While the drill press may or may not be #1 tool in your garage, it’d certainly be up there. As such, if you have a cheap and/or worn out ‘press, it might be worth taking the time to give it a little attention, as Eric Strebel did in the video below.
The most obvious upgrade here is adding in a 2.6 HP treadmill motor, which should give it plenty of oomph for challenging jobs. A magnet was added to the pulley, along with a Hall effect sensor to pick up on each rotation, to produce accurate readings on a forward-mounted tachometer display.
The device also features a bridge rectifier to feed the motor with appropriate 110V DC power, and an electronic speed controller to modify how fast it’s going without having to rearrange the belts. Finally, a DPDT switch is provided to allow the user to reverse rotation with the flip of a switch. Strebel beautifully diagrams this by hand at around the 8:00 mark.
Of course, there are a number of mechanical tricks implemented along the way, such as turning the motor’s shaft down – and even adding a flat – with an angle grinder. There’s also a bit about turning part of a chair into a bracket, which is also quite clever. It’s a challenging build that you may or may not want to take on, but you’ll certainly get a few new ideas along the way!