Drill press question about sideways movement

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Forum topic by abehil posted 01-10-2016 01:28 AM 1258 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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104 posts in 1308 days

01-10-2016 01:28 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question

I don’t know exactly what this problem is called but I’d like to know if it’s only a problem on cheap HF drill presses.

If you lower the chuck some and push forward/backward or side to side on the drill bit (or even without a bit installed) should the mechanism holding the chuck (whatever those parts are called) move or should they hold the chuck firmly?

I picked up a HF 8” press and assembled it. When the chuck is all the way up, it is held firm. But after dropping it down it can be moved. That actually is a tilt I think. If the wood I’m drilling had a slope to it the bit would be inclined to shift slightly to follow the slope. I’m sure that if I pressed down pretty hard the bit might be inclined to follow the wood grain, maybe not much but some at least.
Another problem I see is using a forstner bit a little ways and then drilling with a small bit down the center. I bring the small bit down into the hole to line it up with the center, then even when holding the stock solidly, the small bit can sometimes jog over a little and then it’s not centered. Is this a common issue with drill presses?

Is this a problem with cheap drill presses or are they supposed to flex a little for some reason?

8 replies so far

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David Taylor

326 posts in 1056 days

#1 posted 01-10-2016 02:44 AM

That should not be happening. At all.

-- Learn Relentlessly

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6609 posts in 2168 days

#2 posted 01-10-2016 02:52 AM

Seems it might be a common problem with those drill presses…
Read more here.


-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View teejk02's profile


481 posts in 1094 days

#3 posted 01-10-2016 04:26 PM

Seems it might be a common problem with those drill presses…
Read more here.
- MrUnix

Thanks for the link to the earlier thread Brad. I happened to notice the end of my Delta chuck key was machined to somewhat of a square drive (I’ve only owned it for about 12 years now but never really noticed). Mine is a bit sloppy and I just figured that’s what it was (I use brad point bits where precision is required). Will have to get the book out.

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104 posts in 1308 days

#4 posted 01-10-2016 07:52 PM

Since I’m 60 miles away from the HF I decided to check this out on my dp to better understand it. Here are some pictures locating the screw and the keyway it’s supposed to work in (but doesn’t fit correctly).

Here is where it’s located on the drill. The next picture is peering through the screw hole to the keyway. And a picture of the screw showing how it’s sort of squared (more like rectangled) on the end.

I measured the keyway and screw head. The first thing that stood out to me is that the screw is 1/64” smaller than the keyway and that’s a lot of slop.
What I’d like to do is get a keystock 3/16” 10/128” x 3/4” and drill a small pilot hole about in the middle that the screw could seat into holding the keystock in the groove so it stays in the same place as the quill moves up and down.

Groove width: .1915” (25/128)
Groove depth: .0845” (11/128)
Screw end width: .1805” (23/128)

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104 posts in 1308 days

#5 posted 01-10-2016 10:20 PM

Disclaimer: Don’t forget I already said I don’t know anything so it’s ok if I answer my own posting with more information. :)

Anyway, as I search around a bit it appears to me that a thing called a dog point set screw might replace the factory supplied set screw. The dp’s set screw is metric 8×16mm long. So I looked up where to get them and it seems that the groove in the dp doesn’t match the dog point tips of the set screws I can find.

Here is a page with a chart showing sizes.
The M8 row in the chart shows a point diameter with a min/max of 5.2mm/5.5mm which I believe means it will fit into a groove of that size range. My dp has a groove that is 4.87mm wide, too small. I’m not sure if I could manually grind down a dog point so it would fit without making it out of round or just accidentally grinding it off.

I found a couple of places selling them with min order of 100 pieces at around $14 before shipping and tax.

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104 posts in 1308 days

#6 posted 02-05-2016 08:53 PM

I know it’s been a while but I’ll update anyway. I decided the issue was significant enough so I returned the drill press to HF.
As a replacement I decided to buy a Skil model 3320-01. It’s more than I initially wanted to spend but it has good reviews. It doesn’t have the same runout issue. The Skil is 10” (HF was 8”) and has a crank which is nice. It runs VERY quietly. The HF came with a lamp and the Skil doesn’t so that’s disappointing. The laser thing probably works but I doubt it will get much use so a lamp would have been way nicer than the laser. I know the Skil has a weakness in the pulleys as they are some sort of plastic but I’m going to take a chance on that. I’ll probably buy the extended warranty. The only place I could find non-refurbished models was at Lowes and they only had 2 in boxes on the floor.

Some HF stuff works out and some don’t, sorry to say the HF drill press isn’t a winner.

View Richard's profile


1916 posts in 2659 days

#7 posted 02-05-2016 09:16 PM

It most likely is a common problem on Cheaper drill presses like HF but I have the same model from HF (might be some minor difference due to them making changes from time to time) and I don’t really have any run out or Tilt issues with it that would make a difference in most woodworking projects. Guess I better be glad I got a good one but HF is a Hit or Miss option on many of their products.

View 716's profile


502 posts in 885 days

#8 posted 02-05-2016 09:28 PM

Its funny as I just came from HF and tried every drill press just for the shaft side to side movement. My impression is the smaller (cheaper) the drill press is the more movement it has. The huge $500+ model was rock solid.

-- It's nice!

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