Introduction: Cheap Drill Press Improvements

From the very first day I bought this drill press (Parkside PTBM 500 C3),

I had in mind to replace the column that was too poor (a tube ø46x450x1.5mm) and relatively short,

with a solid one as well as its base (it was sheet metal made) with something more robust and stiffer like a cast iron plate or a steel plate.

The major problem was at the base; Wrong Geometry.
When I push to drill then the main base distorts around the column and starting to move up and backwards losing its verticality.

I have an older model (PTBM 500 A1) that its base whereas it was sheet metal made;
I never encountered any distortion issues like in this model.

Searching at the junkyard

I found a stand that probably once it was a drill press base

that later was modified to be used for some other application.

Its column diameter was ø45mm (one millimeter less than original) but it wasn't a so big deal.

The base of the stand was cast iron made.

So I decided to buy it and give a try.

It cost me 15€.

Step 1: Tools & Materials

Remember Safety First.

Welding Cutting and Grinding Tools are Dangerous!

Do it at your own Risk!

Use Always the Suitable Protective Equipment.

  • Tools

Angle Grinder

Disk Saw Machine

Hand Drill

Hole Saw Tool set

Drill bits ø3-8mm


Cold Chisel

Square Tool


Tape measure

Wrenches 12-13 / 18-19mm


Axle & Square block (for check/adjust the perpendicularity)

  • Materials

Axle ø46x700mm for Column 1pcs

Cast Iron or Steel Plate for Base 1pcs

Sand paper Num.36 & Num.120

Scotch-Brite Num.7447

Bolts M8 3pcs

Washers M8 6pcs

Nuts M8 3 pcs

Stainless Steel Sheet Metal AISI 430 140x65x0.50mm 1pcs & 135x75x0.50mm 1pcs

Step 2: Cleaning Up the Rust - Calculating the Height of Column.

Disassembly and clean up the column's rust using at first sand paper Num.120 and then scotch brite Num.7447.

Clean up the base's bed starting with a sand paper Num.36 using a flat piece of steel, afterwards with Num.120 and finish with scotch brite Num.7447.

Temporary assembly (base / column / and drill head) to calculate the needed maximum height of the column.

The height of column it was 900mm,

it was higher from what I needed,

and I decided to remove/cut 200mm from the total height.

I have used my disk saw machine for this cut.

But if needed you can do this cut as well using your angle grinder with 1mm inox cutting disk.

  • Mark the cut around the column.
  • Place the column into a piece of angle iron (L)
  • and start to cutting slowly and stable, onto the mark, rotating the column.

Step 3: Additions and Diameter Equation

To equate the 1mm Dia difference between old (ø46mm) and new (ø45mm) column,

I used a Stainless Steel AISI 430 strip 0.50mm thick and make two additions.

For the addition of head unit I used a piece 140x65x0.50mm

π × Diameter = Circumference

3.14 × 45 = 141.3

that is very close at the real Circumference and easy to install.

Bend each strip onto the column by hands, and then tighten it using cable ties, to make it cylindrical.

When release the cable ties, the sheet metal strip try to returning to backwards, but don't worry, this isn't a problem.

  • Movable Bed's clamp Addition

For the movable bed's clamp addition I used a piece 135x75x0.50mm.

Place the addition at the column's edge.

Secure, using a cable tie.

Place the bed's clamp onto the addition on the column.

Adjust clamp/addition as seen at the photo and tightening the bed's clamp.

Using a small hammer bend the sheet metal strip to outside creating a flange.

Refine the radius if needed using a round piece of copper.

Turn the clamp, drilling bed, & addition upside down and follow the same procedure as at the previous step.

Place the drilling bed at its normal position.

  • Head's Unit Addition

Place the addition on the column near the top edge and secured with a cable tie.

Place the head unit on the column.

Slide the addition upwards and into the head's hole.

  • If you encounter difficulties be sure that you have refined the addition's edges.
  • Also the use of a small hammer can be helpful.

Remove the cable tie, and be sure that the addition has pass till the stop at the end of the hole.

Tighten the head locking bolt that is at the opposite side from the yellow mark. (see photo)

  • Check / adjust the perpendicularity on x and y axis

Place an axle at the drill's choke and using a square block check/adjust the perpendicularity.

  • Primer and oil paint

Step 4: Fastening on the Workbench - Adjustable Column

Adjust the base in the desirable place onto bench and mark the three fastening holes.

Drill the holes and fasten the base with M8 bolts isn't need something heavier.

Mark the column's clamp hole onto the bench.

Remove the base and find the hole's center

Using a square tool, mark an orthogonal tetragon onto the circle’s circumference to find its center.

Using a hole saw tool ø51 cut the hole.

But under my bench wood, there is a sheet metal and I had no a hole saw tool for steel,

so I follow these steps:

Using a hole saw tool ø44 make a cut no deeper of 3mm.

  • Using at first an ø3mm drill bit and then a bigger one ø8mm, do holes into the cut.
  • Using a hole saw tool ø51 complete the cut taking care to stop just before reaching the sheet metal.
  • With a cold chisel cut the sheet metal and then refine with a countersink.

Using a bottle jack the adjustment of the column at any position is too easy and quickly.

And if I remove or make a hole at the wooden shelf then the column can be lowered much more.

At that case I’ll have the possibility to work with a heavy or big piece direct up onto the main base something that the small and poor drill-bench can’t handle.

Also the main base can be used and for various other applications.

Video: Cheap Drill Press Improvements

  • Thanks for your reading.
  • Good Luck if you try it.
  • Never say I can't do it.
  • Necessity is the mother of invention.

kess: -