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  • Mag Drill

    Not a welding question, but I sure you guys or gals with know the answer. Who makes a GOOD quality Mag base drill. The job I'm buying it for has 474 holes in 6 x 6 x 1/4 wall steel tube 12' tall polls.

  • #2
    I like the Hougen mag drills. I've drilled many holes with the HMD904 model for structural steel fab purposes.
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    Thermal Dynamics Cutmaster 52
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    • #3
      Originally posted by Oldgrandad View Post
      Not a welding question, but I sure you guys or gals with know the answer. Who makes a GOOD quality Mag base drill. The job I'm buying it for has 474 holes in 6 x 6 x 1/4 wall steel tube 12' tall polls.
      No experience with the Hougen but 12 Years of hard use and abuse of our Milwaukee Mag Drill left a very favorable impression on me!
      I would definitely give the Milwaukee the thumbs up!

      HTH
      Griff

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Oldgrandad View Post
        ... 474 holes in 6 x 6 x 1/4 wall steel tube 12' tall polls.
        Do you need to lift it up the pole, or is this going to be done on the ground? That might factor in.

        My limited experience was all with a Milwaukee. It worked fine. I hear great stuff about Hougen. Probably can't go wrong with either.

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        • #5
          I borrowed an old Milwaukee 4297 a few months ago from a friend who has a fab shop that makes pope beveling machines, it was big and bad and worked like a champ. Can't speak for the new ones.

          I have a hougen 904 and it's a solid machine. I wish I had spent a few more dollars and got the 904S...has a swivel base.

          Another friend of mine has a dewalt, no idea the model, and he loves it. He borrowed my hougen once, that was before he got the dewalt. He said he likes the dewalt better. I think he's a jerk.

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          • #6
            Since we are on the subject, my dad let the smoke out of my Milwaukee (I have no idea what he was doing with it to do that) and since I haven't needed it, it's just been sitting on the shelf for years. I should probably see if I can replace the motor in it.

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            • #7
              I have a Milwaukee. I could easily imagine it getting me and itself and anyone under us killed.
              I feel the magnet is too weak for its own weight.
              It is pretty old now though. Surely they have improved.

              www.facebook.com/outbackaluminumwelding
              Miller Dynasty 700...OH YEA BABY!!
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              Miller Dynasty 280 with AC independent expansion card
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              Miller Bobcat 225 NT (what I began my present Biz with!)
              Miller 30-A Spoolgun
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              • #8
                How about this genius....

                https://youtu.be/o82B3FZkkbs

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                • #9
                  Why was he even filming something he when he obviously didn't know what he was doing? Hoping to get hurt and have some kind of "evidence" for the lawsuit? Obviously a stolen or company-owned tool. What an a-hole.

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                  • #10
                    I have always used Hougens for the last 30 years and am happy with them. If mine ever craps out I would not hesitate to buy a new one.
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                    • #11
                      I have the Hougen 917, bought it for the 3" DOC, 2 speed and larger diameter capability - your comment, "474 holes in 6 x 6 x 1/4 wall steel tube 12' tall polls" is ANOTHER reason - in out of position work, the stronger the magnets the less likely you'd have problems drilling THINNER than 1/2" thickness (magnets grip better with more metal to hold onto)

                      The 917 is a few pounds heavier, but because it's meant to handle bigger cutters the magnets are ALSO heavier duty. (the Hougens have had "2-stage" magnets for quiet a while, but my research seemed to show that MOST manufacturers are now doing that)

                      My thoughts when choosing that one (the 917) were that I'd have better luck on thinner than 1/2" material NOT having the drill break loose while drilling. You do NOT want that to happen, it's expensive AND dangerous...

                      So far it's been working; I've drilled 5/8" holes in .120" wall tubing without a thicker "backer", and with ZERO lift-off. That was my point; if your use involves "in place" drilling of vertical posts, that extra strength magnet could mean the difference between success and "holy crap"... Steve

                      BTW, if your holes need to ALSO be exactly positioned, choose a model that has a SWIVEL base; IMO you'll NEVER be sorry...

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by FusionKing View Post
                        I have a Milwaukee. I could easily imagine it getting me and itself and anyone under us killed.
                        I feel the magnet is too weak for its own weight.
                        It is pretty old now though. Surely they have improved.
                        On the construction sites we were always required to tie off the drills when drilling out of position. We also had to tag our power cords at the plug in outlet to identify that the cord was being used for a mag drill and was not to be unplugged.
                        Lincoln Idealarc 250
                        Miller Bobcat 250
                        Thermal Arc Hefty 2 feeder
                        Thermal Dynamics Cutmaster 52
                        Torchmate CNC table

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by snoeproe View Post

                          On the construction sites we were always required to tie off the drills when drilling out of position. We also had to tag our power cords at the plug in outlet to identify that the cord was being used for a mag drill and was not to be unplugged.
                          And that would be the minimums.
                          Imagine using a ladder leaning against a pole and getting power from a generator at the same time!!
                          If those poles are installed I would take a good hard look for other alternatives.
                          The only reason I say this is because Oldgrandad used the term "tall"
                          Otherwise, no problem. Nobody wants to carry the poles around if you could drill them on sawhorses.

                          www.facebook.com/outbackaluminumwelding
                          Miller Dynasty 700...OH YEA BABY!!
                          MM 350P...PULSE SPRAYIN' MONSTER
                          Miller Dynasty 280 with AC independent expansion card
                          Miller Dynasty 200 DX "Blue Lightning"

                          Miller Bobcat 225 NT (what I began my present Biz with!)
                          Miller 30-A Spoolgun
                          Miller WC-115-A
                          Miller Spectrum 300
                          Miller 225 Thunderbolt (my first machine bought new 1980)
                          Miller Digital Elite Titanium 9400

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                          • #14
                            I did say tall but the poles are not installed yet. My original plan was to use roller stands and a drill press and might still do it that way. BUT the big boss said "Hey would a mag base drill help. Go ahead and get one." No arguments I've tried to get one of these for a decade now and always been refused If taking full advantage and going to get the best one I can. The job has a tight deadline so will probably double team the drilling use the new mag base and the drill press.
                            Thanks to all for your input. I'll let y'all know which one I get.

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                            • #15
                              I prefer to use annular cutters over drills too. It's faster and cleaner.

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