Delta’s 18″ drill press is specifically designed for woodworking. The difference is in the table: It’s a big improvement over the tables designed for metalworking on most drill presses.
First off, Delta’s table is quite large: 20″ wide by 14″ deep. That extra width is particularly useful for supporting long pieces, such as rails and legs. Second, the table has two T-slots, running front to back, for clamping a shop-made fence. (Delta’s fence is quite nice—it has cam-action clamps—but it’s an accessory.) Third, the table tilts forward 48° as well as 90° left or right, which enables you to drill, mortise, and sand compound angles. Most drill press tables only tilt left or right. And fourth, the table includes a replaceable 3-1/4″ square plate for preventing blow-out when drilling all the way through a board. The plate is easy to remove for spindle sanding.
Delta has also made changing speeds much easier. They’ve added an idler wheel, controlled by a large, convenient lever, for tensioning the belts. This is a welcome improvement over tensioning systems on conventional drill presses. This drill press has 16 speeds, from 170 rpm to 3000 rpm. There’s a speed chart above the belts for four different kinds of bits.
If you’re a penmaker, you’ll appreciate this machine’s 6″ stroke. Most pen blanks are 5″ to 5-1/2″ long, and many drill presses can’t drill all the way through them. No problem here.
The drill press is powered by a 3/4 hp motor and has a 5/8″ chuck. It also has a very handy gooseneck lamp and crosshair lasers.