View Full Version : Drill press table lift

12-13-2007, 01:04 PM
I got this drill press last summer and cleaned it up, put in new bearings, and added a DC motor and controller setup. I've been real happy with it except for the way the table is adjusted. There is no rack or crank, just a column lock and "armstrong" adjuster.

Anyway, with the vise I've been using and any substantial part on the table, things get a little heavy for the one arm (the second works the lock.) So, in my best Rube Goldbergesque vision, this is what I've come up with.


I got this linear actuator off ebay pretty cheaply. It runs off 110v and has 13" of travel and around 200# capacity. I made a bottom mount which clamps off the column.


This is the top mount from the actuator to the bottom of the table. The setup can be disengaged by pulling the one pin.
Please tilt your monitor for the next 2 pics.


Here we are at the bottom of the travel range (there are limit switches top and bottom.)


This is at the top of travel.
I just have to finish up the wiring/switch mounting and splash on some paint. It works really great and I think my arms will appreciate it. Now if only I could get my kids to stop playing with it! Have fun! Sidegrinder.

I was working on putting up a short video but the lighting made it look like the innards of a coal mine somewhere.

12-13-2007, 01:33 PM
Nice idea and implementation.

Now you can key the table to the column (or second linear slide to locate), and a fine grain speed controler, to provide for power feed. :D

12-23-2007, 06:03 PM
Hi sidegrinder, your linear actuator looks to be off a hospital bed. I have several of these, as a freind works for a medical equiptment rental outfit. They are nice units. I like your idea and use. This looks to be a fun and rewarding project you did and if I ever get time should build one also. Good job and thanks for posting.

12-23-2007, 06:20 PM
Looks nice, good job. Sure would take the wrestling out of moving a heavy table.

Your Old Dog
12-23-2007, 06:22 PM
Pretty neat setup. That motor looks like the 12V DC jack I just bought of Harbor Freight for $69.00. If you need to take your show portable you can use one of these !!

Herm Williams
12-23-2007, 07:51 PM
I used a screw jack from a vw bug on my similar drill press. Not as nice but it was economical.

Doc Nickel
12-23-2007, 08:06 PM
Somebody posted something similar to this a while back- actually, I'm not sure if it was here or in HSM magazine, but anyway, the idea was the same. I think the previous one was a camper jack.

And I've kept that idea in mind for a while because I have the same thing- an older Rockwell (nee` Clausing) vari-drive drill press, with no rack for the table. I often have one of those import X/Y tables on it, for doing short series of carefully-spaced holes, and together, the table and X/Y add up to at least a hundred pounds.

I have a handful of short linear actuators that came off of some treadmills, and I've been thinking I ought to get some longer sections of ACME and adapt one of the motor heads to drive it.

Typically I really only need about a foot of travel, so it ought to be failry easy.

Thanks for the pics!