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There’s great advice on this forum ... so I’ll ask... I need a drill press for the odd re-drill of holes on bolt on necks and other occasional jobs...
I see these off shore bench top drill presses for next to nothing and wonder if there’s one out there that is decent? Ideas? Brands?
Or do I need to bite the bullet and buy a USA made or least more upscale machine?
Thanks in advance!
 

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I have a Milwaukee ‘Dremel’ rotary tool, so I got the Dremel drill press accessory. Works well enough for light duty. I got it for about $50 on Amazon. I was eyeballing one of those offshore ones too.

220 01 Workstation - dremel.com
 

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Practically anything will do to drill holes for your current purposes. The tricky things are holding the piece and positioning the holes. Drill bits are more important than the actual press.

You may get better tone from an American drill press. Lol.

(I have worked in machine shops with some fancy stuff, but never built a guitar.)
 

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Interesting thread!
I had a used Delta bench press in the past. The spindle and chuck ran true (very important...obviously) but I was somewhat frustrated with the small table/throat depth of 10".
The rack and pinion height adjustment was a bit (lucky pun) low quality but was sufficient.
An accurate depth stop is essential IMO.
I'll stop here and let others with far more knowledge and experience comment.

This ad is from Lee Valley. They would not distribute a product they had not researched well and had confidence in.

It is the total opposite approach to the dremel and Kapn's comments.
I am posting this ONLY a guide regarding what features might be important to consider.
Rikon® 12" Variable-Speed Drill Press

This is an outstanding benchtop drill press. Its drive mechanism makes speed adjustments a breeze, allowing you to make changes on the fly to match bit diameter and density of material. You simply select a speed range (150 to 700 rpm or 600 to 2800 rpm) by moving the drive belt between pulleys, then use a control arm to set a precise speed within that range.
A digital display gives you a readout of the speed, and the powerful motor provides sufficient torque at low rpms to avoid risk of stalling. The quill has a large range of travel, so you can use long bits without having to reposition the work.
The depth stop holds its setting reliably and has a direct-reading scale. Larger than most, the table provides a broad, stable surface and has a smooth rack-and-pinion mechanism for height adjustments.
It tilts 45° to either side and rotates 360° for easier setup when work is clamped in place. An integral LED work light illuminates the entire table surface, and intersecting laser lines indicate the center axis. With substantial iron castings and a thick-walled steel column to provide the mass needed to dampen vibration, this is a sturdy, well-built machine.
Backed by a 5-year manufacturer's warranty.
In Canada, this drill press will be available exclusively at Lee Valley until mid-August 2019.

Rikon® 12" Variable-Speed Drill Press
03J73.90
$599.00
 

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I have one similar to that ^, offshore etc. I've had it for many years and it's never let me down, survived a move and is bolted to the counter in my garage.

My one big complaint for working on guitars & basses is that the reach is very short before you bump into the support post. If you need to drill deeper in than a few inches, it's gonna be some other way. Also, the platform is small to balance a guitar body on, so you're concentrating on supporting the guitar and trying not to move as the drill comes down.

Otherwise, a very handy tool I wouldn't want to be without.
 

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That Rikon is expensive. Check out Craftex sold by Busy Bee or look for King Canada Brand. I have this one and it works great. Something to keep in mind. Don't go too small. I had a 9" Delta and it was too small to drill holes in pickup cavities. Neck pocket and bridge OK, but the pockets could not fit under the spindle. 9" drill press means 9" from center of drill to the edge of the post. Busy bee has a 10" craftex which might work fine for less than 200 dollars, The King shown below is available for 329 or you can go down to 10" at 189. That 12" rikon posted above is around 600....

 

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Thats a 13" bench top model sitting in a 24" tall custom made bench which put the quill handle perfect for my height.
Has 16 speeds and can hold up to a 5/8 shank. Laser cross hairs and a halogen utility light built in as well, tilt table depth stop built into the quill with a 7.5 amp motor. I don't think you will find a better deal unless you go smaller.

Other brands to consider are Delta, Grizzly, Wen and Shop Fox. Not sure if Porter Cable is still making stuff. I think they merged with Delta. Keep an eye out of facebook marketplace and kijiji for used stuff. If buying used put a drill in the spindle and make sure it runs true. You should be able to find a nice Delta 12" for less than 200 used

If you are really on a budget, look for one of these but it may be too small for guitar/
 
L

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I need a drill press for the odd re-drill of holes on bolt on necks and other occasional jobs...
If you want simple, I have one of these 70's Canadian Tire drill stand that you can have.
You pay shipping.

google pic
 

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Tons more on Facebook Marketplace
 
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It seems us guitar nuts like our drill presses too!

HNG^%$
 

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I agree with recommendations for a Crafted or King Canada press larger than the little bench top presses. I have never regretted upgrading from my little Canadian Tire press to a King 13" press. It is probably my most used tool. The small presses usually can't be set slow enough, among other limitations.
 

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If you want a solid press on the cheap look for an altas, henry, buffalo, rockwellCanadian blower and forge on kijiji.
Solid Canadian made drill presses and don’t have the high prices of a beaver or delta.
I actually preferred my Canadian blower and forge over my general (but my best friend needed a drill press and I didn’t need two).

Nathan
 

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just take a proper (accurate) square with you (ex. Starrett) .... and not a Dollar General square... with a large bit clamped in the chuck as long as you get a true 90 degree angle between the drill-bit side and the press working surface (top?) you are good to go .. the Country of Origin doesn't matter at all, what does matter is that the thing was properly made in the first place
 

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Good advice above.

Spin the chuck all the way back and forth before you buy, I’ve had two with creaky unsmooth chucks, one just needed lube but the other chuck I replaced. Have a spare belt on hand, nothing is worse than needing one when the shops are closed.

Surprisingly useful tool. I’ve used my King (and its predecessors) for buffing and sanding, and unpowered as a fret press. Many times I’ve wished I had two so I didn’t have to keep removing the countersink bit or re-leveling the table.
 
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