May 31, 2011

Adjustable drill press
It’s time for me to finally replace my adjustable drill press.

I am a sucker for the tools section of any hardware or big-box store. I can’t help but look at those chop saws, drill presses, band saws and table saws and wish they were mine. Of course, the reality is that there’s very little I could do with any of them that I can’t do with the portable electric and hand tools I have. Certainly if I were a craftsman woodworker or even a constant carpenter, they would be good buys. However, neither craftsman nor carpenter is a title I can claim.

That said, there’s an awful lot you can do with less. The other day, I was looking through some clippings of shop tips and I ran across an old friend. It was an adjustable drill press that attaches to the drill with an extended shaft for the chuck.

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For years, a similar-style unit was a valued accessory at my workbench. It allowed me to drill holes at an angle and bore through the full diameter of round stock. It gave me many of the fine touches of a drill press, including a depth stop. It can be mounted above or below workbenches and even used for drum sanding.

It’s one of those accessories that’s easy to do without, but if you have one, it seems invaluable. Somewhere along the way, among my multiple address changes (eight moves in 10 years), it either broke or was misplaced. I often thought about getting a replacement but always in the midst of a job. I think it’s time to place an order so the next time I need it I have it. It’s significantly less durable or versatile than a drill press, but it will do.

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