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Drill press advice


#1

Be gentle - this is my first posting.

I’m getting ready to order a drill press (yeah!) but first need a
bit of feedback. I’m vacillating between getting the Foredom stand
(with a dedicated #30 hand piece) for my flexshaft or the
bench-mounted Proxxon. My hesitation about the Foredom stems from
the old posts I’ve read here about side-to-side lash. How much of a
problem has that been for drilling precise tiny holes for rivets,
e.g.? Can the Proxxon be retrofitted with a foot pedal for variable
speed control? If not, do those of you using it feel satisfied with
the three speeds available? I’m leery of not having control of
things that spin very, very fast…

Thanks for sharing the benefit of your experiences, be they good or
bad!

zee


#2

Hi Zee,

I'm vacillating between getting the Foredom stand (with a
dedicated #30 hand piece) for my flexshaft or the bench-mounted
Proxxon. 

I’ve used the Proxxon TBM 115 drill press for about 3 years & it’s
done everything I’ve asked of it.

One nice thing about the TBM 115 is the chuck can be replaced by
collets if you like.

The fact that it only has 3 speeds hasn’t been a problem for me.

With the addition of the adjustable xy table some truly close
positioning can be done.

Dave


#3

Zee,

The Foredom is a basic little highly controllable grinder, more or
less stock removal. Most of the smaller drill presses, I have used
with a rheostat type of control on them. I use a small mill for
precise holes and knee mill for making bigger things. All are
controllable one way or another. But I use maybe 3 different speeds
on any one of them.

Jerry


#4

Hi Zee,

why not get a regular bench top drill press. I bought a small delta
bench top and a more precise chuck and it works great for large and
small items. It’s very accurate and will hold a large variety of bit
sizes. It’s a variable speed motor by changing the belts but I rarely
have to. You can also buy different vices and jigs to secure your
work.

Just some food for thought, Scott


#5

Hello Zee,

I'm vacillating between getting the Foredom stand (with a dedicated
#30 hand piece) for my flexshaft or the bench-mounted Proxxon. My
hesitation about the Foredom stems the old posts I've read here
about side-to-side lash. How much of a problem has that been for
drilling precise tiny holes for rivets, e.g.? 

I can’t comment on the Proxxon because I’ve had no experience with
them but I do have that Foredom unit. I’ve been able to shim it well
enough that the lash is largely eliminated and it is therefore
reasonably precise. For example I’ve drilled #70 and #72 holes with
it, no problem. I must say though that I use a low speed Foredom
(Series L, 0-5000rpm) with this set-up. Personally there’s no way on
earth I’d use the regular high speed units for this.

IMHO the Foredom’s advantage is that it’s compact and, if you’ve
already got a low speed drive system, you’re getting greater use out
of a motor you already have. It is not a particularly precise nor
well-made unit.

If I were a betting man I’d wager that the Proxxon route would be
the better choice.

Cheers,
Trevor F.
in The City of Light
Visit TouchMetal.com at http://www.touchmetal.com


#6

side to side lash is always a problem and any machine can be fitted
with some sort of speed control avail from industrial supply but the
two need to be compatible which can most likely (or not) be
determined by asking the tech dept of the company you are purchasing
from. its my vague recall the proxxon was a bit pricey but then its
most likley of decent quality. my best advice is THINK AHEAD ! try
to be sure you dont out grow your fancy new piece of equipment too
quickly, it is easy to get inspired beyond the capability of a small
machine. ive drilled lots of tiny holes with a quality full size
drill press( not the cheap imported crap) fitted with a small drill
adapter chuck . i bought a granite 1220 by smithy with which i used
to build a drill press adapter for my # 30 hand piece amongst other
things to fit the #30 hand piece. it was $2500 plus a bunch of money
for tooling (that was 4 yrs ago) i had out grown it in 6 months now
its going on ebay soon at a loss no doubt as i am upgrading to a
southbend lathe and knee mill. and if you have more time than money
spend less and make do, let me know if i wasnt kind enough- goo


#7

Zee,

I have a Foredom drill press that I purchased years ago and never
used. It has sat on a shelf uncovered in my garage so it needs to be
cleaned but otherwise is in good shape. If you are interested in
making an offer on it contact me off list.

Greg DeMark
greg@demarkjewelry
www.demarkjewelry.com


#8

Machine tools are about what is called “rigidity”. The closer to an
immovable object you can be, the better. That’s why the big boys
weight 50 tons. All of the solutions that involve clamping a drill
motor into straps or the like are going to be relatively like
spaghetti. The more that you have a shaft with a screw and a strap
and another screw and another strap just lose that stoutness the
farther you get from the main support. I’ve never used Proxxon, but
they look pretty nice. I just went to ebay to refresh my memory of the
Proxxon line. There’s a drill press in and ebay store for $169 or so,
and a Micro-Mill in the same store for $269. The drill press has a
tiny looking round shaft for a support - the micromill has a dovetail
slide - you might think about the upgrade, if you have the $$$. Then
it’s also a pint-sized milling machine. The real point, though, is
that any tool that straps on a handpiece is not a good choice for what
you call “precision drilling”.

http://www.donivanandmaggiora.com


#9

Zee

Proxxon is a good drill press. No Flexshaft hanging over it. For
Precision Collets are better than a Chuck. Need be you can buy a
chuck. There is no Chatter. Dave is right the X,Y table is excellent.

Kenneth Singh
46 Jewelry Supply


#10
my best advice is THINK AHEAD ! try to be sure you dont out grow
your fancy new piece of equipment too quickly, it is easy to get
inspired beyond the capability of a small machine. ive drilled lots
of tiny holes with a quality full size drill press( not the cheap
imported crap) fitted with a small drill adapter chuck. i bought a
granite 1220 by smithy with which i used to build a drill press
adapter for my # 30 hand piece amongst other things to fit the #30
hand piece. it was $2500 plus a bunch of money for tooling (that
was 4 yrs ago) i had out grown it in 6 months 

I’m not saying Goo is wrong (though I can’t quite imagine what some
of you guys are doing with your drill press!) but just for the sake
of balance-- I have a piece of “cheap imported crap” I bought for
$40 or $50 from Harbor Freight 10-15 years ago, and it drills all
the holes I need, will hold the tiniest drill bit without a special
chuck or collet. It is huge, but fortunately I have enough room. And
it is a bit noisy, but I don’t use it all that much. I’ve never
changed the speed-- you have to shift a belt, a pain in the butt.

So it all depends on what you really need.

Noel


#11

I have a Proxxon Bench Press, and I do run it using a variable foot
pedal control. However, the motor of the Proxxon is tiny compared to
that of a flex-shaft machine, and therefore there is very little
torque at low speeds. It doesn’t take much for the spindle to bog
down and stop rotating when running it slow. This is not much of a
problem for milling wax, which is my primary use, and it should be OK
for starting a hole when drilling into materials that are not to hard
(softer metals, not steel), and then running it fast to get the work
done.

Another drawback to the Proxxon is that it operates like a
traditional bench press. There is a depth control screw for setting
the maximum depth of plunge when you pull the handle, but no way to
set the spindle at that depth. So if you wanted to mill a block of
wax at a fixed height you can’t just lower the handle to that depth
and lock it in. Your choices instead are; set the depth screw and
hold the handle down manually as you mill, or lower the whole
drilling head to the proper height, lock that in with the two thumb
screws in back, and then mill with the spindle in its highest
position. The later is what I always use, it works well but it can be
a pain when you are trying to set the milling height precisely, as
the weight of the drill head can be akward. I think the foredom does
alow the spindle height to be locked in place. This would not be an
issue if hole drilling is your main goal.

I don’t have the Foredom press, so I don’t know if the side-lash
issue has been resolved. If you were to get it, you might want to
also get one of those cheap flex-shaft machines for under 75 bucks
but still use a foredom #30 handpeice. That way you could have a
dedicated machine and not have to swap between handpeices all the
time. I have a setup with a little selector switch mounted under the
bench, with position 1 being my main flex-shaft, position 2 being the
hammer setting machine, and position 3 goes to a little outlet also
mounted under the bench for plugging in the Proxxon. All are then
controlled by the same foot pedal, and keeps me from getting
confused.

Ben


#12

Hello Zee

I can’t give you any comment about the Foredom drill press but I can
on the Proxxon. I got a micromot FBS 230/E and an Industrial model
IB/E. Both have a variable speed (5000 to 20.000). They both come
with concentricity collets in fixed sizes ( The advantage of the
micromot over the industrial one is that the lose chuck that Proxxon
sells will fit on it. No collets are needed then You can fix a hair
with it :wink: if you want. The industrial machine can take longer
working time.

I got the industrial one fixed in the drill stand MB140/S and got a
XY table KT70 fixed on the drill stand. The XY table is really good
for precision (I’m very happy with it) The fixing from the drill
stand to the industrial machine takes a good force to get it fixed
stable (I’m not such strong girl in my hands after all) This is
where a fixed one is probably better I can’t tell for I never used
one.

The foot peddle is very handy. I can’t tell you if a drill with 3
speeds will go “step less” when you use one. It works great on the 2
machines that I got.

I’m not working for Proxxon I’m just use one and I’m very happy with
what I got. It gives me the precision that I need.

Nicky
http://home.planet.nl/~grego079


#13

I’d like to ditto Noel’s posting. I also bought a cheapo drill press
from Harbor Freight, and it has met my modest needs. If I used it
everyday for hours, you’d better believe I’d have bought a better
(more expensive) model, but I don’t use it that often. I like the
Jacobs chuck which holds the tiniest drill bits and I use it on the
slowest speed. Noel’s right - changing the belt to change the speed
is awkward. Occasionally I break a bit, but not very often. Sooooo
much easier than drilling by hand with my flex shaft! It was a great
buy for $39!

Judy in Kansas