I´m very frustrated that I don´t have a milling machine in my shop. But my credo is get inspired, use what you have and make the best out of it, so naturally I tried to make my own milling machine (kind of).
Tools: drill press (obviously), table saw, miter saw, M5(1/8") and M8(5/16") taps, file, chisel.
Materials: 10mm(3/8") plywood, small woodscrews with washers, M8(5/16") threaded rod, two coupling and five regular nuts, two M3 bolts, two T-bolts with nuts
Step 1: Tracks
I started by cutting the plywood on my table saw. I cut a strip 5cm(2") thick with one side cut to 90° and the other to 45°. I made four pieces like this. Then I cut rectangle from the same plywood for a base. I´m not stating dimensions here, because you really need to adjust them according to your drill press, but it´s roughly 40x20cm(16x8"). Next I joined the base with the track using wood screws. I put small washers between the pieces for a little clearance to allow the sliding.
Step 2: Motion Mechanism
The movement is provided by the threaded rod, but let´s not get ahead of ourselves. I started with a simple nut. I drilled and tapped M3(1/8") hole in one side and filed down the opposite side as much as I could. Then I cut a smal recess using a chisel in the base for the nut to go in. Then I run M3(1/8") bolt through the base in the nut to secure it in it´s place.
Next I drilled two coupling nuts axially with 8mm(5/16") drill as a bushings for the threaded rod. Then I attached them to base using piece of sheath metal and four bolts with nuts.
Later I made the handle from scrap piece of aluminum. I first filed it to nice shape, then I drilled and tapped 8mm(5/16") hole in the middle and 5mm(3/16") holes on the very ends. I ran the threaded rod thorugh the middle hole and secured it in place using nyloc counter nut. Then I mounted two bolts with coupling nuts as handles in the end holes.
Step 3: Drill Press Attachment & Assembly
I used rather large, M10(3/8") T-bolts to attach the base to the drill press table. I started by marking the locations and drilling holes for them. Then I used my chisel to create recesses for their heads. This ensured, that they won´t turn while fastening, since they will be hidden under the table.
Later I attached my vice to the top of the table using large, 6mm(1/4") wood screws and big washers. Again, you want to adjust these dimensions to fit your vice.
I think the assembly is very clearly axplained in the video, but I basically started with one track dismounted from the top. I layed it on the table, put on the top and used small drill bit to locate the holes. Then I screwed the track to the top.
Then I screwed in the threaded rod and secured it in place using two nuts.
Step 4: Milling
For the test I did I used 8mm(5/16") single flute milling bit for plastic, but any router bit would work very well. I simply mounted it in a chuck of my drillpress, secured a small piece of wood in my vice and started milling. It went well, the cuts were surprisingly straight. I was, however, getting a lot of vibrations. These were in my opinion caused by significant play in the tracks and the fact that drill press is made to withstand axial, not radial forces. Thus you might want to be careful with feed speed and go rather slow to prevent greater damage to your equipment. Later I used a drill as kind of power feed.
I would like to hear from you, If you have any adjustments of your drill press. I think it´s very versatile and easy to improve machine so I would love some inspiration for future projects.
As always thank you very much for reading, please subscribe to my YouTube channel for projects like this every week and don´t forget: get inspired, use what you have and make the best out of it!
Runner Up in the
Build a Tool Contest 2017