The Home-Made Drill Press Of Your Dreams

We are lucky to live in an age when tools have almost never been so affordable, when if we’d like a drill press on our benches we can pick one up for not a lot from our nearest discount store. If the cheapest tools aren’t very good quality then even the better ones aren’t that much more expensive. It’s evident that [Workshop DIY] has the resources to buy a decent drill press if he wanted one, but we’re fortunate that instead he’s taken the time to build one of his own from scratch (Russian language audio, Anglophones will have to enable YouTube subtitle translation).

The press itself is made entirely from box section steel tube, with what looks like 25mm square used for the base and 50mm for the vertical shaft. Instead of a rack and pinion to raise and lower the tool it has a slider that runs on a set of bearings and is lifted with a bicycle chain. The chuck itself is mounted to a shaft that runs through another set of bearings to the large pulley and motor from a washing machine. The result is a beautifully made drill press that seems to work very effectively. It may lack an adjustable table or selectable speeds, but we certainly couldn’t build it better than he has. Take a look, the video is below the break.

It shouldn’t be surprising what can be made in a well-appointed metalworking shop, perhaps we have been blinded by the convenience of readily available tools. If you’d like to see more, take a look at this DIY engine crane.

Thanks [paulvdh] for the tip.

25 thoughts on “The Home-Made Drill Press Of Your Dreams

  1. Uhh, my Russian is a bit rusty but jeeze … This is more a drill stand of nightmares than dreams.

    This guy can’t drill a straight hole no matter what (the hand drilled holes when making the carriage …), the spindle he has built is both dangerous (no belt guard and a flat pulley? I guess he has never seen a belt slip off!) and has an enormous runout, plainly visible. He wants to use this for drilling into metal?

    And the final “demonstration” where he first drills a hole into the bottom of the stand itself (why? never heard about a sacrificial plate or a vise?) and then proceeds to drill a steel plate without fixing it in any way (it almost started to spin on him before he caught it), including drilling a yet another, bigger hole into the bottom of the stand?

    No, thank you. A cheap supermarket or Chinese drill press will probably do a better job than this contraption.

    1. Nah …

      Drilling was crooked but the final pieces with final oversized drilling holes/size are perfectly OK.

      The base is quite interesting and solid. Interesting how it is designed and put together.

      Last drilling is not a demo making a mistake but showing it is doing/drilling at 90 degrees!! The “sacrificial plate” is the base itself … he made it, can make it again and again and again and …

      Video editing is very good and easy to watch.

      Your comment is far too negative.
      Anti Russian rather than judgmental if anything.

      Good luck with a “Chinese” drill press … you’ll probably need it.

  2. I’m not as mechanically minded as some folk, but, I have to say, I did wonder about safety precautions myself and why on earth did he drill an ugly off-set hole in the base of his newly-completed pride and joy?

    1. That was an absolutely horrible demonstration of everything.
      Why the tedious round base? There is no useful reason to construct that base.The bars do nothing except trap drill chips.
      I have seen fantastic craftsmanship with rudimentary tools. This is not any of that. I actually resent the author for passing this garbage off as anything other than sheer laziness.

  3. Wow, very nice! In terms of craftsmanship and maker/hacker, I give this an A+. It always feels great to be successful!.

    But, in terms of saftey, I’m sorry to say it fails. We live in a world where safety is the main focus. Like Honda Air Bags that will kill you, this open / unprotected design is not a good idea.

  4. This was terrifying to watch. THere’s so many safety and design issues here I would not trust this thing with anything. Lets do a couple….

    * The primary drtive wheel for the spindle is enormous, and it’s on top SPINDLE. Why?!?!? Put the large wheel on the MOTOR. The way this guy built this it’s at forehead height and will rip anything on your face off (including hair) in a moments notice.

    * Others have noted – everything was done freehand here. I winced audibly watching him free-drill mounting holes in the square stock. They weren’t even close. And freehanding the hole on the end of the drive? I mean, yeah, he’s building a drill press (sorta), but does’nt HAVE a drll press around to use? Given the rest of the shop, I’m sure he does.

    * That chainfall is just screaming to get tangled, which would cause your drill to be stuck in whatever you’re working on. That’ll be fun!

    Please, anyone, do not build like this guy did. It’s a deathtrap.

  5. A for effort.
    D- for…well…everything else.

    Way too many Youtubers make the same general mistake of posting a video of them trying to look like they know what they’re doing and its clearly obvious they do not. Too much focus on shoving out content and getting views.

  6. I echo all the comments here. Normally I look forward to often awesome rural russian makers.

    This is a bit sad.

    Good god, the runout on this- its like 0.05″. or more. This shouldnt even be considered a tool. I could do better than this with that bow tool thing you spin in cartoons to create fires on a log, connected to that drill. Plus his drills need sharpened bad- they don’t leave proper chips. It’s like he’s galling his way through the metal as they squeak.

    Why the hell he drills into his base I can’t even fathom, he could weld in a pipe section to make it a through hole feature. Why the hell is the big pulley in front?

    This shows someone who appears to know what they are doing, but actually has no common sense. He can make things move and spraypaint them, thats about it.

  7. Awesome, the Garage54 version of This Old Tony.

    I wasn’t going to bother watching the video, just came to be entertained by the comments. But the safety Nazis got so worked up I just had to watch… like car wrecks on the road…

    The belt, pulleys and motor look like they’re from a front load washing machine, so it’s a multi-ribbed belt and and the motor pulley is grooved. It will stay in place well enough.

    Fortunately too this contraption is on a different continent than I so I should be safe…

  8. So negative.

    I think it looks fine, and does the job.

    Top tip for the Brains Trust here: the large pulley is on the front to reduce the speed of the drive motor and increase the torque of the output.

    Obviously the pulley is dangerous, just like the spinning cutting tool below it. However, everyone in Russia is a skinhead so no need to worry about hair getting trapped in the belt.

  9. Safety aside, I think most of us have used/made tools (mechanical and electrical) that weren’t consumer-safety oriented. Having said that, I found the video entertaining with the special effects/edits thrown in here and there. The video reminded me of the FPSRussia guy on YouTube, but with a more “realistic” Russian accent.

  10. All the basic concepts of drilling a hole properly are missing from this video.

    No centering punch.
    No pilot hole.
    No ability to choose the correct bit speed to swarf the metal out rather than chip it out.

    Chipping cause excessive bit wear, hole migration, heat, vibration and a very rough finish to the hole interior

  11. Is fun to watch. “SafetyNazis” and “Brain Trust” comments hilarious . Hollywood magic of self correcting poorly drilled holes and self assembling items well done. Its funny damnit. First time some long haired goofy bastard leans in on that top pulley should be a riot.

  12. – Interesting with the bike chain… one issue that comes to mind with this vs. rack-and-pinion is you only have downward pressure control – if the drill bit bites hard breaking through a hole in metal, it’s free to suck the whole carriage down and the chain will just go slack.

    1. Good thinking. Instead of the design in the video, a single line of chain should be anchored at the bottom and top of the post. On the way down it should make a “U” shape in the otherwise straight line of chain as it diverts 90° around a (non spring loaded) idler sprocket, follows 180° around the sprocket for the crossbar / drill press height adjustment wheel, then diverts back another 90° around another idler, and continues on to its anchor point in the base of the press.

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