If you have been following along, I have been working on building out my shop (tools, equipment and such). The past two weeks have been eventful, for certain.
New tools and equipment:
Porter Cable Floor Mounted Drill Press
Hitachi 12” Compound Slider Miter Saw
Misc. Hand tools and accessories
I will write up and post Tool Reviews on both of these, after I’ve used them for 30 days or so. Below is the brief walk-through.
Hitachi (a few weeks ago) lowered the price of their top of the line Miter Saw. I got a 10% discount coupon, and picked one up. At the same time (given the coupon worked for one ‘shopping trip’), I also got the drill press.
The Hitachi saw was a piece of cake. Take it out of the box; do a few very minor adjustments and installation items; plug it in and make sawdust. That is one very sweet saw. The first cut I made, just simply was more than I expected. I realize the blade/saw is new, but the edges/face of the board after the cut looked sanded. The ‘vertical’ 90 degree setting on the saw is just a ‘bit’ off – based upon the guide marking on the back of the saw. I’m going to look at Hitachi’s site to see if that has any adjustment to it. For the most part, I just dial in 0 degrees, and a tweak to the setting and I’m at 90 degrees ‘plum’.
The real work involved installing the drill press. The pic’s I’ll post today covers the drill press.
I looked at and read most all of the reviews/projects/forum discussions on building a drill press mobile base. The one thing that struck me, was that most people seemed to make a mobile base with a small footprint. Also many commented on the instability and ‘shaky’ performance of their bases. I wanted to design and build one that addressed most all the problems mentioned.
I spent the better part of 2 days working on the base (not full time mind you, but quite a bit of design/layout) work. Here are some of the pictures.
I used the Harbor Freight mobile base (rated at 300 lbs – 190 lb drill press). My first chore was deciding how big to make it. Important to me was to make sure that the base had enough foot print side-to-side and front to back. Especially in the back, as the motor hangs off the back of the ‘head assembly’. I also wanted to make the footprint of the base (where the drill press mounted), substantial enough to add a bit of weight and to also maintain safety considerations. I will post this up as a project, given how good this turned out. The base is made out of two pieces of 2×12, about 25 inches long. This provides the footing/base for the lower mounting plate of the drill press. I used 7/16” bolts, countersunk from the bottom (floor clearance concerns) up through the 2×12’s and the drill press base. Additionally, I drilled a hole in each of the metal corner brackets of the harbor freight base. This allowed me to use 5/16” bolts up from the bottom (really slim here so simply the bolt head and a flat washer); through the 2×12 and then washer, lock washer and nut. When the HF base and the drill press base was bolted together, it weighed in the 60 lb area (my guess). next came the heavy lifting.
While I was able to install the ‘drill stand’ and the table, without help, I needed all the help I could get for the head assembly. I used the 2 ton ‘mini-crane’ that I bought, with two 6’ 2,000 lb straps, to lift and position the head assembly – then lower it down onto the drill stand.
Once I had everything all assembled and running, moving the drill press around and to it’s current location – was a breeze. No wobbling. To sudden movements (to either side or back/forth) and not too bad to move. I have a pier/beam foundation with a wooden (plywood floor), so it does not move quite as well as it would on concrete.
All in all, it is Solid! While running at about 1/2 speed, there is no shaking or vibration that I can tell from the motor/belts and all the movement. Just nice and smooth. I’ll post up a full review after about 30 days, and also after I have the chance to check the run out.
Almost forgot, got a great deal on a big Dewalt router kit router with three bases (fixed, plunge and ‘d – handle’). I also bought a side guide for it. Only have opened it, so I now need to look at the options on a router table.
Sorry, I should have edited/rotated the pics before posting. I’ll clean that up this week.
-- John in E. Texas