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Thread: Drill Press Frustration

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
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    Redding, CA (That's in superior Calif.)
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    Drill Press Frustration

    I have a Delta 17-965 (no longer made?) for which I paid $425 11 years ago. I'd like to downgrade to a benchtop since I'm downsizing my work and shop. I want a tool that has minimal run out. My Delta has too much run out for pen blank drilling. It has a 5/8th JT3 chuck. I think that I would like to have a variable speed without having to change belts. I did some research and thought that a Ryobi DL12L would be a good deal. However, I can't find any to buy--even reconditioned ones. I'm not trying to get buy on the cheap either. I've looked at reviews for Delta, Jet, and others. The reviews are not really very good as to machining quality and damage due to poor packing. A lot of the reviews are 3 or more years old and it seems that nothing has changed as to improvement for some time. Is Ryobi out of business? Is the variable speed design gone sour? Even looking at the belt models, the reviews just aren't that good. If I could get some direction as to where and what to look for, I'd really appreciate it. Thanks.

    Stan
    Project Salvager

    The key to the gateway of wisdom is to know that you don't know.______Stan Smith

  2. #2
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    Stan,

    I read lots of reviews and purchased the Ryobi DL12L model you mention; and almost immediately sold it. It's quite an inferior product especially in runout. Seeing how you're from superior California, that might be a problem. Seriously, have you considered a precision drill press like the one's watch makers utilize? They don't suffer from runout problems.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    Peoria, IL
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    I can't help much with finding a new drill press, haven't done that for over 15 years. About pen blank drilling though. I guess you need the precision for segmented pens? Most pen turners use the lathe for that precision. Turn the blank between centers before drilling, usually turned to 3/4" dia. Then put in a 3/4" collet in something like a Beall collet system, then drill for the tubes. Use a starter drill before using the tube size drill. http://www.bealltool.com/products/tu...olletchuck.php

  4. #4
    Are you sure it's runout and not the spindle shaking around in the head? I'll bet it's the later, and there's a simple fix for that if you don't mind drilling and taping a few holes. There's a thread around here somewhere for how to do it, and I actually documented doing it on my own Delta. Works GREAT.

    http://www.sawmillcreek.org/showthre...ould-this-work

  5. #5
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    And make sure that whatever you have inserted into the chuck to check runout is straight. I just tossed a 1/4" drill bit today that was bent.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
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    Redding, CA (That's in superior Calif.)
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    Thanks. I can actually see the bit wobbling slightly as it turns. However, thanks to Richard, I got to thinking about using my lathe to drill the blanks and I already have a drill chuck for my lathe. Sort of stupid of me for not thinking of using it for something other than to start a bowl hollowing hole. Duh! I'm thinking of getting one of these:

    http://www.pennstateind.com/store/CSCPENCHK.html

    Anyone else doing this (or something similar)?
    Project Salvager

    The key to the gateway of wisdom is to know that you don't know.______Stan Smith

  7. #7
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    Jan 2013
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    San Diego, CA
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    I have one of those chucks. Decent for drilling regular blanks quick and easy, but if your blank is not square and parallel your hole can be drilled off center and skewed. Never really looked to see if it could be 'tuned' better, for basic pens I figured close enough, and I always drilled blanks from pen center to ends for better grain matching.

    Haven't tried truing it round first before drilling, that probably should work well.

    But I've been playing around with some laminated blanks which need a centered hole, and I can drill straighter on my cheapo drill press with proper setup. YMMV

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    Upland, CA
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    I know nothing about making pens and my experience with lathes is for metal.

    BUT, if you think you are going to improve on your drill press by buying a benchtop, particularly one made by Ryobi, then you are not going to be happy with the result.

  9. #9
    Join Date
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    You have indeed stumbled upon the Unicorn Hunt of many woodworkers. A decent drill press. Apparently making one that is accurate and reliable at a price point hobbyists can afford is beyond current technology. Prepare to compromise in your expectations or your budget. I imagine a small, high quality mill is in your future but, take a trip to some metal-working forums for better data.
    Buy a man a plane ticket and he’ll fly for a day.
    Push a man out of a plane
    and he’ll fly for the rest of his life.

  10. #10
    I know that the request was for a bench top drill press, but if floor space can be found, the best drill press I have ever owned, and I have owned several, is the General made in Canada, not their import. Their import may be fine, in which case they may have a bench model. I have their floor model 15" drill press, MADE IN CANADA, and it is solid and precise. It doesn't have any bells and whistles, but it is accurate.

  11. #11
    Join Date
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    Many thanks for all of the insight and advice. From what I've discovered in the past few days, it seems that the situation is as Glenn says, " Apparently making one that is accurate and reliable at a price point hobbyists can afford is beyond current technology." It looks like all the companies jumped in the big bed and headed offshore. The quality on our "affordable" tools has gone down hill by quite a bit and there may be little difference in the "name brands" and Harbor Freight. This is a sad thing for our country, IMO. Rich (see above)said that the Ryobi he bought was so bad he immediately sold it. I think that I'm lucky that I couldn't find one because I probably would have bought it. I have a little ryobi trim router and it's been a little workhorse over the years. Seems that I heard Bosch bought Ryobi out? I read a bunch of tool reviews in some of the major publications, such as Wood mag, and the Ryobi 12" got high ratings. Now, I'm wondering about the "quality" of the ratings .

    I'm always looking for ways to make my 1-car garage workspace better. I had a 2-car garage shop at our last house and have tried to fit that equipment in one-half the space. As a result, I've had to sell bigger and better machines and go to smaller ones such as from an 8" Delta jointer to a benchtop jointer. It sounds worse than it is though since I only do small stuff now anyway. Given the current quality of the "affordable" new benchtop drill presses, I guess I'm better off sticking with what I have and trying to get it tuned up. I"m buying the pen blank drill chuck for the pens to use on my Jet mini lathe since I seem to consistently make pens as gifts. Many thanks to you all for your helpful comments and ideas.

    Stan
    Project Salvager

    The key to the gateway of wisdom is to know that you don't know.______Stan Smith

  12. My Friend had the same Delta drill press (17-965), and I saw he was enjoying his machine. The drill press runs well without any annoying noises but you have to set belt tension properly, not too tight.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    NW Indiana
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    I was very frustrated with my Jet drill with run out. It is difficult to find a good floor one for a reasonable price and even more difficult to find a bench one.

    I finally but the bullet and bought a floor model drill press with low runout....a Nova Voyager DVR. Yes,it was not cheap but very low run out and variable speed. I put a keyless Chuck that takes small drill bits. It is now my favorite tool.

    In all honesty, there is one thing I do not like which is the on off on a keypad. I would rather have a real switch.

  14. #14
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    Arise . . . oh long dead thread . . . and speak again . . .

    Resurrected Thread.jpg
    Buy a man a plane ticket and he’ll fly for a day.
    Push a man out of a plane
    and he’ll fly for the rest of his life.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Modesto, CA, USA
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    2,996
    Look for a used "sensitive drill press" that is the code word for a precision machinist benchtop drill press.

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