Shopmade Drillpress

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Project by DaleM posted 02-28-2009 09:31 PM 20127 views 39 times favorited 25 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is a drill press I made. I always thought I was pretty good at eyeballing a straight hole but I was making a movie rack with long dowels inserted in the holes I drilled and a four foot dowel really exaggerates even minor errors so I decided to make a drill press from some scrap wood so I could finish up the project. There are three basic parts to it which you can see. The 2×4 that mounts to my workbench, the mount for the drill and the “riser” or whatever you want to call it that the drill mount rides up and down on. I started by routing a 1/2” groove, 1/2” deep and 1/2” back from the edge of the 2’ 2×4. I then cut the 2×4 in half to use for the table mount and the drill mount. I then routed two longer boards in the same way to use for the riser and connect them using scrap pieces of 3/4 plywood. Last was the mount which you can see I custom made to hold my cheap B&D drill to the 2×4 section. It is hinged on the top with a wingnut to hold the drill in so it’s easily removable. I use a clamp to set the depth of cut. The piece of 2×4 mounted to the table has a stop on the side so when I slide the riser on, it doesn’t just drop all the way to the floor. I did some shimming on the mount to square it all up. The best thing about it is I can just remove the entire thing and set it aside except for the one piece that stays attached to the table leg. It works surprisingly well and is really pretty stable. I did make a second pass on the router table with all the pieces, with tiny adjustments made to loosen up the slots to just over 1/2” to allow it to slide up and down better. It’s not so much that I’m cheap, it’s just that I needed the tool and needed it that night so I made my own and have never seen a need for anything else since.

-- Dale Manning, Carthage, NY

25 comments so far

View lew's profile


13219 posts in 4673 days

#1 posted 02-28-2009 09:52 PM

This reminds me of my Grandfather’s work. His shop only had one electric motor and two power tools- a drill press and a table saw.

The drill press had a large, homemade wooden pulley at the top to reduce the speed. His vertical feed method was very similar to yours.

Nice Job!!

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Suliman Syria 's profile

Suliman Syria

424 posts in 4722 days

#2 posted 02-28-2009 09:55 PM

Is it miletry project.?
nice and good shop soliution..

-- Suliman , Syria, jablah ,

View DaleM's profile


958 posts in 4302 days

#3 posted 02-28-2009 10:07 PM

Thanks Lew. Last time I checked I still had one motor per tool so I guess I’m lucky. Suliman, if it was a military project it would still be in the design and testing phase for a couple more years, then cancelled because it actually worked well and was inexpensive.

-- Dale Manning, Carthage, NY

View kiwi1969's profile


608 posts in 4360 days

#4 posted 03-01-2009 12:41 AM

You used to be able to buy those. I think skill still do one . Nice shopmade tool

-- if the hand is not working it is not a pure hand

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


19841 posts in 4594 days

#5 posted 03-01-2009 05:16 AM

You should send that to shop notes or some one to publish for those who don’t have the room for, the money for or enough work to justify buying a drill press. Nice work. l

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View BTKS's profile


1989 posts in 4382 days

#6 posted 03-01-2009 05:47 AM


-- "Man's ingenuity has outrun his intelligence" (Joseph Wood Krutch)

View WoodSpanker's profile


560 posts in 4310 days

#7 posted 03-01-2009 09:11 AM

That is super neat! :)

-- Adventure? Heh! Excitement? Heh! A Woodworker craves not these things!

View cajunpen's profile


14578 posts in 4984 days

#8 posted 03-01-2009 10:37 AM

When I first saw your project, my first instinct was to be a smart a.. and make a comment like “you know they sell drill presses”. But your project brought me back to my early days in woodworking. I built a table saw – not for fun, but out of necessity. I could not afford to buy one, so I built a table, mounted a circular saw upside down and used that for quite awhile. It actually was pretty accurate and served me well for time I had it. Thanks for bringing me down memory lane, I’d forgotten that old tablesaw.

-- Bill - "Suit yourself and let the rest be pleased."

View Rotceh's profile


231 posts in 4365 days

#9 posted 03-01-2009 02:00 PM

very cool

-- Work is my road to knowledge,Curiosity is my fellow traveler. El trabajo es mi camino al conocimiento, la curiosidad es mi compañero de viaje. Héctor

View CharlieM1958's profile


16289 posts in 5136 days

#10 posted 03-01-2009 04:19 PM

Another case of necessity being the mother of invention!

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View HallTree's profile


5665 posts in 4685 days

#11 posted 03-01-2009 09:23 PM

That’s great. Reminds me of my grandfather’s shop back in the 40’s. He had a lot of tools and jigs that he made.

-- "Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life" Solomon

View DaleM's profile


958 posts in 4302 days

#12 posted 03-01-2009 10:15 PM

Thanks to everyone that commented. I actually think I get my inclination to build things from my dad, although he was a jack of all trades rather than doing woodworking as a hobby. He built our house himself and was always “improving” something on it.

-- Dale Manning, Carthage, NY

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5849 posts in 4503 days

#13 posted 03-01-2009 10:18 PM

A lot of work there well done I hope you enjoyed it it will never be as firm as a proper drill press but it’s better than hand held.Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View cabinetmaster's profile


10873 posts in 4476 days

#14 posted 03-01-2009 10:20 PM

Hey if it worked that’s good. I done that once myself years ago. Thanks Scotsman.

-- Jerry--A man can never have enough tools or clamps

View PirateOfCatan's profile


57 posts in 4317 days

#15 posted 03-02-2009 02:03 PM

I work for a not-for-profit organization and we don’t always have the money for the proper tools. The other day I was drilling pilot holes in 1/2 inch acrylic sheets. I would love to have had precision drill guide, but no luck. So I made one out of two speed squares which were both broken in a corner. One is my personal and often I like it being broken as it pivots for certain tasks. Occasionally it even fits in a tight spot better than a regular speed square. My one co-worker even thought I altered it on purpose to make it more useful (nope just dropped it a few too many times on that one corner).

drill guide

-- P.O.C.

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