Drill press accuracy check (w/o dial)

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Forum topic by Stewbot posted 07-06-2015 04:59 PM 502 views 0 times favorited 1 reply Add to Favorites Watch
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190 posts in 501 days

07-06-2015 04:59 PM

I’m trying to check my drill press for accuracy and run out, however do not own a dial indicator at this time. Although I’m getting pretty accurate measurements by hunching over and starring at it for minutes straight, I need to run some more tests.

All joking aside, I’m haven’t recieved my dial indicator yet, but am curious if there are any tips to check things like run out or overall accuracy using a more crude method. All I’ve thought of is precisely marking cross hairs on both side of a flat and squared up board, and checking the exit hole at various lengths of quill travel, taking into account a level machine, table and a flat sitting board. I understand bit deflection when using a smaller bit, may play a role in this but overall am unsure if I’m wasting my time with these types of tests.

I’ve tried to look up how to check this sort of stuff and really can only find the method using a dial indicator, and in the mean time am just looking for a basic way to measure the over all quality of my drill press.

My drill press is the porter cable floor model. I’ve never owned a drill press, so am unsure what exactly I should expect out of it, and similialy the type of accuracy I should aim to have for woodworking.

Anyway, any tips or comments would be appreciated.

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1 reply so far

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323 posts in 1387 days

#1 posted 07-06-2015 05:03 PM

A crude check is to bend a small metal rod in a “Z” pattern. Chuck one end in the drill press, raise the table until the other end is touching or a short distance from the table. Rotate the chuck and measure the space at the four quadrants. Square (in two directions) would mean equal spacing. Same process can be performed with a dail indicator but with greater accuracy.

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