Drill Press Accessory Storage

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by fatman51 posted 09-08-2015 10:18 PM 1464 reads 1 time favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch

A few months ago I purchased a small rockwell radial arm drill press. I have been looking for a radial press for a long time and finally, I found this one for sale locally on Craigslist. Having never used the Rockwell, I was not completely sold on them because I had read a lot of articles and commentary about the undesirable flexibility of the drill head on the post and arm. I went and looked, however, and as the machine was in good shape, we settled on a price and when my wife was done talking about horses with the people, I took the thing home.

The previous owner used the press as a drum sander and I assume that the table he had installed on the press was part of his set up for that. I removed it and and tuned up the machine. I removed the foot pedal it came with, which I put cord ends on…

...and wired in a regular switch and a reversing switch, for added versatility.

The factory table was sound but small, pretty much the same table that one might find on any small Rockwell drill press. I bolted a larger table to this, which I cut out of a piece of MDF.

This done, I turned my attention to the stand, and to my need to store all of my drill bits and drill press accessories.

Beefing up the sheet steel top of the stand by bolting MDF to the underside, I changed the orientation of the drill press on the stand to better suit my needs, and my shop. I added wheels to the base and then decided to build some drawers, adding mass so that the machine would be stable and vibration free. I made the drawers out of oak, with one piece of sassafras tossed in there when I ran short of oak scraps. The drawers open from both sides because the machine is on wheels.

The end product is pretty sweet and with all of the bushings and bearings tight, I have not noticed a flex problem. Of course, I am drilling holes, from 1/16 to 1-1/2 inch, whole sawing up to 4 inches, fly cutting up to 8 inches, and drum sanding WOOD. I am not trying to drill 3/4 holes in 3/4 thick steel plate with the arm raised all of the way up and the head extended all of the way forward. This machine was not designed for such rigorous use as that.

I would welcome any suggestions on what I might have done better. Someday, I might take everything out so that I can finish sand and finish the drawers or even put a toggle switch on the drill head, which is probably what I should have done, but I don’t know that all that is necessary.

-- The Constitution only gives people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself. Benjamin Franklin

4 comments so far

View robscastle's profile


6675 posts in 2808 days

#1 posted 09-10-2015 08:01 AM

Hey fatman 51

What sort of name is that !

Anyway many years ago I worked for Rockwell and they produced very good high quality products.

There is a Rockwell tool line available today but its nothing like the original product in both quality and industrial use wise.
Its not the original Rockwell but some sold off brand.

The radial Arm Drill you have looks to be a quality product.

I bought a radial Arm drill just recently and did a review on it, and as you mentioned they are by nature of their design very flexable. however the advantage of the “depth” of up to 450mm is a decider.

Take care using it and ensure everythig is locked up before drilling and you will be fine.

Unlike the Radial Arm Saw I found you cannot accurately traverse the arm and drill without locking everything up at each stage, knowing this limitation as apposed to being able to draw a saw blade across your work continiously as you cut is the only difference.


-- Regards Rob

View fatman51's profile


335 posts in 2441 days

#2 posted 09-10-2015 09:29 AM

Yeah…well… the day I chose the name I had enjoyed my annual visit to the Doctor who was hoping to drop the Morbid from my obese by the time I reached the age of fifty one. Thanks for your input.

I understand the difference. I have a Rockwell Bladerunner posted on Craigslist right now that know one else is foolish enough to buy. A novel idea that is poorly executed constitutes a gimmick, right?

I made sure to set everything on the money. Once I lock it in place and start drilling it does a good job. I am careful not to force it though. I will look for your review and see if I can’t learn something more about these machines.

-- The Constitution only gives people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself. Benjamin Franklin

View robscastle's profile


6675 posts in 2808 days

#3 posted 10-20-2016 08:51 AM

I sent you a PM but didnt realise you cannot post pictures, so here is where I am up to

This is the drill with the head at 90 degrees but as you can see the table is about 250mm below the drill bit or chuck center.

There is no way to get any more height on it so I am going to build a platform

The platform will be high enough to have the center of the chuck right on the table height, so no matter what I do with it, it will be just a matter of lowering the table to suit.

Because it is so high I will have to stand on a box to use it but so be it.

-- Regards Rob

View robscastle's profile


6675 posts in 2808 days

#4 posted 11-03-2016 09:27 AM

Well after making some platform jigs, I gave up on this idea it was all too hard and produced inaccurate results, was up too high to safely do what I wanted to do.

Next I will be looking at my old “junk” lathe or my King Arthur Tools Guinevere system.
Seems there are very little bench top horizontal Borers around, read as being cheap enough for a hobbiest.

-- Regards Rob

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics