In the first post of this series, I chronicled my experiences purchasing, transporting, and assembling Delta’s DP350 bench top drill press. You might want to go back and read it if you haven’t already. In this post I’ll look at the specifications and features of the drill press.
One of the first dimensions to look at when buying a drill press is what is the widest piece of stock the machine can drill into the center of. For some reason, manufacturers use this measurement rather than the more practical distance from the column (or back of the machine) to the center of the chuck. It makes the machine sound twice as big as it really is. So a drill press like the DP350, which claims to be a 12″ drill press, actually measures 6″ from column to center of the chuck.
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Sick of struggling with a micro-mill machine from Harbor Freight to drill holes, I decided to buy a real benchtop drill press. I really didn’t want a full-size floor model because I don’t have the floor space for it in my shop, but I have plenty of bench space. A few years ago I did the research and determined that a Delta DP350 was the best option, but lost my good judgment at the last minute and figured I could do more with a micro-mill. Now, after a little more research, I discovered not much has changed.
I headed on over to my local Rockler to pick up the drill press, but was dismayed that they didn’t have any on the floor, even though they had in the past. I thought maybe I should have called first, but figuring it never hurts to ask, I found out they had a few Delta DP 350’s in the back. So I ended up paying about $230 after tax and Rockler’s super secret 10% discount, which is about what you’d expect to pay looking at the street price.
Hefting the box into my truck with the manager, I noticed it was damn heavy, about 80 lbs. of awkward box. Although the weight was a good sign, there was no way I was carrying it by myself down to my shop; I would have to take it out of the box and transfer it piece by piece down to the basement.
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