This is something I have really been looking forward to ever since I heard it was being developed.
As mentioned a ways back, Teknatool (inventors of the 4 jaw self-centreing chuck for wood turning, and the DVR lathe) have turned their attention to other products that could benefit from the significant ease of operation, power and easy variable speed of the DVR motor.
One such product is the drill press, and Teknatool have chosen the Wood show in Las Vegas to demonstrate the prototype.
It is a perfect synergy.
The drill press is constantly assessing the drilling operation. If the computer detects anything abnormal, such as a catch (happens often as the drill bit is just exiting the workpiece on the far side, which sometimes results in it simulating a helicopter!), a slipping bit etc, the motor will cut out surprisingly quickly. They use this same feature on the lathe for when the chisel takes too big a bite and catches.
It can detect if your bit is blunt or damaged, or if you’ve gone and caught some clothing around the bit. This is going to be an awesome drillpress!
Complete control over the variable speed, digital speed readout, constant speed with the DVR motor ramping up the power as needed to maintain the speed under load.
Expect around 9-12 months before products start hitting the shelves.
The display at AWFS is also very interesting – if you look closely at the picture of the chuck on the right, it looks like a SuperNova2, but I suspect this is actually the new interchageable jaw chuck (it doesn’t use twin bolts to hold each jaw on – one set can be slid out, and the next set slid in – toollessly (is that a word?))
Interesting to see the accurate digital readout of depth, load set speed etc. The ability to zero off your drill bit (very important for accurate drilling, given they are all different lengths!)
Given that the motor is direct-drive to the shaft, I was surprised to see that the head is fixed, and cannot tilt, and the table is such a traditional design with a coarse thread height adjustment. Wasn’t expecting that – it still leaves a margin for inaccuracy if the operator doesn’t level the table properly.
It may be that this is an example of the head-only model (will seek clarification) – they are first releasing the drillpress head, so you can upgrade your existing drill press, and then down track releasing a full drillpress model. Upgrading an existing drill press will obviously be cheaper, but you have to wonder what innovations Teknatool will bring to the lower half of the drill press!
***Update*** I can confirm that this specific example was a DVR drill press head mounted on an existing base, and is not an example of the full Teknatool/Nova Drillpress solution.
Irrespective, the addition of DVR technology into the drill press is a massive step forward, and I am certainly looking forward to the next tool to receive the DVR treatment – the tablesaw is certainly in their sights. Will this become a serious contender to the SawStop? The DVR motor may be capable of providing that sort of capability, and without the blade destruction of an aluminium brake slamming into the blade teeth. Of course I am speculating wildly!
In any case, I can’t wait to see the new drillpress on the market!