Home made Drill Press

There are times when a Drill press would be very nice, even when modding flashlights. I can't afford one, but I have decided to make one. It will prove to be interesting, since I'm going to design it as I build it and see how it comes out.


The major components. Wood I already had (I can get more from work, they have lots of scrap), drill I already had, metal handle I already had. Drawer slides I bought at Home Depot - 14" Heavy Duty. No play in these slides. Springs from HD as well. Miscellaneous I should already have laying around. So far $18 in materials I had to buy.

Here is the link to a smaller one I saw and I will be making something larger, but similar in design.

I intend to make it to my needs. I want it to be easy to put the drill in and take it out again, so no clamps. Some type of a holder where I can slide the drill in place and secure it quickly and easily. I also want to be able to sit the whole "drill press" over my small vise, so whatever I drill is held securely in the vise. I already have it planned in my mind, so now it's off to do it a little at a time. It's already over 100 degrees heat index here. so I won't be doing much. Just a little each morning, when it's only in the 80's.Frown Hopefully I will be able to do a video of the assembly and results. If there's any interest that is...

It's Finished




In summary, all of it could be done in 3/4" plywood, except the two side pieces that hold the drill in place. I think Poplar worked good for them, as it is a hardwood and tough, but easy to drill and cut.

Overall, I think it will work for the small parts (aluminum and plastic) that I need to drill, but I don't think it's any kind of substitute for a real drill press on anything like steel plate. It will handle the easy stuff, but not the tough stuff.

It will work for me and it's a 100% improvement on drilling by hand.

That's all folks...

Hopefully, when it cools off in the winter, I will make good use of this press.

Reserved for Videos:

I haven't been posting much and I don't intend to unless it's a build, or something Maglite related. Best for me that way. It's way too hot do do mods right now. I don't plan on any Maglite mods till Nov or Dec, when/if it cools back down. In the meantime I plan to stockplie components and make things like this, that might help me do better mods.


Part 1 of a video describing the beginings and how I intend to make the Drill Press


Remember "Drawer Slides". I only manage to call them by what they are one time. Then I proceed to stumble through, calling them everything else except - Drawer Slides. - Funny stuff...

Part 2


Part 3 of making a wooden drill press.


Final Video. It's Finished!


I'm definitely interested in this. Can't wait to see what you come up with.

VERY INTERESTED. I'd love to try this too, has been for some time, but lack the idea and know-how. Thread watched. Thanks for doing this!

But we love you. :)

I’m interested in how yours turns out. I have a cheep china drill press that I got at a yard sale It works but there is a lot of play in the spindle. I noticed that a small hole i was drilling in a clear block of plastic wandered. I bet the drill you are using is tighter than the little press i got.

Yes, the DeWalt is a good drill. My wife bought it for me a couple years ago. The drawer slides are the heavy duty ones. Ball bearing slides and they do not have any slop in them. I can see I will do something to guide the drill down besides the slides, so that there is little if any play. At least that’s the intention. :wink:

I’m planning on drilling plastic and aluminum with it, so if I’m careful, there shouldn’t be a lot of force needed.

Over 100 deg, u should move old. that’s 2 hot 2 enjoy anything!!!

It’s an interesting project. You often see DIY electronics guys with homemade drill presses that use Dremel-style powerheads for drilling through circuit boards. Their bits tend to be diamond-coated bits that grind through the material rather than bore so they don’t have to worry much about kickback. For your usage, though, it’s something you’ll probably need to account for, especially if you ever drill through something harder than aluminum [1]. The electronics guys typically use hose clamps or large conduit brackets but that might not be secure enough for a real drill like you’re going to use unless you limit yourself to smallish holes and soft materials.

Not trying to discourage you from building this but I do recommend you keep your eye on your local craigslist ads for a good secondhand drill press, especially if you live near a large city. You can often find benchtop models with reasonably tight bearings for not a whole lot more than what you’ve spent on parts so far. A quick scan of my nearby craigslists turned up 3 Delta brand benchtop models for $65 or less (and an iffy model from Harbor Freight for $30) all posted within the last week.

[1] I remember nearly breaking my wrist while drilling a 3/4” hole through some plate steel with a 1/2” drill. The bit snagged as it emerged through the backside causing the drill to spin instead of the bit. Lesson learned.

New Video is up in Post 1.

@sacra- People are proud of their stuff around here. I’ve been watching Craigslist and seen a few for over $100 including one rusty one that I wouldn’t have taken for a dollar. I’m sure one will come up as soon as I get this done. For me, now, it’s a matter of being able to make something funtcional and useful. It’s not about the money so much as it is about the build.

There’s no turning back as the saying goes. I’m committed, or I should be. I don’t intend to drill any steel. It’s mainly for drilling in plastic, for making 4AA battery holders. I need to drill straight holes for that and so far I haven’t been able to. I think this will work for that use. With the base clamped to the bench and the part in the vise, I think it won’t twist if it catches. It’s only a 3/8 drill. I’ve had it catch on steel while holding it and it just stops the drill, but it doesn’t have enough torque to twist the hand holding it.

Massive 1” drill trying to drill through a truck bumper. Drill catches and just about breaks my hand, yes I’ve been there, done that. LOL, more than once.

Great idea here Old Lumens, thanks for sharing! I’m on my mobile device now, but looking forward to watching your videos when I get back to my desktop.

Great project OL
And the thing you say about one turning up when yours is finished - we seem to share the same luck LOL

Part 2 video, in Post 1


I have my dad’s old drill press that I do not use. I would be interested in trade, PM if your interested. I’m not that far away from you.


Like I said…

PM sent

Guys, I will still finish this build even if I come up with a press. I’m “into it” now and have to finish it, just to see how it works. :wink:

Wow old,this is great,just goes to show what can be done with things you have on hand and a great idea.Waiting to see the finished product.

New video “Part 3” now uploaded and in Post #1.

Final video in Post #1. It’s finished.

Wow! That is awesome. I may have to try to make myself one of those.

Sweet! You already finished it. I thought it would be a while with the heat and everything. It honestly looks good. I am curious about how it will work for you and if you manage to find one used for cheap now that it is done :slight_smile:
Lady luck - Seems irony is her trademark.