Drill press (maybe bits) recommendations?

solteroblues

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I have a 10" Ryobi bench top drill press that is decent enough to put a hole in something, but its accuracy is awful. You can see the bit run out excessively, so much so, that it nearly makes oval holes instead of round ones. I don't know if its the press's fault or the drill bits, but its pretty bad. Also, most of the time, the drill bit comes out the other side of the wood at a slight angle as if it is bending or something, even though I've checked the bit with a good machinist's square and it's perfectly 90 degrees all around. Maybe the motion of the drill press head downward isn't in plane or something, or again, it could be the drill bits themselves.

Anyway, I don't have a lot of room for a bigger drill press, but I would like something better. Can any of you guys recommend something similar in size, but of much better quality? Or do you just think it could be the cheaply made bits? I've tried several different brands, but they pretty much all perform the same.

Thanks!
 

endial

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It appears you've eliminated the bits as the problem if you've tried other brands of bits with the same results. Sounds more like the drill presses' main shaft is bent. It's done. One can usually find decent enough benchtop DP's in their local classified sections (Craigslist/Marketplace) for fifty bucks. Do you have a Harbor Freight nearby? Terrific for hobbyist tools and especially for decent enough drill bits. And on that note, look into a set of brad point drill bits. They aren't tapered at the ends like typical drill bits where they slide all around when trying to pinpoint a center mark.



Also, you should back the piece you're drilling with a scrap piece of wood to prevent it from busting out at the back of the hole.

Lose that drill press.



Good luck!
 

ARandall

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Drill presses are fairly simple......an up and down motion plus a surface for your work to sit on (I'll call it a tray).
Part of owning such tools is the process of truing them up. Yours may be too far gone now just from use, but it also may never have been set up properly. This involves using a builders square to make sure the action of the press is actually perpendicular to the surface your work is sitting - the adjustment of course being altering the angle of the tray.

Another part of drillpress use is realising thin drills will want to wander/drill sideward if they are drilling harder woods, if they get hot, or if you try and force them. You use sharp bits with very little pressure on the bit itself, and choose your RPM's to suit the task.
 

solteroblues

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The press is new, so it’s not worn out. I have adjusted it to be perfectly square with a machinist square, the problem seems to be it doesn’t rotate perfectly centered, or it’s as if the bit starts to bend as it’s going through the wood. I’m not drilling hardwood all of the time, it does it in mdf and pine too.

i don’t mind spending a little more for a higher quality press, I just don’t know what other similar presses would be better. I don’t think HF would be any better, nor would grizzly or the like.
 

bad565ss

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I have a 12" WEN variable speed. My wife got it for me as a gift. They get mixed reviews mostly regarding the cheap chuck having run out.
Mine is fine. If the chuck had excessive run out I would have just upgraded the chuck and arbor.
Mine has been good. I use it a lot.
 

ARandall

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The press is new, so it’s not worn out. I have adjusted it to be perfectly square with a machinist square, the problem seems to be it doesn’t rotate perfectly centered, or it’s as if the bit starts to bend as it’s going through the wood. I’m not drilling hardwood all of the time, it does it in mdf and pine too.

i don’t mind spending a little more for a higher quality press, I just don’t know what other similar presses would be better. I don’t think HF would be any better, nor would grizzly or the like.
If the bit is bending then of course that is not the press. Quality bits are important of course no matter what press you have as thin holes require care/technique.
But thats different to the chuck being installed off - I mean you'd see that immediately as the drill itself will wobble.
I bought a Ryobi too, not sure on the size but the chuck was something you had to install yourself. The first one was bad - and even following the correct installation instructions you could see the bits making an elliptical pattern, so I had to return it. The new one went on much better.
 

Ripthorn

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Both Grizzly and Jet make benchtop drill presses that will be a huge step up from anything from Ryobi, HF, etc. My dad had a bench top delta for decades and it always worked quite well. Aside from bits, smaller presses like that tend to use a chuck that is attached via a screw to the quill. A better quality press will use something with a Morse or Jacobs taper, which allows for replacement with a better chuck, if needed.
 

solteroblues

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so i went out to the press to take some pictures and a video of the bit. Guess what? For whatever reason, it did not do anything off. I drilled a few 2x4's and the holes were perfect. Maybe it was just the drill bits afterall, or maybe there was trash in the chuck making the bit wobble or something. SO I guess I'm good unless it starts up again.

By the way, what are some good brands for drill bits? I've tried several, including Bosche and DeWalt, but I don't think any of them were great.
 

RogerC

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Does the press have a keyless chuck or is there a key? If it's keyed, you'll want to be sure to tighten from each key location equally.

Also, depending on the size, drill bits will wander as they go through the wood because of variance in grain density. In some situations (such as string-through holes in a Tele), you'll actually want to drill partially from the top and then flip the body over and register with a registration pin to finish the hole from the back side.
 

pshupe

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Does the press have a keyless chuck or is there a key? If it's keyed, you'll want to be sure to tighten from each key location equally.
Is this really a thing? It's a splined key that twists the chuck tighter on threads. Isn't it like saying when you tighten a nut you have to tighten each of the six sides equally?

Cheers Peter.
 

SlingBlader

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so i went out to the press to take some pictures and a video of the bit. Guess what? For whatever reason, it did not do anything off. I drilled a few 2x4's and the holes were perfect. Maybe it was just the drill bits afterall, or maybe there was trash in the chuck making the bit wobble or something. SO I guess I'm good unless it starts up again.

By the way, what are some good brands for drill bits? I've tried several, including Bosche and DeWalt, but I don't think any of them were great.
I have the full index of brad points made by W. L. Fuller. They are excellent quality, but pretty spendy. You can get them through Tools for Working Wood. My next purchase will be the full index of metric brad points.
 

RogerC

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Is this really a thing? It's a splined key that twists the chuck tighter on threads. Isn't it like saying when you tighten a nut you have to tighten each of the six sides equally?

Cheers Peter.
With a nut, you're applying force to opposite sides equally if you're using an open-ended wrench (to all sides equally if using a socket or close-ended wrench). With a key, you're applying force only to one side at a time which results in uneven tightening of the jaws.

You'll notice that machinists will tighten the jaws separately on multi-jaw lathe chucks to adjust how well centered the workpiece is. It's the same concept in a drill press chuck.
 
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cmjohnson

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Even premium drill bits are pretty inexpensive, when you only buy the sizes you need.,

So...I buy premium drills. Cleveland Twist Drill, Titex, Greenfield, etc. Absolutely never anything made in China. USA made only. (Or German.)

Youi're making a guitar that should be worth thousands of dollars. Saving 3 dollars on a drill bit for a critical hole simply makes no sense.
 

Deftone

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FWIW (Engineer/Machinist) for really tight tolerance holes (-.001") we will check drill bit runout with an indicator and lightly tap the high side with a small hammer until it runs true.
 


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