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Drill too high? Use a milling machine stand!

How to set up a drill to be the correct height.

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Alistair Robertson 110/04/2019 19:11:44
69 forum posts
6 photos

A couple of years ago I bought an SB12 benchtop drill from Warco, A good drill for the price but I wasn't sure which bench it was supposed to fit.

Lifting it on to my bench meant that the point of any drill and the swarf flying from it was directly in line with my eyes. That was a no go so the thinking cap had to be looked out!

I didn't want to build a smaller bench so with faithful measuring tape in hand I came to the conclusion that perhaps a milling machine stand would work.

So it was back to Warco to buy a 3240 milling machine stand. This was not cheap but it was the correct height and had various drawers and a cupboard etc, with a proper splash tray.

The various holes did not of course line up and there were bits of thin air around but a trip down the road to my local fabrication shop produced from the back of the guillotine a suitable bit of 10mm plate. A couple of trims in the guillotine had that sorted and I came home as happy as anything.

A bit of measuring and marking some tapped and clearance holes then a coat of primer and proper Warco green top-coat, delivered in the drawer of the stand. meant it was all ready to bolt together.

This modification has produced a drill as good as, indeed better than any industrial machine I have used for the last almost 40 years after I fitted a 3 phase motor and an inverter.

I have included some photos of what I did but although I took a couple of pictures of the plate when I made it they seem to have gone AWOL.

I am absolutely delighted with the drill and mods so perhaps it is something that suppliers should be looking at supplying as an option at least.warco drill in box.jpgwarco stand.jpgwarco difference two.jpgwarco plate at rear.jpgwarco drill at angle.jpg

Phil H110/04/2019 20:08:00
202 forum posts
33 photos

Nice plinth Alistair.

I had exactly the same issue but I went the other route i.e., I knocked one together from wood, plywood, plenty of screws and some spare MDF. It is now at a much safer height. The other major point for me was to bring the table and work piece low enough to get a good view of where the end of the drill is going.

I am now building another plinth to bring my milling machine table to a higher point!!

Phil H

DMB10/04/2019 21:46:17
950 forum posts


Wow, what a very nice job you have made of the subject but the background electricals also look very good.

Hang head in shame! I fixed power sockets to my shed walls, fed by a cable strung around the walls at the same height as the sockets. Lighting circuits even more Heath Robinson but they have worked OK for years.


Vic10/04/2019 23:02:08
2387 forum posts
12 photos

Yes indeed, a very nice job.

Mike Poole10/04/2019 23:40:53
2269 forum posts
52 photos

Definitely a tidy job Alistair, would a pillar drill where you can usually adjust the height of the head to get the working height to your taste have made life a bit simpler? Very neat solution though with the bonus of storage.


AdrianR11/04/2019 08:33:54
274 forum posts
20 photos

Thanks for posting this, I had never even considered the height of the bench for the pillar drill. In my old workshop it is so high it is a stretch to change belts. I need to build a bench for my mill, maybe I can just make it longer and have the drill on it too. A new meaning to a Mill Drill I guess cheeky


Alistair Robertson 111/04/2019 09:31:59
69 forum posts
6 photos

Hi, Guys.

Thanks for the positive comments but my main workshop is not nearly as tidy as that one, which is my CNC Mill and Lathe, computer and more technical bits shop.

I have Harrison lathe and a Bridgeport mill in my main shed and the reason I bought the drill was that if I just wanted a hole drilled in something then I had to leave the CNC shed, go down some garden steps and along a 40 toot path just to find I had to set up the Bridgeport to put a hole in something! This was OK on a fine summer evening but when it was cold and wintry then it got annoying.

I forgot to say that I have recently fitted a digital speed read-out to the drill which reads directly from the spindle so I can still change speed using the belts and get the speed exactly what I want with the VFD inverter.


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