|Jet Milling and Drilling machine|
|Jet Milling and Drilling label|
Loggers, if they are going to survive, need to have a shop to back up thier operation. Things are always breaking. The first line of defense is a a variety of tools in the crummy on the job site. The second line of defense is a mechanics truck with everything in it in the way of a tool you can think of plus a welder and gas bottles and an air compressor.The third line of defense is a machine shop where when field work fails you can make things. One of the basic tools you need is a drilling and milling machine such as the one featured here. Mostly you will use it as a small drill press, but it takes a #3 Morse taper and can be configured to turn quite a bit slower than the typical cheap drill press which makes it suitable for drilling those half inch to inch holes that loggers are always needing. The table is hand fed in two directions so you can do some milling with it but we rarely do.
This has been a favorite little machine of ours. It is suppose to be a a combination drilling and Milling machine. We have only tried to mill with it a couple times and with difficulty, but it is a great little 1/2 hp drill press. It has more speeds (slower) that a small drill press implying that you can use it with fairly large bits. Likewise the Jacobs chuck comes out and it takes a Morse taper so you can actually use the larger bits.
There are no power feeds on it, but the ability to crank the table around is useful. The column is pretty short (it is almost all the way up for the drilling job shown), and the quill travel is only about 4 inches, but for small jobs it works very well. We have other drill presses as well, but if you need to drill a hole up to about 5/8" this is often the choice.
Small drill presses are often geared for small bits and won't turn slowly enough for the over 1/2" bits.
Efforts to drill larger than 5/8" produce a lot of chatter and not much in the way of a hole because you can't get enough pressure on the quill to make the bit cut. The official maximum drilling capacity is 25/32 which is clearance drill size for 3/4" but this is pushing things.