The drill press that I have I bought used. As such, I did not spend a lot of time researching drill presses to determine the perfect pipe making drill press for the budget concious. That said, the press I have is decent for when I need it, and that is because of three features:
1. A long stroke -- the stroke determines the longest hole you can possibly drill on a press. Mine is 3.5" which is about as long as you will find for standard drill presses. This is enough to do a decent sized canadian or hawkbill, but it cuts it close. I definitely prefer a lathe for drilling long hole as the depth of the hole on the lathe is limited by your drill bit and the length of the bed of the lathe. 2. Adjustable speed -- SLOW is the key word for all the drilling you do with pipe making. The slower the better to make clean smooth cuts that stay true 3. Adjustable table -- This is probably a standard feature with most presses, but you will need the ability to raise and lower the table to get the most of the stroke of the press.
Another accessory that is useful is a machinist's vise. The vise allows precise adjustments of the briar under the bit to get things lined up exactly as you want them.
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