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Thread: Why are drill presses so expensive?

  1. #16
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    Good quality drill presses need very accurate machining of the quill and spindle assembly and fairly high precision bearings. Quite often the those bearings are angular contact with a set preload. Tight accurate holes need precision components and I agree that is rare to find.

    Phil, those look great. you need to rehab a Moore jig Borer. Dave

  2. #17
    A little different level of quality than has been discussed for far, but I just added a excellent condition used Solberga geared head drill press to my stable of tools. It is about the same size as a typical 17-20” belt drive press, but a bit more compact front to back and a good deal heavier, stouter, and machined to a very tight tolerances. A bit overkill for just woodworking, but I do drill metal sometimes and I will never need to upgrade this machine.

    I don’t know how much they go for new, but I felt good about the $1k asking price when comparing it to any other offerings on the new market and many used presses that typically look like they’ve been through the ringer.

    I wouldn’t toss an old Delta 17-600 out either, but I didn’t come across a nice one that was close enough during the time I was searching for used machines.
    Still waters run deep.

  3. #18
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    I wish this one wasn't so expensive. I've been wanting one for the metal shop, but not bad enough to buy one yet. https://www.ellissaw.com/drill-press-9400/

    https://www.acmetools.com/shop/tools...4aAmGxEALw_wcB

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by glenn bradley View Post
    Drill presses are sort of a pet peeve of mine. I do not think they are necessarily over-priced, just under-quality for that price. With few exceptions (and usually a bit of luck) a decent drill press for under $1500 is a rare bird. I've kept using a $300 (new) Delta for a long time since it would cost me 5 times that to get a better unit. So may are out there that should be good. They have all the potential and then fail at a certain feature or level of quality.
    It's my day to be a Throwback. I'm in Glen(n)'s camp: My Delta 17-965 sure wasn't $500 new, more like $295 if I remember correctly (back when Caesar was a corporal). It's dependable, accurate, highly adjustable, and big and powerful enough for anything I've ever thrown at it. And it has a pretty long quill travel. I look at today's price list and both shudder and smile.

  5. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Gaudio View Post
    Don't discount the option of bringing back to life some old American iron. Around here (Connecticut) you can pick up an old Delta for a song. Its fun (mostly) refurbishing them. And the performance specs on the refurbished iron are likely to be better than the new stuff coming out of china. Here is a unit I just finished: it runs like a Rolex!
    [IMG][/IMG]
    Coup[le years back, rescued a Delta like yours from DUMPSTERS. It was in pieces, in a box. The table had not one scratch on it. Added a keyless chuck from Woodcraft off another drill in the shop. Bought (about fifteen years ago) full sized version of your Craftsman from state surplus. Paid less than fifty bucks for it. Only needed a drive belt

  6. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew More View Post
    I agree with Rod. You can get a decent full sized 15" drill press from Rigid for $400 from the Home Depot. Maybe it would help if you were to provide brand names, or specific models? I believe Rockler and Woodcraft carry Powermatic, which is expensive because of the brand and quality, and Nova, which is expensive because of the motor and electronics.
    Andrew
    I was just looking at the full size models in the magazine which I think we're rikon,powermatic and Nova. I think the cheapest one was 1k

    I'm not after any particular model of drill press or really even looking, it was just a observation I made.

    My home depot doesn't stock one floor model stationary tool.

  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnny means View Post
    Because they require rather large, well machined parts. Sheet metal and castings are cheap, machining is where the money is at.
    I can see that now 😁

  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rod Sheridan View Post
    They don't look expensive to me at all.

    In the 1980's they were around $500.

    In inflation adjusted dollars they're a fraction of that now.

    Same for table saws. In the early 80's a good Sears saw was around $900....................Regards, Rod.
    Maybe I'm misunderstanding but according to some inflation calculators I just did 500 in 1985 is $1283 in today money. $30k salary in 1985 is 73k in today's money.

    Which is about the same money. Item doubled in price and so did the salary that you had at that time.

  9. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Gaudio View Post
    Don't discount the option of bringing back to life some old American iron. Around here (Connecticut) you can pick up an old Delta for a song. Its fun (mostly) refurbishing them. And the performance specs on the refurbished iron are likely to be better than the new stuff coming out of china. Here is a unit I just finished: it runs like a Rolex!
    [IMG][/IMG]
    Hi Phil
    Excellent restoration!
    I've seen various floor standing and bench models with this design ranging from 300-500. Is that a reasonable price for those types of machines in normal old condition?

  10. #25
    Thanks! By some amazing coincidence, I just sold the gold DUNLAP last week for $375, so your estimate is correct. Given the time and effort it takes to get them to this stage, in a perfect world, they would sell for 10x that. There is no money to be had in machine refurbishment.

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael J Evans View Post
    Hi Phil
    Excellent restoration!
    I've seen various floor standing and bench models with this design ranging from 300-500. Is that a reasonable price for those types of machines in normal old condition?

  11. #26
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    Those are gorgeous. I hesitate to get into the restoration game as I can see it overtaking the already stupid time suck hobby we all enjoy.

  12. #27
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    I love that look, and think that those are far more attractive than my computerised, multi-function Nova Voyager. A small fraction of the price as well. But, if the money was not an option, which would you have to use?


    Regards from Perth

    Derek

  13. #28
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    Dec 2007
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    Valrico, FL
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    Phil,
    You may be right that there is no money in machine refurbishment, but you must have gained great satisfaction in that work and you inspired many of us, plus we got a glimpse at Dereks wood storage.
    Nice job.

  14. #29
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    A drill press can be one of the more valuable machines in the shop and can be a one in a lifetime purchase so the cost is not a big issue.

  15. #30
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    There is also, always Craigslist. I bought one of my two Powermatic 1150's off CL for $200. It "needs a new motor". When I got home with it, the motor was wired for 240V, but had a 120v plug on it. It works fine now, and with very little fiddling, and lubing, even the Reeves drive works fine.

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