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inspiron 06-02-2007 06:03 PM

drill press questions!
Does anyone have any tips or recamendations on buying a drill press, I am thinking about buying an el cheapo $100 one to drill aluminum and wood.

Also is it possible to modify drill press or convert one into a small metal lathe?

I'm thinking about biulding a small hobby steam engine and I can make rough shapes out of cast alumunum but can I use a drill press to bore out a large hole (2" to 4") in a block of amuminum, also can I use the drill press to smooth out a cast alumunum cylender to fit in the clyender?

Joe johnson 06-02-2007 07:23 PM

I used to work on all kinds of drill presses and lathes. I don't recommend the cheap ones because of excess slop i'm talking over 0.100" slop. powermatic is a decent brand. I recommend searching the web for US or European made. I am assuming your talking floor model and not bench model. If you want a lathe drill combo the Italians have a great machine in the states but its not cheap. don't go to Harbor freight for it all they have is junk! You'll have to research the pricing because its been years since i looked into these things.
yes you can bore 2-4 holes in aluminum. don't buy the cheap model you'll burn it up fast. this goes for the cutting blades too. you will need a floor model for this task and a 2-4 hp motor with low gearing or pulleys for boring slowly. use lots of coolant.
Yes you can smooth out the bore to fit into each other, sanding drums are the answer here, multiple sand grits.

madgrinder 06-02-2007 08:07 PM

It's better to buy a good, used press than a crap, new one.

Mine is a 3hp press, 8-speed, 3/4" chuck made by "King Machinery" in Compton CA.

I rescued it from the side of the road after Hurricane Ivan... there was a Delta Machine bandsaw and a turret lathe, too. You can see the water-line on the drill press post about four feet from the floor, but the head and platform were untouched. The lathe and band saw were junk, salt water had gotten in the works and rusted solid. :pain:

inspiron 06-02-2007 08:15 PM

Thank you for the advise!!


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