Reply by PurpLev

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Posted on Drill Press question?

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8535 posts in 3642 days

#1 posted 12-04-2011 03:55 AM

Tom, like you said – this is designed for milling operations and while it does do drilling operations as well, it does not excel at that like a dedicated drill press does.

compared to this (and considering this is for woodworking projects) a dedicated drill press will have the following benefits:
1. quill length – 6” compared to 2” quill travel allowing you to drill deeper holes faster and easier. (sure you can move the head on the z axis on the mill, but that is not as quick of an operation like driving the quill down and back up)
2. maintenance – a drill press is by far simpler machine (woodworking dp that is) – less parts, less overhead, less to worry about and less to maintain. with a mill you have precision x-y tables and ways that require lubing and constant maintenance to keep it all clear of debris and smooth acting (for example)
3. price – for the mill you are paying mostly for the milling capabilities (tables, spindle, speed control, precision movements and adjustements, taping capabilities, etc). if you only use this as a drill press – to me it seems like a waste of money as for the same price you could get top of the line DP, or get a really really good DP for much much less (craigslist or even new)
4. drill ends of long parts – with a DP you can move the table out of the way, with the mill – you’ll have to figure out a workaround… not so simple
5. material handling and speed of work – with a DP you can setup a DP table with stops and all and speed your process, whereas the mill is really meant to clamp your work to the x-y table and use that table to reposition your work which for drilling wood really slows you down. sure you can put a DP table on top of the mill table but then see my point 3 – you are paying for the x-y table a considerable amount and if you don’t use it – it’s a waste.

while a mill/drill can act as a woodworking DP (I’m doing so myself) if you need this for production and for woodworking projects only, then a DP will be a better choice. if you are looking into machining, or metal work, and need a jack of all trades, than the mill would work well for you, but you’ll be limited to what you can do with it woodworking related.

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