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Thread: Mounting Drill Press by its Table

  1. #1

    Mounting Drill Press by its Table

    I've been using a Delta drill press (floor standing) for 25 years. My most common uses are holes in relatively small pieces or holes in long pieces. For long boards, it's a pain. I always have to pull it out to get the clearance I need for the long board. The table (shop made) and the DP's base really are not large enough to properly support an 8 foot board, so I have to rig support.

    I'm building a new 15' bench for my compound miter saw. I'd like to have a bench-mounted drill press on the same bench. But bench drill presses, like floor standing models, operate with the head stationary and the table going up and down to meet the job at hand. That pretty much defeats the purpose of having the DP share the bench with the miter saw--the table would seldom be at the height of the bench.

    So I got this idea. What if I get a bench DP, remove its base. and attach its table to the bench? Then I could use the table adjustments to move the head up and down or to tilt it. What do you guys think? Would the collar that connects the table to the post be strong enough to handle the greater weight of the head?
    Last edited by Bruce Page; 02-22-2017 at 9:14 PM.

  2. #2
    I made a stool a few years ago that does double duty in my shop. It works as a normal stool of course, but there is a center section that can be raised and lowered that works as a support for holding up one end of long pieces for my bench mounted drill press, makes a steady support for cross cutting long boards on my TS, supporting long pieces for resawing on my BS.
    It came from plans from "American Woodworker". I don't know if thee plans are still available. Here is what it looks like in the supporting mode.
    Lee Schierer - McKean, PA
    USNA- '71
    Captain USN(Ret)

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  3. #3
    Lee,I like that. Not only practical, but reminds me of Empire State Building dirigible pylon.

  4. #4
    I kind of doubt that mounting the table would accomplish what you are trying to do.
    All this is assuming that you have lowered the miter saw to the bench level and are using the rest of the bench as wings.
    Mounting the table itself would still have it raised up above the bench and even if you recessed it, you would have to figure out a way to turn the crank to raise/lower the spacing.
    It might be easier to recess the drill mounting base into the bench and then the table would always be above the bench out of the way.
    As for your other question about the collar being strong enough, the collar might be strong enough, but I would worry about the surrounding wood breaking or deflecting under the weight.
    It's never too late to have a happy childhood.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Sterling, Virginia
    You need to get you one like mine.Walker-Turner-DP.jpg The table is fixed the head goes up and down and you can drill 30" out from the column.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Berkshire County in Western Ma
    I say where there's a will there's a way. It sounds like a great idea if you are using a small table top drill press. If the head and column end up being too heavy, you might use an old jack to raise and lower, or rig a rack and pinion to crank the head up and down. I had an old lift mechanism from one of those electric recliners that might have worked well for something like that.

  7. #7
    Fine Woodworking magazine, issue 52, had an article about how someone had mounted his drill press up side down and mounted it to the ceiling to allow drilling large panels. maybe something this would work for you.

    This pic is lifted from the magazine, if there is a copyright problem, moderators, please feel free to delete it.

    Last edited by Don Bunce; 02-23-2017 at 1:10 AM.

  8. #8
    Thanks guys. I think I'll work up a design. The bench is not built yet, so it should be relatively easy to mount the press table so it does not protrude above bench surface and to make sure the mounting is strong enough. I don't have a good concept yet for making the crank easy to reach. If I go though with it, I'll post pics.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    My old Jet drill press is bench-mounted but very heavy and the table adjustment mechanism is showing its age. I think there is no chance that mine would have survived what you're describing. The adjustment crank would be lifting a load 10 or more times as heavy as the table and there would be a lot of torque from the off-center position of the head relative to the column.

    Maybe you could remove the crank and track, leave the locking mechanism, and hang the movable portion from an overhead support. Adjust it with a rope and pulleys, boat trailer winch or whatever and lock with the original lock screw. Turn the base 180 degrees for balance under the table and/or install a sturdy sliding brace to take the side load.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Shorewood, WI
    It seems to me the value of a drill press is the ease of drilling precisely square to a surface. Any modification that removed that precision would be questionable.

    The simplest approach would be a variable-height stock support for use with the drill press table, as suggested above.

    If you decide it's worth it to build the press into a bench, I'd try to put the precision back in. That means making sure the column travels up and down precisely in line. An adjustable set of wheels or bolts to guide the column might be arranged. A counterweight (pulleys, cable, weight) to carry the head would prevent the adjusting screw from bearing so much weight it would be hard to move and likely wear out quickly.

    It might be possible to find an old radial arm saw base and column to use for the raising and lowering mechanism, though the range may be inadequate.

    This scheme would be a lot more practical with an electronically variable speed press than one where access to the head was needed for belt changes.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Upland CA
    How about just making the BASE flush with the bench. The table would only be a few inches above it to allow the chop saw to be used, and the table could be swiveled out of the way when you want to drill those long boards. Chop off the post to the desired height.
    Rick Potter

    DIY journeyman,
    FWW wannabe.
    AKA Village Idiot.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Modesto, CA, USA
    Just buy a older bench mount drill press and bolt that to your table. You could even buy the big table with four or more heads on them. The press itself often sells cheap if it does not include the table. The mount is like a power feeder mount I guess.
    Bill D.

    quick search for a picture

    how they will ship this for 25$ i have no idea, eBay item# 112348670412
    Last edited by Bruce Page; 04-14-2017 at 11:29 PM. Reason: Removed eBay link per TOS. Links to eBay are not allowed

  13. #13
    This was tried years ago with saws. It was called a radial arm saw. As it was never able to get really accurate cuts repeatedly, it's been abandoned by most.

    I think this falls into that same category. I don't believe the table mount was designed for that much weight.

    But, good luck.

    Kind regards,

  14. #14
    Have you considered building bench so drill press is supported from below with raising / lowering mechanism built into bench? It would elevate whole drill press to needed height. This way, you could raise DP to adjust needed height of table, and then lower till table is flush with bench top. Similar to router lifts, only on a larger scale.

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