Instructables

Bench-Top Drill Press to Portable Drill Press

Picture of Bench-Top Drill Press to Portable Drill Press

This is my first Instructable, so please bear with me. Constructive criticism is welcomed!

Sometimes I need to drill a perfectly straight hole in surfaces too large for my little bench-top drill press. So I went about modifying my cheap (~$70-ish) drill press from a "bench tool" to a "hand tool." The mod allows me to make holes at a perfect right-angle to large or mounted surfaces like table-tops, floors, and shelves. It is also reversible, so I can convert it to a regular drill press again without any trouble. Best of all, it was free.

 
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up

Step 1: Get Your Stuff

Picture of Get Your Stuff
IMG_1949.jpg

Tools you will need include...

  • Things for disassembling the drill press. These may vary depending on who made your drill press.
    • A few screwdrivers.
    • Hex wrenches. The only size I needed was 5/32".
    • A 1/8" pin punch (or a nail with the tip cut off).
    • A hammer. The type doesn't really matter.
  • Some method of applying a layer of ink/paint to a palm-sized area on metal.
    • I used a Sharpie Magnum. Love those things.
    • You could also use spray paint, Dykem layout fluid, regular-sized Sharpies, etc.
  • Things for making a big hole in sheet metal. Specifically, a hole slightly larger than the column of your drill press.
    • The Messy Way
      • A file. Round or half-round files are probably best. A Dremel with a grinding attachment works even better.
      • A hand drill .
      • Standard twist drill bits.
    • The Better Way
      • A hand drill.
      • A hole saw slightly larger in diameter than the column of your drill press. Mine is a bit over 1-13/16" diameter, so the closest hole saw size I would be able to find would probably be something like 2"

Oh, and you'll need a drill press, too.

Step 2: Get Safe

Take your drill press off whatever table it may be on. Unplug it. Take off any attachments that are on it. Remove anything that could break (like the the lever(s)) or that could stab you on accident (like a drill bit).

Wearing gloves is not recommended when using the drill press (or any spinning power tool, for that matter). However, for taking one apart, good work gloves may protect your hands from getting dirty and/or cut up.

Jobar0072 months ago

At first I thought that you just got a shorter column and then I noticed that your column goes through the housing. That's the clever part here. Well done and this looks like something easily repeatable.

pfred22 months ago

I did the same thing when I drilled the dog holes in my workbench. I took a bench top drill press and spun the head around on it.

spiderham pfred22 months ago

I was trying to figure out a way to do the same for an upcoming workbench but I opted for some indexing rails with my plunge router. I cut dadoes 6" on center with an offset for my router base on 4 straight boards and clamped them to the sides of the bench top. I used two more boards fit to the dadoes to locate my holes where they intersect without having to measure each hole location. Haven't cut the actual top yet but the test piece worked out beautifully.

seamster2 months ago

Very interesting!

BeforeTron2 months ago
Very clever! I like it!