Bench Top Drill Press - Is 12" swing large enough?

oregomike

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Hey, all- I'm looking at bench top presses so, I don't have t fiddle with drill guides anymore.
Currently, I'm working on a JM body and want to know what minimum swing should I look for to make sure I can drill bridge holes, etc? Most bench tops seem to use 12" but not sure whether or not that's sufficient. Most 15"+ seem to be the freestanding type, which I'm not against other than they're pricier and saving space is always good. WOuld love to hear thoughts and experiences. Thanks.
 

telemnemonics

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Hmmm, that’s huge unless it adds forward and backward of a 6” depth?
I forget terms that’s probably the small 6” which isn’t really enough, but each inch doubles the price if not more.
Just measure how far from the closest edge you need to drill holes.
And divide swing by two.
 

Fluddman

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A 12" swing means there is only 6" inches between the drill bit and the main pole of the drill stand.

This is not enough swing to drill the pins that hold in a tune-o-matic bridge - I know because I stupidly bought a pedestal drill for this purpose. :(

BTW - this was for a JM Jazzmaster - I wanted to replace the tune-o-matic with a Mastery Bridge.

Cheers
 

Red Ryder

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In terms of space requirements a full size floor stand doesn't take up anymore room than a bench mount. After all, you have to mount it on a bench, table or stand to make use of it.
 

Red Ryder

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Also when it comes to dollars, shop around. Yard and garage sales, swap meets, older guys you've met at work or in the neighborhood. Full size Craftsman floor mount. 8 speeds, 15" all American late 1960s. $50 from an old guy I knew who built amplifiers and speaker cabs.
20211016_164306~2.jpg
 

eallen

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12 inch works perfectly fine to reach all the holes needed for teles & strats. The only negative of a bench model is the pillars arent tall enough to turn the table side ways & fit a body under to drill electrosocket holes.

I actually used a 12" for many years until a hardly used 17" delta popped up on marketplace for $100 a couple years ago.
 

RogerC

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No. As others have already said, a 12” drill press only has 6” from the bit to the pillar. That’s not going to get you what you need on a JM.

keep an eye out on CL and FB marketplace for an old 14” model.
 

Freeman Keller

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My inexpensive Ryobi bench top drill press has 5 inches from the pillar to the center of the quill. That is not enough and I doubt that 6 inches would be either.
 

old wrench

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A 12" will work - you'll be able to reach all the holes :).

But, having a bigger floor model gives you a lot more versatility, especially for stuff like drilling jack holes and using a forstner bit to hog-out waste wood prior to routing.

A bigger more stable table comes in very handy too.

I got by ;) with an old Craftsman 13-1/2" bench model for a very long time - I've had it for nearly 30 years and it was old when I got it - it's a late 1940's model.

A couple years ago I bought a late 1950's/early 1960's Craftsman 15" floor model, and that pretty much retired the old 13" - the 15" is just a lot more comfortable to work with.

There are lot's of oldies-but-goodies out there on the used market :)



Considering that a drill press is used so often, and you are already going to be spending a good chunk of money, spending a few bucks more and getting a drill press you won't out-grow is worth a thought.

I wouldn't shy away from buying a used drill press either - it's pretty easy to tell if a drill press has been abused or not - I see good deals on used drill presses on Craigslist all the time.

After you get your drill press, consider picking up one of those foot-operated floor switches for it - they make the DP so much easier to work with and a lot safer too - they are pretty cheap, like $15 or $20 bucks


.
 

EsquireOK

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I have had a 12" for a long time, and to be honest, I have forced it to work, but it feels quite cramped and limited for guitar work.
 

RogerC

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A 12" will work - you'll be able to reach all the holes :).

But, having a bigger floor model gives you a lot more versatility, especially for stuff like drilling jack holes and using a forstner bit to hog-out waste wood prior to routing.

A bigger more stable table comes in very handy too.

I got by ;) with an old Craftsman 13-1/2" bench model for a very long time - I've had it for nearly 30 years and it was old when I got it - it's a late 1940's model.

A couple years ago I bought a late 1950's/early 1960's Craftsman 15" floor model, and that pretty much retired the old 13" - the 15" is just a lot more comfortable to work with.

There are lot's of oldies-but-goodies out there on the used market :)



Considering that a drill press is used so often, and you are already going to be spending a good chunk of money, spending a few bucks more and getting a drill press you won't out-grow is worth a thought.

I wouldn't shy away from buying a used drill press either - it's pretty easy to tell if a drill press has been abused or not - I see good deals on used drill presses on Craigslist all the time.

After you get your drill press, consider picking up one of those foot-operated floor switches for it - they make the DP so much easier to work with and a lot safer too - they are pretty cheap, like $15 or $20 bucks


.
I'm with you on old DPs. I started with this early '60s model. Bought it for $50.

]
11632755066_903deed26a_b.jpg


Turned it into this:

14128127433_fc039a5e2c_b.jpg


Then sold it in order to buy something older :D

27811826277_34f3fb9e98_b.jpg
 

old wrench

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Nice looking old machines Roger ^^^ :)

Most of the older drill presses were built very stout, and there is not much that goes wrong with them.

The bearings on the old ones are easily accessible if they should need replacing - they are held in place with snap-rings, so they are pretty easy to get at.

As long as the motor runs, the chuck is in decent shape, and the quill goes up and down without obvious run-out, they are usually good candidates for another lifetime of use :)


I've seen where some of the brand new drill presses don't even have a quill-lock on them - a feature that I use all the time for setting the drilling depth gauge ;)


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