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August 18, 2017

Viewer Built – Drill Press Table for Woodworking

Drill Press Table – Viewer Built

Building a drill press table for woodworking is an excellent idea.  It is a great way to transform a metal drill press into a safe and reliable power tool for the workshop. Simply put, a woodworker will create more drill press projects when the drill press is properly setup with a drill press table and fence.

“The happiness of your life depends on the quality of your thoughts.”

Marcus Aurelius … 121 – 180 AD, Roman Emperor and Philosopher

 

Drill Press Table 2Bob Melrose, a woodworker and follower of the blog decided to build a drill press table for his woodworking shop after watching the how to woodworking video, Let’s Build a Drill Press Table. Bob did an excellent job. You will notice that Bob’s drill press table has two installed T – tracks for hold down fixtures and jigs. Plus, there is also an adjustable fence for maximum hold down and stop block applications. Bob’s drill press table also includes a removable insert for when a sanding drum is employed. The extended drill press table definitely allows for a maximized work space and it also enhances woodworking safety.

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 Bob, I built a drill press table modeled after the one you made. It has a few differences to fit my needs but the general design is the same. I used 1-⅛” melamine for the table and fence. The fence is just a single piece of 1-⅛ melamine with an Incra track dadoed in extending the entire length. I used cam action clamps to secure the fence. I wanted more travel towards the back and the single fence gives me about 1” more rearward travel. I used the cam clamps because knobs would extend past the fence face and possibly interfere with locating stock against the fence.

For the waste block, I routed out the recess square and made it offset from center.  By doing so, I could rotate the waste blocks to get more uses out of it. I also mounted a small piece of t-track to the back of the fence for storing the stop blocks when not in use. When I need close access to the fence for working on small pieces, I use a clamp saw guide for the fence. That gives me the necessary clearance.
I enjoy your videos and have learned lots. I also made a crosscut sled and a miter sled for my table saw based off of your woodworking videos. My next projects will be the band saw sleds for making wood inlay banding. I really enjoyed those videos. Thanks again

Bob Melrose EMT-P

LumberJocks: Bobmedic

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Whether you decide to build a drill press table or buy one, it’s a good idea. You will work with a greater sense of confidence which makes your woodworking experience much more enjoyable. Keep in mind, building your own drill press table and fence is a great woodworking project for a beginning woodworker as well as for the experienced craftsman.  Enjoy the process.

The Apprentice and The Journeyman University


11…Let’s Build a Drill Press Table

Drill Press Table for Woodworking 

This episode is part of the Let’s Build Series

The drill press is a terrific tool in the woodworking shop especially when it has a drill press table that conveniently clamps the work, provides a fence for repeatable and accurate cuts, and also offers a safer working environment. The drill press was originally set up for metal working and most tables that come with the drill press are small metal tables. As a result, they can be rather awkward for use in the woodworking shop. (The video shows how to make a drill press table specifically for woodworking.)
A better solution for the woodworker is to buy or make a woodworking drill press table. It’s a great woodworking project that will turn the drill press into one the great woodworking tools for your shop. If you buy one of these tables you are typically looking at paying at least $100. However, you can make your own drill press table and you can be working with it easily within a few hours. Also, you can customize it to your liking. Perhaps you would like to add a port for a shop vac, maybe a drawer for storing drill bits, or maybe due to shop size you will prefer a certain size table for your drill press.

Woodworking drill press tableThe material for the drill press table that is shown in the woodworking video is made from 3/4″ thick shelving with a plastic laminate surface. The material came from one of the big box hardware stores, however the 2′ x 8′ shelving was damaged on a corner and sold as 50 cent culled material.

The hardware that was added makes all the difference in the world. T Track, T bolts,  and knobs are what you see with this table.

If you have grown accustomed to working with a small metal drill press table, you will likely find drill press tables to be very handy to work with and very convenient. The addition of an adjustable fence is a huge plus and the hold down clamps work very securely. (You will find that drilling out mortises are a snap.) Moreover, the adjustable stop blocks offer repeatability as well as accuracy. When you decide to switch over to the new drill press table you will find that your work also flows much smoother. You are likely to experience much more control and also feel a greater sense of confidence when working on various woodworking projects. Let us know how your drill press table works out for you.


The Apprentice and The Journeyman University

A Woodworking Drill Press Table

Drill Press Table 004

Drill Press Table for Woodworking

The drill press is one of the great woodworking power tools for a woodworker to have in the woodworking shop. However, the small metal table that often comes with this tool is rather limiting for woodworking. So, the answer to this limitation is to either buy a drill press table or build a shop made drill press table. If you choose to purchase a drill press table you could have it that very day if you have a woodworking store close by. Then again you could find a drill press table that you like online or in a mail order catalog and have it delivered in a week or so. Prices for the drill press table will vary, but you can probably expect to pay $100 for the basic table and then shipping. Hardware can also cost you extra. In this article we will learn how to make a drill press table for woodworking.

The other alternative a craftsman has is to build his own drill press table. What are the advantages of building your own drill press table? 1.) Obviously, you can save money. 2.) You can save time. 3.) You have the pride of using your skills and your own woodworking tools to create a table equally if not better than a store bought model. Plus, you can be enjoying the drill press and its new table within a few hours . It’s a good woodworking project and one you’ll be proud that you made with your own hands.

Drill Press Table 016The nice thing about making your own table is that you can customize it to your drill press model and to your own personal needs. You can use scrap material for the project that you have in the shop. There is not much material required for this project. However, you’ll want material for the table that is flat and durable and for the fence you’ll want straight material. In my case I had 1/2″ Baltic birch plywood available in the shop and that is what I chose.

My drill press table dimensions are 1″ x 18″ x 24″. I laminated the 1/2″ Baltic birch for the 1″ thickness to attain better rigidity. The table has two 3/4″ x 3/8″ x 18″ dadoes to accept universal T Track. On my table both tracks are centered 6″ from the center of the table. These tracks work well and they accept 5/16″ T bolts, 1/4″ T bolts, and 1/4″ hex bolts. The mounting holes of the track are pre-drilled and countersunk 4″ on center.

Here’s how to attach the new table to the existing drill press table. Take a ripping of hardwood that is 3/4″ x 2″ x 19″ and create a 3/8″ x 3/8″ rabbet along its length. Cut the ripping in half so the length is about 8 1/2″.

Drill Press Table 014These two lengths will be used under the new table to secure it to the existing table. The rabbets of each block will allow for the new table to slide along and under the existing table. Then when the new table is positioned to your liking through bolts and threaded star knobs will secure the new table to the existing. Note: The heads of these bolts are countersunk into the surface of the table and the threaded star knobs are tightened below the table. Also, notice the 3/4″ x 1″ x 22″ stiff back in front of the metal table. This helps to keep the new table flat as well as position the new table against the existing metal table.

For the fence I used two layers of 1/2″ Baltic birch plywood laminated together. The actual fence is 1″ x 2 1/2″ x 24″. There is also a 3/4″ x 3/8″ x 24″ dado to accept a T track that is centered at 1 3/8′” from the fence’s bottom.

Drill Press Table 012In order to strengthen, straighten, and and keep the fence square to the table I added triangular 3/4″ plywood gussets to two 3/4″ x 3″ x 9 1/4″ rear bases. Keep these rear bases flush with the ends of the fence in order to allow for a 5 1/2″ clearance of the drill press post. This will allow the fence to travel deeper on the table giving you more adjustment area when needed. Note: The bottom of the fence has a 1/8″ x 1/8″ rabbet along its length to allow for wood chips and debris clearance.

You’ll be ready to put your new drill press table to good use once it is completed and you’ll find much more versatility with your drill press than you previously had. Moreover, clamping objects to the drill press table will be much easier and safer than before because you can now simply adjust and tighten your hold down clamps.
If you have any thoughts, questions, or insights…let me know. If you have any photos of your drill press table that you’d like to share…feel free to contact me.

Recommended Video:

Let’s Build a Drill Press Table


The Apprentice and The Journeyman University

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