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!