Entry Level Line Boring Equipment

Cabinetmakers explain the advantages of buying a used piece of serious machinery, rather than buy a less-capable machine new. January 13, 2009

Anybody have experience with the Delta 13 spindle line boring machine? It looks to be a bench-top model. I just found it browsing the web, so I haven't even looked at one up close. Just wondering if you could recommend any others for under $2000, or am I just looking at junk in that price range? Such a simple concept... just a drill press with gears to run 12 other bits. I was surprised to see they cost as much as they do.

Forum Responses
(Cabinetmaking Forum)
From contributor M:
I actually started out with that about 15 years ago. I gave it to a retired friend for his garage shop. I would spend the 2 grand on a decent used line boring machine for many reasons. There are plenty of them setting around out there with most larger shops going to CNC. I actually have one setting here, but for no more than I could get for it, it's nice having it set here for some occasional oddball use.

From contributor K:
I agree with contributor M. I bought the Delta 13 spindle about a year and a half ago. I sold it a few months later and bought a good used SCMI MB63 which has 2 vertical heads and 1 horizontal (21 spindles per head). It is great for line boring and construction boring. I got it for 3000.00 plus 800.00 for shipping and spent a few hundred on parts including new bits. If you don't need the horizontal head for construction boring, there are a lot of good used single and double head machines available that are a lot better than the Delta for line boring.

From contributor T:
I have the Delta, and it is an okay machine. I have used it for about 6-8 years. Once you get it set up for accuracy it is fine, but having a two row machine would be a lot more efficient, especially if you drill for the front and back holes in drawer runners.

From contributor I:
I've got a Conquest Mini 13 spindle. I've had it about a year now and had no problems with it. It's built like a tank. I think I paid $1750 CDN for it. Well worth the money.

From contributor A:
I purchased the Conquest Mini 13 about 2 years ago. I highly recommend it. You can get a huge used behemoth, but you'll have a ton of bits to replace or get sharpened. It won't be brand new, and do you really need one?

From contributor K:
One big advantage of the larger machines with multiple heads and more spindles is that you only have to cycle the machine one time for most parts. With the 13 spindle machines you have to cycle the machine 2 to 4 times per part.

From the original questioner:
Thanks everybody. I actually went to a Grizzly tent sale today, and found a 15 spindle borer there. I looked it over real good, and it seems to be a solid machine. Most of my shop is Grizzly. I have no complaints about their machines. I'll get it set up and use it, and that will be the test.

From contributor D:
If you're starting out and need a reliable machine, the Delta 13 spindle is the ticket. For the money, anyway. They did, however, do away with the hydraulic foot petal version several years ago. Obviously it's not a production machine, but there are a lot of happy users out there. How'd those bearings look on that Grizzly?

From contributor I:
I've been using a Conquest Mini 13 for about 1-1/2 years now. For the price, it's okay -gets the job done - but not great when it comes to accuracy. And after all, what else matters when it comes to our work? It was a good choice for our startup shop, but I am now looking for a CNC solution to drilling all those holes.