DIY Benchtop Drill Press Stand


Benchtop drill presses are an effective, economical alternative to floor-standing units. They will perform 95 percent of drill-press needs in the normal home or small-business workshop. Their limitations are small-spindle vertical movement and workpiece size. You can build a great triple-workstation benchtop drill press stand that addresses most small drill press issues and adds some innovative versatility too.

Three Stations

  • A three-station drill press stand cuts continual bit changing for multi-step tasks down to a third. One viable setup is to put a keyed spindle metal-working drill press on the right station. It stands in a plastic dishwashing basin with about 2 inches of water mixed with machine-shop coolant. A small fountain pump with a gooseneck of 1/8 inch copper tubing produces a small stream which can be aimed at the hole being drilled to keep the bit and workpiece cool. This allows aggressive metal drilling and prolongs bit life. The middle station can be a swing unit that can have another drill size, rotary wire brush, countersink, or drum sander. The left unit can perform wood or plastics drilling. A unique feature is a sideways mounted drill press vise which can be used to clamp tall workpieces. This drill press can rotate its drilling head 90 degrees to the left to swing out over the side-mounted vise to drill axial holes in the ends of a vertical beams or shafts.


  • You will need two sheets of 7/16-inch OSB sheathing, four 2-by-2 eight-foot wood studs, two large cartridges of construction adhesive, a box of 1-5/8 square-drive flat-head thin wood screws, four large swing-around casters, and 1-1/2-inch carriage bolts with nuts and washers to bolt them on. Use gray vinyl floor mats on the top and in the shelf. Several extra outlets on the cart-stand are useful too.


  • Build dimensions for the top surface are 42 inches high by 24 inches deep, by 33 inches high. Rout two 3/8-inch deep, 7/16-inch wide grooves in all the 2-by-2 studs--four studs with grooves at 90 degrees for the corners, and two with their grooves on each 1-1/2-inch face for the middle verticals. Cut 7/16-inch OSB sheathing into two pieces 20-inches by stud height for the back; two pieces 22 inches by stud height for the sides, and four pieces 20 inches by eight inches for the front (top and bottom). The stand should be assembled on a flat floor with a layer of plastic sheeting to catch glue drops. Apply construction adhesive to each groove. Assemble by tapping sheets into grooves and clamping the entire assembly tight. Apply two layers of 42-by-24 inch 7/16 OSB sheathing to both top and bottom of the assembly, using construction adhesive and 1-5/8-inch coated square drive wood screws at 6-inch intervals. Allow to cure for a day in a warm, dry space. Bolt the casters to the bottom at the corners with carriage bolts and nuts. Invert and cover the top and inside shelf with durable medium gray vinyl tiles.

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