Chinese drill press

I bought a cheap drill press from a local small store, which will not
take it back. It drills fine, but the the whole body of the drill,
which should be adjustable on the pole on which it sits does not
move. It is stuck at the top of the pole, making the drill bit hover
6" above the base plate.

There is a lever that seems like it should move the body of the drill
by pumping it?? I think, like a Hydraulic Press, but the sides of it
are loose and not touching the bolt, which should adjust it. There is
a nut for the bolt, but it is embedded inside the the body and I
cannot get to it. Maybe, I need to turn the handle, instead of
pumping it, I could maybe turn it with a wrench and a little oil
,but I want to know what I am doing before I apply a lot of force and
break the whole thing.

I can override the problem by putting a piece of thick wood (over 2"
on the base plate), but this seems unstable to me. Any suggestions
would be appreciated.


Most Drill presses, it is the platen that moves up and down, not the
Head. Yes, the bit should move up and down a couple of inches on the
arbor, but again, the Platen (Base Plate) is what typically moves up
and down. There should be a little release lever on the platen by the
pole that unclamps it.

hopefully, it also has a crank to easily raise and lower the platen,
if not you will have to heft it yourself.

Chris Lund

What you need is to find someone who grew up with popular mechanics
megazine, ie someone that is an amateur model engineer or old style
machine shop operative.

someone who has spent a lifetime fixing things but not with a
hammer.!! He will find the problem and fix it for you. Maybe your
local school CDT class reacher It sounds like stiff sliding joint.

Not a bad thing in a new machine.

If you were near, it would be just a 10 min job for me. FOC.

Let us know the outcome.

Without a picture or brand/model name it’ll be impossible to give
you advice about the actual drill press you’ve bought. Did it not
come with a manual?

If I’ve imagined your situation correctly though, I’m thinking the
lever you’ve been pumping is the handle for a turn screw that clamps
the drill’s body to the vertical post. It’s hinged so you can flip
the handle to whichever side gives you the best mechanical advantage
to turn the screw.

Turn the screw and the clamp should loosen, letting you slide the
drill up and down the post. As long as you’re turning it the right
direction and you aren’t using a pipe as a cheater bar, I’d say
there’s probably little chance of you damaging the press.

I’d make sure there’s no bit in the drill and your hands aren’t
underneath the body before you loosen it. Maybe leave the block of
wood there too.

Don’t want anything to get pinched if the screw loosens suddenly and
the drill drops all the way down.

Hope this helps,

meryl, it is not the head that moves, it stays at the top of the
pole, and there is an arm or a triple pole arm on the right side of
the head, as you are looking at the front, that lowers and raises
the drill bit in the chuck, but the table at the bottom of the pole
is what slides up and down, it has a little release arm on the right
side of the table which you turn counterclockwise to loosen and the
table then slides, it is nice to

Meryl, could you find someone well-versed in machine tools to show it
to, and get you started with it? A machine shop, or even an auto body
shop or something might have guys that have used drill presses a lot.
I think you need some hands-on assistance with this one.

Good luck, and don’t give up yet!
M’lou Brubaker
Minnesota, USA

Grasp the handle of what you have been pumping and rotate your wrist
in a counter clockwise direction. Hold that which you think should
be moving up and down as it may do so all of a sudden. There is a
small drill press in the Rio Grande and Otto Frei catalog for about
$80. I bought one and it serves my purposes. Look at it first to see
if it looks anything like the one that you have. If that is the case,
do what is written above or download the manual from Rio or Otto and
read what to do. Rob

Put it in a garage sale and buy a good press from Rio Grande or

Cheap presses have so much wiggle when they drill they are not worth
the savings.

Barbara Blaschke

Hi Meryl,

Most modern drill presses are designed to sit at the top of the
’spine’pole. The motor unit lives up there, and doesn’t move. Either
the table moves up to drill, or the quill (drill chuck and supports)
moves down, but the main unit stays still.

I’ve never seen one weighing less than a car that used hydraulics to
move the table around, so odds of that lever being designed to pump
are low.

From your description, I honestly have no idea what you’ve got, or
what’s wrong with it. It might be that you’re missing the table.
That’s the first thing that comes to mind from reading your
description. Could you post some pictures? I’m sure Hanuman will
append the ‘how do I share pictures’ info here. (I honestly don’t

Once we can see it, then we can help.


You didn’t say why they wouldn’t take it back?

Jeff Herman

cheap drill press from a local small store Is there a brand name?
No instruction book? 

Typically, the body of the drill is fixed, and the table (your “base
plate”) moves up and down on the guide post. Give us more detail,
please. I suspect that the drill press is OK and you just need to
know how to use it.

Al Balmer

I think you are missing something easy. There should be a handle
that makes the drill move up and down. There might be a collar that
locks the depth that the drill comes down, that might be tight.
Should be all mechanical, no pumping. I would apply force where you
feel it’s needed


In Australia consumer law says a good must be “fit and proper for
its intended use”.

If not the seller can “repair, replace or refund.”

Read the specs and ring consumer affairs see what they say.

Sounds like there is something wrong with the drill.


Hello Meryl Freedman and all Orchid Members, the big issue that I can
see in this blog is as you said is: Chinese Drill Press & Cheap. Oh
so many times people buy Cheap made in China products, sending our US
dollars to another country and then have issues with the products. My
Company Lucas Dental Co. manufactures Centrifugal Casting Machines
with US Made Quality. Oh so many times we get orders from people who
have purchased a Cheap Made in China Centrifugal Casting Machine who
wished they had’nt and now they are ordering one of our Centrifugal
Casting Machines. The moral of this story is "Buy Made in the U.S.A."
products and keep our $money in the USA. Thank you, Sincerely,
Richard Lucas


How about e-mailing an image of the press?

Jeff Herman


How can I share files and pictures with the list?

Or… send the files to the attention of and
we will upload them for you…