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May 20, 2019, 10:00 PM
In a widow with Grumpy cat.
RCWorks's Avatar
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Discussion

H/F drill press improvement


I got the cheap 8 inch harbor freight drill press around 2001.

It's done about all I ever asked of it until I needed holes drilled to a uniform depth. You may be happy with +/- .1 inches, I'm not.

I do machining as a hobby, R/C planes lead up to it.

If I make 2 of the same part I don't want to be able to tell them apart. I use jigs for positioning but still that only handle the X and Y axis, but what of Z?

Harbor freight left Z up to this part. It looks nice. they tried to overcome flex by extending it up the ring on one side but in use it's a failure. I drill blind holes, sometimes this piece is not all that thick and I measure my holes with a depth mic or digital caliper and +/- .002 inch is my standard.
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May 20, 2019, 10:11 PM
In a widow with Grumpy cat.
RCWorks's Avatar
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Now don't get me wrong, this little drill press does a great job for $50 new on /Y holes that go through...

The old part goes on a section of the head casting that is 40mm. Nut a common size on anything but Central Machinery lathes, mills and drill presses. I was able to find a steel Shaft Locking Collar, the only problem is the hole is 1.5 inches. Well I have a mill and a boring bar.

Normally this is made on a lathe then cut in half with a slitting saw or band saw. that leaves it a little sort on one dimension across the ring. Since this ring is already cut I use a #6 washer on each side to give it a little space to clamp. I have the work piece in a 4 inch chuck on the mill table and center it with the coaxial indicator.
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May 20, 2019, 10:20 PM
In a widow with Grumpy cat.
RCWorks's Avatar
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That left me with this...
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May 20, 2019, 10:22 PM
In a widow with Grumpy cat.
RCWorks's Avatar
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Now I needed a place to drill the hole.

I milled a flat side on the ring and beveled the edge of the ring and the .5"x1" bar stock I welded to it. It's not going to fall off.
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May 20, 2019, 10:30 PM
In a widow with Grumpy cat.
RCWorks's Avatar
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I needed to grind the welds flat for fit and had to thin the bar a little so the threaded rod that it the depth stop would pass through so the nut would go on. Looking back I should have threaded the part I welded to the ring and use the nut to lock it in place. Maybe next time as the plastic stop in on the bigger H/F drill presses too should I decide I need something bigger.
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May 20, 2019, 10:44 PM
In a widow with Grumpy cat.
RCWorks's Avatar
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Time to place the hole. Never just hold them together and transfer punch this. You are guaranteed to miss.

I measure from the closes part of the 40mm hole to the closest part of the .25 inch hole. Added ..125" to get to the center then made my mark and drilled it.

I will point that tab and radius the end to finish it, but I am waiting on some "cold backing" called Oxpho Blue to come in from Brownells.

Currently it works to perfection, I wished I'd done it long ago. I also included the test fit of the ring before i started grinding and welding.
Last edited by RCWorks; May 20, 2019 at 10:57 PM.
May 21, 2019, 08:32 AM
Illegitimi non carborundum
grosbeak's Avatar
Nice work!
May 21, 2019, 10:11 AM
Registered User
Nicely done.... Craftsmanship over design.
Does beg the question as to Why? the purchase of HF 'stuff' tho.
Not having HF in Canada, I recently visited one after all the talk / tales of.. I was astounded by the V low grade 'stuff' they sell.
Far worse quality than even our Canadian discount/junk vendors carry.
Clearly a Lot of people will buy anything.. simply because it's 5$ cheaper.
May 21, 2019, 11:14 AM
'Douglas' to his friends.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bare
... Clearly a Lot of people will buy anything.. simply because it's 5$ cheaper.
Or because their means are modest..? Or even because their needs are modest..?
May 21, 2019, 12:20 PM
AndyKunz's Avatar
In my case, if i need a tool for a job I'll do once in my lifetime, I'm not getting a Craftsman or Snap-On. I'll use it once for the job and put it in the garage sale box when done.

Andy
May 21, 2019, 01:00 PM
I Look, Listen, and Learn
Timbo383's Avatar
Harbor frieght used to have some "fairly" decent tools back then, now I have notice that unfortunately they are getting less "quality" stuff these past few years. I have a drill press purchased a few years ago from them and barely use it due to wobbly and misaligned craftsmanship.
May 21, 2019, 01:57 PM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by Timbo383
Harbor frieght used to have some "fairly" decent tools back then, now I have notice that unfortunately they are getting less "quality" stuff these past few years. I have a drill press purchased a few years ago from them and barely use it due to wobbly and misaligned craftsmanship.
Have you tried any of the Ryobe stuff? I have a table saw and a drill press that I thought would be good for home and hobby work. Guess again, talk about wobbly, the push thing on the table saw is so loose it wobbels in the track. I couldn't get a 90 degree cut if I wanted to.
May 21, 2019, 02:25 PM
B for Bruce
BMatthews's Avatar
To be fair to RCWorks I suspect that if he were to buy a new DP today and having his current experience in metal work he likely would look at the depth setting on this particular DP and pass it by for a better one. But at the time and as he said in the opening post it was all he needed... But that was then and this is now and he's got that hobby machine shop and some scraps of metal and time and desire...... That about cover it RCW?

And even on the "better imports" that come with home shop friendly prices like I've got I can point to a dozen things on each where I've modified or replaced the OEM parts to improve their functioning. The trick is to find the price point where the basics on them are at least done well.

VERY few of us home shop machinists can justify putting the money that front line machines cost into our shops to avoid the need for at least a few fixes and upgrades....at least not unless we want to be single in a hurry and have a desire continue being able to buy food......
May 21, 2019, 04:40 PM
I Look, Listen, and Learn
Timbo383's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by JimboPilotFL
Have you tried any of the Ryobe stuff? I have a table saw and a drill press that I thought would be good for home and hobby work. Guess again, talk about wobbly, the push thing on the table saw is so loose it wobbels in the track. I couldn't get a 90 degree cut if I wanted to.
Ryobi tools are only good for doorstops, and their so called rechargeable batteries only make for good paper weights since they start to rapidly degrade after the 9th or 10th recharge.
May 21, 2019, 05:11 PM
In a widow with Grumpy cat.
RCWorks's Avatar
Thread OP
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bare
Nicely done.... Craftsmanship over design.
Does beg the question as to Why? the purchase of HF 'stuff' tho.
Not having HF in Canada, I recently visited one after all the talk / tales of.. I was astounded by the V low grade 'stuff' they sell.
Far worse quality than even our Canadian discount/junk vendors carry.
Clearly a Lot of people will buy anything.. simply because it's 5$ cheaper.
I was on a shoestring when I started selling kits.All I needed to drill was 4 holes for #4-40 screw in the aluminum. motor mount. At the time I was a renter and large machine are a pain to move. Now I'm an owner and I feel that larger machines would be nice. I am looking at selling my Mach 1 to acquire them.

For small stuff in aluminum they are great. the 8x12 lathe is god but the 12 part is a bit short. I'm looking for a Bridgeport mill and 10" South Bend lathe. Here mills and lathes are scarce so we are looking in the rust belt where they live.

I have a few things I designed and my son makes... He has figured that the 40+ inch table of the Bridgeport would be great as he could go back and forth from the vise to the rotary table without removing either. as it is he has to swap them.

I could not touch the stuff I was without paying 4 times more than I paid for the smaller items.
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