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Drill press table upgrade

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Blog entry by thamar posted 932 days ago 2016 reads 1 time favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My project is to upgrade my drill press. Basically I want to accomplish 4 key things:

a. Have a large work surface (24” x 36”) of a slippery type material (UMHW plastic)
b. Build in a counterweight system to support the heavy table
c. Turn the direction of the table crank so that it cranks from the front and not the side
d. have a system to fine tune the leveling of the table so that the drill is aligned as close to 90 degrees as possible.

This is the sequence of pictures that show the starting position to the end of the project:

And this is the finished upgrade. The lead counterweight system works well, the front flywheel works fantastic, and the adjustment system to get the table dead flat works very well. I’m within 5/1000’s of being dead flat as measured in a circle of about 10” around (that’s how my dial indicator system works). Can’t ask for anything better.

Thanks to all the members of Lumberjocks for giving me some great ideas!



3 comments so far

View Danpaddles's profile

Danpaddles

534 posts in 943 days


#1 posted 932 days ago

I added an old router table top to my drill press. 32×24, if memory serves. I find that to be plenty big enough, the few times I have had long boards, I just used my outfeed rollers to hold up an end.

I built it with a box underneath. Partly to accommodate the router insert, it has adjusting screws hanging down. It also makes a good dust box- I can jam a vacuum hose into a hole, it sucks the dust real nice, when I use sanding drums. I have several “router plates” with various openings. I just used Baltic birch, as there is no router hanging down, it doesn’t need to be strong (I reasoned). Took me a while, but I figured out there was significant flex in that plywood, so I added a little hunk of wood for the insert to rest on when needed. I also store my sanding drums under the insert, very handy.

I like it fine. As you said, hard to get at the knobs though. I have to be careful or I bang my knuckles cranking the table up or down. I’ve never thought to add counter weights, I just keep it parked in the middle range of where I need it to be. If I use a short bit on a small workpiece, I might park a spacer under it, quicker than moving the table up.

I saw some plans once for a way to have a motorized lift for that table! Might be a fun project in itself. But not this year.

Something to watch for- my rack (the gear thing that runs the length of the post) sometimes hangs, it does not want to come around the post the way it should. I cleaned the little V-groove ring at the bottom, it was packed in with dust! Lubed everything. It is some better now, I just need to go slow if I rotate the table. Not that often you need to rotate it anyway.

photo here, I am real happy with the track/ fence thing I am using, simple seems to work just fine. The top has a slot at the rear center, (partly under junk, sorry-) to allow the top to nest back past the post a little. I may have overdone it, but a little bit of that is sure to be a good thing, make it so your fence can set right back to the column.

-- Dan V. in Indy

View Grandpa's profile

Grandpa

3095 posts in 1307 days


#2 posted 931 days ago

I broke the rack on my drill press. Anyone ever see those for sale? put an extension on the vertical crank by using some small tubing and move the crank out like you did for the clamp. This will get it where you can use it without getting under the table.

View David Drummond's profile

David Drummond

86 posts in 1296 days


#3 posted 554 days ago

I cant believe this hasn’t been favorited more than it has or received more comments that it has. This is ingenious. Great job! You have got to be a machinist. Really impressive.

-- "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do... Explore, Dream, Discover” Mark Twain

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