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Reply by Rutager

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Posted on Drill Press vs. Bridge City DJ-1

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Rutager

27 posts in 888 days


#1 posted 888 days ago

Hello,

I’ve had a DJ-1 since they were first introduced and just placed an order for a second one so I can use one in the standard dress and the other with the accessory jaws without changing things around. yes, they are fairly expensive; who cares really, we all spend lots of money on all sorts of stuff that we don’t have to have, so call the price a con if you want, but I’m going to place that in some other category.

Lot’s of pros: Accuracy is number one, it uses a stainless steel cable and pulley mechanism similar in concept to old drafting tables to insure that the tool centers perfectly- takes a fair bit of fussing and trial and error to get dead center on a drill press- DJ-1 just place on the board and clamp. The tool uses drill bushings which makes it damn near impossible for the bit to veer off course or flex. Size is another great benefit, I replaced a Walker Turner radial ram drill press with this thing and got a huge amount of space back in my tiny shop. Speaking of size, drilling into the end of long stock doesn’t work on most drill presses, but you could put an accurate hole into the top of a telephone pole if you needed to. Another thing that sets the tool apart from a press is in creative type drilling; there are many accessories available to drill curved stock, not to mention drilling into corners of stock or into centers of dowels.

Now for the cons: If you use lots of sizes of bits, you’ll need a bushing for each one (most bushings are about $12, but special order ones can get expensive). Large bits can be a challenge, it can be done, but you’ll need to run the shaft of the forstner bit in a bushing and have the cutting edge hanging below- most forstners aren’t sized on the shanks to any regular size, I have found that the Famag Bormax bits sold at Woodcraft run nicely in metric size bushings which are readily available.

I’ll wrap up by saying that I’m a big fan of the Bridge City Tools and when they announced the DJ-1, I thought that it was nice, but I don’t drill all that much on my press, so I didn’t think it would get much use, but what I quickly discovered was that instead of using the press, I was just grabbing my cordless drill to avoid the hassles of setting the press up and then getting less than accurate results, now I use the DJ-1 a lot and the holes are perfect and true.

-Rutager


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