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Improving my bench-top Drill Press

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Project by steliart posted 02-06-2011 04:04 PM 5682 views 20 times favorited 23 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Improving my bench-top Drill Press

My bench top drill press is nothing expensive or special, it serves me ok for the kind of woodworking I do, but they were still a few things that I could do or modify to give it a better workability lift-up.

One of the first things I did was to change its old pole with a stainless steel one. Why stainless steel? Well it was the only piece I could find that matched the diameter and you can slide up and down smoother. So the pole got a lift-up of about a foot taller.

On that pole I attached a drill press accessory bar made from a piece of aluminum angle and two shallow boxes from ¼ inch MDF, and it has been proven to be a very useful asset to my drill press. Many small things can easily found there way into it and there are easily accessible when you need them as well as your drill bits sets.

I also made a drill press table using a laminated office shelve as a base, together with a plywood fence with a stop block. The fence was constructed from two pieces of plywood grooved and glued together to create the t-track opening. It pivots at one point and this helps to move the fence out of the way when not needed. Also to hold the fence down in position I use a quick grip clamp.
Some home made hold-down clamps run into the two T-tracks which are nothing more than simple curtain aluminum tracks. The drill press table has two ¼ (6mm) plate inserts sitting on top of each other, one has the standard drill press hole opening and the second plate has a larger hole to fit my drill press spindle sanders.

One more gadget that fount’s its way to my drill press table was one of those inexpensive drill press vise. Mounted on a sheet of plywood as a base with couple of bolts and nuts and with two homemade knobs to hold it down to the t-tracks it became a useful helper when working with small pieces of wood or odd shapes.

The old depth-stop system with the 2 nuts was so unfriendly to use, so I came up with an easier way to work around this problem. A small piece of hardwood and a threaded iron base with a small knob made the depth-stop very easy to adjust and use. I also replaced the broken plastic depth ring with the one made out of 3/8 clear acrylic.

I also used two magnets that I had laying around. One holds the drill press chuck always in the right place so I don’t loose it every time, and the other one on the top holds my plastic bit cleaning brush and gives my drill press a funny Mohawk look.

-- Stelios L.A. Stavrinides: - I am not so rich to buy cheap tools, but... necessity is the mother of inventions - http://www.steliart.com --





23 comments so far

View cdhilburn's profile

cdhilburn

95 posts in 1375 days


#1 posted 02-06-2011 04:56 PM

You are my hero. I have a 10×12 that houses the all the tool boxes, garden storage, wood working bench, saws, wood tools, etc. and you are doing it in less than half of that. Great job improving the drill press. Sometimes I have more fun improving my tools than using them!!!!

View Woodbutchery's profile

Woodbutchery

277 posts in 2276 days


#2 posted 02-06-2011 05:51 PM

Nice set of improvements!

-- Making scrap with zen-like precision - Woodbutchery

View woody57's profile

woody57

645 posts in 2118 days


#3 posted 02-06-2011 06:17 PM

nice improvements

-- Emmett, from Georgia

View steliart's profile

steliart

1808 posts in 1379 days


#4 posted 02-06-2011 06:35 PM

cdhilburn – Woodbutchery – woody57

Thank you for visiting

-- Stelios L.A. Stavrinides: - I am not so rich to buy cheap tools, but... necessity is the mother of inventions - http://www.steliart.com --

View Tinnocker's profile

Tinnocker

105 posts in 1691 days


#5 posted 02-06-2011 07:40 PM

Hi Steliart!
Nice job improving the Drill Press. I have an 8 In Central Machinery Drill Press that I want to get a new pole for. I haven’t been able to find anything in the right diameter. Where did you find yours?
Ted

-- Ted, Browns Mills, NJ http://www.twhgrafx.com/blog/ Darn! I cut it 3 times and it's still too short! I get ideas for things that I can make to make things easier for me to make!

View Skylark53's profile

Skylark53

2565 posts in 1751 days


#6 posted 02-06-2011 07:43 PM

These are good. Thanks for sharing.

-- Rick, Tennessee, John 3:16

View steliart's profile

steliart

1808 posts in 1379 days


#7 posted 02-06-2011 08:06 PM

Tinnocker

A machinist got that for me, and worked the base and top on a metal lathe to fit my drill press. This is why I was forced to get a steinless steel pole because nothing else would fit that diameter.

-- Stelios L.A. Stavrinides: - I am not so rich to buy cheap tools, but... necessity is the mother of inventions - http://www.steliart.com --

View Don Johnson's profile

Don Johnson

616 posts in 1471 days


#8 posted 02-06-2011 10:20 PM

Well I’ll be . . . . . .

I park a magnet on top of my drill as a convenient place to keep it – I never thought of using it to hold the elusive chuck key !

The depth stop arrangement is also so simple but effective – why didn’t I think of that ?

Thanks so much for the posting – I’ll get on it right away! And search for that aluminium curtain track!

-- Don, Somerset UK, http://www.donjohnson24.co.uk

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

5781 posts in 2119 days


#9 posted 02-06-2011 11:17 PM

Don,
You guys are lucky.
I think those curtain hanger tracks are a European only thing.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View ajosephg's profile

ajosephg

1854 posts in 2251 days


#10 posted 02-07-2011 12:10 AM

LOL – I like the piece of plywood under the vise. Why didn’t I think of that? Every time I use my vice it puts more scratches on my table.

-- Joe

View steliart's profile

steliart

1808 posts in 1379 days


#11 posted 02-07-2011 12:13 AM

Don
I cannot answer that, it is very posssible. But if it is so, it’s the first thing I can get and my US friends can’t. You have no idea how easy things are for US woodworkers when it comes to woodworking, and not only price wise which is less than half but also in accessories, hardware etc.

-- Stelios L.A. Stavrinides: - I am not so rich to buy cheap tools, but... necessity is the mother of inventions - http://www.steliart.com --

View Don Johnson's profile

Don Johnson

616 posts in 1471 days


#12 posted 02-07-2011 01:11 AM

Steliart –
Oh! I DO notice how much ‘stuff’ those US guys can get hold of, and their prices. It makes me so envious sometimes, when a tool or accessory is mentioned, and it is unavailable in the UK. However, I’ve ordered some BLUE TAPE, so I’m getting a little way to being a ‘real’ LJ! :-)

I’ve already modified the depth-stop system on my drill, which appears to be almost identical to yours. I filed the top of the stop flat since the casting was angled and had never worked well with the two nuts (when I bothered to use them) I must have owned that drill more than twenty years, and it is only now that it has a usable depth control system!

-- Don, Somerset UK, http://www.donjohnson24.co.uk

View steliart's profile

steliart

1808 posts in 1379 days


#13 posted 02-07-2011 01:45 AM

Don
I mast though say that in the UK your are also in better position than me :)
All the machinery I have are bought from Axminster because here the prices are a big jock and the equipment for hobbyists are toys. But like you there are things that I also had to ordered from the US (no choice).
Even last year when I was there in NC, I could not buy what I wanted because I could not fly them with me (terrorist law) you know.
My main problem is that when I need something I have to order it and wait for it to come, and that is not productive, when you want to do something you want to do it now.
Anyway is good to hear that now you have a usable depth control system and I am sure that now you are going to use it more often.

Thank you
Steli

-- Stelios L.A. Stavrinides: - I am not so rich to buy cheap tools, but... necessity is the mother of inventions - http://www.steliart.com --

View Splinterman's profile

Splinterman

23058 posts in 2052 days


#14 posted 02-07-2011 03:39 AM

Nice improvements…well done.

View swirt's profile

swirt

1946 posts in 1662 days


#15 posted 02-07-2011 04:28 AM

Great improvements. I like the storage boxes on each side. A simple but great addition. And I agree, the 2-nut depth stops suck. I really need to modify mine.

-- Galootish log blog, http://www.timberframe-tools.com

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