|Review by Hoakie||posted 01-15-2012 11:27 PM||8897 views||1 time favorited||20 comments|
This is the second drill press I’ve owned, but the first serious one. As you can see in one of the pictures, I had the 10” Craftsman drill press. It had a 2 1/8” quill travel and a 2/3 hp motor. Although it got small jobs done, it was never fun to use and I cursed it out every time I needed to. Obviously the Delta 18-900L is in a whole different class so any real comparison is moot. However, I can say that I don’t seem myself ever cursing this bad boy out.
I purchased the tool from Amazon and got free shipping. I placed my order on Sunday and took delivery on Friday night (I could have had it Wednesday. night but could not find a time to accept delivery from freight company). When they delivered the package everything seemed ok until I looked closely, I notice that some of the packing tape was open and and when I opened the box a few of the loose parts were jumbled. Additionally the chuck had worked it way from the box it was packaged in. However, aside from that the rest of the packaging seemed pretty solid and the head, column, base and table seemed pretty secure in the packaging. Since I wanted mobility I built a moble base ore this monster to sit on. Per Delta’s instructions I mounted the base on a 24” x 29” piece of 3/4” plywood. I then put the base and plywood on a General Universal Mobile base, rated to 500lbs. In this configuration, the DP is very solid and does not feel tipsy at all when moving across the shop.
After cleaning all the rust protection off the exposed metal parts, I assembled the column and table. A neighbor of mine was kind enough to help me with the head. It definitely takes two people (in fairly good shape) to lift the head. We didn’t have too much of a problem getting from the garage, thru the house and into the basement. Once in the basement we formulated our plan of attack and were able to lift it on the the upright column without too much worry. It did require some wiggling it get it to seat all the way down on the column head. After taking a break for dinner I followed the remaining directions to install the chuck, belt tension release handle and light. Over all the assembly was very easy and the directions were clear, as were the accompanying photos. The only other issue I had was that one of the table tilt release knobs was not threaded. It looks like the insert they used inside the knob never was put through the treading step durning manufacturing. I plan on calling Delta to have them ship me a new one tomorrow. If I had a tap and Dye I’m sure I could do it myself but I’d rather get it fixed by Delta.
I have not had the time to run it through all the paces yet but I didn’t check that the bits were square with the table and did a quick test on run out which I think was ~0.002”. at 3”, more than adequate for my woodworking.
I have attached a few more photos not normally seen in reviews. The first picture is with the LED light and Laser on without any other lights on just to give a sense how bright the LED is
This is a picture of the LED pointed at the shop wall opposite the DP (~ 17 feet) and the rest of the shop lights out.
The last picture is of the laser guide with the lights off to show intensity and line sharpness. It is pretty easy to adjust and should prove pretty handy
Overall I am very pleased with my purchase. Although there was some sticker shock, I confident that I have a drill press that will last me the rest of my woodworking days with out regret. I think the two best features I have noticed so far is the auto-tensioning belt system for fast speed changes, and the 6” quill travel. I’m not sure how many times I’ll need to drill a hole 6” deep, but it sure is nice not having to move the table up and down as much! :)
I’ll keep you posted if anything comes up to change my thoughts on this product, or if you have specific questions feel free to drop me a line.
-- John H. [To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk. ~Edison]