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  1. #1
    chandley is offline Plastic
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    Question Drill Press - Geared Head vs Belt Driven

    Hi Everyone,

    I have been reading this forum for several months now. I have found answers to many of my questions by reading threads from others. I appreciate the wealth of knowledge that is available here.

    I am currently in the market for a drill press for our small prototyping shop. I have read all of the drill press recommendation threads. None of them seem to cover my concerns.

    They have however, provided me with an understanding of the information that you would like to see in order to help me. Here goes.

    Largest/Hardest Drilling Operation: 1.250" holes in 1.000" thick 304 and 316 Stainless. Approximately 50 holes per month or 1% of total drilling. If this operation throws a wrench in what would otherwise be a much broader range of recommendations, this work could be sent out.

    Majority of Drilling Operations: 0.125" to 0.375" holes in 0.250" to 0.625" thick 6061 and 7075 Aluminum. Approximately 2000 holes per month or 80% of total drilling.

    Minority of Drilling Operations: 0.250" to 0.750" holes in 0.125" to 0.750" thick 4130, 4140, A6 Steels, 6061 and 7075 Aluminum, 304, 316 and 416 Stainless. Approximately 500 holes per month or 20% of total drilling.

    It would be nice to be able to tap up to about 0.500" in 4130. Maybe a tapping cycle or just a Tap-Matic head.

    Lots of the parts we do have holes that have tight relational tolerances. For instance, a 6' length of 0.250" x 0.750" 6061 flat bar that needs 10-32 tapped holes starting 1.000" from the end and spaced every 0.625" on center. Tolerance from center to center of holes is +-0.002". Cumulative tolerance over the entire 6' length is +-0.020".

    We currently do the part above with what we call a pin jig on a 15 benchtop drill press, no nameplate. Clamp the bar in a 6 stationary Kurt vise. Drill a #22 hole. Ream to #21. Place the hole just reamed on a #21 pin that is 0.001 undersize that is located 0.625 center to center from the center of the spindle, clamp in place. Drill, ream, move. Repeat until done.

    When all of the holes are drilled mount a Tap-Matic head and tap the holes. This is a very time consuming process.

    I am thinking that acquiring and mounting some sort of cross slide table with an associated long travel dial indicator could speed up the process considerably. Or maybe a drill press that has an integral bed instead of a table?

    Many of the previous drill press recommendation threads seem to spend a lot of time on the benefits of drilling with a mill. We do not physically have the space for another mill and we do not have regularly available time on the mills we have to do this work.

    I will not buy anything made in China or India. Taiwan probably, Korea maybe, Japan, Germany, the US definitely. If I missed some of the good machine tool countries I apologize in advance. Please do not take offense.

    New or used I do not really care. Condition, spindle run out, etc. is important.

    Budget: I know this is not going to be cheap. I think Something between $1,500 and $5,000 would be a reasonable expectation depending upon features, condition and capacity.

    What I think I want:
    MT 3 or 4 spindle
    4.5 or more spindle travel
    Power Feed, 0.003, 0.006 and 0.009 ipr
    Tapping cycle, auto reverse feature
    100-3000 rpm variable speed, No belt changes
    8 to 12 spindle to column
    Maximum spindle to table should be at least 20
    2 HP, Single or 3 phase does not matter, have both
    Weight something at least 500#, probably better 700# and up
    Cross slide table, 10 to 20 X travel and ~5 Y travel

    The questions:
    1. Is the a single piece of equipment that can perform all of the above operations?
    2. Should I buy a separate machine specifically for drilling the stainless? Once we get a high enough demand that is.
    3. For the above operations is there any adavantage to a geared head drill press over a belt and pulley drill press?
    4. Should I consider an electronically controlled variable speed drive?
    5. DRO on a drill press? We currenlty use long range dial indicators, 4 nd 5.
    6. Horsepower, I am thinking 1.5-3, depending upon whether or not the 1.250 holes in stainless are to be drilled in house.
    7. Spindle speed range, I am thinking ~100 to ~3000 rpm.
    8. Where can I buy a good, smooth, accurate, repateable, cross slide table?
    9. New or Used?
    10. Specific manufacturers and models I should look at?

    I am sorry for being so long winded. I have tried to anticipate the questions that may arise.

    My sincere thanks in advance for any advice you may be able to offer.

    Chris

  2. #2
    hickstick_10 is offline Stainless
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    Holy crap, I've never seen more in depth query about driling holes.

    Get a gear head press, since you have the jigs already made.

    DRO is redundant on a drill press IMHO since you only have one axis of movement, and you have a micrometer dial to preset your depth if your doing blind holes, if thats a problem, you can mount any self contained DRO scale to the press very easily(shooting star makes cheap ones, mitutoyo makes good ones). If times a factor, design a more efficient jig using toggle clamps.

    http://www.palmgren.com/pdf/machinetools9.pdf makes cross slide tables (so do others), if you need more accuracy, mitutoyo makes some as well i think, and you can mount a mitutoyo glass scale DRO to the table if you wish.

    Use a tapping head, attached to a morse taper shank for your tapping needs.

    Most any domestic made press will work, consult your local machinery dealer, because theres most likely what you need locally.

    Should meet your needs and budget, for under 5 grand, no sense paying someone else to drill holes for you.

    and remember, there only holes.

  3. #3
    Troup is offline Titanium
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    Arboga U2508 does everything except power feed
    (geared head, built-in "good, smooth, accurate, repeateable" x-y table). Nice machines, only snag is you don't want to burn out the motor, 'cos it's proprietary, very compact and special build ('Dahlander' winding scheme, unusually high hp on low speed, for a 2 speed, 2pole/4pole motor) and it's built right into the gearbox.

    If you fit a reversing switch, operated by a pedal, (preferably operating a relay, and wired in series with another reversing limit switch on the depth stop) and an ER32 -3MT collet holder, they make a fine tapping machine (no tapping head required)

    Geared head + 2 speed motor means a lot for productivity, especially on prototyping and short run work.
    Spindle uses precision taper roller bearings, pretty staunch.
    Design of depth stop rod makes it easy enough to fit digital depth scale
    Meddings made the design under licence, I believe (in the UK).There's also an Indian clone, but you ruled that out (some older Indian machine tools were well made, and presumably some still are, but the gooduns are probably mainly sold domestically)

    Other Swedish makers made (and probably still make - eg Modig, perhaps) similar machines with power quill feed, generally they're nice drills, but they're hard to come by (there's one at the local used machinery dealer here, but you're a bit far away!)

    Email Milacron (trades under 'Procyon') what he's got on the floor, he's bound to have exactly what you're after.

    On edit: Modig UBM-AM - click on second thumbnail - very nice machine
    Jungner VF600-R - not geared head but looks like a nice machine also (AFAIK German, not Swedish)
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails sales-blurb-arboga-u2508-lo-res.jpg   modig-ubm-am-nice-lores.jpg   jungner-vf600-r-nice-arboga-sized-drill-mill.jpg  
    Last edited by Troup; 01-25-2010 at 01:21 AM. Reason: as noted

  4. #4
    coldformer is offline Aluminum
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    i would find a nice multi head setup, set one head for your large holes and the rest for your drilling and tapping moving the work piece can be faster than stoping the spindle to change tools.
    there are some killer deals on ebay for multi head american iron that you can still get repair parts for.

  5. #5
    Weirsdale George is offline Stainless
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    Chandley wrote, "Drill a #22 hole. Ream to #21." I know this isn't part of your question, but it sounds like you are doing this in two different steps -- you could cut one step out by using a combination drill/reamer.

  6. #6
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    Milacron is offline Diamond
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    If you want brand new, I have the below Arboga for sale dirt cheap compared to regular new price. Horsepower is 1.5 rather than your stated 2 hp requirement however. Note you will see a few other new Arboga's like this on eBay for a bit more ($3,500) but in spite of their misleading photos, theirs do not have the power feed option, whereas mine does...and is less $ to boot.

    http://cgi.ebay.com/Arboga-A2608-Dri...item2eaa851985

    Re cross slide table, I have the ultimate cross slide table...made by Alzmetall...but not sure of travels though..may not be 10 inches in X.

    Speaking of Alzmetall, you might have liked this cute little thing I sold a few months ago... a $40,000 drill press...

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...:L:LCA:US:1123

  7. #7
    cecilstrange is offline Aluminum
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    I think you need two drills. A geared head press will do all your work, but even precision Swedish heads with noise reducing fiber gears make a lot more noise than a belt driven press. I wouldn't put up with the noise for 80% of your work drilling small holes in aluminum.

    You do not need much speed change for .125"-.375" holes in aluminum, and may not need any. I bet your existing 15" bench press could be set up with a two speed motor, or a VFD, so you could drill those holes efficiently without belt changes.

    It also sounds like the drill jig for your 6' aluminum bars is too short. I think you could hold tolerance with a 3' jig and drill bushings. Ream one hole in the middle of the bar and use the jig on both sides to position drilled holes for tapping. This is much more efficient than locating each hole with a screw and hand-wheel, unless you have a computer turning the screw instead of a person.

    Tapping with a slow, reversing spindle is sometimes convenient, but for production I doubt you want to give up the clutch and double-speed reverse that a tapping head provides.

  8. #8
    chandley is offline Plastic
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    hickstick_10

    The DRO would be for a permanently mounted cros slide table.

    We have a small Palmgren Cross Slide Vise, Made in the USA.

    It would appear that the cross slide tables are imports.

    Do you have any experience with one? Quality, fit, finish, etc?

    Thanks

  9. #9
    chandley is offline Plastic
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    Troup,

    Thanks for the info. A few follow up questions.

    Is the U2508 still made? Or is this something in the used market? Found an A2608 and a A3008, but no U2508.

    When I looked online it would appear that Arboga is now part of the Wilton Tool Group. It seems from what I have read that the Names of the acquired companies are kept and the quality is not.

    If it is only in the used market and the motor could be an issue, can it be rebuilt at a reasonable price? I know reasonable is subjective, but on a gered head machine, say 25% of the price of new?

    Can a replacement head be had from Arboga?

    Thanks

  10. #10
    chandley is offline Plastic
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    coldformer,

    We do not have the space for a multi head machine.

    Maybe a turret drill?

    Thoughts?

    Thanks

  11. #11
    CalG is online now Titanium
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    If you measure carefully, I think you will be suprised at how little the "as used" footprint of a turret mill differs from a useful DP.

    For the money, a good second hand BP will answer for all the drilling needs you have listed. Plus more. If you must conserve space, remove handles etc. or even the long table and replace with a flat plate.

    Heavy drilling accomplished without power feed unless supplied by the knee. (suggested!)

    Not trying to change your thinking, I would love a nice gear head drilling machine, but the mill does it all and then some! All for about $1500 (very used) ;-)

  12. #12
    Milacron's Avatar
    Milacron is offline Diamond
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    Quote Originally Posted by chandley View Post
    When I looked online it would appear that Arboga is now part of the Wilton Tool Group. It seems from what I have read that the Names of the acquired companies are kept and the quality is not.
    Wilton has zero to do with Arboga quality.... Arboga just agrees to have Wilton market their machines in the USA and that's as far as the relationship goes.

    Re a turret drill, that's what I used to use for operations like you describe...BUT, your 1.25 " capacity and powe feed qualification is why I didn't mention one already. Even the Burgmaster 2C is only rated for 3/4" as I recall...plus they are hard to come by with power feed.

    FWIW, I used a Brown & Sharpe turret drill, which has the advantage over Burgmaster of allowing one to skip stations (i.e you can go from drill 1 to drill 5 instantly...whereas with Burgmaster you have to go thru drill 2, 3, 4 to get to 5) and you don't need a tapping head to tap. But even though the B & S is massive compared to a manual Burgmaster it's still rated for only 3/4" or so...plus no power feed.

    And whoever mentioned using a Bridgeport for a drill press has apparently never owned or used a proper drill press.

  13. #13
    chandley is offline Plastic
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    Milacron,

    Nice machine. Is it possible to rewire for 240 3 phase?

    Approximate freight to 92648?

    Is the Alzmetall you have the same as this one:

    http://mcsshop.com/Documents/MCS%20p...X%20Series.pdf

    Maybe a picture?

    Thanks

  14. #14
    Milacron's Avatar
    Milacron is offline Diamond
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    Quote Originally Posted by chandley View Post
    Milacron,

    Nice machine. Is it possible to rewire for 240 3 phase?

    Approximate freight to 92648?

    Is the Alzmetall you have the same as this one:

    http://mcsshop.com/Documents/MCS%20p...X%20Series.pdf
    Re rewire, yes, possible but would be much cheaper and less hassel to simply install the 208/230 to 440/480 transformer I would supply for another 150 bucks. Plus you could use that transformer for any other 440/480 volt machines you might get in the future. (assuming they are less than 5 hp anyway)

    Re Alzmetall...I can't get your link to work for some reason. I can post a scan from the Alzmetall brochure with photo and travel specs tonight perhaps, and if you are still interested can take some pictures.

  15. #15
    chandley is offline Plastic
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    cecilstrange,

    Good point on the noise. Hadn't tought of that.

    The problem with the current benchtop unit is that it is really worn. Not really worth rebuilding. In addition, it dos not have the spindle to table distance we need for some jobs.

    VFD's are very cool. We have on set up as a portable. Baldor 3 PH VFD. All of our 3 hp and below machines use the same twist lock plug. If you need some specific rpm that the machine will not provide, just unplug the machine, plug it in to the VFD, plug the VFD in to the wall and voila.

    As far as the jig goes, I probably did not describe it well. It is simply a pin in a block of A6 machined in the shape of an L and bolted in place of the staionary jaw of the Kurt vise. There is a 0.500" hole in the A6 to the left of the pin to give clearance for the cutting tools to break through the bar. Drill and ream the fist hole using and edge finder and the small Palmgren cross slide vise, clamped in the Kurt vise. Remove the Palmgren, put the hole just drilled over the pin in the Kurt vise. The Kurt vise is never moved and the center to center distance from the pin to the spindle is 0.6250". We actually hold tolerance very well this way. No bushings. No table travel.

    A tapping is head is probably a good plan.

    Thanks

  16. #16
    chandley is offline Plastic
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    Weirsdale George,

    Any sourcing information on a #21 drill reamer?

    Thanks

  17. #17
    CalG is online now Titanium
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    Milicron

    You underestimate....

    The "mill" suggestion is based on the OP list of capabilities

    MT 3 or 4 spindle
    4.5” or more spindle travel
    Power Feed, 0.003, 0.006 and 0.009 ipr
    Tapping cycle, auto reverse feature
    100-3000 rpm variable speed, No belt changes
    8” to 12” spindle to column
    Maximum spindle to table should be at least 20”
    2 HP, Single or 3 phase does not matter, have both
    Weight something at least 500#, probably better 700# and up
    Cross slide table, 10” to 20” X travel and ~5” Y travel

    "most" are answered by a turret mill and a tapping head. Multiple machines suited to the work is certainly the best way. I feel a single drilling machine will not do all things well. The mill comes close. ;-) and is quite inexpensive considering. Perhaps bang for the buck is not an issue.
    Last edited by CalG; 01-25-2010 at 12:15 PM. Reason: Added comentary

  18. #18
    chandley is offline Plastic
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    Milacron,

    Sorry, using FireFox. Internet Explorer likes it this way:

    http://mcsshop.com/Documents/MCS%20p...X%20Series.pdf

    As far as rewiring goes, I gues it would need to be rewound? Very expensive.

    Your opinion on the proprietary drive motor built in to the head? Is this unique to Arboga or is it common with geared head drills?

    Thanks

  19. #19
    chandley is offline Plastic
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    Milacron,

    A 230 to 480 buck boost transformer can be quite heavy.

    What is the weight on this thing?

    Thanks

  20. #20
    chandley is offline Plastic
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    Some additional thoughts based upon your input so far:

    Arboga vs Alzmetall vs DoAll?

    Does DoAll still make new drill presses?

    This unit seems to have the right specs:

    http://cgi.ebay.com/24-DoALL-GEARED-...item2a03d235fd

    Recommendations on Belt and Pulley machines?

    Thanks

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