Drill Press Restoration




Introduction: Drill Press Restoration

About: I get a real kick out of completing projects with as low a budget as possible. It's usually pretty easy to collect almost all the parts necessary to make some pretty cool stuff. I also enjoy playing music and …

I found this drill press at a scrap metal yard a while back and couldn't bare to see it ground up and recycled for metal, so I bought it and brought it home. For the most part, it worked fine, but it was in need of some TLC.

I found a very helpful instructable:


The reason for my instructable is simply that everyone's experience is different and I figured sharing mine could be helpful to someone out there. Perhaps you found a drill press on craigslist or some classified ad or something and it just needs a really good cleaning. Whatever the case, I figured I would make an instructable for this project and enter it in the Remix It contest, so please vote for me!

Step 1: Rust Removal

The main part of this project for me was rust removal. My biggest problem with this drill press was just how difficult it was to slide the table up and down the column. It was a serious hassle and it often prevented me from wanting to use it. As you can see in the pictures, the column was seriously rusty as was the screw that tightens the table down to the column.

First, I used a 3 in 1 oil on the table and the base. I spread it around and used a wire brush thing in my drill to remove the bulk of the rust. I added a drop or two of oil as needed and used a small stiff wire brush to get the hard to reach places.

For the small parts, I bought a bottle of Evapo-Rust. I filled up a small plastic dish and let the parts soak for a while. After reading up a bit online, I questioned whether or not to put the chuck in this stuff. Many people out there recommend not doing this, because the chuck has bearings that can be damaged in this process. I wasn't too worried about it, as I acquired this drill press for next to nothing. If it was a really expensive purchase, I probably wouldn't have done this.

After rinsing the small parts really well with water and letting them dry, they looked as good as new. As for the table, base and column, they cleaned up really well, and look great. There's a bit of discoloration still there, but that I can live with.

Step 2: Handles and Knobs

I removed the handles just so I could clean the thing they are attached to. Once removed, I realized the handles could really go for a soaking in the rust remover also. While they were soaking, I thought I'd go to the lathe and turn some knobs to make this drill press look unique. So I turned three different looking knobs, because... why not?

I drilled a hole in the bottom of each for the handle to go in, covered the end of the handles in epoxy and tapped them in with a mallet. The third one broke right down the middle, so I simply used one of the cut offs that was sitting right beside me when it happened. Life goes on. Check out the video, it's heartbreaking.

Step 3: Clean and Paint

Before painting, I wanted to do another cleaning. So I used compressed air to really get in there and blow out anything and everything I could. I gave everything else a really good wipe down and started painting.

After priming everything, I added two coats of off-white paint that was left over from painting a room in the house. I was really happy with the way it turned out.

I ended up painting the knobs blue, to give them a nice contrast to the white body.

Step 4: That's All Folks!

All said and done, I'm extremely happy that I took on this project. The table slides up and down effortlessly, and the screw to loosen and tighten the table is smooth now.

I think it looks a thousand times better and I'm sure I added time to its life by taking care of it the best I could. I highly recommend picking up a drill press if you come across a cheap one, they are really nice to have in your workspace.

Have a good one. Peace.

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    6 years ago

    Loved the work! I recommend filling the handles with wood filler, re painting and hitting it with a coat of clear to keep it from scratching off. I have an old Japanese JET that I rebuilt.


    Reply 6 years ago

    Good call. I was wondering how long it will take for the paint to start chipping off. Good tip!