Making the Drill Press. Is It Worth It?! [Build + Tests]




About: I am creating step-by-step, do it yourself project videos. My goal is to create something cool or useful from wood, plastic materials, electronics, etc. As I am huge DIY enthusiast, expect variety of differ...

In this instructable / video I will be making my designed homemade drill press with the model 775 motor. It's speed will be controlled with the 10A PWM speed controller. Also I will provide key tests for you to decide if it is worth time and effort to make a tool like this.


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Main Tools You'll Need:

Main Materials You'll Need:

Other Things You'll Need:

  • Screws, bolts, washers, self-locking nuts, wood glue, wires.

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Step 1: Preview

Some preview shots of the drill press.

Step 2: Main Parts

I always design my projects first as 3D model. This way it is much easier to achieve the desired project compared to making it on the go. First I cut all main parts. Here are all dimensions if you want -

Step 3: Sliders

To move drill up and down, I used a pair of heavy duty drawer sliders. They are perfect choice for this action.

My moving drill part is shorter than the length of the sliders, so I just cut the ends to get a better look by not sticking out.

Step 4: Making the Towers

First I glued few pieces to get bigger surface area that will be connected to the base.

To easily secure the slider to the inside sliding part, first I glued both parts with double side tape and then secured it with pan head screws. With same method, I secured other side of the slider to the previously glued part.

Then both made "towers" can be glued to the base.

Step 5: Finishing Towers

As gluing is to just easily secure both parts at correct angle, later I additionally secured those "towers" with big long screws. On the top of them I glued small piece which will give rigidity, will act as a stop-block for a max height and will hold the tension spring. So it also must be secured with two screws.

Step 6: Motor Sliding Part

I stacked 4 plywood pieces on top of the sliding base part. When glue completely dried up, I clamped that part to the inside sliding parts and secured them with four screws.

Step 7: Mounting the Motor

For this project I used model 775 motor, L shape holder and drill chuck with adapter to the motor. To get perfect 90-degree angle it is just a trial and error alignment process.

Step 8: Tention Spring

At this point motor just stays down on the base. Simplest way to lift it up is to use tension springs. It is important to secure the spring with bolts, washers and self locking nuts and not with wood screws.

Step 9: Making the Lever

To lower the drill I am making a basic lever system.

Step 10: Making the Lever

All pieces can be secured not too tightly with M6 bolts, washers and self locking nuts.

Step 11: Finishing the Lever

To get the best possible drilling results and satisfaction when using it, lever should be from both sides.

With levers in place, I first glued small piece that connects them and then additionally secured with screws.

Step 12: Powering the Motor

To control motor's speed I used a common 10 PWM speed controller.

To power the motor, I used open style 36V 5A power supply.

Step 13: Power Supply

From what I tested, with a max 6mm HSS wood dill bit, you can power this motor easily with 24V 5A power supply. 36V is kinda overkill, but I just had that PSU lying around, so I used it. But don't use 12V power supply, with it motor just stalls when drilling harder wood like plywood.

Step 14: Finishing Power Delivery

36V from the power supply wires goes to the speed controller's connections where POWER + and - are written.

Wires from the motor goes to the speed controller's connections where MOTOR + and - are written, it is a very basic circuit.

Step 15: Drill Press Stand

To slightly lift up the drill, that it wouldn't drill into things that it is on, I made very basic stand. It screws to the main base. And this is pretty much it.

Step 16: TEST

Here are some test results. All tests you can see in my provided video in the beginning.

This drill press is inexpensive to make and drills really clean perpendicular max 6mm holes. For bigger holes this model 775 motor just doesn't have enough torque. You can apply more voltage to get higher torque, but then it spins way too fast, which is a safety concern.

You can use something like the model 895 motor (24V 6000RPM, low speed version), which has almost twice the
torque, but it won’t be any close what even a cheapest drill presses can do.

Step 17: END

In conclusion, if you need a tool for small perpendicular holes in wooden materials, DIY drill press like this, works pretty well. It makes fast, clean holes and doesn’t cost much. On the other hand, if you expecting for a DIY drill press like this, to make bigger holes, I am sorry, but it isn’t the tool for the job. You are better with buying even a cheapest drill press from a store.

I hope this instructable / video was useful and informative.
If you liked it, you can support me by liking this Instructable / YouTube video and subscribing for more future content. Feel free to leave any questions about this build. Thank you, for reading / watching! Till next time! :)

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    13 Discussions


    Tip 8 days ago on Step 2

    Nice idea to go for. However, I am thinking about a combination of this model and a drill press for pcb's: a longer arm (or: more then 4 plywood pcs on top of the sliding base part glued) and a shorter swing. Nice added value I think.

    1 reply
    Suraj Grewal

    Tip 22 days ago

    You should try one of those drill guide...775 motor is high speed low torque low watts (120-240) while normal drills are 500 watts +.
    it'll tend to not drill into hard materials and will wear off your drill bits faster. Try getting hold of motors with speed reduction gearbox.

    6 replies
    diyperspectiveSuraj Grewal

    Reply 22 days ago

    This build is orientated to get good drilling results at low
    price. For woodworking, I always prefer higher RPM, it gives super clean hole
    edges. Also, 775 motor with load spins noticeably slower. Don't overheat drill
    bits and they will last long.

    Reduction gearbox is a good idea, but those cost at least 2x the motor price.
    Then the total price gets quite high and I would just invest more to get a
    drill press from a store.
    That's my thinking.

    Thanks for the feedback! :)


    Reply 21 days ago

    Surprisingly, Tamiya makes reduction gearboxes with nylon gears that cost about $15-20. And it just mounts right on the motor.


    Reply 21 days ago

    I bet there is a bigger probability that this 67$ will fall apart in a week than a DIY one, ha ha! Also it is only 300W one. I own several very cheap tools, and they are just pain to use. I would say, it is a waste of money to buy the cheapest tools. If you are buying a tool just save some money and buy at least mid range tool..
    I am not saying the DIY tool is the way to go, but it is hugely rewarding when you make it, it works really well ant it is very satisfying to use (perspective of the DIY enthusiast). It's the experiance! Cheers!


    21 days ago

    For the cost, I'd say, it isn't worth making. For the creativity and skill that you put into this project. It is priceless. Thank you for sharing with Instructable.

    1 reply

    Reply 21 days ago

    If you want to make it and you need to buy all the parts then yes, definitely not worth it.
    This tool reflects more my specific needs. I don't have much space and permanent location for it, so the ability to easily move it from one place to another is really nice.

    For the process of making it, yes it is priceless. It gives so much joy when your designed and created tool works like intended. To be honest, it is more satisfying to use than my $300+ cordless drill, and that drill is really really nice to use. :)


    Question 22 days ago

    "A drill press is typically measured by its "swing", calculated as twice the distance from the center of the chuck to the closest edge of the column. Thus, a tool with 4" between chuck center and column edge is described as an 8" drill press."
    What is the swing of your drill press?

    1 answer