I'm a welder, professionally, and I get stainless scrap from work for various projects at home. The problem is that I don't have a drill press suitable for 300-series stainless. I'd like to be able to make at least 1/2" holes without undue fuss or gnashing of teeth.
I know about what to look for (I use industrial presses at work), but I don't know exactly how that translates to a consumer benchtop machine. Pic related (http://www.grizzly.com/products/12-Speed-Heavy-Duty-Bench-Top-Drill-Press/G7943) looks pretty good, but how does it or similar models actually perform in the real world? Comments on brands, models, or nice features to look for would be appreciated.
Since this is for personal projects that I expect to make little if any money from, a more expensive machine will have to be justified by greater capability, not just greater productivity. That said, I can afford more than the Grizzly pictured if I have reason to.
Will answer welding-related questions in the meantime.
If the scraps are small enough, and you can scrounge the materials for it, have you considered welding yourself up a punch press of sorts? If the stainless is thin enough you might even be able to use a sledge hammer to drive the punch. Like a coin blanking machine. Crude, questionable,, but cheap!
The drill press is not the problem.
The drill bit and rpm are the problem.
Get a "cobalt high speed drill" at a minimum, and preferrably a carbide drill. They're spendy, but you need the right tool for the job.
The formula for rpm is
"Cutting speed x 4 % drill diameter.
Cutting speed for cobalt will be about 90
Carbide will be about 150
To a point. It dumps a lot more heat on the bit than mild steel for a given speed. Recommended cutting speed for HSS on 300 stainless is around 20 ft/min for long tool life, up to 50 or so for fast production. That's a lot slower than mild steel, and corresponds to 152 to 382 RPM for a half-inch bit. The feed rate also needs to be higher than with mild steel to stay under the work hardened layer, and combined with the greater strength of stainless, that's a lot more torque than mild steel.
I usually work with up to half an inch. A sledge hammer isn't going to punch a half-inch hole through that, and while I could build a hydraulic punch press, I want to be able to make holes in pipes and other things that won't work in a punch press.
As I said, I know how to drill stainless. What I don't know is how well consumer drill presses meet the parameters required. Can the drill provide the higher torque needed for stainless, or would it struggle with holes that size? Is the feed smooth and controllable enough to avoid generating hard spots? Are the table and pole stiff enough to avoid flexing noticeably under the forces involved? Does the machine have good longevity under such conditions? How reliable are the manufacturer's nominal specs vs. real-world practical capability? Is there some non-obvious layout issue that makes the machine annoying to use?
To the content of your post there: My current drill press is a Shopsmith. It's good for wood, but a minimum spindle speed of 700rpm makes it dicey for steel. The point of this thread is to get information about a suitable metalworking drill press since I'm looking to buy one. I prefer regular HSS bits for general drilling. I can sharpen them manually better than they come new, and re-profile them for different situations. I do use cobalt split points in situations where it isn't practical to center punch or drill a pilot hole. And I have purpose-made steel-cutting oil for the task.
Sorry OP. I was assuming .030 to 1/16" stuff. Sorry if I used the wrong terminology, too. Just trying to save you some bucks.
Have you checked cl for a drill press? Surely you can find a bigger one than that, and probably even a full horse motor to put on it, for less than the grizzly one. I agree with the other anons that are saying it's an issue with feed rate, correct drill bit, and lubrication , but if you're drilling half inch holes in half inch 300 series stainless I understand you wanting a good press, too.
Because I want a benchtop drill press, not a floor milling machine.
That would be nice, but I haven't found any suitable ones nearby.
>Have you checked cl
>I understand you wanting a good press, too
Checked but didn't find anything that looked good. I'm willing to pay a reasonable amount more for a new drill press if it comes with manufacturer support and a current parts catalogue.
To put OP'S pic in perspective...
get a wen from wallmart/HD/amazon. I got an 8 inch and it's pretty decent, though the table tilt is difficult to adjust. If it's too much of a hassle then just get a vice that can adjust angle.
>What in the hell are you doing on 4chan?
I'm hoping that someone around here has experience with the type of drill press I'm looking for. Also trolling trolls, but not on /diy/.
>620 min rpm
That's not really what I'm looking for. My Shopsmith is a bit faster, but at least it can deliver torque for 1/2" mild steel at that speed. The 15" Wen is better, but it's still less powerful than the Grizzly while having twice the minimum speed.
Call Grizzly, OP. If I'm reading this right you have the spindle speeds under control with 12 of them to choose from, it has a 5/8" chuck, your only real question is whether a 3/4 horse motor will get the job done. I've heard good things about them as a company, never had any problems when I've ordered from them, though I've only ordered gun and guitar stuff, no machinery. They'll probably let you talk to a tech at worst. I'm betting not a lot of guys have drilled 1/2" stainless at home, that may be why no one wants to belly up and give you an answer here: you're the first one crazy enough to try!
Not any of these guys but if I were you I would sell some gun I didn't shoot as much to pad the price a bit and bite the bullet on a good press. Shit sucks but sometimes you have to buy new.
Maybe check ebay. The shipping is going to rail your ads but you could get a good deal. Also if you have amazon prime yland buy from amazon you get free 2 day shipping even on a huge drill press.
>The feed rate also needs to be higher than with mild steel to stay under the work hardened layer, and combined with the greater strength of stainless, that's a lot more torque than mild steel.
This is a good point. Not a machinist, but I'm sure that the pros have tables of speed, feed rate (depth of cut) for various materials that give the force required and ultimately the torque/horsepower.
Stainless is hard to drill, and I'd say you are doing it wrong if you want a benchtop model for making half-inch holes in stainless a lot.
Benchtop drills are little flimsy cheap things for hobbyists. None of them are made for making big holes or hard use, and half-inch holes is usually the TOP range of what they can handle, having 1/2" chucks on them.
there was another anon on here who bought a used smaller-than-that radial drill for $1200... Jet or Grizzly it was? but it cost $12K new.
The other option is step drilling: start with a 1/4" hole and then work upwards by sixteenths. Takes more time but that's the difference between industrial-grade and hobbyist-grade stuff...
The real answer is get a used industrial drill press or better yet, an overarm milling machine. All consumer drill presses are utter shit. However those aren't portable, and a mag drill is.
OP should consider buying a mag drill with both a conventional chuck and rotabroach capabilty, then welding up a basic stand for it so he can get a vise under the quill. Plenty of ideas on the internet and he can whip up whatever he wants out of cutoffs and drops. Scrap steel is in the shitter these days so a salvage yard may have stuffs he'd enjoy cutting to suit. Same metal vendors his employer uses can sell him precut metal.
We did that setup at the welding school where I ran the tool room. A mag drill is insanely handy, especially for a welder. It is portable, and you can chuck things like solid carbide drills and mills which give zero fucks about stainless. Hougen isn't cheap but they are very nice. Go slow since they don't turn the high revs ideal for carbide.
>OP should consider buying a mag drill
yea but a cheap mag drill costs like $1500...? a good name brand is like $3500
you can get a pretty big Chinese pillar drill for like $3000--
if you don't need it right now there's used ones for third~half that much