Ultimate AIO, Totally Over-Engineered, Dremel/Rotary Tool Drill Press / Sander / Grinder / Router

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Intro: Ultimate AIO, Totally Over-Engineered, Dremel/Rotary Tool Drill Press / Sander / Grinder / Router

There are some really good Instructables showing how to make a Dremel/rotary tool drill press that inspired me to make one for myself. As I started designing, I wondered if I could combine the drill press functionality with a sander and while I was at it, also add the router functionality. And oh, make it flexible enough so it could be moved horizontally and vertically, swiveled and rotated. Basically, do everything except make me coffee (wait! no, never mind).

And here is the finished product. Chances are, I will never use most of its features. And if someone were to ask me why I did it anyway, I will look them in the eye and say with a straight face "Because it wasn't there".

This was made with scraps I had lying around the workshop, which is why you'll notice varying types of woods, some stained, others not, etc. That's also why it's not as polished as I would have liked it to be but it was meant more as a proof-of-concept.

The only things I bought were:

  • 1/2" aluminum rod
  • insert nuts
  • wing nuts
  • Jog knobs

As I don't have any plans to share beforehand, I'll start with what got finally made and how it's used. That should help you follow along the actual build.

Step 1: Using It

As a drill press, the height can be raised/lowered and then locked in place to accommodate varying height work pieces. Actual up/down motion is achieved by moving the tool up/down by hand with a travel of ~ 2 1/2".

It can be tilted and locked to any angle (45 degrees, flat, upside-down and any angle in-between).

Step 2: Using It: Router Table

Lower the entire assembly, slide it in so the collet is lined up with the hole and screw it to the base to immobilize the unit.

Flip it over and clamp it - together with the fence - to the workbench/table and voila, a functional router table.

Step 3: The Carriage

I did not plan this out beforehand and just started building with the Dremel carriage and built around it i.e. inside-out. As a result, the measurements are not very specific; I will mention the numbers as we go along but note that they are the result of decisions I took at each step and not based on a grand plan.

Started with

Step 4: Swivel

This sub-assembly enables the rotary tool to swivel and rotate in two planes.

Step 5: Horizontal Sliders

Two 9" pieces of 1/2" aluminum rods that get inserted and glued in to two wooden blocks.

Step 6: Connecting Block

I consider this the 'heart' of the project, which allows the rotary tool's height to be raised/lowered and moved forward/backward and also to lock it in place.

A lot going on here. My first attempt at the prototype worked fine but was built up and inelegant, so I made another one for the final version.

Step 7: Vertical Sliders

Two 18" pieces of the aluminum rod are inserted into the stacked ply base (6" x 1 1/2" x 2"). The two rods are ~3" apart on-center and are inserted all the way into the ply block. The back is 4" x 18" and is glued to the block base, which has a through hole in the middle to attach that sub-assembly to the overall base.

When I started, I thought it'd be useful to be able to take the overall base off but as things progressed, realized that may not happen. So this is one step where you can just glue/screw the ply stack to the overall base.

Step 8: Drill Press Base / Router Table

The drill press base is 18" x 17" and functions as the router table base when flipped over.

Step 9: Assembly: Putting It All Together

So now we start pulling it all together beginning with attaching the horizontal sliders to the swivel assembly with 2 wing nuts.

The slider part of the carriage is then connected with another wing nut.

Step 10: Assembly: Vertical Rods Sub-assembly

A 1/4" x 20 threaded bolt holds the vertical rods sub-assembly to the 3/4" ply base.

Step 11: Assembly: the 'heart' Brings It All Together

The 'heart' of the project is slipped on to the vertical rods and then the horizontal rods are in turn slipped in to it. All 4 rods can be secured in place with winged bolts.

Step 12: Assembly: Mounting the Tool

The slider assembly is slipped in and the rotary tool tightened in the strap clamps.

Step 13: Router Table Fence

A simple piece of 3/4" ply 3" high becomes the fence for the router table.

Step 14: Last Words

So that's that - hope you improve upon and find more uses for it!

And if you like the Instructable, please vote for me in First Time Author contest.

NJ: Designing, Building, Improving, Solving

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    44 Discussions

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    vandercolt

    3 years ago

    These Drill Presses have been available for about $75.00 from any Dremel supply hardware store like Lowe's , and Home Depot .....They work well when doing precise drilling / grinding etc. .

    8 replies
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    SalvadorD1vandercolt

    Reply 8 months ago

    yeah but in some places like mexico it cost over $ 100 and this version would cost like like 15 or less hahaha

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    vandercoltvandercolt

    Reply 3 years ago

    Well mine is currently waiting for a job to do , but here's what it looks like .

    Dremel Multi workstation ..jpg
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    Neeraj Junejavandercolt

    Reply 3 years ago

    You're correct - there are a lot of drill press options out there. I haven't personally used this one but it did look to be very well built. However, it doesn't have the ability to tilt, do compound angles, accommodate varying height/shape of work pieces or work as a router, all of which my workstation does.

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    Budweiser143Neeraj Juneja

    Reply 3 years ago

    I was just thinking I've seen many different homemade drill/dremel presses, and your's puts all of them to shame!

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    vandercoltNeeraj Juneja

    Reply 3 years ago

    Yes it does ....On the rear of the unit there is a rotator arm which lets it rotate 90' either direction , but although factory built I used it as a precise Gunsmith tool for installing / making parts for older guns for which parts are no longer sold , but only custom made . The drop on it is about 4" so sometimes you must elevate the project , and use clamps to hold the work in place . Still a Very good Home-Brew you made .

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    amclaussenvandercolt

    Reply 3 years ago

    Please never recommend a Dremel product you have not used! The Dremel brand makes an acceptable rotary tool, but its accesories are badly designed and poorly executed. Their Drill press attachment is too flimsy, has a lot of play and has an absolute lack of precision! You can almost perform the same if you place your hands on wood blocks and hold your rotary tool by hand!. I've even tried to CORRECT the flawed Dremel drillstand, but it is not fixable, it is even incappable of getting the 90 degrees vertical post, and the plastic lowering mechanism is too loose. A total waste of money!

    If you don't believe me, an extraordinarily good model aircraft builder has the same opinion on Dremel products (look under "DREMEL TIRADE") at: http://www.airfieldmodels.com/information_source/m...

    For a very good product, many times better than Dremel, look for a PROXXON. Their Drillstand is at least a hundred times more rigid and precise than the lousy Dremel accesory. I made a cast aluminum Dremel Rotary tool holder that clamps around a table drill press that I use when I want to take advantage of the Dremel's high speed. Now, if you insist in having the Dremel brand accesory, I can sell you my almost useless one cheap any day. Another thing that bothers me from Dremel, is that they are always changing their accesories line, so that if your tool is more than a few years old, they are incompatible. My two cents. Amclaussen.

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    wood doctor

    2 years ago

    well bully for you & lowes this gentelman has used his own #1 noggin to come up with a great idea roto zip is just as good if not better than dremel & i have a dremel too & the things i'v cut wow(rotozip is made by dremel & the accesories are just fine!!!

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    JosephB38

    3 years ago

    I like this. Not a bad design. I have an older drill press but this looks like a great idea for smaller detail work. Thanks for the idea. Hope you don't mind if I borrow it.

    1 reply
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    subrotos

    3 years ago

    Your design stands out because the setup is so very versatile . . . and so elegantly done. Pretty awesome, really!

    1 reply
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    jeanniel1

    3 years ago

    I like that this "jig" can do so much more than what's available out there! And the "price point" works for me since I have plenty of scraps! Rotating sidways is also an option. Like another had already written, calibrated stops for the angles, lengths would be easy to add and do. Soap lubricant - another common item! Super! The comments from folks is just as helpful.

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    Neeraj Junejajeanniel1

    Reply 3 years ago

    Thanks! And I agree about the comments - there are some really good ideas.

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    swalton1

    3 years ago

    I made something like yours but uses a Zip Rotary so I could use 1/4" bits. I also made a platform that gives me precise X and Y movement using left hand thread, 3/8" steel rods.

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    Neeraj Junejaswalton1

    Reply 3 years ago

    Would love to see what it looks like - please post pictures.

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    mxx

    3 years ago on Introduction

    Impressive and versatile project. You can perhaps consider adding markings/a scale for making it easier to align vertical or at 45 degrees, etc. Also, for lubricating the rods for easy movement through the wooden blocks, wax would probably be more effective than a spray lubricant, as it won't be absorbed by the wood so much.