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Thread: Does a drill press need to be bolted down?

  1. #1

    Does a drill press need to be bolted down?

    I'm getting my first drill press and hope someone more experienced can help me with this question. I read that drill presses are top heavy and should be bolted down for safety, to keep them from tipping over. I would welcome the advice of people experienced with these machines. If this is true, I would have to get a bench top model since I don't want to drill into the floor of my concrete garage.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Camas, Wa
    I have never bolted down a drill press. My current one is on a mobile base. I have never had a problem with one falling over.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Rochester, NY
    Mine never has been, but it shouldn't hurt if you do.
    Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Berwick, Nova Scotia, Canada
    My opinion. That would be a complete waste of time and energy. Not only that, on the odd occasion that you have something extra long or odd shaped, moving the machine to accommodate the work required would be a huge pain, and you will, if you are anything like me, attempt to accomplish the task with your hand drill, and end up with a less than optimum result.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Mnts.of Va.
    A very nice,high energy project(easy build that nets big gains) is a stowage unit that sits on the bttm of your DP.Resembling a short file cabinet in scale and form.

    You can get as fancy or not as you want.Mine are usually(but not limited to),open shelves to accommodate heavy fixturing.Had a C-man lower mechanix type bx on one press for years.These serve a cpl valuable functions,one being,it holds the press down.

    Another,it allows you to use a scissor jack(small car type) to aid in raising lowering DP table for those not equipped with crank elevators.Most DP work is done in about a one foot range of verticle adj.The times you need longer.....simply move the stowage cabinet out of the way.

  6. #6
    If you are concerned about a DP tipping over, there is a better solution.

    Attach an eye bolt to somewhere on the back of the head and run a steel cable to a matching eye bolt affixed to the ceiling. It would be a simple matter to remove the cable if you needed to move the DP for access to something.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    N.E, Ohio
    My DP instructions said if not bolting it down to attach it to a plywood panel and gave recommended dimensions, around 24x30 if memory serves. I can look it up if you like I have the manual in the shop. I do remember buying a quarter sheet of ply to use.

  8. #8
    Couple of sandbags or other ballast on the base will kep her put. IME, this isn't necessary.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Cary, NC
    I put a couple of 2 x 4's under the front and back of my c-man drill press. They stabilize it nicely.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Central Ohio
    I haven't bolted down my floor model drill press, and I haven't had any issues.

    The need to bolt it down depends on the size and weight of the drill press and the size and weight of the material it's used to drill. A benchtop model is more likely to need bolted down. I carefully test the effect of anything large or heavy on my drill press as I put it in place to be drilled.

  11. #11
    Not essential but a rolling stand might be.
    As such, when rolling, it has a tendency to tip over.
    Lower the center of mass by lowering the head, maybe 6-10"
    or x whatever change you can tolerate. They are very top heavy.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    New Mexico
    I have mine bolted to it's stand only because that stand is bolted to a mobile cart. If you don't plan to roll it around the shop, there's no need to bolt it to anything.

    Drill presses are a little top heavy, but a person exercising common sense won't have any trouble with one.

  13. #13
    No need to bolt a floor-model drill press down. It's actually nice to be able to move it around on a mobile base to accommodate long projects once in a while. Now things like vises, grinders, buffers, metal benders, and kids on sugar highs... those things need to be bolted down.

  14. #14
    My floor was uneven so I made some plywood feet for the front and back of my unit. The front foot is thicker than the rear, so as to level it. But they also provide some stability.

    If my floor were level I doubt I would have bothered.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Orange County, CA
    No problem un anchored. Survived several earthquakes over the last 44 years. Worse thing - I have to but the metal shims for leveling back under the base after a earthquake.

    I have considered installing a cable to the celling as mentioned above.

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