Those who hibernate in their workshops have a habit of re-imagining their relationship to tools. And [Marius Hornberger] is no exception, but the nine upgrades he’s added to his grandfather’s old drill press puts this machine on a whole other level.
In proper storytime fashion, [Marius] steps us through each upgrade, the rationale, and the time and effort that went into crafting the solution. Some of these upgrades, like a digital readout (DRO), add modern features to an old-school device. Others, like an oil mist cooling system and a compressed air chip blower, borrow from other machines with similar setups. Some, like the chip guard, are nice personal touches. And a few, like the motorized table with automatic clamp, transform the entire operator experience. On the whole, these upgrades follow a gentle theme of personalizing the machine to [Marius’] tastes, giving him a delightful, more personal operator experience that’s tuned through his everyday use. Amid the sheer volume of tweaks though, we’re convinced that you’ll find something that tickles your tinkering fancy.
It’s worth mentioning that the pneumatic table clamp alone (at 4:28) makes the entire video worth the watch. If you’ve ever had the mishap of pinching your finger or struggling to hold the table steady while clamping it in place, this little upgrade takes all of that away, replacing the swivel handle with a homebrew pneumatic cylinder made in the shop. With a single button press, a swoosh of compressed air either clamps or releases the table. Best of all, the setup still sports a hand clamp if [Marius] is operating without a compressed air source.
It’s also worth mentioning that a couple of [Marius’] upgrades completely skip the CAD step altogether. Instead, [Marius] creates templates directly off the drill press with tracing paper and then immediately transfers them onto stock materials. It’s a nice reminder that not every small project needs to start with a 3D model.
If all these upgrades are getting you ready to modify your machine, look no further than the video description where he’s courteously posted inks to key components behind these upgrades.
The story of many-a-workshop often involves reinventing your machine tools. If you’re looking for more tales of tool upgrades, have a look at resurrecting a machine from literal ashes or a machine that improves itself.