Drill Press Question: drilling into tall pieces.

There's a project I have in mind that requires some precise and regular drilling, so it may be time to buy a drill press. I'd prefer to get a small benchtop model, but I have a problem.
The project requires drilling pilot holes into the ends of boards that are roughly 30" long. You can see that this can be a problem even with a floor drill press.
Is there a way to get around this problem? Perhaps a benchtop drill press whose top can swivel away from the base?
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In article

Or one that can be laid over flat. One of the things a ShopSmith Mark V is actually GOOD at is being a decent drill press that can be a horizontal boring machine when that's more convenient (in under 30 seconds if you don't pile stuff on it). At the more reasonable of used prices it can actually be a good deal for that. At new and unreasonable used prices, not a good value. Either way, bigger than a benchtop drill press, so probably not what you want - but one way to do the job.
--
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On Dec 12, 1:27 pm, Ecnerwal

Any Shopsmith, regardless of age will do what you want with finesse. I have an ancient 10ER that still does shop tricks for me. Look for them on Craigslist, eBay or wherever. Prices are low, hundreds of eBay listings for accessories no longer manufactured. If you find one, bring a truck, it's a lot of cast iron. Hard to find a nearly 16" drill press for what you would pay for a 10ER. If you get lucky you will find one with a speed changer, real handy. And besides...haven't you always wanted a decent lathe?
Joe
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"BrianSiano" wrote in message

I'd be thinking in terms of clamping the boards vertically to the side of a workbench and either using one of those drill guides with a hand drill ¹ or making a jig to keep the drill vertical. A few scraps glued together with a vertical hole the size of the drill bit would probably work unless you need damn near microscopic precision.
¹ http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?page $05 (Amazon.com product link shortened) http://www.woodcraft.com/Product/2003121/11022/Precision-Drill-Guide.aspx
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Most, all that I'm familiar with anyway, drill presses will allow the head to swivel on the post once you loosen the set screws. When they were new they were shipped in pieces so swiveling the head is no big deal. The tables will also swivel sideways and rotate from the horizontal. This will let you clamp your board to it while drilling. Art
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I'd either buy a floor model with enough clearance or I'd turn the head on a bench top model. If you take the second method, it will not be factory set to do that, but the base is a separate part from the support column. I'd screw down the base securely on a bench, then rotate the column. Since it is a repetitive job, I'm sure you will be making a fixture to line up the board.
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Thanks to all. I wasn't sure how much a drill press head could swivel, so I could use the method described above.
The doweling jig's a good alternative. There's one point where the pilot holes have to be about 1/16" off-center, but shims could correct for that.
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I'd consider making a doweling jig (just an L shape with some hardened drill guides pressed into the short leg) for this kind of thing, clamped to the board end. Just hand-drill the holes.
It can take some careful setup on a good drill press to make the jig, though, and you will need to find a source of suitable bushings for the drill guides.
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For drilling holes in the ends of boards, you'd be better off with a doweling jig.
http://www.woodcraft.com/Product/2000782/2204/Premium-Doweling-Jig.aspx
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On 12/12/2010 2:16 PM, BrianSiano wrote:

I have two comments on your problem.
The first is a general comment. I have a small bench top drill press that is about 10" from the base to the chuck. While the price was right and it is great for most of the things I do, if I were to replace it I would go larger. With 10" throat, you are extremely limited in the widths of the piece that can be drilled. (A drill is 4 to 8 inches and a the wide side of a 2X4 nearly fills the throat.)
This is something I did for a project many years ago. To drill the legs, I would make a jig for my hand drill. The jig is a bed about the length of the leg. Using two fences, attach them such that the distance between them would be the width of the leg. Make a fitting to hold the drill precisely in the position so the drill hits the leg where you want it and aligned the drill with the channel
In operation turn the drill on, and slide the leg up the channel to the depth you need for the hole. Channel keep the drill and leg in the same relative position
I hope this is clear
Side view ___DRILL ___________________________________________|________|
Top View
_____________________________________________________ | | ___________________________________________| __DRILL ___________________________________________ | | ___________________________________________|________|
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Rip the boards in half. Plow 1/16" deep grooves down the edges of each half, then glue back together. Drill the actual pilot holes with an auger, letting the grooves guide the bit. You can use a regular hand drill, no need to buy another machine just yet.
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In article <885def19-1608-412c-9bf4-26ed0eedae08

Lot of work to go through.
Simpler solution, use the drill press to drill three equidistant holes in a stick of wood. Put dowels in the two on the ends. Straddle the board with the dowels and the third hole will be centered and perpendicular (assuming you did a good of making the thing).
Or cut off a piece the lumber you're working with, drill guide holes in it using the drill press, then glue/screw/clamp/otherwise_attach blocks all around and slip the resulting assembly over the end of the piece that is to have the pilot holes and drill them through the guide holes.
Or just go down to Harbor Fright and drop 13 bucks on a dowel jig. Make sure to adjust the centering on it--as they come out of the box they're usually misaligned--so are the ones from Woodcraft that seem to be the same item for several times the price.
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<...snipped...>

triangle? :)
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Larry Wasserman - Baltimore Maryland - lwasserm(a)sdf. lonestar.org
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snipped-for-privacy@sdf.lNoOnSePsAtMar.org says...

Not if you're trying to center a hole in a board it doesn't.
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Bench top Radial Drill Press. I ued one for about 28 years as my only DP. Relatively inexpensive.
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I have a floor-model drill press (Delta 14"). I can swivel the table so that it is vertical. Clamp a piece of wood to the table to serve as a fence & clamp you boards to the fence.
May years ago, I made a horizontal boring machine as I had to make a lot of dowel holes in the end of balusters for a railing. I don't remember all the details, but I used plumbing metal strapping to attach a hand-held drill to a piece of plywood. On another piece of ply, I screwed in 4 lengths of threaded road to adjust the height and somehow attached it to the other ply with the drill. A piece of wood was used as a fence to guide the exact position of the dowel.
HTH
Luigi
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