How to Mount a Post Drill

Introduction: How to Mount a Post Drill

About: Interested in practical and hands-on self sufficiency and rediscovering lost arts.

Post drills, the pre-electricity drill press, were designed to be attached to the large posts commonly found in barns and sheds. Unfortunately, most of us have to make do with 2x4 framing. This Instructable will show you how to make a sturdy mount for a post drill that can be used with a modern framed wall.

List of Materials

-A post drill (This Instructable assumes your drill is already mounted on a 2x6 or similar large plank of wood)
-1 4x4x8 post
-1 1x4x8 board
-2.5" wood screws
-finishing nails (optional, but recommended)
-2 6" carriage bolts (If your post drill is already attached to a board with existing holes drilled in it, use that hole diameter. Otherwise, I recommend 1/2".)
-2 washers to fit bolts
-2 nuts to fit bolts
-Shims or staves (any thin strips of wood will work)

List of Tools
-A hand drill or working drill press
-A table or miter saw
-Tape Measure

Step 1: Cut 4x4 Post

First, cut your 4x4 post 2 feet from one end. You should have a 6' and 2' piece. Keep the 2' piece, you will use it later.

Step 2: Measure

Any hand-cranked machine is most efficient when your body is positioned correctly. To do this, raise your dominant arm out from your body at a comfortable angle. Measure the distance between the ground and your hand- this is the highest you want the drill press crank to come. In my instance, it came out to 46" above the floor.

Set your drill handle to the most common length you will be using. If there are pre-existing holes in your board, measure from the top of the handle to the middle of the top hole. Add this to the length from above to find where the first hole should be drilled in the 6' post section. For example, 48.5".

Next, measure between the top and bottom holes in your board. Subtract this distance from the distance above to find where you should drill your second hole in the post. Be as exact as possible- being slightly off will make mounting the drill more difficult. In my example, the second hole was drilled at

If your post drill does not have an attached board or holes drilled in its attached board, drill a set of holes now.

Step 3: Drill Bolt Holes

Using a square or tape measure, find the center of the 6' post section at the dimensions you got in the last step. Drill a pair of holes through the 4x4. If using a hand drill, I recommend drilling only halfway through the post, then flipping it over and drilling from the other side. This will ensure the hole is as level and straight as possible.

Test the holes you've drilled with the carriage bolts. They should go in fairly easily. Take the bolts out for now.

Step 4: Cut Front Support

Using your miter or table saw, cut the ends of your 2' section of post to 45 degree angles. The angles should both face in, forming a classic trapezoid shape.

When finished, lay the 6' section of post on the ground with the holes you drilled parallel to the ground (i.e., the side should be facing up). Using a straight edge and square, align the 2 pieces of wood as shown in the CAD sketch below.

Step 5: Attach Front Support

Cut 2 support pieces of 1x4. They should be no longer than 16" with a 45 degree cut on one end. Screw them into place holding the 4x4 sections together. Also drive 2 screws into the top of the 2' section.

Step 6: Add Back Supports

If you will be mounting your post drill to a wall with open studs, make sure you have enough 1x4 left to bridge 3 studs. Otherwise you may need more 1x4s.

Cut the remaining 1x4 in half- this should be approximately 32" pieces. Attach them to the middle back of your stand using screws. Make sure to leave space above and below the holes you drilled for the washer and nut to be attached.

When finished, place the stand against the wall where you will be mounting it. Make sure that the stand is level vertically and horizontally. If your walls were finished as (not) straight as mine, add shims now to make sure your stand will rest evenly against all 3 studs in the wall.

Step 7: Mount the Post Drill

Now, place the carriage bolts through the holes in the post drill board and the 4x4 post. You may need help with this step- BE CAREFUL! The stand will likely be top heavy and want to fall. Don't hurt yourself or your drill.

On the back of the 4x4 post, place a washer on the carriage bolt before tightening the nut on. Using a wrench, tighten the nut down completely.

Step 8: Attach to Wall

Finally, use screws or nails to attach your mounted post drill to the wall. Make sure you leave enough space for the handle to turn while you are holding it. I recommend using finishing nails to tack the stand in place before screwing it on.

Make sure the stand is still level horizontally and vertically.

When attached, give your drill a test run. Make sure it is comfortable to use and sturdily attached.


You may wish to consider using 30 and 60 degree angles for your front support if you think 45 will stick out too far.

If you are trying to mount a post drill to a paneled wall, use another 4x4 to add blocks to the back of your stand to allow room for the drill handle and your hand to operate. You might want to attach to the wall using hooks and tensioners then.

This was my first Instructable, I hope it was useful!

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