Dealing with drill press column.

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  • Dealing with drill press column.

    As many may know, a long time ago I picked up a somewhat abused Northern Industrial 13" 16 speed floor model Drill Press from a Craigslist seller. Guy was moving, house being packed up and the drill press had the belt lid all bent up etc... but otherwise worked well and it was cheap, like $75.00 cheap...

    I bought it, took it home straightened out the belt cover / lid assembly via 2x4 dolly and hammer, and put it to use...

    Fast forward to what I really wanted, and how I intend on changing up my shop.

    I wanted / needed a bench top model, with drill, and drill bit storage cabinet underneath.

    I LOVE the chuck throw of this thing, and literally all the new benchtop models I have seen just don't have the throw I want / need.

    That is, except the HF 13" 16 speed benchtop model. Which other than paint and plastic colors, appears to be the same drill press with a shortened column.

    I have toyed with the idea of shortening the column and worm gear.

    I have no access to a metal cutting bandsaw, but I DO have an angle grinder and cutoff wheels.

    I am wondering if it is worth it to try bobbing it via angle grinder / cutoff wheels, and then reinstalling to the shortened base...

    This is going to be VERY important for maximinzing space utilization when I do the shed shop build and move...

    Honestly my ideal would have been a Ryobi 12" but those have been off market quite a while, and finding them on the used market has been all but impossible...
    Last edited by dbhost; 11-21-2021, 12:12 PM.
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  • #2
    Hack saw it.it won’t take too long as the tube isn’t going to be that thick, the tube cut off at the top doesn’t have to perfectly square, unless you are ocd and that is another problem. The rack gear will not be that hard either. None of these metals are likely hardened. You can clean up with sandpaper in a rotary sander if you don’t have a grinder. I use 220 grit without holes in an old B&D 5” oscillating sander when I don’t want to get out a grinder or metal sander.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by capncarl View Post
      Hack saw it.it won’t take too long as the tube isn’t going to be that thick, the tube cut off at the top doesn’t have to perfectly square, unless you are ocd and that is another problem. The rack gear will not be that hard either. None of these metals are likely hardened. You can clean up with sandpaper in a rotary sander if you don’t have a grinder. I use 220 grit without holes in an old B&D 5” oscillating sander when I don’t want to get out a grinder or metal sander.

      My B&D oscillating sander is now in the landfill. I kind of blew it up. I have NOT had a good experience with B&D in the last year. Coffee Maker, Sander, and Angle grinder all let go.

      I do have a Chicago Electric angle grinder though.

      My thought process was,

      #1. Take the head of the drill press off.
      #2. Double check the fasteners for the worm gear. It's a little loose. Use loctite if I need to.
      #3. Measure and mark the tube where I want it cut, including the worm gear.
      #4. Using the HF grinder and cutoff wheels, abbreviate the column.
      #5. Switch back to a grinding wheel. Grind off the top 3 to 4 inches of gear teeth so they do not interfere with reinstallation of the DP head.
      #6. Reinstall the DP head.
      #7. Remove DP base from rolling base, clamp it to workbench, for now...
      #8. Build rolling storage cart for drill press to house
      - A. 2 3/8" corded drills.
      - B. 1/2" hammer drills.
      - C. Boxes of forstner bits.
      - D. boxes of misc drill bits, hole saws etc.
      - E. Drilling jigs such as dowel jig, pocket screw jig.
      #9. Mount now benchtop drill press to top of rolling storage cart, and load storage cart up.


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      • #4
        Are you talking about 1/8” cut off wheels or the 1/4” grinder wheels?

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        • #5
          Personally I prefer a standing drill press to a benchtop model. The ability to drill into the ends of items 3 or four feet long comes up occasionally and its nice to be able to do it perfectly perpendicularly.
          I imagine more people want to make their DP taller rather than cut it down.

          My biggest complaint about my floor DP is the stroke is only about 3-/12", how long is yours?

          Loring in Katy, TX USA
          If your only tool is a hammer, you tend to treat all problems as if they were nails.
          BT3 FAQ - https://www.sawdustzone.org/forum/di...sked-questions

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          • #6
            Click image for larger version

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            Photo is identical to my drill press, mine is red. It is a benchtop milling machine that works fine as a drill press. I think the stroke is 6”. To drill ends of long stock I rotate the power head past the table and clamp the work to the side of the table. I don’t see why this wouldn’t work on a conventional bench top drill press.


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            • LCHIEN
              LCHIEN commented
              Editing a comment
              Yes, rotating the head is a good solution if your base is bolted down well.

          • #7
            Photo doesn’t look like the head assembly swivels but the table assembly does. The rack gear swivels with the table assembly. The rack gear is held captive between the base post and the lock collar under the head. To shorten the post you will also have to saw off the bottom of the rack gear. Don’t weld it, it will still swivel.

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            • #8
              The rack may have a bevel on the end to be captured by the clamp rings.
              Loring in Katy, TX USA
              If your only tool is a hammer, you tend to treat all problems as if they were nails.
              BT3 FAQ - https://www.sawdustzone.org/forum/di...sked-questions

              Comment


              • #9
                Yeah, cutting the post is sounding like way more hassle than it is worth. Options abound though. The most obvious would be leave the column as is, and build a storage cabinet that rolls over the column, but under the lowest point I want the table at... I am only trying to solve a storage issue for my drills and drilling accessories.
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                • #10
                  Build the workbench around the column of the drill press. If you want it higher you can jack it up and shore up under the base.

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                  • #11
                    Looked at a bunch of drill press cabinet designs. Need to measure up what I want to store, but this looks like the best plan...
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                    • LCHIEN
                      LCHIEN commented
                      Editing a comment
                      looks blank.

                  • #12
                    LCHIEN I meant the plan of building a column surrounding drill press storage cabinet, not a specific woodworking plan. Sorry for any confusion.

                    However, something like this one https://www.woodsmithshop.com/episodes/season7/707/

                    The base would need to be picked up a hair I suspect, and made a bit wider to clear the mobile base of the drill press. That mobile base creates an awful lot of stability for that drill press it otherwise wouldn't have!

                    When the time comes to separate wood shop from car repair, the Craftsman drill stays in the garage, the Ryobi clutch drill goes in the wood shop. The HF 1/2" hammer drill goes in the wood shop because, well, there is no valid reason to have a hammer drill on a car...

                    I really only have 1 set of drill bits for the car, some old B&D metal cutting bits from the early 90s that have held up like the monsters they are... So the rest of my bits and drilling accessories need to go in this. Assuming the Forstner bit sets fit in there, I should be golden...
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                    • LCHIEN
                      LCHIEN commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Yeah,, that's more like it. A good idea with the roll out cabinet.

                  • #13
                    One thing I have done with my drill press. I have made the base so that the table is flat and level in both directions when the table tilt is set to zero. And so I can use a level with vertical and horizontal bubbles to check angles of the drill bit and workpiece all in the same reference. So if I have an odd shaped piece and want to drill perpendicular to its surface I just have to shim it up so a level on it reads zero. Then I know the bit axis is perpendicular to it all.

                    Loring in Katy, TX USA
                    If your only tool is a hammer, you tend to treat all problems as if they were nails.
                    BT3 FAQ - https://www.sawdustzone.org/forum/di...sked-questions

                    Comment


                    • #14
                      Originally posted by LCHIEN View Post
                      One thing I have done with my drill press. I have made the base so that the table is flat and level in both directions when the table tilt is set to zero. And so I can use a level with vertical and horizontal bubbles to check angles of the drill bit and workpiece all in the same reference. So if I have an odd shaped piece and want to drill perpendicular to its surface I just have to shim it up so a level on it reads zero. Then I know the bit axis is perpendicular to it all.
                      I have mine sitting on shims to make / keep it level. However the sagging problem is there which is knocking it about somewhat. Will fix that once shop cleanup is done.

                      The friend with the access to pallets has been pulling them aside and stowing them in his barn for me. One of these weekends I need to go over there with some beer, and the pallet break down tool and disassemble them, and haul the resulting wood here to check for metal, then clean it up get it ready to start the build out...

                      One of the big things I will go out of my way to insure, is that the floor if as flat and level as I can possibly make it so that my references are on...
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