The wooden drill press that I made had some shortcomings. For one, it had to be pushed down just like any portable drill, although it had a guide to ensure that the direction was always true.

Well, I found out that it was not always true all the time! This was because the accuracy of the cut was very much dependent on the clearances of the sliding surfaces. At the time when I was fabricating it, I had relied very much on the assumption that the wood that I bought from the hardware store was already cut square and to the required sizes.

Now, that I have a CNC milling machine, I wanted to improve on my wooden drill press sliding mechanism by cutting the sliding piece accurately so that I could achieve more precision and accuracy.



Well, since I was going to improve on the drill press, I thought I might as well improve on its design too. As I would have a need to drill lengthwise on the edges of wooden planks, plywood or MDF boards in the near future, I thought it might be a good idea to design it for that purpose.

Drill Press sliding piece in position

Drill Press sliding piece in position

The idea was to be able to convert from a normal vertical drill press to a horizontal drill press with a provision to clamp the planks or boards for drilling.

I thought my drill press could very easily be converted since it was mounted on a wall instead of being free-standing.

separate pieces of drill press slide

Separate pieces of drill press slide

I had in hand some very nicely accurately cut pieces of planks taken from some old wooden beds which I could use. Lengthwise, the planks provided a means for me to ensure the correct height of the drill from the slide. This was achieved by fabricating some pieces as spacers in order to adjust for two different heights.

Assembled pieces of drill press slide

Assembled pieces of drill press slide

I used these accurately cut planks in my design such that I could attach or detach the spacer if I wanted different heights for the drill. The spacer piece was easily attached to the drill piece and the sliding piece by nuts and bolts.

Alignment of extension pieces

Alignment of extension pieces

If I wanted the drill to be lower, I simply remove the spacer piece and just attach the drill piece directly to the sliding piece.

Overall view of drill press 1

Overall view of drill press 1

Next, I needed a handle so that I could operate the drill press easily. I made a simple lever for the drill press so that I could have the mechanical advantage.

Drill press drilling position

Drill press drilling position

In a simple lever mechanism, the rotary motion of the lever was transmitted and converted to a linear motion at the crosshead. This posed a problem. The wooden crosshead at the slide was not able to last long. I had to fabricate a steel crosshead to replace the wooden one later. I think this should last longer.



Handle assembly of drill press

Handle assembly of drill press

Although the spacer and clamping pieces were ready, I was not able to show it in action a this time because my house is currently having some major disruptions on the outside. Contractors were in the process of carrying out painting works on the walls.

More to come later …

Crosshead assembly of drill press

Crosshead assembly of drill press