Thursday, June 02, 2011

Not the Brightest Idea I Ever Had

I did something yesterday that worked just fine, but was a little risky.  I got scolded when my wife found out about it, and that says "blog post" to me.

For almost two years, my drill press has been sitting on the ground.  It's a full size drill press with a short column, that's meant to be mounted on a stand.  It's way too heavy to be considered a bench-top tool, since there's no way anybody could move this thing alone.

Floor level is not ergonomically correct
I have a bunch of drill press tasks coming up, and I'm getting tired of crouching down to use the drill press anyway.  I've also had an extra sheet of nice Baltic Birch plywood kicking around the shop for a while, earmarked for a drill press stand.

To those who know me as an uber-geek, here is proof that I don't model everything in SketchUp:  my rough sketch for the drill press stand.  I suppose I lose some points for blogging about it, but surely I am still ahead in the accounting.
Very technical plans
After a very quick session with the table saw, I glued and screwed the cabinet together.  Here is a shot just before I added a 1/2" plywood back.  It's upside down, and those  of you with eagle eyes will notice that I reinforced the top to prevent sagging from the heavy drill press.

Drill press stand - almost complete
Now, here is the not bright part.  I wanted to put the drill press on the new stand, but I couldn't lift it alone.  It would have been tough even with two people honestly.  So I went out to my truck and got a couple ratcheting tie-down straps.  A few minutes later and I had the drill press positioned under a convenient 2x4 in the ceiling, ready to hoist.

Hoping my wife doesn't see this
It was slow going because the straps would only tighten about 8 inches at a time.  I would raise the drill press with the first one, then switch to the second strap and then back again.  It was a little nerve-wracking. After a couple of minutes of clicky-clicky ratcheting, I had the drill press high enough off the floor to slide the new stand underneath.  After I started breathing again, I remembered to take a picture.

Whew!  Made it!
All's well that ends well, or at least that's what I told my wife.  I will be adding some casters eventually, and likely some drawers inside the cabinet.  For now, I am just happy to be up off the floor.

Have you ever pushed the limits of foolishness?  Tell us about it!

7 comments:

Jeff Branch said...

Dang - you need to see my latest post, I just built something similar and plan to add drawers as well. One thing, I first went with 2.5" casters to save money, but returned them to get 4" versions (which are about twice as expensive). The 2.5's were just two small to me.

As I read your post, I thought you were going to say the 2 x 4 broke under the weight of the drill press. I was relieved to see you got it positioned correctly.

Aaron said...

Jeff, I'll look for your recent post. I've been enjoying the "Tornado Bed" you've been building. What a worthy cause.

I actually hung from the 2x4 first to make sure it would hold. I also checked the straps and they were rated for over 1000lbs each so I was pretty sure I would make it. Still, quite a lot of puckering went on!

Dyami said...

Aaron,
I'm glad to see your drill press made it. I must say that I probably would have man handled it up onto the stand, which would probably still be bothering my back.

With the drill press on the stand, how do you plan to add the casters? Is that a problem for another day?

Aaron said...

Dyami, I can always count on you for the good questions! I could have sworn I had a set of casters in the shop already, but I couldn't find them when I needed them. So I just went ahead and put the drill press on the stand to accomplish something - anything.

I think the best way to get casters under there now is to invent an anti-gravity device and install it in the base. Or maybe dig a pit in the garage for access from underneath? Whichever way I go, you can bet it will be too complicated and overplanned.

:)

Dyami said...

Aaron,
Maybe you can get one or two of those hover boards from Back to the Future II and lift the base with them while you install the casters.

Chris Adkins said...

Can't say I would have not did the same thing Aaron but would probably have pulled my back not using the straps to lift.

Next time give me a shout and I will come help...I can always use an excuse to stop by Highland Hardware...

Aaron said...

You know how it is with impatience, Chris. You get to a certain point and you don't want to wait around. There was no way I could have lifted the beast myself without injury. It all worked out great though, and I have added wheels to the cart since then.