Inexpensive Drill Stand Upgrade - Router Forums
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-16-2010, 06:25 AM Thread Starter
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Default Inexpensive Drill Stand Upgrade

This is an upgrade that kind of grew. It is based on an inexpensive Lidl Bench Drill and improves it enormously. People like Harbor Freight do similar ones. I've written this up for the newbies, who might find it useful. I've often found that cheap and cheerful equipment can be improved relatively simply to make it much more useful.

I'd noted that the small engineering table with the drill stand was too small for most work and I had seen various improved tables with fences on store websites, as well as one or two on here.

I'd been asking about the Katie Dovetail Jig and Bob had mentioned some aluminium extrusion that had T-Slots cast into it. I found some on a German eBay vendor's site. They have it regularly in different lengths. It is available in the US, too. Here, it is described as 90mm high x 45mm deep. The lot I got concisted of four 650mm lengths (around 2' each) for 40 bucks, so about 10 bucks each, and I'd now got three spare ones.

It occurred to me that one of them could make a nice drill press table fence. I'd already got a length of T-slot that, cut in two, would just cover the needs for mounting the fence.

The table is made from two thicknesses of " ply, laminated. It made fitting the T-slot very easy as for the top layer I just used up odd pieces of scrap around the T-slots, rather than routing them in, glueing them to a single bottom piece. It also meant that I could use a hole saw to cut out a sacrificial piece in the top layer, before laminating it all up. I also put in four captive carriage bolts into the bottom layer before laminating. The carriage bolts secure the new table to the old one. The sacrificial piece can be discarded for another when it gets chewed up too much. While I was at it, I cut four pieces that would drop into the same hole to match various drum sander sizes. These were all done with various sizes of hole saw.

Once it was all dry, I ran a pattern bit around the edges to get it all neat and used a pattern to round the front corners.

The fence is secured by two long T-bolts to the two T-tracks, but I could have used long carriage bolts. Carriage bolts are easily available and whilst it may be necessary to file flats on opposing sides on the heads to get them to fit, they are a useful cheap alternative, with a range of sizes.

I made an adjustable stop out of MDF and this does use a short carriage bolt.

Having done all this, I realised that the drill doesn't have a depth stop. There is not much point in having a fancy fence when the downward movement could not be similarly controlled.

I noticed that the red plastic safety guard on the drill had a hole moulded either side that was doing nothing, probably because the same guard is sold to other manufacturers who do use them. More important, it had a hex socket moulded underneath it it, that would capture a bolt head.

I realised that a 6mm x 100mm bolt fitted in it pointing upwards could make a depth stop, if I could fit a bracket with a hole in it to go through.

I was looking in the local builder's merchants when I spotted some constructional brackets with 70mm arms. 60mm wide, in 3mm steel. It was only a buck, so I got one to play with. While I was cutting a piece out of it, it occurred to me that instead of sawing off the remaining surplus, if I bent it downwards, it would make a mount for a light. I'd already got a cheap LED headlight and minus its elasticated headband, it could fit nicely.

The bracket already had some 6mm holes in it. I drilled two matching 5mm holes into the drill head casting and tapped them 6mm to take two M6 skt cap screws to secure the bracket, then removed the bracket again.. I then measured the offset from the hex bolt I'd fitted to the safety guard to the side of the drill head casting and drilled an 8mm hole (to give some play) a matching amount in on the new bracket. Once it was all reassembled, I fitted a nyloc nut above the safety guard to hold the bolt firmly in place.

I'd now got a depth stop and light bracket out of the one bit of bent steel and all for a buck and a bolt.

The lamp fits using a simple elastic band to hold it to the bracket.

The depth can be limited because the bolt slides up and down through the hole in the new bracket and two nuts, locking against each other, can be run up and down to stop movement at any preselected depth.

I next thought about a hold down. Holding small bits in your fingers is never a good idea, in case the drill snatches and whisks the job out of your hands. I'd bought a cheap locking clamp originally for the drill for about 8 bucks. It fixes with a captive bolt with a big ring nut. It had never been ideal, as it would only fit in one position and that didn't suit all job sizes. For the new table I decided to drill and fix a t-nut into which the captive bolt would screw and discard the original ring nut. I then remembered the hold down's previous limitation and drilled two more holes in the table, again fitting t-nuts, to give two alternative positions.

All in all, the drill stand is now much more useable. The overall cost was probably 25 bucks, including light, hold down, bracket and all the track and fence..

One limitation of these small drill stands is that there is not a lot of head clearance. A set of stub drills, which are shorter than regular jobber drills, available from places like MSC, will be a good investment, as they will overcome some of the problem. For UK members, try Tracey Tools, which is where mine came from.

Something else worth mentioning is that these drill stands, as supplied, are normally set to the highest speeds, which are much too fast for things like forstner bits, hole saws or larger bits. Getting the speed down is a case of opening the top, which is normally hinged, probably secured with a locking screw. You then need to take off the tension on the belts by undoing the locking screws on the motor mounting slides. Getting the speed down involves getting smaller pulleys feeding larger ones. You may need to remove one of the belts completely at first, in order to get the other one positioned suitably, before then putting it back on again. Finally, you need to retension the belts by pushing the motor back and nipping up the locking screws on the motor support slides.
Mine has a safety lock cutting off power when you open the lid, but if yours hasn't, unplug it before doing anything.

Whilst this will be teaching grandmother to suck eggs for the old hands, I've tried to explain it fully for anyone new.

Confession ! When I fitted the nyloc nut, I used a ring spanner. After running it up 100mm of thread, I suddenly realised the damned thing was now trapped, as, being a ring, it had no way of being removed. I then had to wind it back through another 100mm of thread. At least when I got it all back together, I had the sense to use a " hex to square adaptor and run a socket with a power drill against an OE!
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Last edited by istracpsboss; 02-16-2010 at 11:10 AM. Reason: Further information
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-16-2010, 09:25 AM
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What a well made useful project Peter, and complete with a photo shoot, that really pleases me as I'm sure that it will most members. Don't pictures make for a much better understanding.

Harry



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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-16-2010, 10:55 AM Thread Starter
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Hi Harry

Thanks! It isn't up to your standard but it is a start!

Cheers

Peter
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-16-2010, 11:58 AM
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Looks like it was a good upgrade. I have a Ryobi drill press and it has a rotary drill stop (for lack of better word). It's the kind of drill stop that you have to rotate it to set it. I can never get it to work right, so a mod similar to yours might be worth the challenge.

If you do a search for "80/20" on Ebay, you will find plenty of that slotted extrusion. I have several pcs of it, but don't know what to do with it. I also just bought the Harbor Freight drill press table last week so this write-up is a week too late .
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-16-2010, 03:46 PM
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Nicely done Peter. You made Harrys day with the pictures.




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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-16-2010, 05:00 PM
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Funny... I have a similar drill press (Valex, 48 euro) and I made more or less the same modifications This is another confirmation of the Darwinian theories!
In my model the 6 mm hole on the red guard hosted an almost useless depth scale, so I replaced it with the same 6 mm roofing bold, but I also added a "quill lock", so I can keep the chuck at a lower height without to displace the piece.



Click to see larger on Flickr

Soon or later I'll upload the photos of my "drill press cart"... with all its 007 features.
BTW, Peter, can you post a link to the metric T-tracks seller?
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-16-2010, 05:56 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarcoBernardini View Post
Funny... I have a similar drill press (Valex, 48 euro) and I made more or less the same modifications This is another confirmation of the Darwinian theories!
In my model the 6 mm hole on the red guard hosted an almost useless depth scale, so I replaced it with the same 6 mm roofing bold, but I also added a "quill lock", so I can keep the chuck at a lower height without to displace the piece.



Click to see larger on Flickr

Soon or later I'll upload the photos of my "drill press cart"... with all its 007 features.
BTW, Peter, can you post a link to the metric T-tracks seller?
Hi Marco

A Quill lock would be handy. I'm also thinking of using the hollow core for dust extraction.

The Aluminium profiles are available from 2x ALU Profil Aluprofil 45x90 Aluminium 1000 mm bei eBay.de: Rohstoffe Materialien (endet 17.02.10 20:03:34 MEZ) This is for two x metre lengths but they have them regularly in other lengths. Mine were 4 x 650mm lengths.

Cheers

Peter

Last edited by istracpsboss; 02-17-2010 at 01:02 AM.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-16-2010, 08:37 PM
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Very nice upgrade Peter! Well done!
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-16-2010, 09:18 PM
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This seems the appropriate time to show the the conversion done to a standard 12 speed Taiwanese drill press, the type sold around the world under many different names, done by the engineer who sold it to me as a light milling machine at a very good price.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-17-2010, 12:53 AM Thread Starter
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Nicely engineered job, Harry ! Mine was more akin to blacksmithing !

As an aside, I was much involved in model engineering and we were regularly upgrading or fixing whatever equipment we could get our hands on. We had guys who could do stuff to four places of decimals and who produced very nice stuff. However, I had a lot of time for a couple of ex production engineers, whose job it had been to keep production lines going. If the line stopped, the company could lose a lot of money. While we were arguing the toss about how to do something, they would disappear with a hacksaw and power drill and come back with a working solution while we were still thinking about how to do the drawings. It was rarely pretty. But it worked.

Cheers

Peter

Last edited by istracpsboss; 02-17-2010 at 01:51 AM.
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