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    Does anyone here have any experience with this company?  They offer heavy aluminum tool supports to convert your rotary tool into a micro mill; lathe; drill press;  or router/shaper table.  I am mainly interested in their drill press. Their site makes this claim: DRILL PRESS PLUS GIVES YOU STABILITY WITH THE DREMEL TOOL. MACHINED FROM SOLID ALUMINUM, AND WATER HARDENED 1/2” DRILL RODS. THIS IS A TOOL THAT WILL NOT WEAR OUT, AND WILL ALWAYS DRILL SMALL HOLES ACCURATELY.  

    Looking at the illustrations that are shown, I would tend to believe those claims.  It appears to be quite solidly constructed and has the added benefit of being American made.  I have the drill press accessory made by DREMEL, but it is not really stable enough to drill small holes without breaking the micro size drill bits.:default_wallbash:  Their price at $140 + S & H also seems reasonable, but I haven't seen any reviews to base my opinion on, so I am fishing here for some input.

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Dave....I know I have seen references out here to Vanda-Lay in the past.  If you punch "Vanda-Lay" into the search box at the top you will get three pages of threads that refer to them.  Many of them refer to other products but at least a few mention the drill press.  You might start by looking at those threads if you have not already done so.

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    Thanks Gary.  (I'm afraid that didn't even think of using that search function. :blush:)  I went through all three pages and found that with all the good comments in there, I think I'm sold on getting one.  Will probably get their optional accessory table to go with it.  I will try it out and give a review myself of how well it works.

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I have their treenail cutter, use it exclusively and have successfully for years. I also have the mill setup with all the accouterments and find it easy to use and well made if you don't want to spring for an expensive mill. I think their products are pretty creative!

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Posted (edited)

I have the drill press plus from Vanda-Lay and the double multi-clamp hold it.

Amazing quality of machined aluminium parts.
Easy to assemble.

 

 

Edited by Nirvana

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For what it's worth, the tree nail cutter attachments were pretty limited in sizes.   A good draw plate, including the one from Byrnes, allows anyone to make treenails to much smaller sizes than cutters.   Too often we have all seen oversized treenails on otherwise super fine models and they appear to have the measles as a result.

 

Bamboo strips and a draw plate will give anyone the capability of making all the sizes anyone could hope for.  Bamboo will go to the tiniest diameter with very little effort and will be stronger than any other wood at those super small diameters.  Bamboo skewers can be split several times then taken through the draw plate to make trennail stock.   One package of skewers yield many thousands of treenails.   If someone wants only the appearance of treenails, not the actual strengthening they give, it is far easier to just drill appropriate size holes and use a good wood filler in an appropriate color.  

Allan

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I have the treenail maker and to me it just okay. It can make beautiful tree nails but often they break in the cutter. That is a royal pain because it involves a considerable amount of work to clear the cutter. You can drill the center clear, but the wood caught between the cutting blades just has to be picked at with a knife blade to remove and it really gets stuck in there tightly. If I use bamboo for the treenail which is supposed to offer the most strength it will often twist unlike wood and I end up with a miniature twizzler. For bamboo I use my draw  plate and soak the bamboo in water first.

Kurt

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 Kurt, I need to try the soaking idea next time I use the draw plate.   My only concern is that if the bamboo swells when soaked in water, after being drawn through the plate, and then dries, it will be smaller diameter than intended.  Not the end of the world and surely can be accommodated for if consistent.  Have you seen this as an issue?

Thanks

Allan

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Posted (edited)

Every time any one mentions Vanda-Lay Industries I have to smile!  George Constanza  used the alias "Art Vandalay" when he wanted to be anonymous, and "Vandalay Industries" when he needed a fictious employer.  "Seinfeld" was hilarious!😄

Edited by DocBlake

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I have the drill press with the adjustable table attachment. I find it's a quality tool that does what it claims to do. I bought it from a fellow who was liquidating his shop. If I were in the market for a micro-drill press and cost was no object, I'd opt for a decent micro-milling machine. The Vanda-Lay drill press is head and shoulders above the Dremel product which lacks the stability for the accuracy we're looking for. For the same reason, were I in the market, I would spend the relatively few dollars more for the Vanda-Lay mill-drill combo. Their drill press lacks the XY table of their milling setup and if you don't already have a drill-mill, you're going to miss that. They are essentially the same machine, so you might as well get the whole enchilada for a few bucks more.

 

I have to say that the Vanda-Lay rotary tool powered products are the best of their type I've seen on the market. They are a family-run business and they've been very quick and accommodating the one time I emailed them for information. Keep in mind, however, that the "weak link" in the concept of Dremel-powered tools is the Dremel Moto-tool (or equivalent) itself. Dedicated drill presses and milling machines of any quality will have more powerful motors and their tooling will exhibit far finer and more consistent accuracy than the Dremel products. You do get what you  pay for, but the Vanda-Lay products  afford the maximum value one could hope to get out of a Dremel moto-tool.

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That brings up a chicken and egg question.

 

Was someone on the Seinfeld show a closet ship modeler who co-opted the Vandalay name, or is the guy that owns Vandalay Industries a Seinfeld fan?

 

I suspect the latter.

 

Roger

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I have their Acra-Mill Plus and also bought the parts for their drill press attachment. I bought these several years ago and they worked great with the Dremel. I milled small pieces of wood, made my own blocks and more. They're great for those with limited space in their workshop, as you can just set up your Dremel with the attachments you need. 

 

However, I found that as I accumulated dedicated equipment, the Vanda-Lay stuff got used less and less. The main problem with the Dremel attachments is that you have to reconfigure your setup when your needs change.

 

For the drill press, I'm much happier with a very inexpensive, dedicated unit. It is much more convenient to use, solid, and with no setup required.

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14 hours ago, catopower said:

However, I found that as I accumulated dedicated equipment, the Vanda-Lay stuff got used less and less. The main problem with the Dremel attachments is that you have to reconfigure your setup when your needs change.

So very true. The trade-off with multipurpose tools seems to be that, at best, they do one thing pretty well, and the rest only fairly... if you are lucky. The downside is always that the more the "multi," the more the set-up time. The advantages are in cost (although you get what you pay for) and shop space savings. The more involved your modeling becomes, the more we seem to gravitate to dedicated power tools.

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