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Thread: Converting a drill press to mill-drill

  1. #21
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    Hi sandmanxx,

    Welcome!

    Feel free to post your question in our Help Me Build subforum - you're likely to receive some useful replies there.

    Ken

  2. #22

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    hello everyone from sunny south florida. i enjoy making tools that make other tools. currant project is a cement reinforced drill press conversion to milling machine with dro and dc motor/speed control. i enjoy your forum very much. thanks to all the people who take the time to post their work.

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    Paul Jones (06-30-2016)

  4. #23
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    do you have a clear drawing of the feeder dimensions, thank you

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    Hi I'm new to the forum, been contemplating this conversion for years and now have a spare Chinese 17 inch. Ive gotta wrap my head around the gib design yet but i love the things youve already worked out for me

  6. #25

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    I have a 20 inch craftsman drill press that I purchased about 18 years ago. I think the deal I got was very good. I saw it for sale on eBay from a seller just a few miles away. It turned out that the seller was employed in some capacity at Sears. He had several of these drill presses, new in boxes. I think I paid around $280. It has the tall column mount, a 2hp motor and is generally a pretty beefy drill press. I think it is almost identical to the 20 inch press that Harbor freight sells. I really like it for conventional drill press operations, but I'm thinking, at the price I paid for it, it would not be unreasonable to to try to convert it. Does anybody know if it is a good candidate for upgraded bearings for the spindle and other mods that would make it useful as a mill?



    Converting a drill press to mill-drill-hf_20in_drillpress.jpg
    Last edited by Matty_D; 04-05-2017 at 05:55 PM.

  7. #26

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    Here's the actual drill press. I noticed that the column is 3.345" od. Thinking of using a straight 4 or 6 cyl engine block as a knee.

    Converting a drill press to mill-drill-drill_press1.jpg

  8. #27

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    More work than it's worth. I have a similar drill press and considered the same thing

    Quote Originally Posted by Matty_D View Post
    I have a 20 inch craftsman drill press that I purchased about 18 years ago. I think the deal I got was very good. I saw it for sale on eBay from a seller just a few miles away. It turned out that the seller was employed in some capacity at Sears. He had several of these drill presses, new in boxes. I think I paid around $280. It has the tall column mount, a 2hp motor and is generally a pretty beefy drill press. I think it is almost identical to the 20 inch press that Harbor freight sells. I really like it for conventional drill press operations, but I'm thinking, at the price I paid for it, it would not be unreasonable to to try to convert it. Does anybody know if it is a good candidate for upgraded bearings for the spindle and other mods that would make it useful as a mill?



    Click image for larger version. 

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    More work than it's worth. I have a similar drill press and considered the same thing. If you are looking for something to fill your time go ahead but when you look at a real mill there is very little in common with the drill press.
    The main thing behind any mill is rigidity. Even my baby mill is considerably more rigid than the my drill press.
    I hate to throw cold water on your parade but saving your money and watch Ebay or Grizzley or ??? and find a real mill you'll be far happier.
    Jon

  9. #28

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    master53yoda's Tools
    Quote Originally Posted by Matty_D View Post
    Here's the actual drill press. I noticed that the column is 3.345" od. Thinking of using a straight 4 or 6 cyl engine block as a knee.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    From the picture it appears to have the large bearing assembly that can be removed and replaced with a angular contact bearing. if it is the same as the HF dirll press it will make a good conversion. Even with that large table it still won't be rigid enough without putting the cross slide table on the base and shortening the column. all the mill drills use as short a column as they can. You can end up with a functional unit at about 200 to 400 over the cost on the drill that would include a set of DROs and some tooling. this conversion makes a mill drill but it is not a Bridgeport, and was never meant to be. It will definitely work as good as any of comparable size of the mill drills that are available at 1/2 to 1/3rd the cost and is an enjoyable project to make and use.

    I have been supper busy with my small side business that turned into a not so small business about the same time i started this thread. I still haven't completed the Gibs and am at the brass bolt point i talk about, the DROs are on it but I haven't gotten much further. I have used a 2 1/2" face mill with out any problems.

    My side business is providing aluminum casting ingots to the hobby and artist community, Since Jan 2015 i have processed 14,500 lbs of automotive cylinder heads into ingots at about 200 lb per pour, I sell them through referral and Ebay.

    Art B

  10. #29

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    Art B, Thanks for your reply. I am encouraged to keep gathering in info and studying the matter. Good to hear about your side business too. Wishing you continued success. -- Matty D

  11. #30

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    This is helpful. Found OE parts and a diagram at SearsPartsDirect.com. Many of the big parts, like the column and the column holder, are obsolete (no longer available). I was hoping the column was still available, in case I want to put the drill press back to its original configuration The breakdown of the quill assembly is informative. The quill is no longer available from Sears, But other suppliers indicated they have it. It's good to know that if I screw up in this key area I can get replacement parts.


    Converting a drill press to mill-drill-craftsman-drill-press-137.229200.jpg
    Last edited by Matty_D; 04-06-2017 at 11:46 PM.

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