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Inverted Drill Press? Answered

Hi..for those of you who may own a drill press..do you think it would  be possible(On the smaller lighter versions maybe)  to invert it and use the press upside down to drill though 8" thick wood and land spot on ?..Cheers


Thanks for all your suggestions..will use a combination and see how it goes..cheers


7 years ago

Are you trying to drill something that is already in place? Like a beam, perhaps? One of these might be easier (the General brand ones are kind of junky, but there are others)

You can get extra-long drill bits -- a good hardware store will have 'em. Going through the eight-by in stages, lowering the table each time you go to a longer bit, will probably do the job.

Otherwise, I agree with the others: If the hole is large enough, extensions are worth considering, or drilling alternately from top and bottom based on careful measurements. An auger-type bit will remove chips better than a spade bit would, and/or you can back the bit out periodically to help clear the hole.

One reason you don't see upward drill presses is that, since the bit would be approaching from the blind side, there would be Entirely Too Much Temptation to rest a hand on top of the board -- leading to injuries when the bit breaks through. Also, when drilling downward the same table that the board is resting on holds it against the bit's pressure; drilling upward, you would have to clamp the board down.

If your concern is really "spot on" placement on both sides, drilling in from both sides may be your best bet. Bits can wander if the press and table aren't perfectly aligned or if there's a particularly hard area in the wood. Meeting in the middle isn't as elegant (and may require a bit of bodging to clean up the junction, especially for a small hole), but it puts the visible holes right where you want them.

Have you considered using an extension instead of inverting the press? Is the hole too small a diameter to use an extension?


7 years ago

There are no components of a drill press that depend on gravity. The metal and wood bits will fall on the chuck and may clog up the shaft. For metal, that could be problematic, but I don't think wood shavings will matter.

Drilling deep holes (>3x diameter) does require some effort. Mainly, make sure you're getting the chips out of the way by pulling the bit out and (if needed) sweeping the sawdust out of the flutes. Also, if your bit is not symmetric, it'll wander.

My main problem is that my little drill press is only slightly better than a piece of compost-ready pre-chewed grass. The shaft wobbles appreciably, so precision work is out of the question.

From your description I get that you need to drill thru 8" of wood and you press only goes maybe half way.

What I would do it drill as far as I could the turn the wood over and align it with a dowel and jig in the center hole of the press table.