You are currently viewing Kit Guitar Forum archives. To view the current forums go to


Small shop set up / table top drill press
enalnitram (Martin Lane)

Total Topics: 47
Total Posts: 338
I have a utility area in the basement of my house that I am using for kit building. Anyhow, in that room there is a workbench that is about 10' x 3'. On my first guitar build, I did it randomly, and borrowed most of the tools. Now that I have the bug and want to do more, I'd like to set up my workbench so that it has a go bar deck, a drill press, belt sander and a binding jig that live there permanently.

I already made the go bar deck and picked up a belt sander. I've decided I really want a porter cable laminate trimmer (for Christmas). I've seen plans for binding jigs, and have decided it's easy enough to make one. now I just need to know if there are any table top drill presses that are worth a dang.

any advice?

Oct 12, 09 | 5:25 am

Total Topics: 20
Total Posts: 240
I have 3 drill presses:
An old Delta Rockwell 15" classic floor model
Craftsman 15" floor model
and a Creaftsman 12" bench top model
Both the Craftsman drill presses are near new (2 years old).

Hands down the Craftsman drill presses are the best out of those three (from my experience) and the Bench top model is very accurate and trouble free. I most heartedly recommend the Craftsman drill presses as outstanding tools. IMHO.
The bench top model is about 100 lbs. and quite tall so it needs to be on a lower bench.
Best of luck,


Oct 12, 09 | 11:48 am

Total Topics: 6
Total Posts: 295
Martin, check out I recently purchased a Shop Fox bench top drill press that has an oscillating feature. I fine this to be a nice feature on the drill press. I went with the larger model(12"). Prior to that I had a Ryobi 10" model. It was fine for most task, but there was some play in the chuck and drive that would not allow it to press frets. I have not pressed frets with the Shop Fox model, but there is no play.

If you buy the Shop Fox, you need to order the sanding sleeves from Grizzly. The drums are not standard size. Also you should call in the order because no where in the documentation does it state the drums are not standard or the sleeve numbers needed. I learned this by getting the wrong sleeves from Grizzly. They made it right, but save yourself some time.


Oct 12, 09 | 1:41 pm
Kevin Sjostrand

Total Topics: 84
Total Posts: 981
I have three drill presses. One is a large 10 speed table top american made, I can't remember right now what the brand is...(I'm old, what can I say). I traded a handmade knife for it. It is probably a $300 machine. I leave it set up with a cross vise clamped down for routing bridge slots. With the jig I made for holding the bridge, it works like a charm.
The other two are both Harbor Freight table top five speeds. I have used them for many many years, and have found them to be more than accurate enough, and powerful enough for my knife making, and now my guitar making. One of them only cost me $40 new, the other $50 (I like sales)
I have more bench top space then I have floor space, so I have to settle for table top models.


Oct 27, 09 | 6:02 am
Ken Hundley

Total Topics: 40
Total Posts: 2169
Hey Kevin, on the one you use to route your slots, do you have the ability to bring it down, then lock it in position? I have a big Craftsman floor model that is great, but cannot lock the chuck in a vertical position. Kinda Frustrating.....was just wondering how you did that.

Oct 27, 09 | 1:40 pm
Kevin Sjostrand

Total Topics: 84
Total Posts: 981
That is the one feature this great drill press does not have. I lower and hold by hand, taking about an 1/8" bite at a time. I was a little concerned that the bottom of the slot might not be flat, but I think I can hold it quite steady and it has worked out okay. I don't know if they make them with locks these days! I have to tell you that the cross vise works great, and I can show you my simple little jig if you like. I made it to fit my custom designed bridge.
I turned out a bridge Sunday afternoon in less than 1 1/2 hours. I could probably do it in about 30 minutes next time.


Oct 27, 09 | 3:31 pm

Total Topics: 20
Total Posts: 240
I believe I read online that Charles Fox rectified this problem with a Quill Stop (for the quill of a Bridgeport) that he bought from ENCO.
If they will work Enco has two available.
Items No. 209-9003 and No. 505-2177


Oct 27, 09 | 4:41 pm

Total Topics: 20
Total Posts: 240
I just checked out the quill lock on the floor model Craftsman and it appears that it is just a tapped hole in the side of the casing with a small handled bolt in it.
That should be easy to do as long as it doesn't compromise anything.

Best of luck!


Oct 27, 09 | 4:59 pm

You must be a registered and logged in member to post in this forum