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Old 11-29-2008, 03:11 PM   #1
Jonex OP
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Soft start for drill press?

I have a POS Harbor Freight floor standing 16 speed drill press. I don't have it bolted to the floor so I can scoot it around when needed. It's like dancing with a wet mop.

When I turn it on, it goes clank and jerks because I'm usually drilling metal with the shortest pulley ratios and there's lots of torque. The harsh start up makes the handles jump on my X/Y table. Grrrr.

I paid $169 for this drill press (and it's worth at least half that), so I don't want to put a $300 VFD on it. I've tried holding the belt tensioner loose when I start it, but that doesn't work.

I'm wondering if one of those router speed controls would work.

Any ideas?
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Old 11-29-2008, 03:29 PM   #2
the_gr8t_waldo
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for what its worth i,ve had a sim. drill press for 20years now and never experenced a jerk or clank on start up. i would check out the drill press for bad initional set up.
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Old 11-29-2008, 03:36 PM   #3
GreaseMonkey
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I'd suggest making a wooden base and bolting it to the base. You can still slide it around or you want to spend extra time you can put some dolly wheels on it that you can drop down when you want to move it.

The slickest setup I ever saw was a piece of plate steel that had an air chuck nipple tapped into the center. Shop air would get attached to the fitting and the entire tool (it was a table saw) could get slid around. Turn the air off and it wouldn't budge.

I do have to say that I have never had a drill press jump around on me, so you may want to give all the bolts and bearings a once over.
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Old 11-29-2008, 04:22 PM   #4
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I agree - something isn't secure somewhere in the assembly. Everything clamped onto the column should be tightened down; the motor mounts checked for tightness: belts adjusted properly with no slop; spindle checked for radial and axial play (side to side and vertical). And don't start the drill with the bit touching the workpiece.

If you are doing precision drilling (with an X-Y table), after you get the startup gremlins fixed, you may want to look at using center drills to start the holes, then switch to the regular bits. Center drills don't flex and wander in a drill press like regualr bits. Wish I'd heard of them 30 or 40 years ago.
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Old 11-29-2008, 07:47 PM   #5
gsweave
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Stick a bit, and you will wish the bastard was mounted to the floor cause you will be dancing with a kickin mule.


I will look up some soft starts for ya on Mon. It's 220V?
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gsweave screwed with this post 11-29-2008 at 07:56 PM
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Old 11-29-2008, 11:02 PM   #6
LoFlow
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I have my drill presses hooked up to foot switches. That way when something goes wrong I can just lift my foot instead instead of trying to reach for a switch. They also have variable speed foot switches that work quite well.
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Old 11-30-2008, 06:15 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mark1305
I agree - something isn't secure somewhere in the assembly. Everything clamped onto the column should be tightened down; the motor mounts checked for tightness: belts adjusted properly with no slop; spindle checked for radial and axial play (side to side and vertical). And don't start the drill with the bit touching the workpiece.

If you are doing precision drilling (with an X-Y table), after you get the startup gremlins fixed, you may want to look at using center drills to start the holes, then switch to the regular bits. Center drills don't flex and wander in a drill press like regualr bits. Wish I'd heard of them 30 or 40 years ago.
I learned about center drills when I got into home shop machining. They are an absolute pleasure to use.
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Old 11-30-2008, 07:38 AM   #8
Jonex OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gsweave
Stick a bit, and you will wish the bastard was mounted to the floor cause you will be dancing with a kickin mule.


I will look up some soft starts for ya on Mon. It's 220V?

It's got a 120V motor, I think 3/4 but maybe only 1/2. It's pretty wimpy. If I stick a bit, the chuck just stops and the belts slip. I like it that way.

It only starts harshly when set to the lowest couple of speeds. At higher rpm ratios, it's fine.

I tried hooking up a dimmer switch, but it wasn't quite up to the task. So now the dimmer switch is set up in a box with an outlet and I use it as a router speed control.
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Old 11-30-2008, 08:44 AM   #9
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"variable speed control" plug that into an Ebay search, they have many available. I would stay away from the Dremel models but one for a router should work just fine.
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Old 11-30-2008, 08:56 AM   #10
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speed control

Quote:
Originally Posted by JRP
"variable speed control" plug that into an Ebay search, they have many available. I would stay away from the Dremel models but one for a router should work just fine.
Most if not all the speed controls are setup for brush type motors (universal) and will not work on induction type motors (brushless). Induction motors will not like a dimmer type switch. Induction motors need all the voltage to run correctly....to change the speed of an induction motor you change the frequency with VFD.
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Old 11-30-2008, 07:07 PM   #11
gsweave
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonex522
It's got a 120V motor, I think 3/4 but maybe only 1/2. It's pretty wimpy. If I stick a bit, the chuck just stops and the belts slip. I like it that way.



Oh!!! So you won't be drillin any 4" I beam anytime soon, huh?
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Old 12-01-2008, 05:35 AM   #12
Jonex OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gsweave
Oh!!! So you won't be drillin any 4" I beam anytime soon, huh?
Considering the cheap, poorly made, pathetic nature of a Harbor Freight drill press, you might be surprised at what I've gotten out of it. I drilled and tapped a whole slew of 1/2" diam., 1.5" deep bolt holes in 3/4" cold rolled steel when I built my homemade lathe for instance. Slow rpm step drilling with lots of cutting oil and sharp bits did the trick.

It's survived my airplane project, too, drilling countless holes in aluminum, even 3/8" holes through 4" stack ups, over the last 5 years. The switch lasted a week, otherwise it hasn't broken. Pretty good value, overall, but I really should get a Smithy or a nicer drill press.
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Old 12-01-2008, 06:04 AM   #13
gsweave
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Hey,

I have to use the one at work, so you are way ahead of me...




Have ya ever looked at an Ironworker?

http://www.edwardsironworkers.com/




It's the way to go.
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Old 12-01-2008, 07:46 AM   #14
bomber60015
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I'm with the guys that are thinkin there's something wrong here -- y DP doesn't jump at all, and it isn't bolted ot weighted to anything -- course, it's a bit on the heavy side, so that may be helping . . . .

plus one on the center drill idea, btw -- drilling aluminum can spoil a fella ;-}
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Old 12-02-2008, 08:11 AM   #15
gsweave
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Sonex



No time to look so far but these are the people I was going to use. Sorry been out the ass busy...



www.newark.com
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