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Thread: Buying a new drill press

  1. #1
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    Buying a new drill press

    I bought a delta 17-950L a 16.5" DP at lowes in June, Like Glenn Bradley I had a problem with quill slop. I called delta and they sent a service man from a local retailer out. He put a dial indicator on it and found out that there was .005 movement on the quill unextended, and .018 with the quill fully extended. Delta told me to return it to lowes so I did, but they didn't have another in stock so I am without a drill press until I go to another store and get one. Now to my real question. Should I get the same model again or get something else, I am kinda gun shy about getting this model again and having the same problem with it especially since others had this same problem. I can get the 17" steel city locally for $499 which is $100 more than the delta. I REALLY liked the table on the Delta, It's 14"by 18", has a replaceable wood insert in the table, and T slots for mounting a fence. The Steel City's table looks like a pretty standard table. Any thoughts about these 2 Drill presses. I really like the split head of the steel city which would elliminate any quill slop, of course maybe I only like that feature because I had a problem with that, Thoughts?

  2. #2
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    Knowing that I am not really a Delta fan and accepting that I was after the Steel City when I got a great deal on the 17-950 . . . . I would move on. However; the table sure makes up for a lot of sins. I really like it. I added a Woodpecker table to it (the one they quit making . . . I don't get that?) and would find it hard to be happier with the table's capability.

    Now, having said all that, my dad got the Delta 17-959 when Woodcraft had it on sale and it is a different class of machine. It appears to be the entry level into the next tier for Delta. Still has the cool-eddie table features but is much more heavy duty than mine. Threaded stop system, heavier . . . everything, you get the idea.

    The Steel City (and others) are very nice machines but I use the heck out of all the tilting features on the table and would be loath to give it up.
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
    - Arthur C. Clarke

  3. #3
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    If you can swing the extra $100, I'd vote to go with the Steel City and make your own table.

    Here's one I made...

    http://familywoodworking.org/forums/...ead.php?t=8090
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by glenn bradley View Post
    I would move on. However; the table sure makes up for a lot of sins. I really like it. I added a Woodpecker table to it (the one they quit making . . . I don't get that?) and would find it hard to be happier with the table's capability.
    Glenn, I have their old version, but thought the new version would be an improvement, especially with the new laminate. Is there something about the new one you don't like?

    ....Never mind! I just read Vaughn's thread on his build and see that they are now MDF. Lucky I got the old version.

    Nice build Vaughn!
    Last edited by Bill Satko; 08-01-2009 at 07:27 PM.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Satko View Post
    Glenn, I have their old version, but thought the new version would be an improvement, especially with the new laminate. Is there something about the new one you don't like?

    ....Never mind! I just read Vaughn's thread on his build and see that they are now MDF. Lucky I got the old version.

    Nice build Vaughn!
    I don't know why some folks just have to mess with success. I have really liked this one.
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
    - Arthur C. Clarke

  6. #6
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    I think I will be going with the steel city. I also saw the Jet JDP-17DX, which is a 17" (even though the specs say 16.5" swing) drill press and the table on it is almost like the delta except that it doesn't tilt forward. Any thoughts on this one. I had the thought to buy a table from delta through the replacement parts site and put it on the Steel City but it would be around $200 till I get all the parts, I also looked on the Jet site but there wasn't a parts breakdown for that model so I don't know how much it would cost. I don't have a problem building a table my self but I really like being able to use my mag-jigs on in so that means that I can't have a wood table. I did have the idea to find an old small table saw top and use that as my table. This would also let me make wood inserts that fit where the throat plate would go and I could pop them out and replace them when they get all drilled up. Any body around Carlisle PA have and old table saw top they want to get rid of. Thoughts?

  7. #7
    For me personally $500 for a drill press for woodworking is a little much. I spent $169 for mine at Tractor Supply. It has 16 speeds, 3/4 hp, drills 3-1/4" deep and the table goes down enough to fit about a 40" work piece in it if need be. .005 slop is nothing for woodworking. Just my opinion.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Bienlein View Post
    For me personally $500 for a drill press for woodworking is a little much. I spent $169 for mine at Tractor Supply. It has 16 speeds, 3/4 hp, drills 3-1/4" deep and the table goes down enough to fit about a 40" work piece in it if need be. .005 slop is nothing for woodworking. Just my opinion.
    The .005 slop was just the quill and that was unextended, when I had a 3/8th forsner bit in it I could move it a 32nd or more when it was the whole way up. Fully extended it was probably a 16th. When I was drilling single holes it was fine since the "pilot" point of the bit guides the bit throughout the bore, but when I was drilling overlapping holes for mortises the bit was all over the place. I don't have a lot of experience with other drill presses except 2 small benchtop units I had but when I saw this I knew it wasn't right, and the service tech saying "thats way too much" confirmed that.

  9. #9
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    Does anyone have the Steel City 17". I am designing a table in my head and would like to know how much clearance there is between the back of the table and the table raise/lower handle. I would like to know if a table that was 20" wide and 16" deep would hit that handle if the table was centered on the stock table.

  10. #10
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    I picked up the Steel city earlier this week, I am happy with the quality of it and there is NO play in the quill. Right now I am working on making a table for it. I would like for the table to attach directly to the "arm" rather than attaching to the factory table. I do some metal working along side woodworking so by making a separate table for wood I can just loosen the lever and take one table off and stick on the other table and not have to worry about getting oil on the wood table. I did just miss the instant rebates so it cost $100 more.

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