Shop Tools #1: Would you have passed it up?

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Blog entry by WayneC posted 05-20-2007 01:04 AM 2298 reads 0 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Shop Tools series Part 2: Work Sharp - The Wood Tool Sharpener Review »

My son wanted to get up this morning and go to some garage sales. I’ve been gone all week working and thought it would be a good idea to spend some time with him and his sister today.

We happened across this drill press at a garage sale and I tried, but failed to pass it up. I have a fairly new Rigid Drill press with a Rockler drill press table and it works great for me. I thought long and hard about buying or not buying it. My biggest issue is space.

This one has some additional capability beyond what a conventional drill press has. Also, I’m wondering if anyone has a similar one or experience with them.

This is a Rockwell 32” radial drill press. It came with 2 chucks, original owner made table, and a stand. The stand has a drawer that I removed when I brought it home and it is not shown in the picture. It is pretty cool, you can rotate it to all kinds of interesting positions. It appears to run very smoothly and does not appear to have any run-out. The fence is made from what appears to be mahogany to me. The man that made it said the wood came from boxcars and was very hard.

Front View
Rockwell 32

Side View

Close up
Close up

Other Side
Other Side

The real item that sealed the deal was the price. $40. Would you have bought it? Any ideas of what kind of neat operations can be done with it?

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

16 comments so far

View frank's profile


1492 posts in 5223 days

#1 posted 05-20-2007 01:23 AM

Hi Wayne;
—-ah yes, yard sales….meant to go out myself this morning but the rain and other stuff around here kept me busy. I’m late this year and soon as the weather changes I’m going to be spending my free time with a kayak.

The price is what makes the yard sales so much fun and then there’s always those other’s all around you and everyone is hell bent on their own private mission. Well in answer to your question, no-no-no…..I would not have passed up this find and would have been much too happy to kart this find home to my barn.

Great find….

-- --frank, NH,

View oscorner's profile


4563 posts in 5328 days

#2 posted 05-20-2007 02:13 AM

Nice purchase. I think I’d have bought it. With that setup you can drill across a pretty wide board and do so without having to move the board. Great looking table also, a couple of tee tracks and some hold downs and you have quite the setup.

-- Jesus is Lord!

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 5177 days

#3 posted 05-20-2007 02:13 AM

it would be in my shop and I’d be smiling!! $40!!! woo hoo

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

View WayneC's profile


14359 posts in 5114 days

#4 posted 05-20-2007 03:37 AM

I love yard sales too Frank. The worst part is that this drill press is less than 1/2 the cost of every slick I have seen. I’ve not seen a used froe and the chisels have been $50 or more used. I still have not gotten my green wood tools together yet. I guess you have to take them as they come.

The top is made of what appears to be fiberglass. I’m not sure if I would attempt to route a channel or not. I do have T track in my other drill press table.

I’m guessing I will rearrange my shop to make room for it next to my other drill press. Although, I am toying with putting in an area where I can access both sides. I can turn it all the way round and drill very large items.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View mot's profile


4928 posts in 5053 days

#5 posted 05-20-2007 03:51 AM

That’s a pretty nice score. The reason that I don’t do alot of yard sales is a genetic incapability to NOT buy stuff like that. I’d have bought it. I wouldn’t mind a dedicated metal drill press for my garage next to the welder. Good job!

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

View Steffen's profile


326 posts in 5052 days

#6 posted 05-20-2007 04:37 AM

If you had told the story with a different ending…like…I saw this drill press but because I didn’t have room, I decided $40 was too much…we would all vote to revoke your LJ membership card. I too have the Ridgid floor model but I would have rather paid $40 fo rthis one.

-- Steffen - Kirkland, WA

View Jeff's profile


1010 posts in 5111 days

#7 posted 05-20-2007 06:15 AM

Without a doubt I would have bought this.

KT’s dad has a similar one in his basement. It’s not as nifty as this one but it is the same concept. I’ll ask him if he has any advice to pass on. Great find.

-- Jeff, St. Paul, MN

View Obi's profile


2214 posts in 5254 days

#8 posted 05-20-2007 07:50 AM

So which one are you gonna sell me? And how much?
Stop by the shop any time… I’m almost always here.
I think I sent you an e-mail with the shop logo… or I was thinking about it. LOL

View WayneC's profile


14359 posts in 5114 days

#9 posted 05-20-2007 07:52 AM

You did send it. Next time I’m up for a road trip, I will head down.

I’m making room for both drill presses, but I will keep you in mind.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View Tony's profile


995 posts in 5047 days

#10 posted 05-20-2007 03:21 PM

Radial Arm Drill PressHello Wayne
I also have a radial arm drill press - versatility is the biggest advantage. The extended reach from the mounting pole when you need it. On mine I can rotate the chuck 90° to the right, so I can bore a hole horizontally. Looking at your picture I think you can do the same.
I also use my to mount my Branding iron, which means I can get into the centre of my table tops (the underside) and get a perfect brand each and every time.
I think you are only limited by your imagination, as to the capabilities and versatility of the machine
Draw backs (my machine) when returning the drill head to 90° the indexing stop is not accurate. The same goes for the drill press table. So careful realignment is critical. I think my machine cost me about $250 (new), but it is from India or China or some other country with cheap products. I think you have a bargain – I would have certainly bought it at price. I would be lost without mine.
Just more point – be careful about the pulley system being unguarded – very dangerous.

I tried to post a photograph of my drill, but no luck - I will have to get used to this system first.

-- Tony - All things are possible, just some things are more difficult than others! - SKYPE: Heron2005 (

View Sawhorse's profile


286 posts in 5457 days

#11 posted 05-20-2007 03:36 PM

I would have bought it, I’ve found that garage sales and auctions are Great places to pick-up tools that still have lots of life in them, they just need some tending to (TLC) bring them life.

-- Sawhorse - Sulphur Springs, TX -

View WayneC's profile


14359 posts in 5114 days

#12 posted 05-20-2007 03:54 PM

Thanks for the warning on the belts Tony. I’m looking forward to playing with this tool.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View Bill's profile


2579 posts in 5178 days

#13 posted 05-20-2007 05:46 PM

I would have bought it Wayne. A great bargain, and if you decide you don’t need or want it, I am sure you can get at least that much for it again. It looks like it will provide you with many more years of service.

Obi is sending out shop logo’s and did not include the rest of us? Well I saw the pictures of the shop, and it looks like you have a lot more room now Obi. Congrats. Now if you can get Wayne to part with his Ridgid drill….

-- Bill, Turlock California,

View Dusty56's profile


11863 posts in 4705 days

#14 posted 12-17-2008 06:49 PM

You stole it , Bro ! Good for you and I bet the kids were excited that Dad got a new toy as well : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View dustygirl's profile


862 posts in 4745 days

#15 posted 12-17-2008 08:37 PM

Wow what a good find.I’d grab that up in a minute.

-- Dustygirl..Hastings,Ontario.. How much wood can 1 gal chuck if 1 gal can't cut wood?

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