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Drill Press As A Case Trimmer???

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by mkl, Jan 16, 2009.

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  1. mkl

    mkl Member

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    I'm sitting here looking at 500+ .223 cases I need to trim back to suggested length.

    I have the Forster case trimmer crank style trimmer in which I just replaced the trimmer/cutter shaft because the old one was worn out.

    That replacement shaft would chuck up nicely in my drill press. The press has a spindle stop which would allow me to set the spindle to stop at any point as I lower the spindle with the trimmer/cutter in the chuck.

    If I had some fixture that would allow me to secure a case on the drill press table, I should be able to trim my cases using the press.

    Anyone know of a fairly quick release collet fixture that would secure a .223 case and attach to the drill press table?

    Just a thought. If the fixture costs as much as the top of the line automatic trimmers, I'd be better off with the dedicated purpose trimmer. Can't think of the name; believe it starts with an "M."

    Any suggestions?
     
  2. ReloaderFred

    ReloaderFred Member

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    Lyman used to sell a drill press case trimmer. I've had mine for well over 20 years, and other than the jaws of the case holder getting worn, it still works just fine. If they no longer offer them, you might have some luck finding one on the on-line auction sites.

    Hope this helps.

    Fred
     
  3. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    I fastened a Lee Trimmer pilot in my drill press and trimmed thousands of cases.

    And it was dangerous. Way too much power to hold cases and push up against the Lee Trimmer.

    I purchased the Lyman Press device. Trim length was highly varible. Still have the thing.

    The time I saved when I went to a Gracey, then Giraud trimmer is hard to believe. Even after you cut the things to length on a drill press, you have to de burr and bevel the cases. When you use a Gracey/Giraud, one short zip in the trimmer, and you are all done.

    I recommend the Giraud. Better mousetrap.
     
  4. ReloaderFred

    ReloaderFred Member

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  5. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    I use the Lee trimmer set-up in a small lathe.

    Tried the crank-style trimmer in my drill press, but it was a major hassle.

    However, you can use the cutter out of it and hand-hold cases on the table, if your quill depth-stop is accurate enough.

    Failing that, get the Lee trimmer & pin, use it in the drill press, and just use the cast-iron table as the stop.
    You can easily hand hold the cases flat on the table.

    rc
     
  6. mkl

    mkl Member

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    rcmodel:

    Is this what you are suggesting:

    http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpage.exe/showproduct?saleitemid=352653

    I could probably braze that to a flat steel bar and then clamp to the table.

    Are you also saying the torque is small enough that I can even hand hold a .223 case while trimming with the press?

    Wish I had a small metal lathe; only one I have is 12 x 36 which I think is somewhat overkill...:uhoh:
     
  7. mkl

    mkl Member

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    reloaderfred:

    Thanks for the link. That may be the way to go.

    Did not know even where to begin looking. This is a great forum.

    Thanks again

    mkl
     
  8. WNTFW

    WNTFW Member

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    More like this part:
    http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpage.exe/showproduct?saleitemid=476992

    The cutter had a pilot that needs to be installed. Pilot & shell holder sold separate & caliber specific.
    Cutter w/pilot goes in drill press.
    Case in drill press table.
    use table in place of lock stud & shell holder

    Or put lock stud in drill press vise & still use shell holder. A friend of mine just told me he adds a lever to the shell holder.

    I put the cutter w/pilot in a small lathe, use a foot switch and do a operations consectutively time trim debur chamfer.

    It is all work any way you do it.

    I am supposed to be able to borrow a Giraud trimmer - not holding my breath.
     
  9. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    No.

    Just do as WNTFW said.
    Hold the case in your hand and run the Lee cutter down until the pin contacts the drill table and stops it.

    Note the cutter & case length guage screwed together in the picture. That goes in the drill.

    [​IMG]

    That's your case length setting when the little pin contacts the drill table.

    You can trim them about as fast as you can pick them up and throw them down.

    PS: Run the drill on the lowest speed setting you can get.

    rc
     
  10. mkl

    mkl Member

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    wntfw & rcmodel

    Got it now!

    Thanks for the info and links.
     
  11. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Btw: It pays to adjust the little pin & guage by putting a drop of Blue Lock-Tight on the threads and screwing & adjusting, while trimming & measuring cases. Then let the L-T cure overnight before using it.

    They get a real workout on a drill press, and I had the threads get loose and wobbly on my .223 to where it was cutting WAY short before I discovered it.

    rc
     
  12. rfwobbly

    rfwobbly Member

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    MKL -
    I have seen those older Lyman drill press mounts on Ebay in the past. They do come up for sale.
     
  13. ranger335v

    ranger335v Member

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    "...if your quill depth-stop is accurate enough."

    And therein lies the problem with attempts to trim cases with a drill press. It's much more reliable to attach a drill/driver to a conventional trimmer shaft.
     
  14. PCJim

    PCJim Member

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    You might want to look at the Possum Hollow case trimmer and the power attachment available for it. That's what I use. Once you set the trim length, lock the trimmer in the power adapter, insert power adapter in a variable speed drill and go to town. Some guy, not me, made a YouTube video of the process. The PH unit trims based on the shoulder datum, not the overall case length. Since you're working with .223, I would think this would be the preferred reference point anyway.
     
  15. Idano

    Idano Member

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    I use the Possum Hollow Case trimmers in my drill press. IMO it's the the only way to trim brass.
     
  16. NuJudge

    NuJudge Member

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