Drill press, bandsaw guidance requested - tiny footprint

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Forum topic by leftcoaster posted 05-20-2016 02:16 PM 378 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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75 posts in 299 days

05-20-2016 02:16 PM

Topic tags/keywords: tiny shop storage flip top drill press bandsaw

Hello lumberjocks,

I have a very small storage shed and must move tools out into the yard when working. So, as much as I would love to have a floor standing drill press and bandsaw, it’s not in the cards for me. Bench top is what I can handle space-wise.

With that in view, I’d like some guidance on how to choose the right size for these tools based on what I can actually accomplish with a smaller unit.

(1) In my fantasy world, there’d be a bench top bandsaw that would allow me to

a) resaw lumber to get bookmarked faces; and
b) make scroll saw cuts for furniture and also parts, such as wooden gears

(2) For a drill press, I’d be able to

a) use various sizes of forstner bits to hog out mortises; and
b) work on gears and other smaller pieces; and
c) I wouldn’t have to make a million adjustments when working with a thicker piece of stock; and
d) I’d also be able to put on a drum sander

This might be REALLY pushing it, but it would be fantastic if I could accomplish (most of) this with machines that I could mount on either side of a flip top cart, such as I see people constructing for planers and miter saws.

Any/all advice is welcome. In particular:

1) what’s the minimum size machine that would satisfy these requirements?
2) what are the most important specifications to look for when comparing products?
3) any specific product recommendations would be great


3 replies so far

View MinnesotaSteve's profile


19 posts in 314 days

#1 posted 05-20-2016 07:04 PM

There’s the Rikon benchtop bandsaw 10-305… but it’s resaw capacity is like 4”.

A 14” bandsaw… you aren’t going to be carrying that out of the shed very easily as most of these weigh around 300 lbs and are top heavy. I have the Laguna 1412 with the wheels and it can get tippy when moving it even on a flat surface… you have to go slow and careful and make sure to grab at the table or below. I push mine up against a wall, and pull it out to the center when working with longer pieces.

as far as drill presses go. I have the Craftsman 10” drill press, and it’s easy to move around… it’s about 50lbs, just have to be careful as it’s also top heavy. It’s meant to be bolted down to a bench.

View MadMark's profile


970 posts in 876 days

#2 posted 05-20-2016 07:30 PM

I have a Skil benchtop drill press that has held up well for two years of steady use. I use forstners in it all the time up to 3” dia.

You want the longest stroke (quill travel) possible. Throat depth (drill to post) is a limit on how far you can go in to a panel / board. Chuck size is a minor factor, most are 1/2” but some are just 3/8”.

Cast iron is better than alum. Laser pointers are gimmicky, better to have a side light on a flex stalk.

Mine is a 5 speed belt & pulley drive. 12 is better but for what I do 5 is enough. A speed readout is nice but without a variable speed motor, isn’t much use since it will just echo the speed chart on the lid.


-- Madmark -

View leftcoaster's profile


75 posts in 299 days

#3 posted 05-20-2016 07:31 PM

Steve, thank you. How often do you re-saw >4” ? What’s the capacity on a 12” saw? (what spec should I be looking at to figure that out?)

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