/08/2018 01:30:04

Bill Phinn29/08/2018 03:00:33
211 forum posts
41 photos
Posted by Mark Rand on 29/08/2018 01:21:22:

I'm afraid that the Axminster drill will still suffer table deflection with large pieces or heavy pressure (as will the machinemart one if you push it...) I've got its floor standing ancestor (80mm column), that I inherited from dad and it's not at all happy with more than 30kg on the table and a 12mm drill. Drilling the 5mm oil holes in the sides of the milling machine saddle (60kg) needed the crane to keep things square...

I have considered making an additional collar around the column about 150mm down and attaching it to both the existing one and the table to form a triangular brace. It'd need a minor redesign of the table pivoting arrangements , but it would transfer most of the bending stress onto the column, which is far stiffer than the table mount (at least on the floor standing version).

Edited By Mark Rand on 29/08/2018 01:30:04

I don't know how robust or otherwise your floorstanding drill is compared with the two under discussion here, but are there any bench-top drills of the same size and weight as the Axminster or Machine Mart examples we're discussing on whose tables you could put 60kg without experiencing any detectable deflection? Would it ever be advisable or necessary to put a 60kg workpiece on a bench-top drill of this size without extra support for the table and/or the workpiece? A 60kg workpiece weighs half as much again as the Machine Mart drill.

not done it yet29/08/2018 08:05:58
3556 forum posts
15 photos

I don’t have a floor mounted pillar drill. But one most certainly cannot drill into the top of tall items with a bench pillar drill. We are not all micro-model engineers! I have to rely on a friend when I need to drill large items, like engine blocks, or similar, where the extra head space is required.

Hopper29/08/2018 08:59:43
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3774 forum posts
79 photos
Posted by David Cambridge on 28/08/2018 17:57:17:

Afternoon all

Here is a video of my old drill press in action.

...

What is actually moving in that video? I just can't get my head around it. It looks as though the cast iron of the table is bending as if it's made of rubber? Can that be right? Cast iron that bends? It does not appear the clamp or column are moving, just the table physically bending?

If so, might it help to put a triangulating bracket/s under the table from its front edge down to the bottom of the column clamp? A couple bits of one-inch angle iron and some 5/16" bolts might be all that's required?

pgk pgk29/08/2018 09:05:24
1486 forum posts
285 photos

If happy with current bench drill from the viewpoint of power/vibration then as per previous comments really just needs table support...as simple as a jack under it and spend the dosh on other fun stuff...

pgk

Russell Eberhardt29/08/2018 09:37:48
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2497 forum posts
85 photos

The Axminster one has the table supported by a substantial looking bracket which is normally directly under the quill so the rigidity of the table itself is less critical. I have had an almost identical Chinese drill for 20 years and find it to be satisfactory. The biggest problem being that I have to use a set of steps to change the speeds as it is rather tall on my bench!

Russell

larry phelan 129/08/2018 09:51:07
527 forum posts
11 photos

I was amazed to see the amount of movement in that video. I have a similar machine and have never seen anything like that. Regarding 16mm holes,I think you might want to look at a somewhat bigger machine.

In the meantime,you could use a simple sissors car jack under the table,easy to adjust and very stable.

Might be no harm to check your drill bits too !

Gordon W29/08/2018 09:53:28
2011 forum posts

I think I've posted this before ! If the drill you have has enough power for what you do ,then keep it. The table will deflect on any drill I have used when pushed hard. I use an old car scissor jack and a bit of wood under the table when needed.

mechman4829/08/2018 10:06:12
avatar
2518 forum posts
377 photos

Looking again at your video it seems to me that if you look at the junction where the table meets the rotation collar next to the column ( bottom ), when you apply pressure, it moves separate from the collar... it is supposed to be a cast iron table ergo it shouldn't flex... I suspect that the casting is cracked at that point for some considerable way allowing the neck of the table to become a pivot point hence you can see the table flex... well at least I can. Check for hairline cracks on both sides of the collar...?

George.

Limpet29/08/2018 20:19:44
112 forum posts
3 photos

I'll second or is it third the comments on Meddings drills I also have one from the 70s still solid as a rock. you may like to know that Meddings are still trading at Plymouth and they say still made there / here **LINK** not sure of pricing though I suspect not cheap. I can also vouch for excellent customer service when I got a return spring for mine. Usual disclaimer

Lionel

Neil Wyatt29/08/2018 20:36:15
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Moderator
16740 forum posts
689 photos
76 articles
Posted by Mark Rand on 29/08/2018 01:21:22:

I'm afraid that the Axminster drill will still suffer table deflection with large pieces or heavy pressure (as will the machinemart one if you push it...) I've got its floor standing ancestor (80mm column), that I inherited from dad and it's not at all happy with more than 30kg on the table and a 12mm drill. Drilling the 5mm oil holes in the sides of the milling machine saddle (60kg) needed the crane to keep things square...

Er yes... but I suspect the Meddings MB80 will deflect somewhat under that sort of load too...

Neil Wyatt29/08/2018 22:51:23
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Moderator
16740 forum posts
689 photos
76 articles

Right...

I put a magnetic base on the column and a dial gauge reading to 0.01mm with its finger straight and level onto the top of a drill vice jaws over the centre of the table. I hooked a luggage scale on inside of a radial slot as close to the middle of the table and on the mid-line as possible. It was awkward to pull downwards, but I could apply about 25kg by leaning onto the handle.

Initially the reading was about 0.20mm deflection.

When I tightened up the column clamp this reduced to 0.06mm

With the table clamp tightened as well the deflection was barely noticeable.

I had the clamps pretty darn tight, but that's good enough for me.

Neil

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