The $45 Drill Press cart - Intro

Picture of The $45 Drill Press cart - Intro
I have a very small shop.  I wanted to put my drill press in the shop.  I did not want to take up space on my workbench  and I didn't want  to stuff it in the corner where the walls would get in the way when I worked on larger pieces.  The solution was a cart, but there is a reason why drill presses are not sold with wheels on them.

The Problem

A drill presses is very top heavy.  It needs a stable base.  If the floor is not completely flat, it is fairly easy for the center of gravity (cg) to shift outside of the area enclosed by lines connecting the contact points between the base and the floor while moving the base.  When that happens, the drill press tips.  Even if the cg doesn't cross the line, a drill press being moved on wheels has momentum.  When a wheel hits an obstacle, the bottom of the cart stops moving, but the momentum continues to push the cg.  Because the cg is high, there is a lot of mechanical advantage so even a little momentum can cause a tip.

The solution is to space the contact points as far apart as possible and to lower the cg as much as possible.  There is a limit to how wide and deep you can make a drill press base since you need to be able to easily reach the press handle. Likewise, there is a limit to how low you can Lower the heaviest part of the press.
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Xenophon2 years ago
Instead of bulky paving stones or the very permanent concrete for adding weight to the base, I would recommend a square of iron or steel plate. Place some open webbed rubber matting used for shelves or tool boxes beneath the plate for grip and eliminating vibration, with a second mat on top of the plate to avoid rust marks on whatever is placed on top of it.
Nice work. Those cheap stands from Harbor Freight are nice. I was reticent to buy one, but I needed a general use stand in my basement. I bought it, and clamp my scroll saw to it. I also used their movers dolly ( to build a cheap frame on, out of scrap, thick, ferring strips. I put a 2'x2'x.75" piece of plywood on top of it, and screwed/glued it down, and use it for a portable base for my heavy Hitachi dual compound, sliding miter saw.
rimar20002 years ago
Good sort out of the problem.