"Upgrade" a benchtop drill press with a longer column?

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Forum topic by DonnyBahama posted 07-12-2011 03:46 AM 10219 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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215 posts in 1953 days

07-12-2011 03:46 AM

Topic tags/keywords: drill press

A floor-standing drill press won’t be in my budget any time soon, but benchtop drill presses are regularly available on craigslist for $50 or less. Problem is, they’re all so darned short. Many of them have just a couple inches of room for stock once a decent sized bit is chucked – even with the table lowered as much as possible.

I saw the post where someone extended their column and increased the swing at the same time. That’s far more elaborate than I’d want to go. I just want to extend the column – (dirt) cheaply if possible. Replacing the column with a big metal pipe would b fine with me. So would a shop-built wooden column (with a new table system). If I was going that route, I’d have to consider a design that extended the swing as well by turning it into a radial drill press.

Anyone know if this can be (has been) done?

-- Founding member of the (un)Official LumberJock's Frugal Woodworking Society -

3 replies so far

View Tedstor's profile


1625 posts in 2054 days

#1 posted 07-12-2011 05:07 AM

I have a benchtop DP. Mine is mounted/bolted on the edge of the worktop. Whenever I need extra clearance, I just swivel the press to where the chuck is hanging over the edge of the worktop. Gives me about 5 1/2’ of clearance.

Depending on your model, you might be able to find a column from a floor model that will fit yours. Or maybe a generic steel pole (as you mentioned). I’d be hesitant to use wood.

View Arch_E's profile


47 posts in 1944 days

#2 posted 07-12-2011 05:46 AM

I had a bench top DP, too, and turned it whenever needed; but the table I made for it wasn’t as “moveable” and caused a lot of awkward problems. I finally bit the bullet and bought a dedicated floor model. Boy, was that a great step forward—I’ve never ever even looked back. the full column is SOOOOO MMUUUUCCCCHHHHH better!!

IMO, YMMV…yada, yada, yada,

View Bureaucrat's profile


18337 posts in 3074 days

#3 posted 07-12-2011 06:22 AM

I heard that you can buy exhaust pipe that the correct diameter and you specify the length. Never tried it but read it some where.

good luck

-- Gary D. Stoughton, WI

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