Make a PVC Drill Press

There are two types of people in this world: people who think that PVC is only suitable for plumbing, and people who don’t even know that you can use PVC to carry water. Instructables user [amjohnny] is clearly of the latter school. His PVC Dremel drill press is a bit of an oldie, but it’s still a testament to the pipefitter’s art. And you can watch it in action in the video embedded below.

Things we particularly like about this build include the PVC parallelogram movement, springs around tubes to push the Dremel head back up, and the clever use of a T-fitting and screw plug to hold the press in its lowest position. We wonder how one could add a depth stop to this thing. No matter, we love watching it work.

Anyway, this is just one hack of many that emphasizes the importance of a drill press in basically anyone’s life, as well as the ease of DIY’ing into one. If you’re in the PVC-haters camp, but have some scrap wood and drawer slides or plastic offcuts lying around, you have the makings of a rudimentary press — a welcome tool in the shop.

Thanks [Itay] for the tip!

37 thoughts on “Make a PVC Drill Press

        1. So no one can simply mark the spot place the thing to be Dremelled instead of drilled in a vice them cut the hole?
          If you are using multiple pieces they can be clamped and the same procedure used except with a longer bit.
          Salvaged parts drill press
          http://www.instructables.com/id/Cheap-Drill-Press-DIY/
          http://www.instructables.com/id/Cheap-precision-drill-stand/

          Thingiverse has many
          https://www.thingiverse.com/search?q=drill+press&sa=

          My opinion is most of these are more for the “look at the cool thing I made” than I used third world skills to create a fully functioning product cheaply.
          Go to Youtube and search for home made lathes. Third world crap is way more effective because they don’t have the money.

  1. PVC pipe is like Lego, there are gobs of adapters and unlike Lego it is cheap. Just remember that it has mechanical and pressure limitations, engineer within those limits and it is pretty useful building blocks especially combined with laser cutting and 3d printing for larger ‘thing’ builds. I place it in a similar category to a backyard bamboo patch for cheap lightweight build stock.

  2. Except bamboo is orders of magnitude stiffer, arguably stronger. PVC uniform, thermoplastic, very high elasticity, incredible pressure tank capability, high resistance to solvents. Different materials better used together than separate. Someone please build a PVC/bamboo potato cannon!

        1. Bamboo Rope
          https://www.guaduabamboo.com/uses/bamboo-cables
          In fact, engineers experimenting for the Whangpoo Conservancy Board found out that these twisted and plaited bamboo cables were made with material taken from the outer layer of the bamboo (which was only 1/8 inch or 3 mm thick). These bamboo cables where then used to tow junks up against the current of the rapids In the gorges of the Yangtze River and estimated that the working stress was about 20,000 pounds per square inch, which was of the same order as normally taken by steel wires of the same size.
          The breakages were very few with bamboo cables. Moreover, while hempen ropes lose some 25 percent of their strength when wet, the tensile strength of plaited bamboo cables increases about 20 percent when they are fully saturated with water. Bamboo cables were available in lengths up to a quarter mile. As many as 300 men may have been tugging on them in the Yangtze rapids.

          I guess it’s used for Bondage too. Google it.
          https://www.amazon.com/9-1m-Hand-Bamboo-Brillian-White/dp/B00MQ3Y14U

      1. There’s quite a few projects where people use resin and fiberglass or carbon fiber with traditional standard lashing patterns. Though it’s not strictly necessary. Lots of places still use bamboo as scaffolding with few accidents relating to the bamboo.

  3. Adding a depth stop should be trivial. A ring/removable clamp with a stop-screw below the sliding part of the handle. Even pre-cut lengths of PVC pipe to quickly snap on as predefined depth stops.

      1. Once I worked a drill press in a factory. First time.
        Fucker snapped a bit and sent it flying into a supervisors office.
        Lucky it wasn’t into my head.
        Or anyone elses

  4. It’s always hard to find the right spring when you conceptualize something like this.
    In this case he uses springs from a “4” sprinkler body” And you just have to coincidentally know that has the springs you want.

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