Years ago, I bought an 8" Delta for less than $150. Bolted to a square of 3/4" plywood, clamped to the bench. About as portable as it gets. Being a lazy sod, I bought another one for the other house. They are fairly rugged and reliable.
4-speed, changing the belt on the pulleys is no big deal. Seems like a durable chuck, but it squeaks a little in spindle travel.
I have drilled thousands of holes. One project was a photographic print drying rack to do runs of 30 16x20 silver prints.
1x2 frames & window screen. A delight to finally get all holes square to the stock!!!!!
I use stones and sanding drums to shape slate and abalone shell as wood carving inlays. Sure looks like the basic design has been cloned under several other names.
1. Need a far larger support table, even if it's a temporary add-on when the need arises.
2. 10" between the spindle and the post would be so nice.
I actually managed to stall a 1" Forstner in Yellow Cedar the other day. Feed too fast was all.
I shopped for larger bench top DP about 5 years ago, and ended up picking the Central Machinery 38142 from HF over the Cman, Grizzly, Delta, Ryobi, Hitachi, etc. I think I'd be doing you a disservice not to mention it. It was $144 with coupons....its more than that now, but it's been a surprisingly good performer....smooth, quiet, powewful. Been darn happy with it. One concern with HF might be that the next one won't be as good, but they're return policy is excellent.
Thanks Guys. I had a Craftsman which was old and then built real well. Now I have a Central Machinery Floor press that is junk. Only lasted a few years before the cheap cast iron pulleys began breaking away from the shafts. It is now only a 1 speed and turns too fast for woodwork. I would rather spend a little more for a good one than have one fall apart on me again. Not saying all Harbor Freight stuff is junk, just haven't had too much luck with their stuff. On the other hand, I am now realizing Craftsman is not that well built anymore.
I have been looking at other equipment but as fussy as I am about quality, I want to visually inspect anything I buy. You know how hard it is to locate different brands to compare? So I seek advice from you owners of different brands.
MT Stringer I love your idea. That is something I have been thinking about for a bench drill. That way I can move it to the shop in the summer and back into my basement shop in the winter.
If you would consider a floor model, I've enjoyed my Porter Cable drill press, sold at Lowes. The table is of course a metal working table but I modified the cheapo auxliary table from Harbor Frieght and am pleased.
I would suggest going with a floor standing dp. I bought a porter cable a few years ago have use it constantly. It's not too expensive and even though at the time of purchase I had no need for the floor model but since then it has come in hand several times.
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