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Thread: Used Radial Drill Press - Functionality for Hobbyist Metalwork

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    Used Radial Drill Press - Functionality for Hobbyist Metalwork

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    I've been keeping my eye out for a used sub-$200 drill press for drilling pipe, plate, bar, etc. I wouldn't be doing any tapping with it, and probably stick with twist bits 1/2" or smaller, and maybe the odd hole saw once in a while.

    I believe I understand correctly that a radial design like this offer advantages: Swinging the head around and out reaches a lot more surface area of a work piece.


    • Is the tilting head 45 degrees +/- off vertical usable for metal working? (Seems like a twist bit would want to walk away from the target)
    • Is there too much play in the tolerances of all the movable parts to make up for the extra capabilities?
    • Are older models like this more likely to be built better than current "budget" offerings?


    I appreciate any comments or advice - on this one especially:

    $150
    Delta Rockwell drill press
    American made-all cast steel (very heavy, not like the new ones from China)
    Rockwell 1/3 hp motor & chuck key
    It takes 1/2 inch drill chuck
    It runs great

    Until I actually sell something I build, going over $150-$200 isn't in the cards - meaning I won't get anything until the budget allows a higher amount. This darn thing is calling out to me though...
    Last edited by Shootr; 08-04-2020 at 10:40 PM.
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    Re: Used Radial Drill Press - Functionality for Hobbyist Metalwork

    We use one at work for cutting holes in computer room floor tiles. It's slow cutting on the tiles but it does go through. They are 11awg steel with concrete sandwiched in between.

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    Re: Used Radial Drill Press - Functionality for Hobbyist Metalwork

    I've had my Rockwell radial for about 20 years. I paid $80.00 back then. Prices vary by location and sellers. Current prices for one smiliar is around $100.00
    Like many tools it has its place. With a basic drill press you have a fixed dimension from chuck center to column. The radial allows for infinite centers within the horizontal length of the head.
    Many radial drill presses have oversized plywood fastened to the table. The oversizing allows for maximum use of the movable head. It can be handy for sure.
    It depends on what type of work you do.
    Unless you can get one for a $100 or less, consider a floor model drill press.
    Frequently, homeowners want a floor model drill press. They buy it, use it 4 times, and then decide to sell. I see floor ones for less than a bench.
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    Re: Used Radial Drill Press - Functionality for Hobbyist Metalwork

    It looks in great shape but need to know the speeds. Not sure if it was designed more for wood or metal.

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    Re: Used Radial Drill Press - Functionality for Hobbyist Metalwork

    For $200 hundred. I would get it because it's cool and radial arm. Trifecta It's Probly gone by now

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    Re: Used Radial Drill Press - Functionality for Hobbyist Metalwork

    Quote Originally Posted by Welder Dave View Post
    It looks in great shape but need to know the speeds. Not sure if it was designed more for wood or metal.
    What RPM's should I be looking for? (I believe the slower, the better for metal, yes?) If it can get down to 700, 1250 like BD1's picture above - that'd be fairly typical of a belt driven press wouldn't it?
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    Re: Used Radial Drill Press - Functionality for Hobbyist Metalwork

    Quote Originally Posted by Shootr View Post
    What RPM's should I be looking for? (I believe the slower, the better for metal, yes?) If it can get down to 700, 1250 like BD1's picture above - that'd be fairly typical of a belt driven press wouldn't it?
    Many radial drill presses like mine gave similar RPM'S. Some may go as low as 500.
    I think these are highly used in wood working. 700 RPM I think is pretty fast for steel unless . It's OK for small diameter bits.
    The 4700 RPM works OK with flapper discs.
    If you plan on drilling stainless, you gotta go slower. Depending on size, say 200 to 600 RPM.
    Check for play and movement. There should be a solid locking device for basic fixed drilling.


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    Re: Used Radial Drill Press - Functionality for Hobbyist Metalwork

    The smaller the drill bit the faster the speed but 700 as the slowest speed is too fast for a drill used primarily for metal. I'd look for 400 RPM or slower in a bench model drill press. I bought a used 12 speed floor model drill press years ago because the slowest speed was 80 RPM. I could drill 1" holes with no pilot hole.

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    Re: Used Radial Drill Press - Functionality for Hobbyist Metalwork

    Crap, it sold before I could even get the guy to pick up the phone...Oh well...the search continues...

    Are there any other older brands worthy of looking at? This is a listing for a Craftsman, but I've been googling for a while and I can't find a match to it to save my life...

    (LetGo won't let me grab the pic only to share)

    https://www.letgo.com/en-us/i/vintag...b-a23d75dec9da
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    Re: Used Radial Drill Press - Functionality for Hobbyist Metalwork

    Quote Originally Posted by BD1 View Post
    Many radial drill presses like mine gave similar RPM'S. Some may go as low as 500.
    I think these are highly used in wood working. 700 RPM I think is pretty fast for steel unless . It's OK for small diameter bits.
    The 4700 RPM works OK with flapper discs.
    If you plan on drilling stainless, you gotta go slower. Depending on size, say 200 to 600 RPM.
    Check for play and movement. There should be a solid locking device for basic fixed drilling.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Welder Dave View Post
    The smaller the drill bit the faster the speed but 700 as the slowest speed is too fast for a drill used primarily for metal. I'd look for 400 RPM or slower in a bench model drill press. I bought a used 12 speed floor model drill press years ago because the slowest speed was 80 RPM. I could drill 1" holes with no pilot hole.
    Seems like these use 1750RPM motors, pretty sure I could swap out to a 1200 or even 900 rpm motor to get the speed down - we use several motor manufacturers and rebuild shops at work so a little digging might result in something that fits and works.
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    Re: Used Radial Drill Press - Functionality for Hobbyist Metalwork

    HF model but lowest speed is 300

    https://phoenix.craigslist.org/wvl/t...159430218.html

    Its been up for 22 days, offer $60.00


    New they are $139.00
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    Re: Used Radial Drill Press - Functionality for Hobbyist Metalwork

    Quote Originally Posted by Shootr View Post
    Seems like these use 1750RPM motors, pretty sure I could swap out to a 1200 or even 900 rpm motor to get the speed down - we use several motor manufacturers and rebuild shops at work so a little digging might result in something that fits and works.
    As for motors, check rotation. Not sure what drill presses are. Depending on motor, some be switched, CCW / CW . Others One Direction only.


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    Re: Used Radial Drill Press - Functionality for Hobbyist Metalwork

    That was made for wood work
    It may work for 3/16" drilling in steel. But head will move as you are drilling.

    Dave

    Quote Originally Posted by Shootr View Post
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    I've been keeping my eye out for a used sub-$200 drill press for drilling pipe, plate, bar, etc. I wouldn't be doing any tapping with it, and probably stick with twist bits 1/2" or smaller, and maybe the odd hole saw once in a while.

    I believe I understand correctly that a radial design like this offer advantages: Swinging the head around and out reaches a lot more surface area of a work piece.


    • Is the tilting head 45 degrees +/- off vertical usable for metal working? (Seems like a twist bit would want to walk away from the target)
    • Is there too much play in the tolerances of all the movable parts to make up for the extra capabilities?
    • Are older models like this more likely to be built better than current "budget" offerings?


    I appreciate any comments or advice - on this one especially:

    $150
    Delta Rockwell drill press
    American made-all cast steel (very heavy, not like the new ones from China)
    Rockwell 1/3 hp motor & chuck key
    It takes 1/2 inch drill chuck
    It runs great

    Until I actually sell something I build, going over $150-$200 isn't in the cards - meaning I won't get anything until the budget allows a higher amount. This darn thing is calling out to me though...

  19. #14
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    Re: Used Radial Drill Press - Functionality for Hobbyist Metalwork

    Quote Originally Posted by smithdoor View Post
    That was made for wood work
    It may work for 3/16" drilling in steel. But head will move as you are drilling.

    Dave
    Mine has a locking pin to secure it both directions. Solid and doesn't move.
    This maybe worth reading.

    https://images.homedepot-static.com/...a722b4ea2f.pdf


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    Re: Used Radial Drill Press - Functionality for Hobbyist Metalwork

    I like the vintage craftsman - I bought a mid 50's craftsman a few years back - a bench top drill press. just solid - I'm just a hobbyist but when I've wanted to drill through plate, pipe, rebar - it just runs it through. I recently found what appears to be an early 1940's Delta Rockwell floor drill press I'm restoring - while I've torn down a seized 3/4hp original motor just today picked up off CL a 1/2hp Delta Rockwell motor (that apparently came off of a "vintage delta rockwell drill press" as well) that I'm going to hook up while I destroy errrr - rebuild the original 3/4hp motor... I love the look and run of the vintage stuff - if it was maintained - I'm saving the floor press from scrap! Go for the vintage if you can get it cheap is what I'm sayin!

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    Re: Used Radial Drill Press - Functionality for Hobbyist Metalwork

    Quote Originally Posted by jfk92 View Post
    I like the vintage craftsman - I bought a mid 50's craftsman a few years back - a bench top drill press. just solid - I'm just a hobbyist but when I've wanted to drill through plate, pipe, rebar - it just runs it through. I recently found what appears to be an early 1940's Delta Rockwell floor drill press I'm restoring - while I've torn down a seized 3/4hp original motor just today picked up off CL a 1/2hp Delta Rockwell motor (that apparently came off of a "vintage delta rockwell drill press" as well) that I'm going to hook up while I destroy errrr - rebuild the original 3/4hp motor... I love the look and run of the vintage stuff - if it was maintained - I'm saving the floor press from scrap! Go for the vintage if you can get it cheap is what I'm sayin!
    Well I tried...went and looked it over tonight. Power cord missing plug and numerous cuts. On/Off switch MIA. Lots of surface rust on tubes, quill, and chuck. Retract spring non-functional. He said it was his grandfathers and hardly ever used - yeaaaaaah, ok. I offered $20 and he declined.

    The hunt goes on.

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    Re: Used Radial Drill Press - Functionality for Hobbyist Metalwork

    I think bench top drill press take up more space. A floor press could be used in tight quarters. Yet a bench top drill will take up bench space then need to be moved if the space is needed. If a dedicated base is made it wont likely be smaller than a floor press base.

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    Re: Used Radial Drill Press - Functionality for Hobbyist Metalwork

    https://offerup.com/item/detail/947919713/

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    This question probably answers itself, but...

    This is on the local sales site for $200:
    Jet 716000 JWDP-12 Drill Press

    Issue is it has a crack right through the case/housing by the quill:
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    So is that the end of the story - walk away? I in no way am confident in my skills to try and repair, but figured as it's Saturday morning I'd see what you thought.

    Thx


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    Re: Used Radial Drill Press - Functionality for Hobbyist Metalwork

    I wouldn't give more than 50 for it, and then strip it for parts

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    Re: Used Radial Drill Press - Functionality for Hobbyist Metalwork

    Quote Originally Posted by Shootr View Post
    https://offerup.com/item/detail/947919713/

    Name:  7cca3801a141420b86324f23ea7ead23.jpg
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    This question probably answers itself, but...

    This is on the local sales site for $200:
    [FONT="]Jet 716000 JWDP-12 Drill Press

    Issue is it has a crack right through the case/housing by the quill:
    [/FONT]
    Name:  f6739ff1681f4dcea5a6937800064d28.jpg
Views: 225
Size:  22.3 KB

    So is that the end of the story - walk away? I in no way am confident in my skills to try and repair, but figured as it's Saturday morning I'd see what you thought.

    Thx


    As Fnord5 said, this isn't worth more than scrap value.
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    Re: Used Radial Drill Press - Functionality for Hobbyist Metalwork

    Quote Originally Posted by Shootr View Post
    This question probably answers itself, but... So is that the end of the story - walk away? I in no way am confident in my skills to try and repair, but figured as it's Saturday morning I'd see what you thought.
    Well, to be fair, that crack isn't going that bad to repair. I'm not saying you could fix it up like brand new, but you could easily drill a small hole at the ends of the crack to stop it continuing, and then cross the crack with a short piece of metal that you drill and tap into the housing. That reinforces the area and prevents further damage.... without you having to invest hundreds of hours in to tearing the thing apart, cleaning, brazing, painting and reassembling. It'd be one of those 15-minute patch jobs that makes sure things are functional and solid... even if they're a bit ugly. Lots of old tools have similar patches done to them because castings do break.

    Is it worth it for a cheap-o Jet drill press? Not for me, but it might be for you. If you're willing to spend $200, though, you really should keep your eyes on places like FB Marketplace. I'm always seeing vintage drill presses going for around that much, or less, and I'd much rather have a drill from 1902 that needs a good bit of work.... than some nasty ugly modern Jet junk.

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  31. #22
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    Re: Used Radial Drill Press - Functionality for Hobbyist Metalwork

    I have one I've been trying to sell. Used it for years to drill wood and small holes in metal. Picked up a HF mini-mill and it is so much nicer to use for most anything I need to drill. I did use the radial arm to drill up a bunch of 45 degree holes in some 4x4s and then counterbore them with a Forsner bit. Would not have wanted to do that with the mill. Have the RA disassembled and will probably keep it to use for the odd job. Name:  AMT radial arm saw.jpg
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