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Project Information

This whole project nearly happened out of nowhere. It all started out when I was trying to find a way to build Stumpy's drill press table into my much too small HF benchtop drill press. I figured the best way was to try and increase the overall length (the tube) and well I couldn't find anything local/soon enough that was the right size. I tried a tube just a little too tight…and ended up breaking the base of the drill press in the process. Fast forward 24 hrs and about 5 spins of neil young's greatest hits…I found a floor model 16 speed 3/4 HP drill press on CL for under 100 bucks. Killer deal. Works fabulous. As my press was laying upside down on the floor I remembered Stumpy's sharpening center and everything clicked. Without the MDF circles and compound, I wouldn't have even thought of it. Only took me a day and I did everything on the fly.

The case is sandeply, the circles and the base are mdf. I also put some expanding foam inside the bottom of the case to surround the drill press, which supported it nicely and kept everything snug so that I could get the table coplaner with the honing disc. The disc is from an old orbital sander with a bolt threaded through. I only used two discs so far and two types of compound was needed. Both from harbor freight, black compound and green compound. I didn't use any sandpaper whatsoever and it only took me about 20 min from start to finish to bring one of those cheap HF wood chisels to a mirror polished, razor sharp edge, with a micro bevel. I even gave about 5 minutes up waiting for things to cool down a bit in between the two compounds.

I once thought, I'll be power tools only. But I've been using crappy chisels for months on various tasks. This is going to make me love using the ebay hand planes I'll be buying and SHARENING soon. Overall, I couldn't be happier.

I'd be more than happy to answer any questions.

Gallery

Comments

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4,185 Posts
great job
 

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Now that is a good idea. I've been thinking of updating my drill press and wondered about a use for the old one. Problem solved. Thanks for sharing your idea.
 

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What speed did you leave it set up at? Or can ou still change the speed?
 

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709 Posts
Just so happens I have an old HF benchtop drill press sitting in a storage shed. I put it in storage when I bought a floor model Craftsman drill press 16 speed 3/4 HP. Now I know what I can do with it.

Can you take some really detailed pictures of how you have it mounted, the cabinet construction etc… Just need more details. I'm a visual person. You can tell me all day long how to do it, but if you show it to me, I can do it.
 

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now that's creative
 

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Now I want to do this with my bench grinder. Bench grinder is over 3000 RPMs, I wonder if that's too fast to spin MDF discs.
 

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Yet another great LJ idea to implement! I am much better at collecting these great ideas than I am at getting them implemented - even being fully retired. Thanks for your inspiration.
 

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Thanks for the responses guys

For some of the questions, yes it is a HF 5 speed press flipped on its, well upside down actually.

I have it set at 1725 right now, but keep in mind I've only sharpened one chisel so far and that was one that was nowhere near flat out of the packaging. I can reduce the speed later on to 650, right around where the worksharp is set at, when I've upgraded to some higher quality chisels. But even at the speed I'm at now, heat wasn't much of an issue.

Thelt - I'll take some more pics in a little bit of the construction - but it is incredibly simple. The hardest part was making sure the base and discs were coplaner and that everything would stay put once it was running. Even that only took me an hour or so.

Mitchman - I would think 3000 is way too fast for honing. Grinding sure but not honing. Far too much heat would be generated. It would work but your tools would take an awful lot of abuse going through that.

My next step is to see what I can do with one of those crappy HF plane irons and some homemade scraper planes - probably based off of Mafe's japanese styled scraper plane. That guy is awesome, so I'll see what I can mimic.
 

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Thanks for the details. Keep us posted on how this is working out!
 

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As I'm looking into this, it seems to me that you could also build one of these on a $40 Harbor Freight polisher. Shaped like an angle grinder, you could mount it into a box like this. And have nice variable RPM control,
 

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Mitch Man, I think your dead on. Actually, I originally planned on something similar only using a random orbiral polisher that I never used for anything. The action on it varied way too much though because they are designed to flex at the edges. Most polishers are…but I think a grinder would work. Or maybe you could find a polisher that wouldn't flex like mine did. It wasn't the pad either, it was the arbor itself, and like I said it was designed to do just that, nothing was wrong with it.
 

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One other thing, if you could do the polisher/grinder, it would be much lighter than what I have, that's for sure.
 

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By the way, the smaller HF bench grinders also look like they're one speed, high RPM. (and of course lousy torque)
 

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Great use of an otherwise disaster! Awesome.
 

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Great idea, your projects where listed at the top of lumberjocks this morning, this project caught my eye as I made a couple of sharpeners out of food processors. One advantage with these is you can turn the speed down very slow around 100 or less rpm, ideal for honing and then with a center knob sticking up like yours a grindstone would sit on top. first time in my life had sharp chisels etc. You can check it out on my project list.
 
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