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Recommendations for Portable Drill Stand for Field Work

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  • #611110
    MikeK
    Pro
    Darmstadt, Germany, APO

    I travel frequently to install high security door locks and all of my tools must fit in the trunk of my car or in a suitcase for the train, depending on the lock being installed. From time to time, I have to fabricate brackets or spacers to accommodate unique door and frame configurations in order to mount the special lock strike. The thickness of the material, usually aluminum, varies from 2mm to 5mm and requires a combination of through holes or threaded holes for M5 screws. Drilling by hand will work, but being able to drill the piece on a bench is always better for me.

    I am looking for a decent drill stand that will hold my Dewalt or Bosch corded drill, each of which have the European 43mm collar. I bought a small tabletop drill press from the local hardware store, similar to the $80 Harbor Freight model, but it is heavy and cumbersome. Plus, it won’t break down small enough to fit in any L-Boxx. I found an excess Pelican case that will work, but it doesn’t have rollers so I have to lug the boat anchor around.

    Cost is not a factor, but size, weight, and proportional accuracy are. I don’t expect a $100 drill stand holding a $200 drill to perform like a $10,000 mill, but I hope the combination has less spindle wobble and noise than the inexpensive drill press I bought.

    I am looking for something that has these characteristics:

    1. Will take a drill with the 43mm collar,
    2. Can be easily disassembled for transportation and reassembled in the field,
    3. Stored in an L-Boxx 1 or 2,
    4. Can be clamped to a work surface,
    5. Weighs less than 12 pounds, and
    6. Is durable.

    Does anyone have suggestions based on experience, even if not what to buy, then what not to buy?

    #611120
    kurt@welkerhomes.com
    Moderator
    Owatonna, MN - Minnesota

    what about a drill guide and a keter table

    #611124

    @MikeK

    I don’t know if you can get away with the Mafell and Festool drill stands, they’re expensive and definitely won’t fit inside any L-Boxx…

    This is a maybe, but I recently bought a vintage Vermont American drill stand that has no base. It works with my Metabo BE1100 which I think has a 43mm collar. It can be disassembled and reassembled if you yank it off the base (If you get creative with the three screw mounts at the bottom) and you could make a base of any kind using baltic birch for clamping. The Metabo doesn’t make less noise, it makes a lot of noise (90db+) but maybe you could get away with another drill.

    #611171
    MikeK
    Pro
    Darmstadt, Germany, APO

    [Note: This might be a duplicate post. After I submitted my reply, the post counter increased, but the post didn’t appear in the thread.]

    Thank you for the suggestions! I tried a friend’s drill guide for a home project, and it didn’t work well. The play in the rails was worse than drilling free hand. His drill guide could have been a bad example, but it put me off from using them.

    I looked at the Mafell site, and was about to adjust my parameters to include cost as a factor. 🙂 They are expensive!

    I think finding a setup that will fit in the L-Boxx might be more challenging than hunting for unicorns. The smallest setups I found had a height of 500mm, which is too large for the L-Boxx. However, this was the total height, including the base, so there might be some options when the column is separated from the base.

    However, the suggestions were not in vain and the twists and turns I took last night while investigating led me to the Wabeco website. I finally selected the B1230 with vice and clamping fixture for €90 (about $95) with free shipping. I also bought the tapping attachment for €28 (about $30).

    Assuming the Wabeco works well for me, I’ll try to make it fit in the L-Boxx 2. The diagonal space in the box is about 460mm, so I might have to cut the column to make it fit. Since most of the material I have to drill and tap is less than one inch thick, I don’t think I’ll lose much capability with a shorter column.

    Thanks again for the suggestions!

    #611208
    r-ice
    Pro
    Durham region, ON

    Thats a pretty interesting drill stand the b1230, looks pretty robust, can you do a review once you have it in your hands and have tested it for a bit?

    #611302
    MikeK
    Pro
    Darmstadt, Germany, APO

    Thats a pretty interesting drill stand the b1230, looks pretty robust, can you do a review once you have it in your hands and have tested it for a bit?

    Yes. If I manage to make if fit in the L-Boxx, I’ll post some images of it as well.

    #611309
    Doobie
    Moderator

    Here’s a cheapo one that I bought for oddball tasks.

    https://www.amazon.com/Milescraft-1318-AccuDrill-Mate/dp/B014A1Z92I

    It works surprisingly well and it’s done the job for me on a couple of occasions where I needed spot on accuracy boring some holes. Once it was used clamped to a door to drill a hole where I had to avoid and existing hole on the other side by a very small margin.

    It fits in an L-Boxx 2 snugly, but if you bevel the column, which is done in a few seconds via loosening the two support columns, it would probably fit in an L-Boxx 1.

    #611491
    MikeK
    Pro
    Darmstadt, Germany, APO

    Thanks, Doobie. The version you have looks much better than the Wolfcraft version I saw at the hardware store. On that version, the vertical rails did not appear to be firmly attached to the base and wobbled a bit. This would have made trying to accurately drill through a hollow metal door panel almost impossible.

    One of my lock installation kits includes a drill jig with hardened inserts for a 3/16-inch drill used a pilot holes for larger drills. The inserts aren’t really long enough to ensure the bit stays perpendicular to the door panel by the time it contacts the other surface, and a little variation goes a long way when trying to mate the inner and outer lock halves together.

    If I had a drill guide like yours that was more stable than the Wolfcraft, I would drill the holes for the inner panel using the drill jig, then change to the drill guide to continue to the other side.

    #611495
    Doobie
    Moderator

    It sounds like it would work for your application as well should you be looking further for another solution should the initial one you already bought doesn’t work out.

    I thought I had some pics I could show of when I used mine on my door last year but I can’t find them.

    #611890
    MikeK
    Pro
    Darmstadt, Germany, APO

    The Wabeco B1230 arrived a few minutes ago, and all I can say for now is WOW!. I’ll create a new thread with images later, but for now, I am really impressed and will give a brief description.

    Unlike the other drill stands I looked at, the column on the B1230 is solid steel. It is 500mm long, with a 10mm deep and 12mm wide channel milled into the length of the column. The channel is for two bearings to ride in, which are part of the drill mounting head. This should be more clear when I post images, but the bearings appear to prevent, or minimize, any tilting of the drill head when the handle is turned.

    The rack for the gear drive is cut into the column and runs the full length. I didn’t notice any (much?) gear lash in the few minutes I played with it.

    The column is too large for the L-Boxx, but if I cut 20mm off either end, it should fit perfectly on the diagonal. I roughly placed the other items in the Bosch L-Boxx 2 (Sortimo 136), and everything appears to fit nicely once I cut the Sortimo foam inserts.

    More to follow.

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