Handy tools #7: Post drill

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Blog entry by Dave Polaschek posted 08-26-2018 03:51 PM 1277 reads 0 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 6: Octagonal Guillotine Part 7 of Handy tools series Part 8: Knife making tools »

I got a post drill a while back. Traded Mos a spare laser engraver and some pictures of dead presidents for it. If you don’t know, a post drill is basically a hand-powered drill press, and I’ve had a few projects where such a thing would be handy, especially since I haven’t managed to find a completely straight 3/16 or 4/16 auger bit yet.

Anyway, yesterday morning I headed up to Siwek Lumber bright and early and came home with four “stud grade” 2×6x104” studs. Screwed one of them to the wall of the garage, resting on the sill plate, and with a half-dozen deck screws going into the stud in the wall. Then screwed two more to that, so I have a rectangular post firmly attached to the wall of the shop.

Then I got my neighbor’s son to come over and help mark where the holes for the post drill needed to go, and after I drilled two pilot holes, he helped hold it in place while I got the screws in. Once the top two were in, I drilled the holes for the other four and popped in the bolts and it’s ready to go.

I need to pull out one of the set screws in the handle which is stripped and drill and re-tap that before I do any serious work with it (the handle can bang into the gear behind it when it wobbles), but that should be a relatively quick job.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

15 comments so far

View ralbuck's profile


6312 posts in 2874 days

#1 posted 08-26-2018 04:04 PM

When I was very young that was the only drill we had beses a bit and brace. Electricity did not come to our area of western ND until fall of 1953!

So I have used one like that many times. I was going to check if it was still in the old garage about 20 years ago; but the lean of the building and the windy day made it look very dangerous. They did work well and as long as you had sharp bits could drill even heavier steel fairly rapidly too.

I think that you will use it a lot. Good Score!
Tool rescue is a good cause also!

-- Wood rescue is good for the environment and me! just rjR

View Mosquito's profile


10002 posts in 2900 days

#2 posted 08-26-2018 04:22 PM

Awesome! What I did in the meain time with the handle was just to make sure I pulled away from the drill press while I turned the handle lol I might have to come visit that guy from time to time :-P

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN - -

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

4457 posts in 1190 days

#3 posted 08-26-2018 04:51 PM

Yeah, Mos. That’s probably what I’ll do, but I’d rather get it fixed sooner rather than later. And yeah, if you need, just let me know.

Agreed, Ralph. I’ve mostly been getting by with a bit and brace or a small eggbeater, but there’s times when I’d like to make sure I’m drilling straight, and this should take care of those cases for me.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View Tom Regnier's profile

Tom Regnier

451 posts in 3155 days

#4 posted 08-26-2018 05:48 PM

Great looking piece Dave…that thing is a treasure!

View Oldtool's profile


2804 posts in 2798 days

#5 posted 08-26-2018 06:40 PM

Nice addition to your traditional woodworking paraphernalia, great trade. It drills straingt and the best part, it’s variable speed.

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln

View Mosquito's profile


10002 posts in 2900 days

#6 posted 08-26-2018 07:34 PM

Infinitely variable, from 0 to as-fast-as-you-can-crank lol

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN - -

View theoldfart's profile


11057 posts in 3059 days

#7 posted 08-26-2018 09:31 PM

That drill looks familiar Dave

I chose to stay with the original chuck and it’s taken a few years to collect a full set of bits. Mios sent me one of the first.

-- "With every tool obtained, there is another that is needed" DonW ( Kevin )

View GR8HUNTER's profile


6824 posts in 1320 days

#8 posted 08-26-2018 09:43 PM

talk about super cool tools only thing it needs is a place for chuck key to hang VERY COOL :<))

-- Tony---- Reinholds,Pa.------ REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN

View EarlS's profile


3430 posts in 2956 days

#9 posted 08-26-2018 10:49 PM

Nice set up Dave. Glad you and Mos worked out a trade so you can continue to use it. There is something special about how the old tools look compared to the modern ones. Maybe it is all of the curves or the solid steel construction but whatever the special magic is, I really like the look of old tools, especially ones that work.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

4457 posts in 1190 days

#10 posted 08-26-2018 11:38 PM

Thanks, guys! It’s pretty dang cool, and now I’ll need to make a rack to hang next to it for the bits and chuck key. After I fix the handle.

There’s a guy in the western Minneapolis suburbs who has a ton of them (more than 40) if any of you are so jealous now that you simply must have one.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View duckmilk's profile


3938 posts in 1932 days

#11 posted 08-27-2018 01:10 AM


-- "Duck and Bob would be out doin some farming with funny hats on." chrisstef

View doubleDD's profile


8972 posts in 2651 days

#12 posted 08-27-2018 04:45 AM

That is so cool Dave. I do bet it will be handy in a few situations. Great trade off.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View erdr86's profile


26 posts in 514 days

#13 posted 08-28-2018 11:46 AM

Looking Awesome “post drill”, Thanks.


View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

4457 posts in 1190 days

#14 posted 09-08-2018 04:43 PM

Got a vise for the table on it today and used it for real for the first time. Works great!

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

4457 posts in 1190 days

#15 posted 07-31-2019 11:18 PM

The post drill continues to prove useful. Here it is meeting late 1990s spinning rust technology.

I think the drive has been safely wiped now.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

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