Thursday, April 19, 2012

Delta Shopmaster Benchtop Drill Press

What It Is: a Delta Shopmaster benchtop drill press with built-in lamp.

Where It Came From: I don't remember; Lowe's, maybe, unless Harbor Freight had it as a special.

What It Means:
In High School, I avoided Shop like the plague despite the urgings of my art teacher mentor, in part because my sister had taken Shop and had a bad experience.  As a result, my first access to a wood shop came in my Fine Arts college education, when I took Intro to 3-D Design (it was a graduation requirement; 3-D is not generally my thing).  Even in that little taste, it was wonderful what I could do there --- and the machine I really fell in love with was the drill press.  Don't ask me why it was just so beautiful to turn that lever and make straight, regular holes...

Some years later, when I lived with a friend (I'm not ready to get into all the details of my post-college situation), she bought a house that actually came with a workshop in the back, we lived perilously close to a WoodCraft and a Harbor Freight Tools, and it was a point in my life where, in hindsight, I'm embarrassed how much money I spent on various schemes.  We stocked the workshop somewhat, and I did some tinkering.  I never did get the benchtop bandsaw of my dreams, but there was a belt/radial sander and a scrollsaw (which was later upgraded and moved to the garage) --- and of course, a drill press.  The most impressive thing I remember making was a yarn skeiner; not a huge, fancy project, but I designed it myself, and it had a cog that clicked a counter and everything...

However, when that situation went bad and I moved to where I am now and the drill press and sander came with me, they had nowhere to go but storage.  I still don't have anywhere to put them, and if I move from here it will probably be into an apartment where they would become even more ridiculous.  Faced with a need to declutter (and realizing that I could actually get some money for them), I decided it was time to let them go. Finding a place to take a woodworking class and get access to a communal shop would probably be much more reasonable at this stage in my life --- and when I have projects now, you'd be surprised how far you can get with a hand-drill, a backsaw, and a miter box.

It had been long enough that I had forgotten how heavy the drill press was; wrestling it in the car wasn't something I ever wanted to do again, giving me an extra push.

My Dad actually had some regrets about my unloading of the tools, saying he'd like to have a place to mess with such things, but that place doesn't exist and may never exist (and would probably just expand the clutter problem by another building if it did).  And then I had to talk Mom down from buckling under my secondhand account of Dad's wistfulness...

Don't get me wrong, wood shop tools are wonderful things --- especially drill presses --- but I have no regrets.  Free space and money are better than things you don't know when or if you'll ever use.

(Except maybe that little ceramic kiln...  ::not ready yet on that one::)

Where It's Going: Already went, actually.  Sold locally for $40.


  1. Oh, I am so glad that you were able to sell it! Did you sell the sander also?

    1. Yup. I got $20 for the sander at a pawn shop. Did better on them than I expected.