Introduction: Ultimate AIO, Totally Over-Engineered, Dremel/Rotary Tool Drill Press / Sander / Grinder / Router

Picture of Ultimate AIO, Totally Over-Engineered, Dremel/Rotary Tool Drill Press / Sander / Grinder / Router

There are some really good Instructables showing how to make a Dremel/rotary tool drill press that inspired me to make one for myself. As I started designing, I wondered if I could combine the drill press functionality with a sander and while I was at it, also add the router functionality. And oh, make it flexible enough so it could be moved horizontally and vertically, swiveled and rotated. Basically, do everything except make me coffee (wait! no, never mind).

And here is the finished product. Chances are, I will never use most of its features. And if someone were to ask me why I did it anyway, I will look them in the eye and say with a straight face "Because it wasn't there".

This was made with scraps I had lying around the workshop, which is why you'll notice varying types of woods, some stained, others not, etc. That's also why it's not as polished as I would have liked it to be but it was meant more as a proof-of-concept.

The only things I bought were:

  • 1/2" aluminum rod
  • insert nuts
  • wing nuts
  • Jog knobs

As I don't have any plans to share beforehand, I'll start with what got finally made and how it's used. That should help you follow along the actual build.

Step 1: Using It

Picture of Using It

As a drill press, the height can be raised/lowered and then locked in place to accommodate varying height work pieces. Actual up/down motion is achieved by moving the tool up/down by hand with a travel of ~ 2 1/2".

It can be tilted and locked to any angle (45 degrees, flat, upside-down and any angle in-between).

Step 2: Using It: Router Table

Picture of Using It: Router Table

Lower the entire assembly, slide it in so the collet is lined up with the hole and screw it to the base to immobilize the unit.

Flip it over and clamp it - together with the fence - to the workbench/table and voila, a functional router table.

Step 3: The Carriage

Picture of The Carriage

I did not plan this out beforehand and just started building with the Dremel carriage and built around it i.e. inside-out. As a result, the measurements are not very specific; I will mention the numbers as we go along but note that they are the result of decisions I took at each step and not based on a grand plan.

Started with

Step 4: Swivel

Picture of Swivel

This sub-assembly enables the rotary tool to swivel and rotate in two planes.

Step 5: Horizontal Sliders

Picture of Horizontal Sliders

Two 9" pieces of 1/2" aluminum rods that get inserted and glued in to two wooden blocks.

Step 6: Connecting Block

Picture of Connecting Block

I consider this the 'heart' of the project, which allows the rotary tool's height to be raised/lowered and moved forward/backward and also to lock it in place.

A lot going on here. My first attempt at the prototype worked fine but was built up and inelegant, so I made another one for the final version.

Step 7: Vertical Sliders

Picture of Vertical Sliders

Two 18" pieces of the aluminum rod are inserted into the stacked ply base (6" x 1 1/2" x 2"). The two rods are ~3" apart on-center and are inserted all the way into the ply block. The back is 4" x 18" and is glued to the block base, which has a through hole in the middle to attach that sub-assembly to the overall base.

When I started, I thought it'd be useful to be able to take the overall base off but as things progressed, realized that may not happen. So this is one step where you can just glue/screw the ply stack to the overall base.

Step 8: Drill Press Base / Router Table

Picture of Drill Press Base / Router Table

The drill press base is 18" x 17" and functions as the router table base when flipped over.

Step 9: Assembly: Putting It All Together

Picture of Assembly: Putting It All Together

So now we start pulling it all together beginning with attaching the horizontal sliders to the swivel assembly with 2 wing nuts.

The slider part of the carriage is then connected with another wing nut.

Step 10: Assembly: Vertical Rods Sub-assembly

Picture of Assembly: Vertical Rods Sub-assembly

A 1/4" x 20 threaded bolt holds the vertical rods sub-assembly to the 3/4" ply base.

Step 11: Assembly: the 'heart' Brings It All Together

Picture of Assembly: the 'heart' Brings It All Together

The 'heart' of the project is slipped on to the vertical rods and then the horizontal rods are in turn slipped in to it. All 4 rods can be secured in place with winged bolts.

Step 12: Assembly: Mounting the Tool

Picture of Assembly: Mounting the Tool

The slider assembly is slipped in and the rotary tool tightened in the strap clamps.

Step 13: Router Table Fence

Picture of Router Table Fence

A simple piece of 3/4" ply 3" high becomes the fence for the router table.

Step 14: Last Words

So that's that - hope you improve upon and find more uses for it!

And if you like the Instructable, please vote for me in First Time Author contest.

NJ: Designing, Building, Improving, Solving


wood doctor (author)2015-12-28

well bully for you & lowes this gentelman has used his own #1 noggin to come up with a great idea roto zip is just as good if not better than dremel & i have a dremel too & the things i'v cut wow(rotozip is made by dremel & the accesories are just fine!!!

ابو فارسه (author)2015-12-18


vandercolt (author)2015-10-01

These Drill Presses have been available for about $75.00 from any Dremel supply hardware store like Lowe's , and Home Depot .....They work well when doing precise drilling / grinding etc. .

vandercolt (author)vandercolt2015-10-01

Well mine is currently waiting for a job to do , but here's what it looks like .

Grey_mouse (author)vandercolt2015-10-06

where did you buy it?

Neeraj Juneja (author)vandercolt2015-10-01

You're correct - there are a lot of drill press options out there. I haven't personally used this one but it did look to be very well built. However, it doesn't have the ability to tilt, do compound angles, accommodate varying height/shape of work pieces or work as a router, all of which my workstation does.

I was just thinking I've seen many different homemade drill/dremel presses, and your's puts all of them to shame!

Thank you!

vandercolt (author)Neeraj Juneja2015-10-01

Yes it does ....On the rear of the unit there is a rotator arm which lets it rotate 90' either direction , but although factory built I used it as a precise Gunsmith tool for installing / making parts for older guns for which parts are no longer sold , but only custom made . The drop on it is about 4" so sometimes you must elevate the project , and use clamps to hold the work in place . Still a Very good Home-Brew you made .

amclaussen (author)vandercolt2015-10-04

Please never recommend a Dremel product you have not used! The Dremel brand makes an acceptable rotary tool, but its accesories are badly designed and poorly executed. Their Drill press attachment is too flimsy, has a lot of play and has an absolute lack of precision! You can almost perform the same if you place your hands on wood blocks and hold your rotary tool by hand!. I've even tried to CORRECT the flawed Dremel drillstand, but it is not fixable, it is even incappable of getting the 90 degrees vertical post, and the plastic lowering mechanism is too loose. A total waste of money!

If you don't believe me, an extraordinarily good model aircraft builder has the same opinion on Dremel products (look under "DREMEL TIRADE") at:

For a very good product, many times better than Dremel, look for a PROXXON. Their Drillstand is at least a hundred times more rigid and precise than the lousy Dremel accesory. I made a cast aluminum Dremel Rotary tool holder that clamps around a table drill press that I use when I want to take advantage of the Dremel's high speed. Now, if you insist in having the Dremel brand accesory, I can sell you my almost useless one cheap any day. Another thing that bothers me from Dremel, is that they are always changing their accesories line, so that if your tool is more than a few years old, they are incompatible. My two cents. Amclaussen.

JosephB38 (author)2015-10-02

I like this. Not a bad design. I have an older drill press but this looks like a great idea for smaller detail work. Thanks for the idea. Hope you don't mind if I borrow it.

Neeraj Juneja (author)JosephB382015-10-05

I don't but only if you share the final product here!

subrotos (author)2015-10-02

Your design stands out because the setup is so very versatile . . . and so elegantly done. Pretty awesome, really!

Neeraj Juneja (author)subrotos2015-10-05

Thanks a lot - glad you liked it!

jeanniel1 (author)2015-10-02

I like that this "jig" can do so much more than what's available out there! And the "price point" works for me since I have plenty of scraps! Rotating sidways is also an option. Like another had already written, calibrated stops for the angles, lengths would be easy to add and do. Soap lubricant - another common item! Super! The comments from folks is just as helpful.

Neeraj Juneja (author)jeanniel12015-10-05

Thanks! And I agree about the comments - there are some really good ideas.

swalton1 (author)2015-10-03

I made something like yours but uses a Zip Rotary so I could use 1/4" bits. I also made a platform that gives me precise X and Y movement using left hand thread, 3/8" steel rods.

Neeraj Juneja (author)swalton12015-10-05

Would love to see what it looks like - please post pictures.

mxx (author)2015-09-30

Impressive and versatile project. You can perhaps consider adding markings/a scale for making it easier to align vertical or at 45 degrees, etc. Also, for lubricating the rods for easy movement through the wooden blocks, wax would probably be more effective than a spray lubricant, as it won't be absorbed by the wood so much.

Zaacharia (author)mxx2015-10-01

I use a bar of soap as lubricant for any wood-on-wood (double-hung windows) - it even helps old metal drawers move smoothly.

Neeraj Juneja (author)mxx2015-09-30

Both excellent ideas, thanks! I'll try them out.

Neeraj Juneja (author)2015-10-01

Thank you!

dianad1 (author)2015-10-01

Although you say that you'd like this to be more polished, I love the idea of reusing scraps. Earth-friendly! If you sell them, let me know. Having one that re-purposes old parts and pieces is much more appealing than something polished and uniform. I can buy that sort of thing made in China. And I could really use this in my art studio.

Neeraj Juneja (author)dianad12015-10-01

Agreed - I use scraps as much as I can! But even there, this could have been done more neatly/cleanly, which is what I was referring to.

As for selling them, I am toying with the idea now that a couple of people have asked. DIY-ing is a hobby and I won't be mass producing these, so pricing it based on my 'time cost' wouldn't make sense. That leaves - what would this be worth to you? E.g. if you said $50, it wouldn't be worth my effort and if you said $500, I'd quit my day job and set up shop :-)

dcombs4 (author)2015-10-01

This is a nice design, and you executed it very well.

One thing I was wondering; The "nose" of the tool has a ring that can be unscrewed so that additional accessories (like the circular saw and the router cone) can be attached to the body. I wonder if instead of using hose clamps to attach the tool to the frame of your stand, you could utilize the threads already on the tool to attach it. For example, if another cover ring could be obtained from Dremel, you could epoxy that ring onto a Lexan plate or something similar, and then screw the Dremel tool into this plate. Just something to think about. The threads are already there, so let's find an elegant way to use them!

Neeraj Juneja (author)dcombs42015-10-01

Thank you! I did test out what you suggested while building but that solution left the tool too top-heavy and with too much 'sway', especially when it was at an angle, so accuracy was compromised. Also, the hose clamps allow for practically any rotary tool to be used instead of just a Dremel.

lisavieja (author)2015-10-01

I see you, Neeraj. You problem-solved your way into an elegant and radically useful accessory that makes the Dremel into even more of a super-hero. I think your prototype has just the right amount of engineering to awaken designers to a possibility that they too could be spending their creative time and energy raising the bar. Thanks for sharing.

Neeraj Juneja (author)lisavieja2015-10-01

Thanks for the kind words!

Bard (author)2015-09-28

Nice Job,

you should enter this in the epilog contest as well

Neeraj Juneja (author)Bard2015-10-01

I did go ahead and enter it in the epilog contest - thanks for the suggestion.

Neeraj Juneja (author)Bard2015-09-28

Thanks, Bard. Does this qualify for the epilog contest?

kathyh3068 (author)2015-09-30

Awesome! Let me know when you start selling them!

Neeraj Juneja (author)kathyh30682015-09-30

Thanks much! How much would you be willing to pay for it? :-)

kathyh3068 (author)Neeraj Juneja2015-09-30

How much would you charge? You know how much time it takes. My husband and I couldn't construct this if we spent a month trying!

Neeraj Juneja (author)kathyh30682015-09-30

Never thought about doing it commercially - this is just my hobby. Why don't you email me at and we can discuss about you becoming my first ever customer?

Dwargh (author)2015-09-30


Great work and inspiration for my own work! Thank you!!

Neeraj Juneja (author)Dwargh2015-09-30

Thank you! Would love to see you put up your completed project.

LisaGreen (author)2015-09-29

Got my vote!

Neeraj Juneja (author)LisaGreen2015-09-29

Much appreciated!

padbravo (author)2015-09-29

Great desing... simple, efficient

Neeraj Juneja (author)padbravo2015-09-29

Thanks - glad you liked it.

nqtronix (author)2015-09-28

"Totally Over-Engineered" got me. Overengineered things tend to be more reliable, useful and after all more interesting. So is your project. Indeed I haven't seen anything similiar sold by companies.

With you being a First Time Author I feel like telling you that you've done incredible well: The whole instructable is straight forward, nice to read the pictures are all in focus and actually relevant, the annotations helpful. Needless to say you got my vote.

Welcome to the community. I'm already curious what you'll come up next with.

Neeraj Juneja (author)nqtronix2015-09-28

Appreciate your feedback (and vote), nqtronix. Glad you liked the instructable.

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