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  #1  
Old 02-02-2021, 2:09 PM
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Default Advice on drill press for 80% lower

I am looking for advice on a bench top drill press for working on an aluminum 80% AR15 lower, motor power, RPM, etc.
I am hoping to stay under $200.
Thank you.
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  #2  
Old 02-02-2021, 2:24 PM
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Not sure about a 80% lower but this is what I use.

https://www.homedepot.com/p/WEN-10-i...210T/308605494

Great add on is the fence

https://www.homedepot.com/p/WEN-24-i...412T/307430864
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Old 02-02-2021, 2:41 PM
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I have an older craftsman that works fine.
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Old 02-02-2021, 2:45 PM
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Get an xy table with vise and hope the quill is stiff enough to use end mill.
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Old 02-02-2021, 2:57 PM
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Don't use a drill press for an 80%.

Drill presses are designed for drilling holes, and where the thrust on the quill is along the axis of the quill. They're not designed to withstand side loads on the quill associated with milling.

Please note Edgerly's comments about using an XY Table. You'll never get enough precision hand guiding a workpiece against a fence. You'll need a table to control your cuts. They're an included part of the milling machine. That's what you need for the 80%.

Here's a very nice miniature milling machine that would work great for an 80%. I've visited with the vendor at his shop and found him to be a wealth of knowledge on both the miniature mill, and the miniature lathe: https://mdaprecision.com/products/be...co-f1210-mill/
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Old 02-02-2021, 3:01 PM
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i use a Delta and it gets the job done with out issue, and has speed adjustment.
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Old 02-02-2021, 3:11 PM
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Originally Posted by whutsup40 View Post
I have an older craftsman that works fine.
I found one of these on CL. It's a bench top press, even then it took me and my son to lift in on the bench. I only used the press for drilling holes, no side loading. I used a router for removing most of the material.
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Old 02-02-2021, 3:55 PM
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Originally Posted by RickD427 View Post
Don't use a drill press for an 80%.



Drill presses are designed for drilling holes, and where the thrust on the quill is along the axis of the quill. They're not designed to withstand side loads on the quill associated with milling.



Please note Edgerly's comments about using an XY Table. You'll never get enough precision hand guiding a workpiece against a fence. You'll need a table to control your cuts. They're an included part of the milling machine. That's what you need for the 80%.



Here's a very nice miniature milling machine that would work great for an 80%. I've visited with the vendor at his shop and found him to be a wealth of knowledge on both the miniature mill, and the miniature lathe: https://mdaprecision.com/products/be...co-f1210-mill/
Here's an 8k mill. No doubt a nice machine.

OP - I'm hoping to stay under $200.......

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  #9  
Old 02-02-2021, 4:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillnotBob View Post
I am looking for advice on a bench top drill press for working on an aluminum 80% AR15 lower, motor power, RPM, etc.
I am hoping to stay under $200.
Thank you.
Most of the 80% lowers are now "milled" using a jig and a router with special end mills.

In fact most of the jig manufacturers don't recommend using a drill press to drill the pin and safety selector holes. The recommend using a hand drill...

"State of the art" jigs are from 80% Arms. the gen 3 is the latest. It will do all different types of lowers including billet and standard forgings. It will work for 5.56, .308 and 9mm lowers. It's a great tool.

https://www.80percentarms.com/produc...-80-lower-jig/
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Old 02-02-2021, 4:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RickD427 View Post
Don't use a drill press for an 80%.

Drill presses are designed for drilling holes, and where the thrust on the quill is along the axis of the quill. They're not designed to withstand side loads on the quill associated with milling.

Please note Edgerly's comments about using an XY Table. You'll never get enough precision hand guiding a workpiece against a fence. You'll need a table to control your cuts. They're an included part of the milling machine. That's what you need for the 80%.

Here's a very nice miniature milling machine that would work great for an 80%. I've visited with the vendor at his shop and found him to be a wealth of knowledge on both the miniature mill, and the miniature lathe: https://mdaprecision.com/products/be...co-f1210-mill/
Not meaning to thread drift too much, but for that price, you might be able to find a much bigger, although older milling machine with a few tools for that or less.
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  #11  
Old 02-02-2021, 4:16 PM
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Not meaning to thread drift too much, but for that price, you might be able to find a much bigger, although older milling machine with a few tools for that or less.
That's very true, but I'll challenge anyone to pick up a Bridgeport and stick it into the closet for storage when you're done with it.
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Old 02-02-2021, 6:15 PM
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I did an 80% once. Used a drill press and a router.
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  #13  
Old 02-02-2021, 6:17 PM
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Here's an 8k mill. No doubt a nice machine.

OP - I'm hoping to stay under $200.......

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Yeah, funny.
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  #14  
Old 02-02-2021, 6:26 PM
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+1 on drill press, router, and jig. Don't need anything crazy expensive. Wear earplugs when using the router with end mills, it gets LOUD.
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Old 02-02-2021, 6:32 PM
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lots of the jigs use a drill to remove the bulk of the material, then the router for the rest and shaping the pocket. I used a Porter Cable 8" drill press and it worked fine. It was like $120, and I set it for the recommended RPM for aluminum, whatever that was. I will second an X-Y vise though, repositioning and re-clamping under the drill press a dozen times was a pain.
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Old 02-02-2021, 6:38 PM
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A drill press and cross slide vise will do the job. The drill press will probably have a lot of run-out afterwards (if you use an end mill bit to 'mill' it out), so get a cheap one / garage sale special. Don't ruin a good drill press by side loading it.
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Old 02-02-2021, 7:03 PM
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Thank you all for the input/help.
My budget is tight, so maybe a low cost drill press and router.
Could a dremel do the router work? just go real slow?
Thanks again.
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Old 02-02-2021, 7:45 PM
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Originally Posted by SkyHawk View Post
A drill press and cross slide vise will do the job. The drill press will probably have a lot of run-out afterwards, so get a cheap one / garage sale special. Don't ruin a good drill press by side loading it.
Yeah you shouldn't be side loading the press at all. Just straight drilling to remove the bulk of the material.
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Old 02-02-2021, 8:12 PM
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Originally Posted by BillnotBob View Post
Thank you all for the input/help.
My budget is tight, so maybe a low cost drill press and router.
Could a dremel do the router work? just go real slow?
Thanks again.
I would say NO to the dremel. The end mill bit you want to use won't fit in a dremel, and the router allows you to lower the plunge depth incrementally (and remove a perfectly flat layer). You don't cut it all at once, you shave off layers little by little, like 1/8" or less each pass. Using the right tool for this job is worth every penny on this one. If your budget is tight, save up an extra couple months for the router or see if you can borrow one from a neighbor/friend. The cheap trim routers work fine.
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Old 02-02-2021, 9:52 PM
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Originally Posted by BillnotBob View Post
I am looking for advice on a bench top drill press for working on an aluminum 80% AR15 lower, motor power, RPM, etc.
I am hoping to stay under $200.
Thank you.
Check your local junior college and see if it might have evening classes in basic metal working. Years ago I machined AR lowers, ready to go, from Bill Kitchen's castings...also did a few from billet 7075.

The irony of machining at a jc was it was at the College of San Mateo, just down the peninsula from San Francisco. The teacher helped me with setups, I bought my own cutter tooling and a tap for the buffer tube. 2 other guys were working on hunting guns. Good times.

I've used a bench top press after squaring it, adding brass screws for quill adjustment, and general setup. I've used it on wood and plastic...no metal parts. Side-cutting tools need rigidity...if you don't have that, you'll have metal in the air at light speed.

Don't forget good safety glasses.
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Last edited by -hanko; 02-02-2021 at 10:01 PM..
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Old 02-02-2021, 10:05 PM
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Originally Posted by RickD427 View Post
That's very true, but I'll challenge anyone to pick up a Bridgeport and stick it into the closet for storage when you're done with it.
I have no doubt that's a nice machine but you can still do better for about 1/2 price. https://www.precisionmatthews.com/sh...recision-mill/

I have a larger PM45, it certainly won't fit in a closet but then again I don't need or want it to. Matt is great and really is there for support if needed. He sent me a an entire mill head gratis b/c he didn't like the internal casting of the one I received. I didn't request it and I haven't had any issues with it. The 'new' one has been in it's shipping crate for 8 years now.
The one thing with any of the square head, gear drive, mills is that they all will leak over time. Someday I might downsize but I like the rigidity / weight and my floor drill press just collects dust.
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Old 02-02-2021, 10:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillnotBob View Post
Thank you all for the input/help.
My budget is tight, so maybe a low cost drill press and router.
Could a dremel do the router work? just go real slow?
Thanks again.
If your budget is tight, buy a stripped lower.

You will end up with a hard anodized mil spec firearm.

I have no idea of the CA process to apply for a serial # for a home built

And then can you engrave deep enough at home or is that another $100 for engraving.
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Old 02-02-2021, 10:43 PM
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Originally Posted by DGoodale View Post
I have no doubt that's a nice machine but you can still do better for about 1/2 price. https://www.precisionmatthews.com/sh...recision-mill/

I have a larger PM45, it certainly won't fit in a closet but then again I don't need or want it to. Matt is great and really is there for support if needed. He sent me a an entire mill head gratis b/c he didn't like the internal casting of the one I received. I didn't request it and I haven't had any issues with it. The 'new' one has been in it's shipping crate for 8 years now.
The one thing with any of the square head, gear drive, mills is that they all will leak over time. Someday I might downsize but I like the rigidity / weight and my floor drill press just collects dust.
I heard good thinks about Precision Matthews, and also about Jet, but both are Asian made machines. I'll admit that Asian Machinery is getting to be pretty good. I've got a couple of Asian woodworking machines that I've been real happy with, but my European made machinery is still notably better.
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Old 02-02-2021, 11:29 PM
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That's very true, but I'll challenge anyone to pick up a Bridgeport and stick it into the closet for storage when you're done with it.
I can't imagine WHY I would ever want to take the milling machine OUT of my shop and put it "away".
It's much more convenient left setup for whenever I need to use it.
That generally occurs multiple times a day.
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Old 02-03-2021, 12:36 AM
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I can't imagine WHY I would ever want to take the milling machine OUT of my shop and put it "away".
It's much more convenient left setup for whenever I need to use it.
That generally occurs multiple times a day.
Randall,

For machines that get used every day, what you say makes a lot of sense.

But when you've got a 400 sq foot shop that is used for wood, metal, paint, welding, and canvas work, you gotta be able to move the machinery around, and get the smaller machines outta the shop when they're not being used.

I last used my milling machine (an EMCO FB2) last November. It rolls to the center of the shop when used, and rolls into the closet when it's not being used. Tonight, I was using the wood planer in the same floorspace as I last used the milling machine.

Once I finish the "never ending project" of restoring my 57' ketch, then I'll build a guest house/shop combo that will provide enough space to leave my machines in place, and to have a dedicated area for each working discipline.
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Old 02-03-2021, 1:45 AM
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Once I finish the "never ending project" of restoring my 57' ketch
Isn't that like painting the golden gate bridge?
By the time you get to one end, the other end is already overdue...
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Old 02-03-2021, 10:37 AM
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Isn't that like painting the golden gate bridge?
By the time you get to one end, the other end is already overdue...
It's very much like painting the Golden Gate Bridge, and a major PITA. But it's a boat so it really doesn't matter. Or as I explain to to my wife, I can work on the boat, or I can go to the Casino and chase after the younger ladies there.

I can't tell you how much I long for a larger shop........
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Old 02-03-2021, 10:23 PM
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I can't tell you how much I long for a larger shop........
I have the basic floorplan sketched out for my next shop.
It's hopefully going to be a 50x80 steel building.
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Old 02-04-2021, 7:23 PM
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Originally Posted by RickD427 View Post
Don't use a drill press for an 80%.

Drill presses are designed for drilling holes, and where the thrust on the quill is along the axis of the quill. They're not designed to withstand side loads on the quill associated with milling.

Please note Edgerly's comments about using an XY Table. You'll never get enough precision hand guiding a workpiece against a fence. You'll need a table to control your cuts. They're an included part of the milling machine. That's what you need for the 80%.

Here's a very nice miniature milling machine that would work great for an 80%. I've visited with the vendor at his shop and found him to be a wealth of knowledge on both the miniature mill, and the miniature lathe: https://mdaprecision.com/products/be...co-f1210-mill/
I got a kick out of this. Dude asks for a drill press under $200 and you sent him a mill that cost $8,000. Lol.
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Old 02-04-2021, 7:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Sequencer60 View Post
+1 on drill press, router, and jig. Don't need anything crazy expensive. Wear earplugs when using the router with end mills, it gets LOUD.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6A78eccrS0k

Agree!
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  #31  
Old 02-04-2021, 8:19 PM
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I got a kick out of this. Dude asks for a drill press under $200 and you sent him a mill that cost $8,000. Lol.
Just trying to help the gent out. As they say - "Buy once, cry once."
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Old 02-04-2021, 11:41 PM
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Even in a free state like Utah, if you don't have the means to machine a clean lower, I'd just buy stripped lowers from your LGS.
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Old 02-05-2021, 7:40 AM
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Wow, that jig is WAY more advanced than anything I’ve used.
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Old 02-11-2021, 8:11 PM
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+1 Easy Jig Gen 3

They've got great resale value, so you'll be able to break even on the jig and bits.

A hand drill will suffice and a DeWalt DWP611.

A vise.

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Old 02-13-2021, 11:33 AM
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op, i have one that you can borrow. it's old and needs a $9 new belt but it works.
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Old 02-14-2021, 9:22 PM
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If it isn't for regular use, rent, don't buy cheap.

Hardware stores have tool rentals nowadays.
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Old 02-14-2021, 9:26 PM
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Originally Posted by RickD427 View Post
Don't use a drill press for an 80%.

Drill presses are designed for drilling holes, and where the thrust on the quill is along the axis of the quill. They're not designed to withstand side loads on the quill associated with milling.

Please note Edgerly's comments about using an XY Table. You'll never get enough precision hand guiding a workpiece against a fence. You'll need a table to control your cuts. They're an included part of the milling machine. That's what you need for the 80%.

Here's a very nice miniature milling machine that would work great for an 80%. I've visited with the vendor at his shop and found him to be a wealth of knowledge on both the miniature mill, and the miniature lathe: https://mdaprecision.com/products/be...co-f1210-mill/

Thats 8 grand man... wow

One thousandth post - woo hoo!!!
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Old 02-22-2021, 8:49 PM
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The way they used to do it was by drilling holes to remove most of the material and then use the drill press like a mill just to clean up the inside. Much easier on the drill press.
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