Picture of DIY column drill UPGRADES!
My DIY column drill, which has been unbelievably in the top ten chart of most viewed Instructables of that month, deserved a good upgrade, what do I say, let's not be stingy, Top Ten deserves at least three great upgrades!
So here they are: an addictional rail to easily shift up and down all the mechanism, a twin LED lamp to light better the working surface and, last but not least, an integrated automatic power switch connected to the teethbrush-lever! Does this lever type seem strange to you? read the first Instructable!
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Step 1: Tools and b.o.m.

Picture of tools and b.o.m.
For these upgrades we don't need many components, other than the second macro photography rail and the cheap led light, only a few electrical pieces, a pair of wood little blocks (I exceeded them from the first project), an aluminium bar (I've luckily found one of the right lenght with already two holes), and two screws/bolts. Here is the complete list:
  • a second macro photography rail
  • a tactile switch (better with a metal lever) with a little screw
  • a shucko socket
  • a wall plug with wire
  • an aluminium bar abouth three inches lenght
  • a bolt with nut
  • a short bipolar wire for swich connection
  • some hot-shrinking tubes
  • and of course some tools, a welder, a welding support (maybe with a lens), hot glue (mine is black), a double elements glue, pliers, a screwdiver, etc.
crazypj made it!7 months ago

Picture of the high precision counterweight version. I don't have a finished picture with cable guide and operating lever. Counterweight means pressure/weight is the same over 100mm of travel

Almost finished Almost finished -2.JPG
crazypj1 year ago
I'm about 70% done. Ended up pretty heavy duty welded 2"x1" aluminium box section I picked up at local 'surplus store (my wife calls it the 'junk shop' )
It's at 90 degree angle for base/upright
I've put some extra screws into macro rail to prevent twisting as I though of a few extra uses, I can drill base and mount it to my 7x10 mini lathe to use as a high speed mill or grinder
I had to build to a certain stage to take measurements for the final stage
I should probably make an Instructable about it?
andrea biffi (author)  crazypj1 year ago
you have to ;-)
Did a bit more work, almost done.
Still have to make a 'table' and melt some lead for a counterweight
Found some stainless steel nylon coated wire I bought for a different project (total diameter is 1/16", about 1.5mm)
I will post everything up when finished.
I did forget to take pictures of some of the latest 'work' and maybe too many of the 'beginning'
I also found out that spinning a 2" diameter aluminium disc @8,000+ rpm causes enough vibration for the tiny adjuster screws fall out and get lost ( I'm also 'playing' with an electronic ignition for my 1974 Honda 360) I was hoping to test hall effect sensor and see if there is an rpm where it can't trigger fast enough (LOL)
Luckily they are 3mm so will get replaced with longer screw and locknut
Thanks for the encouragement

you must make an instructable!! :)

Just spent hours writing up a word doc with pics but find I can't upload it and should have done everything directly here. Eventually I'll get it uploaded as a 'Precision high speed micro drill press'

crazypj1 year ago
Those upgrades are a great idea.
Thanks for all the details.
I would never have thought of making something like this, I've always bought tools or modified things for specific purpose, this is much better ;)
I really like the micro-switch idea and the plug/socket upgrade
andrea biffi (author)  crazypj1 year ago
Good, I like them too, I really use it a lot, and after almost one year I can tell for certain that it works great!
crazypj1 year ago
Just made an offer on 2 adjusters, great idea
I need to drill some0.016" holes in brass rod and normal drill press isn't even close to fast enough
iscovell1 year ago
cool use of a toothbrush!
donkeyknee1 year ago
Great hack! I was curious if you thought about using hose clamps instead of wire ties to hold the Dremel in place, so that it could be removed if needed.

Also, I don't recognize that plug configuration. What country are you in?
andrea biffi (author)  Aingon Atelia1 year ago
Mmm, yes I'm still thinking about that, maybe a fast and handy way to remove the drill is better, but I don't like the solution of hose clamps... they're too rough..
I still have to find the right solution..
The plug is a Shuko plug, very common for tools here in Italy..
frenzy1 year ago
Whoa! Great Project!
andrea biffi (author)  frenzy1 year ago
Thanks! :-)
Great idea using the plunge lever to operate the power switch. And the LED lights are also a good addition. I may add those mods to my Proxxon drill press.
samern1 year ago
Hello Andrea,

I was interested to see both your instructables and had a thought: it seems that you could extend your design slightly to add even more capability to turn it into a Dremel (or equivalent) milling machine. I imagine that you can add the same platform twice (one on top of the other at 90 degrees to create an X-Y table). Then, steppers controlling all 3 axes can a suitable circuitboard would get you a CNC machine too!

Thanks for the great instructable!

andrea biffi (author)  samern1 year ago
WOW! still science fiction for me... but maybe in future...
schumi231 year ago
I hadn't seen your first instructable for building it -Opening it now :D
Your pictures are wonderful!