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All Around the Farm Idea of the Month: February 2010

Agriculture.com Staff 02/09/2010 @ 12:37pm

If you need to drill a hole right in the center of a long piece of lumber or steel, that is pretty manageable. But it's a much trickier thing to do when the hole has to be at one end.

Bill Rosener was making some shelves out of 10-foot-long pieces of tubing. When he found himself "looking around for boxes or something to hold up the other end of the tubing," he realized he needed a more stable, safer work area.

That's how he came to integrate his drill press with support arms right into his workbench. "If a drill press isn't fastened to the floor, it can tend to tip over when the working material is long and the operator is drilling off-center or at one end," says Rosener. "And the typical 10- to 15-inch table just isn't big enough to support long material," he notes.

"The base or head on most drill presses is removable. So the hole in the bench only needs to be 3 or 4 inches in diameter," explains Rosener.

Of course, a new workbench could also be constructed from two pieces of material with two half circles cut out for the column of the drill press, he says.

After cutting the hole for inserting the column of the drill press, he created the adjustable support arm. It can be installed on either side of the drill press, and it will move both horizontally and vertically.

He's able to lock the support arm in place with a pin slid through holes spaced 1 inch apart on the vertical arm and every 1 1/4 inch on the larger piece of tubing that the arm slides into.

Rosener says he had the tubing and other materials on hand, so this project didn't cost him a thing. Neither did it take a lot of time, he recalls.

  • Farming involvement: Works with his dad, Bill, and brother, Bob, on the 1,500-acre family farm near Guthrie Center, Iowa.
  • Family: Bill's wife is Jodie. The Roseners have one daughter, Amy, 9. They have an acreage in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, where Bill teaches at Northeast State University.
  • Education: Graduate of Iowa State University; master's and doctorate degrees from the University of Tennessee.
  • Hobby: Six cows and 20 chickens.
  • On his wish list: "I would really like a metal bender," he says.
  • Next projects: Bill is working on extending his barn, performing upkeep on his greenhouse, "and doing whatever Jodie needs done next," he chuckles.

Rosener is the next recipient of a $2,500 Firestone in-store credit offer for having his idea chosen as the Idea Of The Month.

If you need to drill a hole right in the center of a long piece of lumber or steel, that is pretty manageable. But it's a much trickier thing to do when the hole has to be at one end.

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