Author Topic: Drill Press: The Cats Meow for Woodworking.  (Read 5909 times)

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Offline martin felder

  • Posts: 115
Drill Press: The Cats Meow for Woodworking.
« on: December 29, 2019, 06:16 PM »
I was reading a couple of posts about drill presses, and saw the Nova referred to as the "cats meow" of drill presses.  I have a Powermatic.  It too has some bells and whistles - easy speed adjustment without changing belts, laser.

However, it just does not seem all that rigid and stable.  I got a Woodpeckers accessory table and fence, but to me it seems flimsy. Often I end up making a mark on the wood, lower the bit to the wood, move the wood around, and then cut while holding the wood.  Sometimes I regret not using a clamp, but I have had the clamps fail me. 

Anyhow, I came across this 1982 Rockwell radial drill press

https://sawmillcreek.org/showthread.php?146681-Benefits-of-Radial-Arm-Drill-press

Looking further, I found out it was a machine restored by a guy named Shane who had it on a shop tour video he posted

http://www.youtube.com/watch?list=PLURiUR4pBzqdYJwePugb9fJ29fNRQIk9x&time_continue=9&v=Nm0iLunAB7U&feature=emb_logo

Just a matter of opinion, but to me, a drill press like that is the cats meow!  I am not sure what that is worth, but I believe often these guys get them in not so good shape for very little money, but have the skills and devote the time to a restoration process that provides them with a machine better than money can buy new.

If I had that machine, I would make a table with a fence and stops and put is in line with my miter saw so there would be a lot of room.  Since the table does not raise or lower, and since the drill is what moves,  I would think that would allow one to leave not only the table stationary, but also the fence stationary making it very easy to index with stops. 

Anyhow, I just thought some of you may find that drill press interesting.





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Online rvieceli

  • Posts: 1421
Re: Drill Press: The Cats Meow for Woodworking.
« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2019, 06:42 PM »
Martin if you are interested in radial drill presses here is a smaller Carlton that you won't have to worry about flimsy.  [wink]

Ron

 

Offline RJNeal

  • Posts: 556
Re: Drill Press: The Cats Meow for Woodworking.
« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2019, 09:21 PM »
[ Attachment Invalid Or Does Not Exist ] I like my Boice Crane drill press. Gear driven three phase.
I enjo6ed the video on the radial drill press.
We had  a 12 or 16” column by 6 foot travel. Big machine. Everyone was scared to use it.  Sold itit to a welding shop in Napa.
« Last Edit: December 29, 2019, 09:27 PM by RJNeal »
Have you walked your saw today?

Offline magellan

  • Posts: 211
Re: Drill Press: The Cats Meow for Woodworking.
« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2019, 10:51 PM »
Great video.  We also had two of these at work. One was. 4 ft and the other a 6 ft.  I believe one had a 12” Column and the other a 16” column.  I used it for many things. I believe we had bits up to 3.5”.  Our bit racks looked like a torpedo rack with all the bits.  Most guys never took the time to learn how to use it so they stayed away from them. 

The real shame was the company did away with our fabrication department and they scraped both of them and almost every other huge machine we had.  They claimed liability reasons. Sure a waste of fine never to be made again machinery. 

Thanks for sharing

Offline demographic

  • Posts: 682
Re: Drill Press: The Cats Meow for Woodworking.
« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2019, 03:10 AM »
Great video.  We also had two of these at work. One was. 4 ft and the other a 6 ft.  I believe one had a 12” Column and the other a 16” column.  I used it for many things. I believe we had bits up to 3.5”.  Our bit racks looked like a torpedo rack with all the bits.  Most guys never took the time to learn how to use it so they stayed away from them. 

The real shame was the company did away with our fabrication department and they scraped both of them and almost every other huge machine we had.  They claimed liability reasons. Sure a waste of fine never to be made again machinery. 

Thanks for sharing

One of the places I worked at whe  I was a teenager had something I knew of as a Radial Arm Drill, anyway it was made by Cinncinati (might have been Bickford but I think there was a milling machine in the shop by Cinncinati Millacron so can't quite remember for sure) and I can remember drilling out to 65mm with it for lifting eyes.
Think it could go as slow as 28 rpm and it was a beast of a thing that kind of scared me a bit.

Not having much instruction didn't help mind, it was kind of "Use that, that does that and that locks/unlocks that and thats the speed, there you go son theres 50 of those to do for Vickers" and I was pretty much left to it.
Shortly after then the company closed down as I think it got a lot of its money from defence contracts and a lot of the money went out of that when the USSR colapsed.

Offline StanB

  • Posts: 559
  • I like building stuff with my hands.
Re: Drill Press: The Cats Meow for Woodworking.
« Reply #5 on: December 30, 2019, 08:05 PM »
@martin felder walker turner has a similar radial drill press. I have been looking for a decent one for a while now. I agree that this would be an amazing machine to complement a shop.
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Offline EdL

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Re: Drill Press: The Cats Meow for Woodworking.
« Reply #6 on: December 31, 2019, 01:25 PM »
The Walker Turner was the predecessor to the Delta, When Delta bought WT, they kept it in the line-up.

Over the years they were had 3 different base styles, enclosed cast, cast leg and finally sheet metal. There were also variations in the number of speeds and stroke length.

Delta was still selling them in the mid 2000's

I've had mine for a few years now, wouldn't know what to do without it.

Ed
 

Offline martin felder

  • Posts: 115
Re: Drill Press: The Cats Meow for Woodworking.
« Reply #7 on: December 31, 2019, 08:34 PM »
That Carlton is an impressive machine and an amazing example of the engineering and quality that went into the building of vintage metalworking machinery.

If I had unlimited space and someone gave me that machine in that condition, I would proudly display it, but for woodworking, I would favor something smaller. 

When I saw that drill press that I referenced, I thought that would be of all of the drill presses I have seen, one I would most want to have for a woodworking shop where things made are cabinets and furniture. 

Some day I would like to have a radial drill press.  However, I have not found many examples of fully restored machines.  For me, I would have to get one fully restored because I lack the machinist skills to deal with a machine that is at high risk for a mechanical problem and there is no customer support from the manufacturer for sure.  Still a risk, but less risk.

Offline Cheese

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Re: Drill Press: The Cats Meow for Woodworking.
« Reply #8 on: December 31, 2019, 09:27 PM »
That little Rockwell 1982 radial drill is indeed pretty sweet. I never knew they made them that small, my only real life experience is with the larger 8"-10" column radial drills...and they were a force to be reckoned with. [eek]   A Bridgeport is chump change (power wise) compared to a large radial drill.

Offline Cheese

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Re: Drill Press: The Cats Meow for Woodworking.
« Reply #9 on: December 31, 2019, 11:54 PM »
So this drill press thing is very interesting to me. I don't know what it is but I've always had a hankering for them as they are fascinating machine tools. So simple in their design (think minimalistic Wabeco stand with a drill attached) yet so versatile.

My current modern favorite is a Nova Voyager or better yet a Nova Vulcan. They have all the bells & whistles and convenient amenities, and are easy to assemble and light enough to transport into the basement down a flight of stairs. Reliable, equipped with digital controls and readouts and so much more of what we're accustomed to in the present century. Just yank the keyed chuck and replace it with a good keyless and you're good to go.

And then...there's the old timers, that were relied upon for years upon years to perform their operations on a daily basis, day after day, year after year.

I have an older Delta manufactured in the 80's that weighs about 300#. It's worked well for the 30 years I've owned it. An Albrecht chuck and a few mods brings it up to modern standards. However I'm torn between old school and new school and the 1982 Rockwell radial drill just exacerbates the situation. That's a pretty sweet drill press despite the minuscule 1/2 HP motor mounted on it. Don't get me wrong, 1/2 HP is fine for wood, but it's not fine for metals. I also love the production table mounted on it.

So, over the years I've been looking to add a "real" drill press to my shop. These are my 3 favorites considering that anything in excess of 600# will be difficult for me to put on my back and carry downstairs.  [big grin]


Powermatic 1200 with VFD...continuously variable speeds from 250-4600 rpm and it's just under the 600# limit.




Clausing 15" or 20" series with VFD...continuously variable speeds from 150-2000 rpm, however it pushes the scales at 630#.




Finally an Ellis 9400 with VFD...continuously variable speeds from 0-1200 rpm. Obviously focused more on the metal market than on the woodworking market. However it also tips the scales at 675#.  Like the Voyager it also has an electronic reversing feature for automated tapping.

« Last Edit: December 31, 2019, 11:58 PM by Cheese »

Offline derekcohen

  • Posts: 554
    • In The Woodshop
Re: Drill Press: The Cats Meow for Woodworking.
« Reply #10 on: January 01, 2020, 05:53 AM »
If I wanted to look at machines, collect them, then I would have Shane’s workshop. The drill he has is spectacular. Oh my ... all the old machines he has restored are spectacular!

But if I want a drill press to use, and one that will take my skills and work up a couple of notches, then I will talk about the Nova Voyager I recently purchased. For 25 years before this purchase I had a Taiwanese floor standing unit. It did the job - it does not take much to drill holes ... heck, I drill holes with a brace by preference for some holes ... but the Nova is a different beast, for a different mind set, and for different tasks. It has a beauty of its own, just a different type of beauty ...



I still love Shane’s ... sigh ...

Regards from Perth

Derek
Visit www.inthewoodshop.com for tutorials on joinery, hand tools, and my trials and tribulations with furniture builds.

Offline martin felder

  • Posts: 115
Re: Drill Press: The Cats Meow for Woodworking.
« Reply #11 on: January 01, 2020, 01:05 PM »
When comparing the Nova to the Clausing and others, they are similar in that the head is stationary.  I did not get to see how the head moves up and down on Shanes, but is sure seems very easy to move the head from back to front and I would imagine there would be no flex.

I have never used a drill press like Shane's and never even saw one like it in person, but I love the idea of a stable non-moving table that is what a radial drill press is all about (in addition to the ability to drill farther away from the edge of the workpiece.  I think that a fixed height table would really open up options for fences and stops.  I could imagine being able to walk over to the drill press equipped with a large table at a height that will be flush with other things that open up more table support,  setting the stop to the marking like on a miter saw, setting the distance from the edge of the workpiece, and drilling the hole. 

Offline martin felder

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Re: Drill Press: The Cats Meow for Woodworking.
« Reply #12 on: January 02, 2020, 12:54 AM »


Offline Mario Turcot

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Re: Drill Press: The Cats Meow for Woodworking.
« Reply #13 on: January 02, 2020, 02:04 AM »
That drill press  [jawdrop] no but  [jawdrop] seriously  [eek]

@derekcohen How did you like your table. Do you feel you have enough clamping capability?

I am at drawing mine and any input is welcome  [wink]
« Last Edit: January 02, 2020, 02:26 AM by Mario Turcot »
Mario

Offline Jiggy Joiner

  • Posts: 1111
Re: Drill Press: The Cats Meow for Woodworking.
« Reply #14 on: January 02, 2020, 09:19 AM »
I love the old pillar drills and presses. We’ve had a few including Meddings and a couple of Fobco Stars, and I really think they were built to last a lifetime but’ I absolutely love the Nova Voyager, there really is nothing else like it, and it’s easy to use and efficient.
Since I’ve had mine, I do actually use the various speeds now, where as with the belt driven machines, I tended to use what I considered to be a general setting, and plodded on. As Cheese mentioned the stock chuck and arbor are probably it’s only weakness but, easily replaced.
I’d recommend the Voyager to anybody, and the smaller Viking looks superb too.

@Mario Turcot I suppose the best size table, would be as small as you could get away with. In my case, the tables on our other drills proved to be too small a lot of the time. So I made a new one for the Voyager at a more suitable size. I didn’t want a cut out for the height crank handle, so I replace the crank handle with a wheel.
My overall table dimensions are:

750mm Wide x 450mm Deep x 35mm Thick.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2020, 05:39 PM by Jiggy Joiner »

Offline Mario Turcot

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Re: Drill Press: The Cats Meow for Woodworking.
« Reply #15 on: January 02, 2020, 11:55 AM »
My actual design is 760mm x 560mm x 36mm with a half moon in the back. I want to be able to puish back the fence as far as possible. No crank notch here too  [big grin]

I ordered an alum wheel crank and shaft + bearings to go with the coppler I found a few months ago  [wink]

I was wondering about Derek table, because in my desigh I have the same T-track design Woodpecker have. Two parallel track of ~300mm and another track across the front table. I was hesitant to use T-track at the beginning, because of the chips and dust getting clogged in the tracks.





edit: Wait, I just realized Woodpecker table do NOT have a front track  [eek] wondering where I saw that  [embarassed]
Mario

Offline Jiggy Joiner

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Re: Drill Press: The Cats Meow for Woodworking.
« Reply #16 on: January 02, 2020, 01:37 PM »
After I’d finished my table, I wondered if I’d got carried away with the channels but, they’ve proved to be really useful for all kinds of clamping.
They don’t clog, as I have an extraction port, and if that misses anything I just vacuum them when I’m finished:


Offline Mario Turcot

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Re: Drill Press: The Cats Meow for Woodworking.
« Reply #17 on: January 02, 2020, 01:49 PM »
That is for sure a nice table  [thumbs up]

I'm using the Lee Valley quad track. They will hold in place using 1/4-20 bolts. I'm always affraid of clamping too tight that the track would lift from the wood  [eek]
Mario

Online rvieceli

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Re: Drill Press: The Cats Meow for Woodworking.
« Reply #18 on: January 02, 2020, 03:06 PM »
Mario I think you would like another t track centered in front of the middle of your table. Doesn’t have to be full length, just a shirt piece parallel to the others but in front of your insert. It allows you to employ a stop against the workpiece.

Ron

Offline Mario Turcot

  • Posts: 1276
Re: Drill Press: The Cats Meow for Woodworking.
« Reply #19 on: January 02, 2020, 03:08 PM »
I see what you mean Ron, good idea. I'm about to cut the first layer of two 18mm BB. After that I will have to take a decision about the final placement of the T-tracks.

Thanks!
Mario

Offline derekcohen

  • Posts: 554
    • In The Woodshop
Re: Drill Press: The Cats Meow for Woodworking.
« Reply #20 on: January 02, 2020, 06:14 PM »

@derekcohen How did you like your table. Do you feel you have enough clamping capability?

I am at drawing mine and any input is welcome  [wink]

Hi Mario

I have not used the drill press much since building the table ... I am travelling in Europe presently. What use has been positive.

I'll post again once it has been in use for a while.

Regards from Berlin

Derek
Visit www.inthewoodshop.com for tutorials on joinery, hand tools, and my trials and tribulations with furniture builds.

Offline Jiggy Joiner

  • Posts: 1111
Re: Drill Press: The Cats Meow for Woodworking.
« Reply #21 on: January 03, 2020, 05:58 AM »
That is for sure a nice table  [thumbs up]

I'm using the Lee Valley quad track. They will hold in place using 1/4-20 bolts. I'm always affraid of clamping too tight that the track would lift from the wood  [eek]


Hi Mario, I was always concerned about lifting the channels with the clamping pressure but, it never happened. I think because the pressure doesn’t need to be too much to hold the workpiece. I always tighten the clamps steadily until the workpiece cannot move, and with a couple of clamps, there isn’t a great deal of pressure.

As a belt and braces approach with the new table, I used epoxy resin and the longest coarse thread screws I could get away with, to fix the T channels.

Offline Gone

  • Posts: 925
Re: Drill Press: The Cats Meow for Woodworking.
« Reply #22 on: January 03, 2020, 08:57 AM »
If you use your Drillpress for a lot of varying woodworking operations you will find the high fences you're showing will interfere with the chuck. The fence Derek showed with the center opening is ideal and the lower profile fence found on the Woodpecker drill press addon table is most ideal. Being easy to remove is also a big bonus.

Offline Jiggy Joiner

  • Posts: 1111
Re: Drill Press: The Cats Meow for Woodworking.
« Reply #23 on: January 03, 2020, 10:17 AM »
No, no problems with the fence and chuck, the workpiece can be moved away from the fence with spacers if the need arises. The table can be completely removed in seconds.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2020, 10:19 AM by Jiggy Joiner »

Offline Cheese

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Re: Drill Press: The Cats Meow for Woodworking.
« Reply #24 on: January 03, 2020, 11:11 AM »
Hi Mario, I was always concerned about lifting the channels with the clamping pressure but, it never happened.

As a belt and braces approach with the new table, I used epoxy resin and the longest coarse thread screws I could get away with, to fix the T channels.

I originally purchased a Rockler drill press table and I did raise the U-channels from using too much clamp force. The channels were held in using #6 wood screws.  [mad]  I removed the channels, added some PL400 and replaced the wood screws with #6 flat head screws threaded into T-nuts.

The main reason I switched over to the Woodpeckers table is because their U-channels are stronger and fastened to the table using 1/4" bolts and T-nuts.


Online rvieceli

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Re: Drill Press: The Cats Meow for Woodworking.
« Reply #25 on: January 03, 2020, 11:21 AM »


All this drill press talk reminded me to do some maintenance on mine. 😃

1963ish 16 inch ElectroMechano 601J benchtop model. Proudly made in Milwaukee Wisconsin

Continuously variable from 150 to 4000 lower range is gear driven. It got a new belt, lubed and gear box oil checked.

Ron
« Last Edit: January 03, 2020, 11:27 AM by rvieceli »

Offline Jiggy Joiner

  • Posts: 1111
Re: Drill Press: The Cats Meow for Woodworking.
« Reply #26 on: January 03, 2020, 11:42 AM »
Hi Mario, I was always concerned about lifting the channels with the clamping pressure but, it never happened.

As a belt and braces approach with the new table, I used epoxy resin and the longest coarse thread screws I could get away with, to fix the T channels.

I originally purchased a Rockler drill press table and I did raise the U-channels from using too much clamp force. The channels were held in using #6 wood screws.  [mad]  I removed the channels, added some PL400 and replaced the wood screws with #6 flat head screws threaded into T-nuts.

The main reason I switched over to the Woodpeckers table is because their U-channels are stronger and fastened to the table using 1/4" bolts and T-nuts.

(Attachment Link)

That’s much more substantial  [thumbs up]

Offline Michael Kellough

  • Posts: 5192
Re: Drill Press: The Cats Meow for Woodworking.
« Reply #27 on: January 03, 2020, 11:45 AM »
“ fastened to the table using 1/4" bolts and T-nuts. ”

If the head is inside the channel and the t-nut is buried in the bottom of the table, how is it tightened?

Offline jeffinsgf

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Re: Drill Press: The Cats Meow for Woodworking.
« Reply #28 on: January 03, 2020, 02:29 PM »
“ fastened to the table using 1/4" bolts and T-nuts. ”

If the head is inside the channel and the t-nut is buried in the bottom of the table, how is it tightened?

Bad photo...or at least inaccurate. What looks like a bolt head is actually a hex nut...which would work, but that's not what we package. Flat head machine screw (1/4-20) comes up from the bottom of the table and threads into sliding T-nut in the track.

Offline jeffinsgf

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Re: Drill Press: The Cats Meow for Woodworking.
« Reply #29 on: January 03, 2020, 02:30 PM »
(Attachment Link)

All this drill press talk reminded me to do some maintenance on mine. 😃

1963ish 16 inch ElectroMechano 601J benchtop model. Proudly made in Milwaukee Wisconsin

Continuously variable from 150 to 4000 lower range is gear driven. It got a new belt, lubed and gear box oil checked.

Ron

If that ever needs a new home...let's talk.