Author Topic: Proxxon TBM 115/220 for PCB drilling and diecast aluminum enclosure drilling  (Read 871 times)

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Offline matthuszagh

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I’m looking for a small and simple drill press to use for drilling holes in PCBs and for drilling holes in aluminum enclosures. I’d really prefer to have one tool for both jobs if possible. Quite a few people have recommended the Proxxon TBM 220 for PCB drilling, but I haven’t seen much about it for drilling holes in enclosures. Has anyone use it for this purpose and how does it fare? Is there enough z distance between the bit and the table?
« Last Edit: October 03, 2022, 08:17:18 pm by matthuszagh »
 

Offline matthuszagh

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Re: Proxxon TBM 220 for PCB drilling and diecast aluminum enclosure drilling
« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2022, 08:17:03 pm »
Isn't the TBM 220 the 230V version (of the TBM 115)?

Ah, that would make sense. TBM 115 then as I'm in the US. But same question would apply to either model of course.
 

Offline matthuszagh

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I'm getting the impression after reading more posts on this forum that the Proxxon really wouldn't be suited to enclosure drilling. But, it sounds like a lot can be done in that regard with a hand drill, a suitable set of bits (especially step bits), a clamp, a set of files, and possibly cutting fluid, so I'll go that route first.
« Last Edit: October 05, 2022, 04:15:15 am by matthuszagh »
 

Offline thm_w

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Do you have space for a regular drill press? They are <$50 on the used market.
But lower speed so more suitable for enclosures only and not PCBs.
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Offline matthuszagh

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Do you have space for a regular drill press? They are <$50 on the used market.
But lower speed so more suitable for enclosures only and not PCBs.

The price is fine but my space is very restricted. So it would be pushing it, but I suppose it would be possible. I'll probably try the handheld drill first and if that proves too difficult explore the drill press option.
 

Online tooki

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I have the IBS/E handheld tool and MB 200 stand, which together are extremely similar to the TBM. (TBM has lower spindle speeds.) If you’re short on space, the combination might be an option because you can really break it down for storage — and you get a handheld tool.

I’ve used it for aluminum many times, but of course it’s not intended for large holes. I often use it to accurately place pilot holes, and then just use my regular electric hand drill to drill out to final size. Step drills are great. Just get a good one. (I got a cheap set of 3 from Lidl, and one of them just won’t cut.)
 
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Offline Electroplated

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I have a Proxxon TBM 220, its at the back of my work shed gathering dust because its junk.

The quill is aluminum with junk bearings and the motor for some reason becomes really hot after a short time, the more you use it, the more noise it makes and it has a slight runout / wobble, to me it was a total waste of good money.

For pcb work I mainly use a Katsu mini drill press, it has its flaws such as a not so good speed controller but it handles pcb work with carbide bits just fine, its build is more solid and it takes up the same space as the Proxxon. It uses a round belt, they can be bought as spares from ebay or you can make your own by heat welding the same diameter belt into the correct size and it has no runout.
50 years working with electronics and I still wonder how small parts can have all that smoke inside !
 
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Offline rdl

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I have a Proxxon TBM115. I bought it back around 2005. I don't use it heavily but it has worked fine for me.

There's a company called Micro-Mark that sells what looks like a re-brand (or maybe a knock-off?). I almost bought one instead of the Proxxon. Micro-Mark has been around forever selling to model makers. I've purchased supplies from them many times over the years. They have all kinds of useful stuff. Might be worth a look.

https://micromark.com/
 

Offline TimFox

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I own the MicroMark small drill press with electronic speed control.
For the price, it works well for me using small carbide bits on FR4 material, but I haven't used it on aluminum--I have a full-size drill press in the garage.
Two nuisances:
1.  The chuck key is not a standard size.  When I misplaced it, MicroMark quickly sent me a replacement.
2.  It is easy to overload the taper fitting of the chuck into the spindle with larger bit diameters.  When this occurs, the chuck with drill bit falls out of the spindle.  I found that for reasonable drill sizes (< 0.25 inch), I could avoid this by greatly reducing the chuck rotation speed using the two-pulley belt and electronic speed control.  In general, I try to avoid using such bits in the small drill press.
 

Offline coppercone2

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That proxxon spins pretty fast if you do panel that are plastic, its not that great for that, unless you sharpen the drills at the plastic angle (they don't come in small sizes either, afaik). But TBH since I got plastic bits, I basically feel that I have been drilling plastic wrong my whole life, its just so much nicer, it does not pull. Having the correct angle drill bit is a mega benefit.

But I have drilled copper, aluminum, brass, pcb material and steel with it at small holes with no problem, but when you get to the max drill size for the collet I think it gets a little dicey. I recommend it as a hole starter.

I think its the perfect tool for indexing holes on a front panel so long you have sharp drills and lubricant.

The thing is the max hole size is going to be like a LED, and you need to use a step bit or something after that anyway, since its the correct tool for drilling larger holes in thin metal. The maximum drill size is like what, slightly bigger then 3/16? But mine drills very nice holes. Also lubricate the belt. And getting some collet wrenches to keep on the tool itself is a benefit, I keep meaning to make a holder mounted to the machine or under the base or something, collets are awesome when you have the wrench nearby. The base should have a lid and holders for the tools and collets IMO. I 3d printed a collet cover for the proxxon collet holder and thats been nice too.

The only thing I don't like is the long screw for mounting the belt cover on, if you replace that with some kind of quick release mechanism, the belts are actually really easy to change pulley ratio. I actually bother changing the belt ratio, unlike with a normal drill press (total pain in the ass).
« Last Edit: October 07, 2022, 05:27:48 pm by coppercone2 »
 


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