Low speed sometimes is highly needed.
There's a secret to boring up to 1-in. diameter holes through steel with a ½-in. capacity drill press. You reduce the speed of the drill bit and increase the torque with a speed-reducer.
When drilling through large and hard material, a lower speed drill press is often what you need. A high speed drill press requires more torque, and if you don't have torque to spare, these plans will convert your speed into more drill press torque to conquer harder jobs.
The speed-reducer is simply a jack-shaft consisting of a mandrel with a 4-step cone pulley on one end and a 12-in. pulley on the the other end as in Fig. 1. This reduces the drill press chuck speed to a low of about 125 rpm and a high of about 600 rpm, depending on how the cone pulleys are belted.