drill press as a router

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Blog entry by twokidsnosleep posted 09-07-2010 05:50 AM 2544 reads 1 time favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My 9 yr old showed me a u-tube video where a drill press and home made bit is used to route wood.
I thought it was pretty cool and could have application for inlay work. Have a look:

-- Scott "Some days you are the big dog, some days you are the fire hydrant"

11 comments so far

View RonPeters's profile


713 posts in 2790 days

#1 posted 09-07-2010 06:11 AM

That’s really cool. A low speed router!

I suppose if you don’t have a router, the drill press will do in a pinch!

-- “Once more unto the breach, dear friends...” Henry V - Act III, Scene I

View twokidsnosleep's profile


1106 posts in 2883 days

#2 posted 09-07-2010 06:23 AM

Save a bit on noise as well

-- Scott "Some days you are the big dog, some days you are the fire hydrant"

View docholladay's profile


1287 posts in 2968 days

#3 posted 09-07-2010 01:17 PM

Interesting idea. I’ve attempted to use regular router bits in the drill press and that did not work except, I was able to use chamfer bit to bevel the top of some holes too large for my countersink bit once. My only concern would be that most drill bits will flex to some degree and might affect the acuracy of this jig a little, but that should be minor.

-- Hey, woodworking ain't brain surgery. Just do something and keep trying till you get it. Doc

View helluvawreck's profile


30177 posts in 2776 days

#4 posted 09-07-2010 02:25 PM

That’s pretty amazing and talk about a simple cutter. Drill blanks are easily obtained from people like MSC and McMaster Carr. There’s no need to mess up a good drill bit. I’d say there are definitely some good applications for this in general woodworking.

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View 8iowa's profile


1569 posts in 3670 days

#5 posted 09-07-2010 02:39 PM

Be aware that drill press chucks are not designed to withstand side thrusts.

-- "Heaven is North of the Bridge"

View twokidsnosleep's profile


1106 posts in 2883 days

#6 posted 09-07-2010 05:03 PM

Good point 8iowa

-- Scott "Some days you are the big dog, some days you are the fire hydrant"

View jim C's profile

jim C

1472 posts in 3008 days

#7 posted 09-08-2010 12:18 AM

Neat trick for following a pattern. One statement he said was untrue. A drill blank is as hard as a file, so don’t even consider trying to file a bevel on it, it won’t work. You need to grind the bevel on.
Normal drills are softer at the tang vs. the working end, but still to hard to file effectively.

View ajosephg's profile


1880 posts in 3470 days

#8 posted 09-08-2010 01:02 AM

I wouldn’t do it – as mentioned before, drill press bearings aren’t designed to withstand side thrusts.

-- Joe

View Gregn's profile


1642 posts in 2893 days

#9 posted 09-08-2010 04:38 AM

I suppose if you have a old bench top drill press, such as I have for my drum sanders it would work for those rare times a pin router is needed. Although a 1/4” pattern bit on the router table would work quicker with less fuss. I give the guy credit though he’s showing the guy with limited amount of tools a method of work to do something he may not of otherwise thought of. I agree with 8iowa and Joe I wouldn’t want to do it on my drill press if it was the only one I have. After all I can’t count the times I’ve used a nail for a drill bit. so why not a drill bit for a cutting tool.

-- I don't make mistakes, I have great learning lessons, Greg

View twokidsnosleep's profile


1106 posts in 2883 days

#10 posted 09-08-2010 05:14 AM

Yes Greg I agree with you.
I am starting up a shop and don’t have a router yet so that is why I thought this was cool.
I am glad some experienced members chimed in and gave the warning about side pressure on the drill press bearings.
Thanks for all the input guys.

-- Scott "Some days you are the big dog, some days you are the fire hydrant"

View rance's profile


4256 posts in 3070 days

#11 posted 10-06-2010 05:26 PM

It’s not the bearings you need to worry about, it is the CHUCK. :) Using a Jacobs Chuck with side loads like this very long and the bit will work itself loose. Couple that with the DP running at top speed(in this case) and you have a recipe for sharpened steel travelling at a high velocity horizontally across the shop. That’s why a Jacobs Chuck is not the primary tool holder in a mill. They use a collet(like in a router). Just wanted to clarify the ‘why’.

Be inovative, but also keep just a little safety in mind. ;)

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

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