The new (sorta) drill press

A few years ago I got into woodworking, mainly because my wife wanted a kitchen table that was much nicer than I could afford. So I decided I’d learn how to make furniture and build what she wanted. Like most woodworkers I am obsessed with tools and love to find new ones that will make projects better, faster, easier.

One of the first tools that I bought was a used Shopsmith which is a wonderful machine. If yo’ve never used one think of the shopsmith as a big-ass motor on rails. Many different tools can be attached to the motor and the tool can be configured to do lots of different jobs. Currently I’m using my shopsmith as my jointer, bandsaw, lathe, disk sander and drill press. Think of the shopsmith as the swiss army knife of woodworking tools.

The downside to the shopsmith is that you spend a lot of time reconfiguring the machine if you want to do bandsawing AND drilling, for instance. Which I do. So I’ve been looking for a drill press to buy, mostly watching craigslist for a good quality used one. I love craigslist because I can do a search and then subscribe to the RSS feed for that search. So just by looking at my bookmarks bar in my web browser I know if there are new drill presses available in my area.

I’ve been fairly patient waiting about 6 weeks for the right tool to become available but I think I’ve found it. According to the current owner it’s in near-new shape and runs perfectly. So tonight, with a little luck, I’ll be buying one of these. A Delta 17-900 16 1/2 inch drill press.

I’m all a’twitter with excitement.

P.S. I got the drill press and spent most of Friday night with a wire wheel and my hand drill removing surface rust. The drill is in good shape but was never really set up properly so I spent some time Friday and Saturday reconsidtioning it and then some time on Sunday rearranging things to give it a plce in the garage. Big Yay.

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