Is it possible to get an extended drill press arbor?

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Forum topic by Jeremy Greiner posted 05-28-2012 04:07 PM 1810 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Jeremy Greiner

568 posts in 2771 days

05-28-2012 04:07 PM

I have a Powermatic drill press which I love, but the average table height for most drilling options is a little higher than I’d like. I did some research and found the arbor spec’s for my drill press and from what I could find is the arbor only comes in 1 length based on the taper sizes at least that’s what I found at mcmaster carr.

If I could get the arbor extended 2 or 3 inches that would be great, then I can lower the table by that amount and would be at a much more comfortable level for me.

Alternatively I could cut the large pole that holes up the drill press down a little bit, but I really don’t want to do that. Replacing the arbor is a fairly simple operation, and can be reversed or changed. Cutting down the pole that holds up the drill press cannot be reversed.

Has anyone done anything like this? do I have to get some custom machine work to get this done?


-- Easy to use end grain cutting board designer:

13 replies so far

View Ben's profile


302 posts in 2329 days

#1 posted 05-28-2012 04:16 PM

Maybe build a step stool? I have no clue about the arbor, but maybe try a machine tooling supplier, or possibly a machine shop near you could make one

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View Fuzzy's profile


298 posts in 3987 days

#2 posted 05-28-2012 04:18 PM

You can slide the head casting down a few inches without the need to chop off the excess … at least on any drill press I’ve ever used … maybe yours is different … BRAND/MODEL ???

-- - dabbling in sarcasm is foolish … if you’re not proficient at it, you end up looking stupid … ... ...

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Jeremy Greiner

568 posts in 2771 days

#3 posted 05-28-2012 04:24 PM

I’m generally not a fan of stools, but I’ll use em when I have too. I’m a believer of bringing the tool to me, instead of bringing me to the tool, I know that isn’t always possible but for this I think it is just need to figure out the best way.

It’s a powermatic, the only drill press they make a PM2800, I’m pretty sure the head is sitting as low as it can I don’t know though.


-- Easy to use end grain cutting board designer:

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2689 days

#4 posted 05-29-2012 01:45 AM

Jeremy, I saved the keyless chuck from a cordless drill that died. It has been chucked in my grill press for years. It extended the arbor and eliminated the key to change drill bits. Worked for me.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View mporter's profile


253 posts in 2577 days

#5 posted 05-29-2012 01:48 AM

Why not just shorten the post on the machine? Seems quite a bit easier than messing with the arbor.

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Jeremy Greiner

568 posts in 2771 days

#6 posted 05-29-2012 03:37 AM

I dunno that seems pretty extreme I’d have to dismount the drill press, take an angle grinder to cut the post down, if I screw up there is no going back and no do overs. Plus if for whatever reason I sell or pass on the tool to someone else, there is no reversing the process without ordering a new part, which 10-20 years from now may not be easy to get.

I had thought about double chucking the drill press but was unsure if it would work. Since my drill press already has a keyless chuck I was thinking I could get a keyed chuck that fits my current arbor. Then get an arbor with a straight end that goes into the chuck, then a proper jacobs taper to fit in my current chuck.

Since you’ve had this set up for years, it sounds like a pretty good plan, an extra chuck would easily add the 3 inches or so that I want and can easily be reversed if someday I decide I don’t like it.


-- Easy to use end grain cutting board designer:

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Jeremy Greiner

568 posts in 2771 days

#7 posted 05-29-2012 04:27 AM

Just as an update, I did find adapters that will extend the reach of an arbor instead of just getting a longer arbor.

Not sure why I didn’t see it before, I think it was because it was under the adapter section so I didn’t pay attention, but basically I can get a MT2 to MT2 adapter, and it will act as an extension to my current arbor.

I ordered one so hopefully it works out well.


-- Easy to use end grain cutting board designer:

View mtenterprises's profile


933 posts in 2692 days

#8 posted 05-29-2012 01:01 PM

As Fuzzy said drop the head. From the pictures of the PM2800 the stop collar is set far below the head thus showing it SHOULD be able to be lowered at least as far as the guard. If the guard has a hole in it for the post to pass thruogh just drop it as far as you want. If there is no hole and it can be dropped cut a hole in the guard to set it where you want. As one business book I read said “Don’t try to buy solutions.”

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View Gshepherd's profile


1727 posts in 2200 days

#9 posted 05-29-2012 11:42 PM

The adapter will be just fine my Clausing has one on it…..

-- What we do in life will Echo through Eternity........

View Tenfingers58's profile


96 posts in 2677 days

#10 posted 05-30-2012 06:16 PM

If you save the piece you cut off, any good welder can put the post back together.

Just wire tie it to the post so it dosen’t get lost.

View poopiekat's profile


4355 posts in 3733 days

#11 posted 05-30-2012 06:53 PM

You can drop the head down on the mast, but the belt guard will have to be removed.

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

View Jeremy Greiner's profile

Jeremy Greiner

568 posts in 2771 days

#12 posted 05-30-2012 07:05 PM

That is certainly one way to look at it, but everyone buys tools unless you built all your tools by hand with rocks fabricated and sticks. The issue is everything has a cost, it may not always be a financial cost but a cost none the less. And each person needs to evaluate what “price” they are willing to pay for a given task.

Cutting off a portion of the base, has a too high a “permanent” cost to me, having to have some one re-weld on a portion of the pole, or having to purchase a new pole if I screw up and lower it too much is too expensive in the risk factor.

Opening the top and just lowering the head is certainly viable, but I’m concerned about dust build up inside the pulleys causing the belts to need to be replaced prematurely. I do like the adjust ability in this because I can lower the head to exactly where I want it. And I may go this route and figure some way of covering the top if the arbor extension doesn’t seem to give me what I want.

The arbor extension was the best price because of it’s ease of installation, reversibility if I didn’t like it, while it had a higher financial cost than the other proposed solutions, the financial cost was low enough that the other benefits made it worth it.

There is nothing wrong with “buying solutions” as long as the price is right, in a way everyone solution that is ever made is always bought .. just not always with money.


-- Easy to use end grain cutting board designer:

View Loren's profile


10396 posts in 3647 days

#13 posted 05-30-2012 08:18 PM

It’s a long shot but check to make sure the column is bottomed-out
in the base casting.

Another thing you could do is buy a knackered drill press with the
same size column. You might be able to find one at a junkyard
or something.

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