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The Steel City Drill Press had what I was looking for.

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Review by Dan Pleska posted 02-29-2008 04:50 PM 9283 views 1 time favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch
The Steel City Drill Press had what I was looking for. The Steel City Drill Press had what I was looking for. The Steel City Drill Press had what I was looking for. Click the pictures to enlarge them

I was looking for a drill press with a long quill travel and found it in the Steel City 17” drill press. At 6” it has the longest quill travel that I could find in its price range. It was a little more expensive than the comparable models, but I got it at a show and with the $75 dollar rebate at the time it brought it to within dollars of the competition. With all other specifications being similar, the quill travel was what sold me.

It probably isn’t any secret why it looks like the Delta, since the guys that started Steel City used to work for Delta.

I wasn’t looking for a high dollar drill press with loads of features. I don’t change speeds very often, so the manual belt change was acceptable. The tilting table has a positive lock at 45 degrees in both directions, but the table can be rotated to 90 degrees. I used that feature to clamp the bow back for a Windsor chair and make a tenon of the ends with a tenon cutter. The 3/4 hp, 1725 rpm, motor has plenty of power. The 1/2” chuck mounted on a #2 Morse taper is removable and sometimes does double duty on my lathe.

All in all, I’m very satisfied with this drill press and recommend it.

-- Dan, West Virginia, http://www.danpleskaCreations.com




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Dan Pleska

138 posts in 2616 days



16 comments so far

View Woodchuck1957's profile

Woodchuck1957

944 posts in 2419 days


#1 posted 02-29-2008 05:56 PM

Dan, from what I can tell the 17” Steel City drill press you bought is probably your best bang for the buck in a 17” drill press. They gotta be selling like hot cakes. I wouldn’t be a bit suprised if it is Steel City’s best selling machine.

View Bruce's profile

Bruce

187 posts in 2430 days


#2 posted 03-01-2008 04:08 AM

Pretty cool, Dan. Have you had it long? Where, what show did you get it at? Check your email.

-- I think of Jack Nicholson as the Joker in Batman when he says "Where does he get those wonderful toys" and ask WHERE DO U GUYS GET ALL THAT WONDERFUL WOOD?

View Lori's profile

Lori

66 posts in 2580 days


#3 posted 03-07-2008 11:20 PM

I agree with you that the Steel City DP was a good deal. I did alot of research, I only wanted to buy a DP once. The Steel City had everything I could want for the best price. It came with a free laser, which I admit I wouldn’t have bought, but find to be a wonderful addition. I also don’t change speed often, so the manual belt changes are not really a big deal for me. Still I find the wide range of speeds available to be a great feature.

-- Lori

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iannlb

11 posts in 2435 days


#4 posted 03-19-2008 05:49 AM

Good power, big, heavy and suprisingly well made laser.

-- Iannlb

View timrowledge's profile

timrowledge

45 posts in 2188 days


#5 posted 10-17-2008 09:45 PM

I got one last january; Midland Tools delivered it to my workshop door for me and the delivery guy even helped me unpack it. I love it. The long travel quill saves time when changing drills since I don’t have to keep moving the table up and down and realigning. It’s solid and quiet. The laser is amazingly useful and quite precise. All in all a real deal.

View Don's profile

Don

26 posts in 2005 days


#6 posted 03-26-2009 10:50 PM

Does anyone owning the SC drill press have ANY complaints at all, or is this the perfect DP?

-- Don

View Dan Pleska's profile

Dan Pleska

138 posts in 2616 days


#7 posted 03-27-2009 04:15 AM

I wouldn’t say it is the perfect drill press by any means, but it is one of the best values for its price range.

-- Dan, West Virginia, http://www.danpleskaCreations.com

View Don's profile

Don

26 posts in 2005 days


#8 posted 03-30-2009 11:43 PM

Saturday I bought the Steel City. I THINK I’m pleased with it. The motor has a slight rumble and vibration to it prior to it stopping after I turn it off. The Steel City rep told me that is what it’s supposed to do. It is one circuit jumping to another so that the machine will easily turn on each time.

It also has a slight squeaking noise, which I followed to the turning of the motor shaft. I disconnected the rear belt and turned the pulley connected to the motor shaft by hand. The rep told me that should go away.

The belts also squeak, but he said that will stop as soon as they are worn in.

Did any of you experience these traits?

-- Don

View Dan Pleska's profile

Dan Pleska

138 posts in 2616 days


#9 posted 03-31-2009 02:23 PM

I think the vibration when stopping and the belt squeak (which stopped) were all I experienced.

-- Dan, West Virginia, http://www.danpleskaCreations.com

View Don's profile

Don

26 posts in 2005 days


#10 posted 03-31-2009 11:00 PM

Thanks, Dan. I feel better now.

-- Don

View Don's profile

Don

26 posts in 2005 days


#11 posted 04-20-2009 09:23 PM

As a follow up, I very much like the SC drill press, and am now considering buying their 35905G table saw.

Incidentallly, their service is superb, especially when compared to Delta.

-- Don

View Fallon's profile

Fallon

80 posts in 1783 days


#12 posted 03-07-2010 01:55 AM

I was going to buy a Ridgid (either new, or look at a couple used on CL) & stumbled across my Steel City. Allegedly it had only been used a half dozen times & despite a good layer of dust that appears to have been the case.

I haven’t noticed any belt squeaking, but it does the very muffled rock crusher impression when you shut it off. The lever for the motor/belt tensioner is a bit close to the main handle to raise/lower the quill. I occasionally pinch my hand between them when doing a lot of quill travel.

It does have ribbed belts on it rather than a V-belt, so I don’t know if I can put in one of those V-link belts in. Not that there’s a real need, but I’ve been planning on using one of those V-links on all my gear whenever I need to replace belts.

I do like the hinge for the lid on the Ridgid more than the simple side flip on the Steel City, but it’s not that big of a deal at all. Runout was all but non-existent when I hit it with my dial gauge (don’t remember the numbers as it was a while ago).

All in all, for $200 I paid for it, the extra quill travel & 2” of throat over a 15” made this a no brainer of a used deal compared to a new or used deal on a Ridgid.

Mine doesn’t have the laser, is that a worthwhile upgrade? I’ve noticed on the Craftsman & Delta’s, the lasers are a long ways from the chuck, which makes for horrible parallax errors (need to recalibrate them every time you raise or lower the table).

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Fallon

80 posts in 1783 days


#13 posted 03-07-2010 01:56 AM

Oh, and the depth stop works really well. It has a push-button to disengage the threads to quickly raise/lower it, then let go & spin it for fine adjustment.

View Dan Pleska's profile

Dan Pleska

138 posts in 2616 days


#14 posted 03-07-2010 03:13 AM

I’ve never thought that the lasers were a worthwhile upgrade. I go the low-tech way. I have an old scratch awl that lost it’s handle. I chuck it up, lower it into the mark and lock the quill. Then I clamp the board so it doesn’t move, unlock the quill and put the drill bit in. That’s only if it has to be right-on, otherwise I eyeball it.

-- Dan, West Virginia, http://www.danpleskaCreations.com

View edz's profile

edz

9 posts in 1850 days


#15 posted 01-21-2013 08:52 PM

I’m looking at the Steel City 17” Drill Press. The only online store I found so far that handles the Drill Press is Tool King. Have any of you bought one from another online store? If so, from whom? I appreciate the feedback.

-- Ed, Raleigh, NC

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