Drill press turning (making a hand plane knob)

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Project by mafe posted 10-07-2010 12:02 PM 9552 views 4 times favorited 25 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Drill press turning
Making a plane knob on the drill press challenge.

Last week I needed a knob for a fence I was making for my no. 3 and 4 planes, and was ready to go to the lathe.
- But decided to challenge myself by making it on the drill press, with the simplest means I could find (yes I’m a child).
I also took pictures as I went along so I could share it with those who don’t have a lathe.

You can see the project and tutorial on the Drill press turning (making a plane knob) Blog

Geminiguy made a DIY chunk that can be used as well.

I hope this can bring some old planes back to life or be used to make a fence for your plane,

best thoughts,


-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

25 comments so far

View majuvla's profile


12285 posts in 2867 days

#1 posted 10-07-2010 12:11 PM

Unbelievable!!Great solution!

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View EMVarona's profile


437 posts in 2835 days

#2 posted 10-07-2010 12:18 PM

Very clever! How did you attach the wood to the drill chuck?

-- Ed "Real happiness is one that you share."

View Sodabowski's profile


2374 posts in 2833 days

#3 posted 10-07-2010 12:26 PM

Way to go! I do that so often I think I will eventually set money aside for a real lathe…
What’s the metal top you put in that knob? It looks so nice!

-- Thomas - Pondering the inclusion of woodworking into physics and chemistry classes...

View Jiri Parkman's profile

Jiri Parkman

953 posts in 3812 days

#4 posted 10-07-2010 12:49 PM

Look easy. But …

-- Jiri

View mafe's profile


11725 posts in 3089 days

#5 posted 10-07-2010 01:14 PM

majuvla, thank you.
EMVarona, a screw, but look in the blog, it’s carefully described.
Sodabowski, yes I’m sure I did not invented the wheel… It’s a old Swedish coin.
Jiri, but what?
Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View GeminiGuy's profile


29 posts in 2898 days

#6 posted 10-07-2010 01:23 PM

Thanks for ur comments Mads, much appreciated. If I had seen ur blog earlier, I don’t think I would have gone into the effort of making that chuck, but will try the chuck in the vertical drill lathe and use a hand router to shape the piece.

-- Stillcruizin after all these years.. Greg, Melbourne, Australia.

View snowdog's profile


1164 posts in 3982 days

#7 posted 10-07-2010 02:45 PM

Great idea, if the world does collapse it will be us lumberjocks that save the common man <grin>

Well done!

-- "so much to learn and so little time"..

View StevenAntonucci's profile


355 posts in 3938 days

#8 posted 10-07-2010 02:57 PM

I’ve been told that the bearings in a drill press aren’t designed to handle lateral loads… but I suppose nothing is meant to last forever! Now can you build a fixture to do it (SAFELY) on a tablesaw? :)

-- Steven

View Bricofleur's profile


1442 posts in 3193 days

#9 posted 10-07-2010 03:41 PM

Clever! When there’s a will, there’s a way, and you proved it again. Your ingenuity never ends, right?

As StevenAntonucci mentioned, drill presses are not designed to handle lateral loads (also as using a sanding drum), but if someone feeds his cutting tools or workpieces gently, I don’t see any issue here. My logic stands by sometimes quite a side pressure is applied when a drill bit creeps sideways towards any adjacent hole, as example, particularly at slow speed. My opinion.

Thanks for sharing.



-- Learn from yesterday, work today and enjoy success tomorrow. --

View 489tad's profile


3366 posts in 3011 days

#10 posted 10-07-2010 03:59 PM

Wow! Great blog. Thanks for showing the set up. About a year ago I made a tote from cherry for my #4. I sent a piece to a friend so he could turn the knob. (John, I’m still waiting). The tote is used for my LJ picture. I will probably end up turning it on the drill press.

-- Dan, Naperville IL, I.G.N.

View mafe's profile


11725 posts in 3089 days

#11 posted 10-07-2010 04:45 PM

Gemeniguy.thank you back.
snowdog, yes we will be ready for the day, side by side!
Steven, first I have to make the cappuccino mount for my hand drill.
Serge, thank you – yes I’m a bull dog on this, it feeds my hunger…
I.G.N., I laugh, and yes go for it, it’s really easy and fast.

My limited knolage on ball bearings leaves me with only one answer; ‘I do not know’!
Here are a link for a picture of a drill press set up, so if someone knows more, it will be interesting:
But this is not for fabrication use, it’s for DIY! Once in a while use.
I have seen many atteps on this on the web, and even that you can buy a Grizzly attachment for the purpose.
To me it looks like no problem, but then again ‘I’m a architect’!
Toolmonger writes this:

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View mafe's profile


11725 posts in 3089 days

#12 posted 10-07-2010 04:47 PM

It can be a good idea to finish the knob on the drill press, fist by taking a handful of sawdust from the table, and press against it while it spinn, and then give it oil and wax on the spin also.
I like to leave it in the oil to soake for a while.

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View a1Jim's profile


117091 posts in 3577 days

#13 posted 10-07-2010 04:49 PM

Well done Mad

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3115 days

#14 posted 10-07-2010 07:46 PM

niice job Mads

and its right what they say about a drillpress ain´t constructd for side press
but for the last 50-60 years there has been devices that can help with that problem
so a drillpress even can be used as a light router for metalwork
the main isue isn´t so much the small bearings as the fact that the main bolt (nr. 56 in drawing)
where the chuck sits in can bend becourse of the pressure
and if that habens you have to get a new bolt and bearings or drillpress
and those helpingdevices I´m talking about take out that stress from the bolt and prevent it from bending

take care

View fernandoindia's profile


1081 posts in 2943 days

#15 posted 10-07-2010 09:46 PM

looks good mads. read the foolproof tutorial, lol

i am offline to work the next weeks, take care

-- Back home. Fernando

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