Benchtop Drill Press Modification - Router Forums
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-15-2012, 03:41 PM Thread Starter
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Default Benchtop Drill Press Modification

I looked for this particular type of modification for a benchtop drill press but couldn't find one so I went about trying to invent one on my own. The problem with small benchtop drill presses is the amount of space between the center of the drill chuck and the column. Whenever a hole is required that exceeds that spacing, one must usually rely on hand drilling.

With a caliper, I measured the diameter of the column which came to about 1.88" and began searching metal shops, electrical and plumbing supplies for piping with a similar diameter and found common black pipe at a plumbing supply store (1-1/2" pipe) with an outside diameter that came to about 1.9". Close enough.

With the piece that was to fit into the drill press head, I had to remove a little material and not having a lathe, I used a regular angle grinder to remove evenly distributed strips around the pipe as carefully as possible, checking each time I made a complete pass to see if it would fit. This was accomplished by simply placing the pipe in a vise and rotating it as required. Eventually, after six passes, the pipe fit in snugly. I also cut one threaded end off of the pipe to length for better grip of the locking keys that hold the pipe in place in the head and for good clearance under the motor.

After that, it was simply a matter of screwing the assembly together and mounting it with a flange and some 5/16" bolts to particle board base. I also used the same material to make a large 2'x18" table.

I could get the table clamp to fit on this pipe but it was very tight and moving the table up and down was next to impossible, so I reused the original column and flange and mounted it next to the new mount adding the large particle board table installed with 3/8" bolts and some hardwood runners underneath.

After assembling everything, I squared the drill chuck to the table but have not yet tried it as I just completed it late yesterday. I will begin drilling some test holes all the time watching if the chuck goes out of square and if so, will need to come up with an idea to hold the entire assembly together so that it doesn't go out of square.

As it sits, I now have 13" of clearance between the center of the chuck and the edge of the new column as opposed to the original 5" of clearance with the old column. The entire assembly appears to be very solid at this point and if it works, should improve my ability to drill nice straight holes in larger materials.

And comments or suggestions are welcome. I would especially be very interested to hear any suggestions to holding the piping assembly together so that it remains square. Thanks

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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-15-2012, 06:49 PM
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Hi Jim,
Good Idea.

Doing it this way you can use a longer pipe for the mount and get more distance betweeen the table and the bit.
If you have a lathe you could use tapered plugs in the ends of the pipe and the grinder to turn down the diameter of the pipe so the table mount would work on the new set up.

I'd protect the bed of the lathe with cardboard or something if you did try this so you don't mess up the lathe. Use a face shield too!

I see this possibly happening sometime in my future.

Thanks for posting the idea,

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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-15-2012, 07:30 PM
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Superb idea! Looks simple enough that I might even be able to try it. To lock the fittings in place I would probably drill holes through for roll pin insertion or possibly use thumbscrews to lock each in place.

There is also the possibility of drilling one of the fittings to enable tilting the head at 15, 30, 45 degrees for angled drilling.

Thanks for the idea.

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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-15-2012, 08:39 PM
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That is a simple and effective way to get way more out of the desk drill press, well done,

Seeing this has got my brain working not only on my drill press but to use this in my planning of remaking my shop area for woodworking,

I also thinking Mikes ideal of the angle drilling has some possibilities, I would like to look at not only angles from side to side but tilting it forward at those angles too, I think you could add one more nipple and a elbow and make it work, just remove the DP and the short nipple from the elbow, then turn the elbow to the left 90, add a short nipple and then another elbow pointing up and reconnect the DP and Nipple again, I need to draw it up or something to get my ideal across more than likely, lol

Ok storms are here go to go, later

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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-15-2012, 09:05 PM
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G7945 5 Speed Bench-Top Radial Drill Press

G9969 Radial Drill Press


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Last edited by bobj3; 04-16-2012 at 04:03 AM.
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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-15-2012, 10:35 PM
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Very good ideas, I wish I ahd thought of it

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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-16-2012, 06:34 AM
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Pretty ingenious solution I did a similiar modificaton to my 8" drill press, but used a staraight piece of 1,1/2" galvanized pipe. I had to sand out the bracket hole on the table bracket with a flexible sanding wheel.
You may have to shim under the original pipe stand to get it level with the new drill press
Good thinking on the solution to get the extra depth
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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-16-2012, 07:46 AM
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A great idea for getting increased throat depth.

Here's a way to increase the drilling depth. Before I had a floor height drill press I mounted my bench drill press with it's base backwards, so the drill press head and table hung off the front of the bench. I could still use it normally or I could swing the drill press table out of the way and use it for longer work by setting the bottom end of the stock on a box, stool, or stack of 2 X 6 chunks built up from the floor. I drilled a lot of lamp posts this way by using increasing length drill bits and changing the height of the stacked up base on the floor.


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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-16-2012, 09:17 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you for all the kind words and great suggestions. This idea was sparked as a result of my next project, a homemade cnc router table. Since some of the parts require drilling relatively accurate holes in larger materials, I had to come up with something to fit the bill.

I also like the idea of drilling holes in the fittings in order to keep the assembly square. I may also break out my tap and die set to tap those holes and use regular machine bolts to hold it all in place.

Although it's a little difficult to see in the pics, the base I made is just a little short of the chuck so that I can move aside or completely remove the table in order to increase the depth.

@ bobj3 - thanks for those links, I had no idea those products were available.

btw, cost of pipe fittings was about $35 (Andrew Sheret) and bolts/nuts/washers about $10 (Home Depot).
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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-16-2012, 11:43 AM
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Don't recall seeing anything like that before. Very slick.
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