By - Traditional_Let_2023
They all suck, get a used Jet or Delta.
im looking there also pickings are slim.
If you happen to be in the Sacramento area I have a 30's art deco Delta with a brand new motor and led flex lighting I'm willing to part with for a decent price.
On the other side of the country. Atlanta ga
Any rust deeper than surface? HP? 2 pulleys or 3? What’s the speed range?
Very interested and not far away.
No rust beyond very light surface, 2 pulley / 5 groove, 1/2 hp Dayton motor, flex neck led lighting,
I don't know the exact speeds offhand but it bottoms out around 400 which is why I replaced it since 99% of my use case is metal work.
DM me if you're interested and I'll get some pics for you.
oh yeah, 400 won't work :( looking for something in the 50-150 range. good luck with it though, sounds nice.
Yup exact reason I bought the other one, heh. It's a triple pulley that goes all the way down to about 75ish.
Stupid question, is this RPMs you're referring to? Don't know anything about drill presses! Lol
Seriously, everybody I've ever talk to hates their HF drill press. My arbor walks a good 1/16" circle. Til pressure is added its a crap shoot of where the hole goes. I just use my cordless to set the holes, then to the drill press to do the work. Its stupid, and I hate it.
What model do you have? 8". The designs are different based on how high up you go.
Jets also suck imo
The newer Chinese made ones absolutely. Anything 15-ish years old or older is either Taiwan or USA made and *way* better.
I have the 17 inch, needed a press and all the ones for sale used were clapped out or too expensive. It's not ready out of the box, needed to clean and reseat the chuck. The table had to be trammed and the table height clamp handle is shit. Mine had to be tightened a lot to keep the table from moving and the handle broke. With a little time invested It's a decent press in the sub $1000 range.
i fully expect to have to set it up, check runout make adjustments and tweak things. New bearings could be possibility also. Like most of HF tools, they are a project in and of themselves.
I have the 10 inch bench drill press and have drilled 100s of 9/16" holes through 1/4" steel and even some 1" hole saws through 1/2" steel.
hows the run out? have you done any mods to it?
The bed is little weak vs the stand up one, but the compact size makes it worth it for me. I screwed it to a wooden board. May not be the best drill press, but I've pushed it to its limit and it has done what I needed it to do. At a $160 it is a good value.
I have the 8inch and it's pretty bad. The depth stop is plastic and broke. It gets bogged down on relatively small projects. I remember I started a hole in some 1/4 inch aluminum and I eventually just gave up and used a had drill after spending almost a hour on it.
Yeah, just make sure you skip the 8 (sounds like you will). It's way better than no drill press at all for wood projects, but it's very underpowered and that sloppy little baby table is unpleasant to use. I think you'd hate it for something as precise as gunsmithing.
ill try to hold out for another month of looking for other brands. I do see people on groups using the 8 with success for what i want to do. none of the big box stores around me have any in stock but their designs dont look much better than the 8" from HF
I got the 17" ($429) model for < $100 as a demo model, missing a few parts. Ordered all but one part from China and it works awesome. The part I don't have is the oiler feeder tube.
The design is clearly a knock off of a JET model. The "chrome" or what China thinks is chrome, flakes off and rusts. It would have been better to just paint or powder coat because you want to remove the chrome to attack the rust under it. I live in a VERY dry area too.
I got the X/Y vise setup and this thing works great. The adjustability of everything is just great, motor has tons of power, many speeds, etc...
The downside is the chrome, plastic knobs and things like that. The pull arms are always loose, the knobs are ready to fall off, the plastic cracks... You could replace these with hardwood knobs and powder coated arms. Keep the surfaces oily and it works great. Some $40 in upgrades and a good X/Y vise and you have a good tool.
good to know, sadly that only comes in a floor stand model.
If you must have a bench top, you could be paying a pretty price. I'm no expert, but most every better quality one that I've seen have been free standing. Probably because the demand would drop if it only handled small items.
One thing you can do is cut one down to size. The main pole between the stand and the top is the same size all the way thru. So you could remove the base, cut several feet from the pole and put it back into the stand. You'd then have a long throw, bench top model.
I'm not sure about your price range but they can get pretty expensive, pretty quick.
There's a number of YouTube videos about how to increase the quality of these things. Just going thru and replacing various parts can turn an un-usable one into something that works pretty nice.
Have you considered a mill, lathe or multi function setup? Maybe even an older used one or maybe someone has done a video on how to make a HF lathe/mill into something of higher quality by replacing parts.
benchtop is preferred because i can build a rolling stand to store bits etc. Space is tight where i work (in my garage) i also park my truck in there. so ill be rolling the press to the garage from my shed when doing specific tasks.
Cutting down a floor stand model is an option.
looked in the Mill/lathe but at 700 for harbor freight and 850+ for northern tool i thought it might be over kill and a waste of money. I route out most of my AR 80's with a hand router so that takes care of my milling needs.
still looking at the used market, have a few messages out to some vintage presses (some floor stand models and some bench) people just dont respond maybe 2 responses out of 20 inquiries
in all honesty im sure the 10" model will work for what i need to do and ive checked out some of the reviews (its hit or miss) Invest in a better chuck, New bearings, needs proper set up.
ill search for a month my budget is 300-400 or more if the right press comes along.
I think the bench top is too limiting and for reasons that are easy to overcome. A rolling stand is pretty easy to make, even the $10 HF roller would work, but I'd mod it so that it's more steady. A simple solution is to just add wheels to the back and tilt it like a hand truck where the wheels don't contact the floor until you tilt it.
The space/bits part is another solvable problem. There's some that put shelving and even work tables on the press itself. I've seen some that attach to the main pole, others made of wood that cross over the top and have a cabinet built in. You can mount wooden cabinets to the underside of the gear box on top.
>still looking at the used market, have a few messages out to some vintage presses (some floor stand models and some bench) people just dont respond maybe 2 responses out of 20 inquiries
Most replies online (FB/CL) are automated spam. I put one of my motorcycles up on CL and every single response was a bot, except one ultra low baller. Too many scammers.
Before buying any model, I'd search YouTube to see how people have improved theirs. I know AVE (popular YouTuber) worked on making a mill out of one.
The Wen is a great option and often cheaper than HF. I love mine and the motor has never gotten bogged down like it has on HF table top models
After a closer look the wen is designed similar to the 8" hf. The auger support is plastic like the Ryobi , rigid, HF that I've seen in person. Its not cut out for metal work.
I gave up on harbor presses after the 2nd dud, try grizzly industrial.
I would be patient and keep an eye on Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace. A good deal on one will pop up eventually. I got a old functional clausing 2276 variable speed drill press for $500. Everything worked and the table wasn't too beat up. The condition of the table will tell you exactly how it was treated. If it's completely destroyed I would have avoided it.
I bought a used Craftsman 15" floor drill press for $120 on Craigslist. Going this route it my recommendation.
I've got the Amazon version of the harbor fright drill press and one I put a aftermarket chuck in it and replaced the vice it's good enough for my needs. I got it in a trade or I wouldn't have bought it though.