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djjc76 09-05-2007 01:28 PM

Drill Press?
Hey Fellas,

I recently bought a drill press from Harbor Freight and it has broken down after the first use. Do you have a brand you recommend? I am looking at either a bench top drill press or floor drill press. I have read up on Delta's, craftsman, etc...let me know your thoughts. Thanks.

timothale 09-05-2007 01:35 PM

is it under warrenty
delta and wilton used to be good, I don't know if they are built in china yet like everything else. I first shop for good used made in USA tools . good quality used tools usually don't depreciate if you buy them right.

DanTwoLakes 09-05-2007 01:39 PM

timothale is right, a good used one will work just fine for you. A floor model gives you more versatility, but a bench top model will do almost as much, takes up less space, and is quite a bit cheaper. I have a Delta bench top that I am happy with. Craftsman, Grizzly, Jet, Rigid, and Dewalt all make good units, too. Buy as good a quality unit as you can afford. Good luck.

Does the motor not work, or what? If the motor doesn't work, look for a reset button. If not, by all means send it back to Harbor Freight. They will take care of you.

jvsapp 09-05-2007 01:41 PM

define broken? belt? or metal? i have had a 8" delta for about 10 years now and very happy with it. i like using it for everything from drilling, and mild milling, to using it as a buffer to buff out my stainless. now i just need to find a band for my craftsman bandsaw that is 30 years old. mad in USA can't beat the quality.

Youngster 09-05-2007 02:09 PM

re: drill press
I have an inexpensive drill press that I bought from Northern Hydraulics and it has served me well for the past 12 years. There are a few upgrades that you should do when you buy one of these low end units. First, take the belts that come with it down to your friendly parts store and buy a good set. On mine it looked like they just sliced their belts from a piece of hose. The other thing I did was to fab a lever for the tension adjustment. Now I can hold pressure on the motor base as I tighten the adjustment screw. As for bench vs. floor models, I have never had a reason to drop the table more than 8" or so. When a friend bought his, he got a bench model and built a neat cabinet with a drawer to mount it on. Now every things in one place, bits etc. in the drawer nd vices, clamps, etc. in the cabinet. On the top of the cabinet he made a tray that catches the chips. Liked it so much that I built one for myself.

djjc76 09-05-2007 02:23 PM

drill press
Thanks for the replies! I'd like to see a picture of the drill press cabinet.

The adjustment screw on the drill press is stripped. The plastic handle used to turn the screw just spins around the threaded bolt without movement.

When drilling steel, the motor does not have enough power to keep the drill spinning on 1/8" and 1/2" thick steel. It just seizes. I want my money back from HF!!!

jvsapp 09-05-2007 02:26 PM

sounds like the belt is messed, and you can't get adjustment. probably have to make a better adjustment like what youngster suggests. might be all it needs.

djjc76 09-05-2007 02:29 PM

I'm not sure if its the belt. the motor doesn't want to turn just before it finishes the drilling processes.

djjc76 09-05-2007 02:34 PM


Originally Posted by timothale
delta and wilton used to be good, I don't know if they are built in china yet like everything else. I first shop for good used made in USA tools . good quality used tools usually don't depreciate if you buy them right.

something like this?

Youngster 09-05-2007 02:44 PM

re: drill press
Take the adjustment bolt out and weld a piece of strap to it on edge. Then replace the belts with ones from the parts store. You'll be amazed at the difference it makes. On the other hand, these are hobby quality drills. They won't preform as well as one costing 5 or 6 hundred bucks. One other thing, make sure the set screws on the head are tight. Check them after drilling a few holes, Loc-tight them if they won't stay tight. Also, pick up a step drill bit. When you're drilling larger holes in sheet metal you won't get those damn triangular holes.

I'll see what I can do about the cabinet pics.

Now you can paint flames on it 'cause you just hot rodded your drill press!!!

Holder350 09-05-2007 02:50 PM


Originally Posted by Youngster
Now you can paint flames on it 'cause you just hot rodded your drill press!!!

mmmmmm flames :drool: :drool:

Youngster 09-05-2007 03:11 PM

re: drill press
When you feel the bit start to go thru, let up on the pressure. Temper-mental little cuss, isn't it.

Another thing that will help is to have some kind of stop or holding device. Something as simple as a 1/2" bolt nutted in one of the slots in the table will help you keep your finger tips. A piece of 1/2" strap an inch or so wide with a hole in it bolted to the table and over the edge of your work piece also works. A while back I found a hold down clamp at a farm store. It looks like a pair of vice grips but has a lug on one jaw so it can be bolted down to your table. If all else fails, a good old fashion C-clamp works too.

Buying a drill press is like buying an air compressor, They're really handy but you damn near have to buy some other tool to go along with it.

Youngster 09-05-2007 03:14 PM

re: drill press
Holder350.....Traditional flames if you hot rodded it.......tribal if you street rodded it!!!! :D

Kampr 09-05-2007 06:04 PM

I've got a Craftsman floor model (1HP, 15", 12 speed with a 5/8" chuck) that I caught on sale several years ago. I've got no complaints about it so far but I don't use it that much. I'd recommend it for somebody else to buy. I really like Dewalt tools too.


cboy 09-05-2007 06:23 PM

Craftsman floor model in my garage(for metal) and a Delta in my woodworking shop. I've been beating on my Craftsman since 1978 and it's still running strong.

The Delta is okay for wood...but I don't think it would take the abuse of daily work on metal.

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