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Whisper

Good tabletop drill press?

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Over the years there have been many small projects for which I've thought, "I wish I had a drill press for that."  And there are some projects over the years that I've done with a hand electric drill or a Dremel that I should have done with a drill press.

Now, as I am thinking seriously about getting a stamp and making my own suppressor from a kit, I've decided it's also time to get a tabletop drill press, not just for gun projects but for general use.  I see there are tons of them around, but I have no idea of the relative quality.  Any recommendations?  I don't want to spend a fortune but I don't want a piece of junk.

Thanks,

Whisper

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If you find out, let me know.  My Delta variable speed exploded a drive gear 8 months ago and I have yet to find one to replace it.  I gave up trying to find a decent bench top drill press for under $500 new.  I have been trying to find something as yard or estate sales that was made in the 60s, 70s, or 80s that still has life in it.  Everything out there that I can find new is china products, cheaply made and no parts support.

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No experience with table top models, but every shop I ever worked in had a commercial grade floor model and I used them quite often. So I offer advice from that point of view. 

Stick with name brands. Milwaukee, Rockwell, etc. Go for a high HP motor and easy speed adjustment. At least a 1/2" chuck. Also look into a table mounted vice. This will be extremely handy. But most of all look for strength. You want one that's rock solid that locks tight with no movement or play at all. 

Most any cheap drill press will work for a while. But every drill press eventually succumbs to age, use and wear. They get loose and sloppy. You want one that will last a long time. Don't cheap out on it or it'll cost you in the long run. 

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Most any name brand circa $300 benchtop drill press will work for general drilling jobs around the house.

I’ve never built a suppressor, but I would think the tolerances required to position the bore to the centerline of the barrel mount would rule out a drill press, unless you have an accurate XY table that allows you to sweep it in to the centerline.

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1 hour ago, DaveTN said:

 

I’ve never built a suppressor, but I would think the tolerances required to position the bore to the centerline of the barrel mount would rule out a drill press, unless you have an accurate XY table that allows you to sweep it in to the centerline.

Don't worry, use a powerful enough round and the bullet will clear out the misalignment.   :)

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2 hours ago, DaveTN said:

Most any name brand circa $300 benchtop drill press will work for general drilling jobs around the house.

I’ve never built a suppressor, but I would think the tolerances required to position the bore to the centerline of the barrel mount would rule out a drill press, unless you have an accurate XY table that allows you to sweep it in to the centerline.

    I just finished a .22 suppressor build, using a floor model Craftsman drill press, which is easily over 50 years old.  The tolerances aren't as tight as you would think. Most folks overbore by .06 inches for safety.  For the first time builder, you might want to go with .08 inches, until you're comfortable with your mechanical skills.  For my .22 build, I used a 9/32" drill bit.  The resulting suppressor is significantly quieter than my other commercial .22 suppressor.  However, my Form 1 build has 7 baffles versus 4 baffles in the commercial silencer.  I should note that the kit that I used had dimples in all the baffles and the end cap to indicate the center point.  I also verified concentricity using a guide rod that I purchased from McMaster-Carr, as I was concerned about a baffle strike.  

 

     There are some solvent kit producers that can also provide a drill jig for the baffles.  With a jig you could drill the baffles with a hand drill, in fact they demonstrate it in their videos.  Today, making a decent suppressor is quick and easy, depending upon whether the builder uses a kit, or decides to build it from raw materials.  Using a decent kit, a builder could have working suppressor in less than an hour, and the wait for a tax stamp is significantly less than a Form 4 suppressor.  There are some quality kit manufacturers, for example check out https://www.quietbore.com

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Iv been using Grizzly machines in my shop for 30 some years. I find them pretty decent and Grizzly has a good parts dept for about any of their machines in case something breaks.  Just keep in mind, the more you spend obviously, you'll find a more heavy duty unit. I wouldn't hesitate buying from them.

  https://www.grizzly.com/search?q=(drillpress)

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Grizzly equipment is good for the price. The first lathe I ever ran was a Grizzly. It was in Vocational School and it got used and abused.

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7 hours ago, xtriggerman said:

Iv been using Grizzly machines in my shop for 30 some years. I find them pretty decent and Grizzly has a good parts dept for about any of their machines in case something breaks.  Just keep in mind, the more you spend obviously, you'll find a more heavy duty unit. I wouldn't hesitate buying from them.

  https://www.grizzly.com/search?q=(drillpress)

 

3 hours ago, Quavodus said:

Grizzly equipment is good for the price. The first lathe I ever ran was a Grizzly. It was in Vocational School and it got used and abused.

I don't know what kind of quality they are, but this looks interesting.

https://www.grizzly.com/products/Grizzly-31-3-4-HP-Combo-Lathe-Mill/G9729

 

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Posted (edited)
16 hours ago, DaveTN said:

 

I don't know what kind of quality they are, but this looks interesting.

https://www.grizzly.com/products/Grizzly-31-3-4-HP-Combo-Lathe-Mill/G9729

 

The guy who owns Grizzly is a long time bench shooter and specifically had the Asian manufacturer (my Lathe is from Taiwan) to build "Gunsmith" specific Lathes.  I would Love to upgrade to one but my old Griz is still running fine (new 220v motor about 10 years ago). I thought about that same machine before I bought the $1000 bench top mill. The size of the quill diam on the drill is a required spec for accurate milling. The combo machine could be used to thread/chamber barrels on center, mill cooling fins on barrels and lock the carriage for dove tailing barrels & pistol slides and a variety of fine milling.  I would still like to have one of those..... just for its versatility on small jobs. Honey do list is syphoning off too much scratch right now but I'm months away from SS checks :)

Edited by xtriggerman

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On 7/16/2020 at 12:52 PM, tacops said:

If you find out, let me know.  My Delta variable speed exploded a drive gear 8 months ago and I have yet to find one to replace it.  I gave up trying to find a decent bench top drill press for under $500 new.  I have been trying to find something as yard or estate sales that was made in the 60s, 70s, or 80s that still has life in it.  Everything out there that I can find new is china products, cheaply made and no parts support.

You ever find your way to Memphis I have a craftsman from the 50s ish that I would let go of.  

 

 

 

On 7/17/2020 at 6:13 AM, BHunted said:

 

I have zero experience with Wen products.   But Ive seen a lot of them popping up lately.  They seem to come out of the same Chinese factories as harbor freight and other cheap china stuff but are getting some pretty good reviews.  I'd give them a chance if I had to. 

 

 

 

On 7/17/2020 at 12:42 PM, xtriggerman said:

The guy who owns Grizzly is a long time bench shooter and specifically had the Asian manufacturer (my Lathe is from Taiwan) to build "Gunsmith" specific Lathes.  I would Love to upgrade to one but my old Griz is still running fine (new 220v motor about 10 years ago). I thought about that same machine before I bought the $1000 bench top mill. The size of the quill diam on the drill is a required spec for accurate milling. The combo machine could be used to thread/chamber barrels on center, mill cooling fins on barrels and lock the carriage for dove tailing barrels & pistol slides and a variety of fine milling.  I would still like to have one of those..... just for its versatility on small jobs. Honey do list is syphoning off too much scratch right now but I'm months away from SS checks :)

He talks about it in the history of Grizzly video.  Good watch. 
 

 

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I bought my Enco milling machine for $700 knowing it needed a new collet and chuck. The vice that came with it is worth a couple hundred. If you keep a hook in the water the rite machine will show up sooner or later

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2 hours ago, Capbyrd said:

You ever find your way to Memphis I have a craftsman from the 50s ish that I would let go of.  

I'm sure it is a far better machine than most you find today.  I haven't been to/through Memphis in ten years or more.  I don't expect I will be.  I do appreciate the offer though.

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