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Thread: Drill press table?

  1. #1
    Masterjuggler's Avatar
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    Drill press table?

    I see a cubic crap ton of drill press table covers around on the internet, but no one actually making a drill press table.

    I've got one of those little 8" horrible freight bench drill presses, and it works alright. I'm looking to scrap the post that came with it and use some larger iron pipe to either just extend it or turn it into a floor press, hopefully with a rack and pinion lift. I'm thinking about making it entirely out of wood to see how rigid I can get it, but will probably move on to metal if that doesn't work.

    I don't have any expensive tools like a lathe or mill, but I have a decent table saw I built from a circular saw, a stick welder I made out of microwave transformers, etc. Basic home shop stuff. I also have a 3d printer I think I'll make the rack and pinion mechanism with, probably from nylon.

    There are also several other upgrades I have planned for it, like the caliper DRO. I first need to get the frame rigid enough to make that worth it. Also new pulleys at some point to get below the current 760rpm minimum.

    If I start taking it apart to modify it, I think I'll go the mile and totally tear it apart to possibly shim the spindle to get rid of whatever run out there currently is.

    Any thoughts, criticism?

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  3. #2
    high-side's Avatar
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    Sounds like you have the motivation. I would say an 8" drill press from Harbor Freight is not worth your time. You can find some pretty amazing deals for an old Delta, Craftsman, Dunlap, or many other American-made drill presses on Craigslist, auctions, garage sales, or FB Marketplace. Spend your time restoring one that you will be proud to own, and keep for many years. Drill presses are not real complicated machines, and as long as the important parts are ok, (Base, table, column, head casting, Spindle/quill) your golden. Tearing them down, cleaning up the parts, repainting, etc. is pretty easy an very rewarding in the end.

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    Masterjuggler's Avatar
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    I had no idea that facebook marketplace existed haha. It seems to be used even more than craigslist and generally cheaper for tools too, just looking at what's up for sale right now. I'll definitely keep an eye out for something that looks good, thanks for the tip!

    I'm sure you guys would agree, it's an awful shame to let a tool like the little HF drill press go to waste.It would be cool to turn it into something else. I don't have the space to have two of the same tool, but I can make excuses if it's a different tool If all else fails I can always take the good parts like the motor, switch, and pulleys. I'd much rather harvest parts than sell it for the pocket change I'd probably get for it.

    Not that I've given up on the idea of making this drill press better THAT easily, just that I agree I'd probably be better off putting my time into a used good one. This HF press has worked for the past few years and has been good to me, so definitely not trash. I also think it could be fun to make an all-wood column and table, for kicks and giggles if nothing else. I finally got a router off craigslist last week to add miter slots to my table saw, so I've been looking for things to do with the saw. Made a crosscut sled of course and have other jigs planned. It also needs dust collection, arbor truing, a router lift, and a fence made with wood actually cut square. I've got a long list of things I want to do before summer's out and I go back to college for the cold months.
    Drill press table?-img_20180726_150530.jpg

  6. #4
    high-side's Avatar
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    Nice job on the table saw. As for your HF drill press, converting it to another tool in the shop would be a good idea. I've seen them used as handy spindle sanders with multiple size drums.
    I have multiple drill presses in my shop, and I've set them up for different ops for jobs just to get done quicker. (1st DP for drilling, 2nd for tapping,etc.)

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    Masterjuggler's Avatar
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    A spindle sander isn't a bad idea, I've got a truck window motor I could use to make it oscillate. I seem to have these standard 1725rpm 1/3hp motors piling up on a shelf, so I've been toying with the idea of using two of them for a single 2x72 sander, maybe sharing a pulley or more likely belted together. I very rarely find the need for a spindle sander, so I figure I could substitute the 2x72 with a small wheel the few times I do. I do enough metal work that the cruddy HF 1x30 is killing me, so that would probably be a better investment of my time.

    I'm fine with going off topic at this point, here goes: I've got a few interesting motors I've been holding on to for a rainy day. A small 1725rpm 1/12hp that's pin-drop silent, a big 2hp 3phase motor I don't currently have the means to power, and seemingly endless fan motors of different sizes. I'm sure one of these motors, likely a 1/3hp, is going to turn into a centrifugal blower for a dust collector.

    I'll make jigs for the table saw to do everything from jointing to box joints. It's just a circular saw mounted upside down, so no dado blades for me, but I plan to work it to death lol.

    I'm in a small area, so space is definitely at a premium. If I can get away using one tool for the work of two or three, albeit with slight awkwardness, I will.

  8. #6
    Masterjuggler's Avatar
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    Ya know, thinking about it, why don't we see people just sticking two motors in tandem for a bigger tool more often, either sharing a shaft or belted? I'd imagine even the same motors have slightly different properties like speed and torque, but once loaded it shouldn't really matter. Especially since these things are a dime a dozen, even free on old tools, washing machines, and treadmills, there isn't really a shortage of them.

    The only issue I can think of is a stubby motor shaft not allowing for multiple pulleys, but you could pretty easily make a pulley out of wood, which is what I plan on doing anyway.

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    ranald's Avatar
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    I think you could consider a horizontal boring machine. Michael G. Rekoff, jnr did an article in an early "fine woodworking" mag with the full plans : it was around issue 35 & reprinted in "Fine woodworking Technics 6".
    Giles Gilson from N.Y. did some articles on building your own wooden machines-many types!
    if you wanted to go with the drill press you could check out the Oliver No. 194 mortiser for ideas.
    Before i purchased 2 Triton routers I used to use a Sissor Jack (as used on old 60's, 70's & 80's vehicles) for a router lift (on a Makita B3600 & a TR12 Hitachi) for many years. You need to make sure the router motor has proper ventilation and I made mine a large U shape from hardwood. It needs to be directly in contact with a solid part of the router casing as well=don't want to crack/damage it. A solid shelf under the Jack will ensure precision with no change in height (I used scraps= 2x 1/2" sheets of ply glued together for the Makita and a 3/4" fibreglassed ply (from a boat) for the TR12).
    For one of my drill presses I used form ply with 2 parellel aluminium tracks for locking down odd sized items though for that small machine it could be overkill. The other on has the fence on an arc & no tracks. Both work well.
    You may be able to source ideas from Canadian Woodworker, Woodsmith, B. H. & G. Wood, or Fine Woodworking if there is nothing on utube/net.
    Go make some shavings/swarf.

    Ranald

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    Paul Alciatore's Avatar
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    Paul Alciatore's Tools
    I have and have had a small, 8" drill press for several decades now. It is probably somewhat less than your HF model as it is only a three speed. It has followed me around the country and I have made several mods and accessories that make it a lot more useful. One is a better depth stop that I cobbled together with one of those speed nuts. This changed the depth stop from a never used thing to one that I use all the time. I also added a lamp for better light on the table. And I have a kit of aluminum pieces which allow me to elevate the base to any level between where the regular table lets off and the where the base itself is. So the vertical range under the quill is greatly extended. You can see a couple of those mods here.

    Drill press table?-p21reduced.jpg

    I used it for just about everything until a couple of years ago when I purchased a HF floor stand, 20" model. Now the two stand side by side with the 20" one behind a bench and the 8" one on the end of it. I find the old 8" handy for many things, not the least of which is for cutting countersinks on holes that I drill on the big boy. The easy adjust depth stop makes this a quick and repeatable operation. With the depth stop just a bit higher the counter sink cutter does a great job of deburring and chamfering those drilled holes. I think I am going to keep it.
    Paul A.

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    ranald's Avatar
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    Not sure where you live, but I have seen conversions(of power) for 3 phase into single but we dont have the gear in Oz. I've one I haven't been able to sell on gumtree.
    Speaking of space I built a shed in the 80's with low windows on opposite sides . The shed was 10' by 10' (3m x 3m)& I built it near the lowest part of a retaining wall on higher side block: so I could feed lumber (timber) through one window , through the planer/thicknesser, mitre saw, or saw or router & out the other window. now I have a bigger shed 9m by 6m and have bigger machinery all on mobile bases except the RAS & lathe and have potentially less room than all those years ago.
    Cheers

  12. #10
    Masterjuggler's Avatar
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    Lots of good suggestions, thanks!

    I briefly looked into trying to get that 3 phase motor working, but the only supply in my shop is a 120V 20A breaker, and this thing needs 3 phase 240V. Just more trouble than it's worth for now, so I'll hold onto it until I decide to get proper power for it.

    I finally chopped up a light weight workout bench press that was sitting around for decades, so I'm making a 2x72 grinder out of it. I pretty much figured out the dimensions and design, and I think I'll make a WIP thread for it. Also got some free longboard wheels from a friend, so I clamped my drill press sideways to use it as a lathe to true and crown them. The poly wheels actually cut, sand, and file pretty nicely. I made sure the wheels could slip on their shaft long before the chisel could catch and fly, and checked before I really started.

    Drill press table?-img_20180802_231515.jpg

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