Look at this baby right here! Yup, I’m just strutting as proud as a papa, because now I am the happy owner of a drill press.
The only problem is that I bought this tool back in 2003.
Lemme explain. I have heard from other woodworkers that a drill press is a piece of must-have equipment for the shop. You can do all kinds of stuff with it. Why, you can bore holes. But, you can also use a circle cutter. And a plug cutter. And a sleeve sander. Gosh, there are a ton of tools you can use!
As far as applications? Sanding. Cutting mortises. I mean, drill presses are Jacks of all trades. So, I collected my pennies back in the day, and I went out to the local Lowe’s and purchased this.
Now, it’s not the most tricked out drill press out there. Not by a long sight. There are no lasers, no hold downs, no expanding tables… Just a really basic, smallish sized unit with a fairly powerful motor, an adjustable table and the ability to drill nice straight holes.
The only problem I have ever had with the unit? I couldn’t find a place to put it. Just as with my miter saw, it sat, tucked neatly away behind a piece of shop furniture for the better part of a decade while it got covered with dust.
There were times I used it for sure. I would have to squat down and manhandle the unit out from its hidey-hole, find a place for it – usually on the workbench – and use it to do the five or six things I needed done. After that, I would manhandle it down into storage again.
I tried to make it more useful by building a rolling cabinet for it. Some plywood, a few casters, a handful of screws and BAM, I was there. I even made the piece the same height as my workbench so I could use that for infeed or outfeed on my table saw. But, the vast amount of time, the drill press sat in its case.
When I pulled the side cabinet out this past weekend, I was wondering if I could fit the drill press under there with the drill mounted to the top. The stack was about six inches too tall. Flummoxed, I spent the better part of my evenings after work trying to figure out how I could make this arrangement work. That’s when the idea hit me… how about a cabinetectomy?
Using my track saw, I set the case on its side and sliced it apart about six inches from the bottom. Once it was free, I banged the bottom of the case free from the three sides and screwed it back into place. I stood the drill press up on it and wheeled it over to the new area. It fit with about two inches to spare! I used a pair of screws and some fender washers to attach the drill press to the top of the cabinet, and then cleaned the caked-on sawdust off the tool. Much nicer.
I also took the opportunity to gather up all of my drilling supplies and stash them in that cabinet. This way, when I need to do any work at the press, I can simply reach in, find the bit and get to work.
The best part of this whole operation? It took maybe ten minutes to get the stand cut to size! Now, I have to build myself a little bit more useful table to expand the small machinist table – something with a little T-track to help make drilling a pleasure.
I’m looking forward to getting some good use out of my nearly decade-old brand new tool.