[Drill Press Table] The Basics.

For my castle bookcase project, I needed to make a series of 1″ holes in a long strip of 1/4″ plywood.  I figured the easiest way was to use the drill press.  To do so efficiently, though, required a fence and table.  I’ve been meaning to make one of these for a while, so I figured, now’s the time!

It’s very simple.  Just a square of 1/2″ ply with a little 2″ square on the upper left corner to fit on the side of the drill press support pole.

There is a hole in this extra bit, filled with a t-nut on the bottom side.  The fence is a shortened piece of the bed rail that I used for my router table fence, with the addition of a block that will match the extra bit on the plywood base.  A shop made knob (just a piece of 3/4″ oak cut to size, with a hole large enough for a bolt to fit through and then be pounded into place—under this is a 1″ dowel with a hole for the bolt to pass through…the bolt then passed through the fence and base and into the t-nut on the underside of the base) will tighten the fence in place:


I got the design idea from a video I saw on the internet somewhere—probably from Lumberjocks, but if I knew who to thank I would.  It’s a great concept.  Instead of t-tracks and a lot of hassle, I pivot teh whole fence from one corner.  I can make any width I need very quickly, by using a clamp on the other end of the fence (which I had to cut low so the press handles could swing through).  It puts the workpiece at an angle, but after I thought about it, so what?  Why does it need to be perfectly square to the outside edge of the table?  As long as the bit is the right distance from the edge of the workpiece, who cares?



That done, I needed a way to hold the thing to the metalworking table on the drill press.  So I glued strips of wood underneath ot make a set of cleats, so to speak, that the wooden table can slide on and fit snugly.  To keep things in place, I superglued some rare earth magnets on the sides, the front and the bottom of the space under the table (three on the “bottom”, one each on the left and right, and one dead center):


Here is the press “naked”:


And here it is with the table installed (as is):


After the current project is finished, or perhaps when I need it, I’ll make a proper base for the table so that the bigger Forstner bits I have can pass through.  Right now, the metal table (OEM) has a center hole that is only about 1/2″ and it’s a little off-center (hey, it’s only a Harbor Freight tool, but it only cost me $39 and it works like a charm so far) and it prevents any of my bigger bits from going too low—well, it would if I ever let it get that low.  So, to compensate, I just use a piece of scrap and lower the table.  Easy.

I love making stuff like this for the shop, but I love it even more when it’s useful!


About Steven M. Vaught

A native son of Delaware, now living in Illinois, Steven is a writer, family historian, amateur astronomer, sometimes-gardener, woodworker, father to three wonderful children, husband to a wonderful wife, and caretaker of one cheeky vizsla.
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