drill-press-base-01 You may not be able to see very well, but in the middle of this picture, you’ll see the drill press is screwed down to a rectangle of plywood, and that plywood has a reinforcing lip of 19x45mm pine glued to its underside. This panel used to be a lightweight furniture dolly that had some plastic casters on the bottom. It was never very good.

When I bought my drill press I found that it was very unstable, and quite likely to fall over if not bolted to a panel like that, or bolted to the ground. I’ve never owned a concrete floor, and I am unwilling to bolt it down anywhere until I do!

The problem with the wooden base, is that there is quite a bit of flex in it, also with the floor not being level, the wooden panel doesn’t do anything to help level up the drill press. You only need a drill bit to roll off the drill press table once before you realise how important it is to be able to level it up. Also, I stand at 187cm tall, and this drill press makes me stoop a bit. I could do with it being 100-200mm higher. So - with these issues in mind, and some steel scraps laying around, I decided to weld together a new steel base, with levelling feet, and with some built in height, to help raise the drill up.

drill-press-base-02 Here you can see the frame after some initial cutting and welding. I’m using up the pieces of steel that I have laying around, so the front and back pieces are 75x50mm, and the sides are 50x50mm. The right hand side is actually two scraps welded end to end beforehand. The whole thing is about 600x450mm if I remember correctly. I laid out and drilled four holes for the base plate to bolt to, then I tapped those holes. Going by the casting the tapped holes should be M12, but I didn’t have any long enough M12 bolts in stock, so I used M10 bolts. Thick washers prevent anything going wrong. I decided that tapped holes (in approx 3mm thick steel) were fine, but I also welded some nuts on too, for extra strength. I placed a nut onto the shaft of a bolt, screwed the bolt into the tapped hole, then used the nut as a jam-nut against the tapped steel frame. Welded them all in place in this way, then re-chased the threads to free things up.

You can also see some scraps of 75x50mm steel to be used as legs for the base. I’ve prepped those with M8 nuts (in the exact same way) for the levelling feet.

drill-press-base-03 Here you can see my idea for the levelling feet. Rubber caster cups glued onto some round-head carriage bolts. I found this technique on instructables, and although they used hot glue to attach the feet, and had great success, I decided to try construction adhesive. Unfortunately the construction adhesive didn’t stick at all well to the rubber, so I wasted those cups and bolts. Instead I went with 25mm long fully threaded M8 bolts and some jam-nuts to match.

drill-press-base-04 I also had some plastic end caps that were asking to be used for this project. Here the paint looks quite shiny, but it’s a matt or satin black epoxy enamel, so once it dries it goes matt, which I like.

drill-press-base-05 And here it is in place. It took a couple of minutes to level, but now it’s level, stable, and taller and I am very happy with it! I can even sweep underneath it now!