TRACT Optics

What's a Good Drill Press for Drilling Stock Pillars?

The #1 community for Gun Owners of the Northeast

Member Benefits:

  • No ad networks!
  • Discuss all aspects of firearm ownership
  • Discuss anti-gun legislation
  • Buy, sell, and trade in the classified section
  • Chat with Local gun shops, ranges, trainers & other businesses
  • Discover free outdoor shooting areas
  • View up to date on firearm-related events
  • Share photos & video with other members
  • ...and so much more!
  • calicojack

    American Sporting Rifle
    MDS Supporter
    May 29, 2018
    4,202
    East Bumfkgypt
    I want to drill out a stock for pillars. Recommend a good drill press.
     

    E.Shell

    Active Member
    Feb 5, 2007
    9,080
    The right side of the grass.
    As is always good advice, buy the best you can afford/justify. The more you expect to use it, the greater the investment is justified. I'm not much for Harbor Freight crap, but Grizzly makes fairly good machine tools at reasonable prices. I'd say the average hobbyist could be quite happy with Grizzly tools.

    This is similar to my Craftsman:
    https://www.grizzly.com/products/grizzly-17-floor-drill-press/g7947

    IMO, the same drill press that would be best for drilling your pillars would be the same drill press that is best for almost everything else. Good quality, stable/heavy, large table. For drilling pillar bores that get glued in with epoxy bedding compound, you'll need a chuck capable of using 1/2" shanks to use the larger drills needed.

    For precision work, a vertical mill is by far the best device, but a heavy drill press with an adjustable vise can do most actual drilling to a "close enough" degree. I have an older Craftsman 17-speed, 1-1/2 HP free-standing/floor drill press, and often use it with a small machinist's vise mounted on an adjustable table for more demanding work. For coarse/heavy stuff, like drilling boards or bigger pieces of metal, I'll usually clamp the work directly to the drill press table.

    Mandatory cautionary declaration: Do not use a drill press to mill horizontally. Most larger drill presses use a ('Morse') tapered connection between the drive shaft and the chuck, and any side pressure can cause these to disengage while running, throwing sharp, heavy stuff around the shop and possibly causing injury.
     

    calicojack

    American Sporting Rifle
    MDS Supporter
    May 29, 2018
    4,202
    East Bumfkgypt
    As is always good advice, buy the best you can afford/justify. The more you expect to use it, the greater the investment is justified. I'm not much for Harbor Freight crap, but Grizzly makes fairly good machine tools at reasonable prices. I'd say the average hobbyist could be quite happy with Grizzly tools.

    This is similar to my Craftsman:
    https://www.grizzly.com/products/grizzly-17-floor-drill-press/g7947

    IMO, the same drill press that would be best for drilling your pillars would be the same drill press that is best for almost everything else. Good quality, stable/heavy, large table. For drilling pillar bores that get glued in with epoxy bedding compound, you'll need a chuck capable of using 1/2" shanks to use the larger drills needed.

    For precision work, a vertical mill is by far the best device, but a heavy drill press with an adjustable vise can do most actual drilling to a "close enough" degree. I have an older Craftsman 17-speed, 1-1/2 HP free-standing/floor drill press, and often use it with a small machinist's vise mounted on an adjustable table for more demanding work. For coarse/heavy stuff, like drilling boards or bigger pieces of metal, I'll usually clamp the work directly to the drill press table.

    Mandatory cautionary declaration: Do not use a drill press to mill horizontally. Most larger drill presses use a ('Morse') tapered connection between the drive shaft and the chuck, and any side pressure can cause these to disengage while running, throwing sharp, heavy stuff around the shop and possibly causing injury.
    Thanks. Now, after looking at the above link, just curious why you recommend a 17" vs a 12"? I have never owned a drill press before, always used someone else's, so I may not appreciate the size difference. But yes, this is very helpful.
     

    calicojack

    American Sporting Rifle
    MDS Supporter
    May 29, 2018
    4,202
    East Bumfkgypt
    Something else that strikes me, if Amazon includes "free shipping" and I buy a $250 drill press, am I really getting a $150 drill press? These things are big and heavy.
     

    KRC

    Member
    Sep 30, 2018
    513
    Cecil County MD
    If drilling out a stock for pillars is your only need for the drill press, this can easily be done (carefully!) using a regular hand drill. If you are going to use a drill press, you will likely also need some sort of table clamp/vise to hold the stock. Unless you have this, it will add $ to the budget.

    That said, I wouldn't want to be without a drill press . . .
     

    wpage

    Member
    Oct 17, 2022
    890
    Southern Delaware
    If drilling out a stock for pillars is your only need for the drill press, this can easily be done (carefully!) using a regular hand drill. If you are going to use a drill press, you will likely also need some sort of table clamp/vise to hold the stock. Unless you have this, it will add $ to the budget.

    That said, I wouldn't want to be without a drill press . . .
    This, ^^^ + Agree that a drill press is a great tool for any shop. Sometimes carful hand drilling is all thats required.
     

    calicojack

    American Sporting Rifle
    MDS Supporter
    May 29, 2018
    4,202
    East Bumfkgypt
    If drilling out a stock for pillars is your only need for the drill press, this can easily be done (carefully!) using a regular hand drill. If you are going to use a drill press, you will likely also need some sort of table clamp/vise to hold the stock. Unless you have this, it will add $ to the budget.

    That said, I wouldn't want to be without a drill press . . .
    The immediate need is to drill pillars for multiple rifles where it makes sense to do so. Having a drill press for other projects that come up is also a plus.

    Thanks for that bit of info; I need to research what kind of clamp I need.
     

    E.Shell

    Active Member
    Feb 5, 2007
    9,080
    The right side of the grass.
    Thanks. Now, after looking at the above link, just curious why you recommend a 17" vs a 12"? I have never owned a drill press before, always used someone else's, so I may not appreciate the size difference. But yes, this is very helpful.
    Not so much recommending, but showing an example similar to mine.

    A 12" swing is actually sort of limited and were I investing in a drill press (again), I would opt for the largest swing possible. The 'swing' is the measurement from the column to the center of the largest circle one could drill, so if you needed a hole that was 13" from the edge of something, a 12" swing wouldn't do it.

    This, ^^^ + Agree that a drill press is a great tool for any shop. Sometimes carful hand drilling is all thats required.
    This is very true, but remember that we are drilling holes that are larger than 1/2" and using existing 1/4" pilot holes - gonna be tough to do a good job with a hand drill, and maybe a little dangerous. Clamp the hell out of your work.
     

    Neutron

    Active Member
    MDS Supporter
    Nov 20, 2014
    1,383
    severna park
    I have a couple of the old Rockwell/Delta drill press's from the 1960's that came out of the school shops. Bought them at auction for about what a cheaper modern drill press would cost new. If you can find one of these for a reasonable price it might be a good way to go. Just make sure to check that the spindle doesn't have any wobble.
     

    E.Shell

    Active Member
    Feb 5, 2007
    9,080
    The right side of the grass.
    The immediate need is to drill pillars for multiple rifles where it makes sense to do so. Having a drill press for other projects that come up is also a plus.

    Thanks for that bit of info; I need to research what kind of clamp I need.
    I LOVE these "Kant-Twist" clamps and have a selection of them up to 6":
    https://www.mscdirect.com/browse/tn...s/Cantilever-Clamps?mscNew=true&navid=2108218

    If you're used to using old-style "C-Clamps", these things are amazing. I originally bought them to use with my mill, but now use them for everything.
     

    KRC

    Member
    Sep 30, 2018
    513
    Cecil County MD
    For stock/pillar work, a Dremel (or Dremel-like) tool is almost(?) a necessity. If you don't already have one, apologies for budget busting again.
     

    calicojack

    American Sporting Rifle
    MDS Supporter
    May 29, 2018
    4,202
    East Bumfkgypt
    For stock/pillar work, a Dremel (or Dremel-like) tool is almost(?) a necessity. If you don't already have one, apologies for budget busting again.
    I do have a dremel. But if I use a drill press to bore out the hole, why do I need the Dremel for? I have not done pillars before.
     

    KRC

    Member
    Sep 30, 2018
    513
    Cecil County MD
    Not absolutely necessary, but if you can, carve grooves in the sides of the pillar hole. These, combined with grooves in the pillars, will fill with epoxy and hold the pillars solidly in place.

    Lgf465p.jpg


    But a Dremel will come in handy/necessary for all kinds of fine work shaping the stock when inletting or fitting pillars and/or other projects.
     

    calicojack

    American Sporting Rifle
    MDS Supporter
    May 29, 2018
    4,202
    East Bumfkgypt
    As is always good advice, buy the best you can afford/justify. The more you expect to use it, the greater the investment is justified. I'm not much for Harbor Freight crap, but Grizzly makes fairly good machine tools at reasonable prices. I'd say the average hobbyist could be quite happy with Grizzly tools.

    This is similar to my Craftsman:
    https://www.grizzly.com/products/grizzly-17-floor-drill-press/g7947

    IMO, the same drill press that would be best for drilling your pillars would be the same drill press that is best for almost everything else. Good quality, stable/heavy, large table. For drilling pillar bores that get glued in with epoxy bedding compound, you'll need a chuck capable of using 1/2" shanks to use the larger drills needed.

    For precision work, a vertical mill is by far the best device, but a heavy drill press with an adjustable vise can do most actual drilling to a "close enough" degree. I have an older Craftsman 17-speed, 1-1/2 HP free-standing/floor drill press, and often use it with a small machinist's vise mounted on an adjustable table for more demanding work. For coarse/heavy stuff, like drilling boards or bigger pieces of metal, I'll usually clamp the work directly to the drill press table.

    Mandatory cautionary declaration: Do not use a drill press to mill horizontally. Most larger drill presses use a ('Morse') tapered connection between the drive shaft and the chuck, and any side pressure can cause these to disengage while running, throwing sharp, heavy stuff around the shop and possibly causing injury.
    Home Depot carries the grizzly product, which means I can pick up locally w/o the S&H.
     

    mauser58

    My home is a sports store
    Dec 2, 2020
    1,224
    Baltimore County, near the Bay
    I have two benchtop cheap drill presses I use. They are at least 25 years old. I have used them to drill and tap receivers for scope bases. The main thing is have a nice drill press vise. Mine cost more than the drill presses. They will angle to drill in most positions. Its just important to have pillars straight
     

    dontpanic

    Active Member
    Jul 7, 2013
    6,341
    Timonium
    What do you think of a radial arm drill press like this Grizzly?


    [EDIT] Oh - this is a floor press. It's huge.
    Radial drill presses are pretty bad. Too many points that can flex or become e loose.
    For home use I got rid of my drill press and use a mini mill instead. Rock solid with no runout. Grizzly makes a nice one that is pretty cheap but you need to replace the plastic gears with metal before you use it.
    This is the one I use. I got a screaming deal on it but still had to replace plastic gears with metal ones. The main advantage of this one is that it takes R8 cutters. Basically the same tooling as larger mills.
     

    smdub

    Active Member
    MDS Supporter
    Nov 14, 2012
    4,013
    MoCo
    What do you think of a radial arm drill press like this Grizzly?
    (In my best Crocodile Dundee voice)
    That's not a radial arm, *THIS* is a radial arm drill press...
    hqdefault.jpg

    I picked one of those up (Jet JRD-700) for less than the new price of the basic floor drill press linked in post 2. Used is the way to go with drill presses. You can get something fairly large for a decent price. Bigger (= stiffer) is better. At some price level, dontpanic has the right idea and get a small mill instead.

    For drilling holes to bed a stock though, a hand drill would work fine. You need to drill an oversize hole anyway to surround the pillar w/ epoxy. Super precision is not needed there. Still, a drill press is handy for a ton of other stuff.
     

    Users who are viewing this thread

    Forum statistics

    Threads
    264,903
    Messages
    6,818,529
    Members
    31,264
    Latest member
    737ck

    Latest threads

    Top Bottom