Upside-down drill press

I have a project that involves drilling four 1/8" holes in a wood block. The
block is
7.5" long x 3" wide but has a trapezoid cross section. The volume is sufficient
to
automate the job and I need good, consistent accuracy. Two holes go in each
non-parallel face. One thought I had was to jig and clamp the block with one
face
parallel to the table and the opposite face would have a 34 degree angle
compared to
the first face. Two small cheepie drill presses were mounted upside down under
the
table could drill those two holes and two more drill presses would be mounted
right-side up but at a 34 degree angle would drill the two holes on the top
face. All
four drill presses would have an air cylinder to extent the quills until a limit
switch is hit. (Joe Autodrill.........STOP laughing!)
Will the drill presses operate OK upside-down?
Reply to
Tom Gardner
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You had me at the subject line! I'm sitting here thinking "Man... If this guy has high enough volume, I can absolutely help him!" ...then I noticed it was you who posted the message and figured you would have called me first anyhow. LOL.
They should operate just fine. Just consider going to a collet-style chuck if it is a long term project as the chips will fall right into the key-type chuck by way of gravity and eventually ruin it.
Yes, I can make you collet chucks for the machine. :)
Much success! ...And take photos.
Regards, Joe Agro, Jr. (800) 871-5022 01.908.542.0244 Automatic / Pneumatic Drills:
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V8013-R
Reply to
Joe AutoDrill
The bearings in the spindle motor are likely designed for upright use. Check it out. If true cobble your drill press so the motor is still right side up. Shouldn't take more than a bracket and an extra long belt.
Karl
Reply to
Karl Townsend
I expect this to work just fine. The motor should not care. The spindle bearings are designed to cope with the spindle pushing upwards due to resistance of the material being drilled. So having the head upside down is nothing truly unusual. Your plan is sound, just keep going through cheap drill presses if you use them a lot. Joe mentioned chips getting in the chuck, but you can wrap its business end with insulation tape or duct tape.
I would make sure, though, to use totally enclosed motors, as a lot of crud will be falling down. Also watch out for the motor fan clogging with wood dust.
This whole approach reminds of of WWII production.
i
Reply to
Ignoramus15362
They should work fine that way, just as they do in Oz. And they'll look nice next to those little brushes wearing top-hats, Tawm.
The only thing I'd worry about is whether or not the motors have the same thrust bearings top and bottom. You might be able to reverse their mounting position and flip the pulley over, though. I guess it'd depend on the shaft length.
-- Life is full of obstacle illusions. -- Grant Frazier
Reply to
Larry Jaques
How deep are the holes? What is the spacing? What accuracy, is needed?
Can you turn this 90 deg. and mount the drills at 17 deg. Would a die grinder, hand piece (like a foredom), air drill, work.
Maybe I'm looking at this wrong. I've seen gang drills, like this, but I don't remember where.
Reply to
Gary A. Gorgen
Motors usually do not have thrust bearings.
i
Reply to
Ignoramus15362
=A0The block is
op face. =A0All
I saw a Colvin and Stanley book on emergency shop procedures for war work where they did exactly that, mounted drill presses upside down to get to some otherwise inaccessible areas on some kind of tank parts. Looked like regular Delta-made presses of the day in the photos. Supposedly sped up production a whole bunch since they were using mag- base portable drills to do the same job before. IIRC, they were using bushed drill jigs for spacing.
Stan
Reply to
stans4
Nothing a bit of creativity with duct tape won't solve...
Jon
Reply to
Jon Anderson
And some left hand drills!
Jon
Reply to
Jon Anderson
I was thinking more along the lines fo a washer or disc with a drill-sized hole dead center to "sling" the chips away. But I like yours better. Gives more color options. :)
Reply to
Joe AutoDrill
[using four drill presses]
THAT's the spirit! If your holes are 1/8" in wood, the high speed of a cheapo air grinder with 1/8" collet is perfect. And, it might be easier to slide the wood than to move multiple drills or multiple press spindles.
Reply to
whit3rd
Bearings might hold the armature solid. Otherwise, some sort of thrust bushings have to be there to keep it from moving.
-- Life is full of obstacle illusions. -- Grant Frazier
Reply to
Larry Jaques
Larry, take apart and electric motor and see for yourself. :)
i
Reply to
Ignoramus15362
When I have to drill a hole in a ceiling for something, I poke a hole in the bottom of a paper cup for the drill bit. All the dust goes in the cup.
Reply to
Tom Gardner
Good idea but too loud.
Reply to
Tom Gardner
--Sounds like a fun project; I wonder if Snow Manufacturing is still around? They used to sell modules to build stuff like this for the Big Guys; some of it was really complex and quite innovative. Used to work for a company that built custom automated manufacturing equipment and turning a drillpress upside down or sideways is pretty ordinary. I have a vague recollection of someone turning one upside down and mounting the base to a ceiling rafter, then turning the head around so that quill pointed down again. This allowed really huge pieces to be drilled anywhere on their surface.
Reply to
steamer
Well that's what I started typing, then wondered if over time, lighter airborne dust might still find a way into the chuck and lock it up.
Duct tape to the rescue!
Jon
Reply to
Jon Anderson
I've seen this in a book somewhere in what looked like a WWII era factory, IIRC. Thought it was a pretty danged clever idea.
Jon
Reply to
Jon Anderson
Thought I'd try and find the picture. It's not in the book I was thinking of, but did find a picture of two guys working with drill presses inverted on the columns, caption saying this was done for reaming and (de)burring, with operators simply pushing parts down onto the tool.
Another picture shows one with the quill mounted horizontal to the column via a custom adapter. The base is fitting with retractable castors. It appears the head is raised and lowered by rack and pinion operated by handwheel. Two pulleys over the top of the column support a cable for a counterweight that looks to run inside a vertical rectangular box. I'd guess the bottom of said box has additional weight to stabilize when being moved. All this, to bring a drill to the work for side holes.
These are in the Lindsay reprint of Standard and Emergency Shop Methods.
Jon
Reply to
Jon Anderson

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