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Occassionally I have to drll holes for dowels etc requiring great precison and portable battery powered drills do not do the job no matter how careful you are. Looking for a bench drill press for my workshop for occassional use. Any suggestions or what to look for?

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I drill holes in the the ends on center using a jig on my drill press. Depending on size of dowels will depend on DP needed. Short dowels you can use a bench top, long dowels a floor model. I have had a few in the past 40 years and would suggest if money is not an issue, I would go with a floor model with a sturdy base, 12 speed, locking spindle and rotating table.


I am just finishing a new drill press table top and fence that I will be sending pictures to Shop Notes and a few other mags and probably this forum.


If I can be of any help you can contact me:


I picked up the little Ryobi from Home Depot. Fine as far as occasional use but falls far short of the "great precision" requirement. Far to much spindle runout. I would suggest you look at Grizzly, Jet or Ricoh. Also, most drill presses smaller than about 12" suffer from the same malady, at least that has been my observation. One exception may be the Proxxon but I think it only has a 1/4" chuck.
I have a delta table top drill press that I made a table for, check out my photos on my page, it is excellent for drilling european hinges and any other type of drilling that you may incurr

Actually, cheaper than buying a rill press would be a Dowel Jig.  Your electric or battery powered drill will work just fine.  Follow the link (Rockler).  I have both the Jig and drill press.  I rarely use the press.

I have always felt that a good floor model drill press is one of the most useful tools in the shop and they actually take up less floor space than just about any other stationary power tool.  The benchtop models usually have a rather short stroke and do not reach far from the column.  I do keep a little benchtop drill pres around for those times when it is of adequate size and I do not wish to disturb the setup on my large drill press.  The benchtop, being portable, also comes in handy in some cases when working away from the shop. 

Thanks, any suggestion for bench or floor model?
Well, Delta is the best that I have owned, but if you spend more you generally get more.  My woodworking drill press is the Delta 17-950L and it does quite well for my purposes.


Ash, on a different note, if you buy a drill press, you can use your Kreg stepped drill bit and Kreg screws to make quick T joints. Just stop the drill bit 1/4 inch short of coming out the other side of the stock and screw the two pieces together. Use a 3/8 inch dowel to plug the hole.

Some may think that a bench top model takes up less space than a floor model but I have a Craftsman floor model drill press and a small garage cabinet on casters (a Sam's Club special). The cabinet measures 35" high, 28" wide and 20" deep and fits perfectly under the table of the drill press, thus making use of that space.  If you have to lower the drill press table lower than cabinet top, the cabinet can be rolled out of way. 

The top of cabinet is made of Maple and I made drill press table to match.  At first glance the drill press appears to be a bench mount.  When I figure out how to post pics I'll put one up. 

I have a Delta model 17-959L floor model. I think Wood magazine rated it the top rated in the models they tested. It's done everything I've asked it to do and has an exceptional speed range (16 speeds, 210-2720 RPM). Speed changes take about ten seconds. Table tilts in two directions.
Thanks to everybody, I have enough material now to finalize my purchase.

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