Getting my tools ready #20: Murphy's Drill Press Table!

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Blog entry by DocSavage45 posted 06-13-2015 04:07 AM 2452 reads 7 times favorited 26 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 19: MY STRAIGHTEDGE ROUGH CUTTING JIG. Part 20 of Getting my tools ready series Part 21: MURPHY'S DRILL PRESS TABLE EXTENSION JIG »


Built mostly by Murphy, LOL! GRRRRR!

On June 4, 2013, I posted “Getting My Tools Are Ready #12 blog, which is where I showed the finished assembly of some of my shop tools, one of which was my floor model 17 inch drill press. The drill press table was designed for working with metal versus wood.

At that time, I purchased some hold downs and T tracks to eventually build a joint press table for working with wood.
My current focus is milling lumber that I can manage. I have been milling small logs on my band saw getting familiar with Resawing.

I have been in discussion with Dallas a fellow Lumberjock since my purchase of a 50 cc Poulan Pro chainsaw last year. I’d also purchased a chainsaw mill at that time. Recently Dallas offered his custom modified Poulan Pro chainsaw and an extended chainsaw mill with a 28 inch Pro blade.

In preparation I decided to build a portable chainsaw mill bench to take with me to the compost site, where there a logs to mill. The purpose of the mill bench is to elevate the log to a manageable height, and provided downhill slant for ease of milling with chainsaw mill.

Sooooooo, since I had to drill approximately 30+ accurate holes for carriage bolts to assemble the mill bench, I decided it was time to build the drill press table!

I researched the Lumberjocks site and found many novel and innovative custom tailored drill press tables. I also remembered Stumpy Nubs building his second version of the drill press table, which had some nice features that I wanted in my own drill press table. Below is the YouTube Site for Stumpy Nubs version.

I also liked Steve Ramsey’s version of the drill press table and you can go to that site as noted below.

Features that i wanted to my drill press table included:

I. Dust Collection.
II. T tracks and hold downs.
III. Being able to mount to my drill press.
IV. Utilizing materials on hand in my shop.
V. Provide guidance stability for the drill press fence.

The table material is from construction plywood that was either not used or leftover. I did not install a fir tongue and groove three-quarter inch 4×8 plywood floor due to leaks coming from under the walls of my shop. (A long story.) Also, I used some half-inch plywood, which was used for extra strength in the walls of my rehab of my small animal barn into my current shop.

The title for this blog is “Murphy’s Drill Press Table.” This is because the he had more to do with it than I did. The project took twice as long because Murphy was in charge. And, you know Murphy’s Law. “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.” LOL! Norm Abrams quotes an old carpenters phrase, “Measure Twice, Cut Once.” Murphy’s phrase is “if I can it up. I will.”

A1Jim, a fellow lumberjock wisely said to me “Tom… Murphy is our teacher.” Well, I hope I have been a good student. Many mistakes were corrected in this project and it seemed to take longer than expected.

For those of you who are interested Murphy and I are posting the steps of our struggle so that you may build your own version of our drill press table, the core concepts provided by Stumpy Nubs and Steve Ramsey.
The total thickness of the drill press table is one and a half inches, which is two three-quarter inch identical approximate 24×16” pieces. This required mounting the lower piece to the drill press with bolts. The drill press table is a machine shop type which holds devices and has an oil drip hole for drilling metal cooling.

This idea came to me after I had drawn lines on the plywood to drill holes for mounting it to the table. I had measured, calculated, laid out, double checked and triple checked, only to find that I screwed up somewhere. (Not laughing here.) I scribed the lines on cardboard and inserted the mounting bolts so that I’d have a physical template to readjust. The center bolt was mounted to the drill press chuck.

In next picture you can see that I decided to use a hole saw to cut a 3 inch hole versus the standard square insert cut.

Stumpy Nubs had a great idea, utilizing a plumbing plastic conversion connector that connects a rectangular box to a six-inch circular plastic pipe. I purchased this at my local box store, and found that my six-inch dust collection hose would not fit. Fortunately I found a adapter which allows connecting the flexible dust pipe to a fixed dust port, which saved the day. You can find these on

Fortunately I bought a lot of bar clamps, which at utilized in assembling the parts of the fence.
Insert pictures with fence and bar clamps

Oh yeah, Norm Abrams used a pin nailer to secure the edges of wood pieces he was gluing together. I thought this a great idea, but did not realize it required some skill. LOL I think it was Murphy, who is pushing my hand when I nailed this piece.

I figured out how to save myself some money and found quarter-inch by 20 knobs on Amazon which were quite inexpensive. I decided to use these instead of making them myself as they are about $.80 apiece. You can find these on I decided to use carriage bolts in my grinder to allow the carriage bolts to slide in the T track.

I next mounted a 24 inch T track to the fence. Prior to this I used a Forstner bit to drill holes in the face of the fence to provide the suction for the table. While I was doing this, my Forstner bit went dull. At that time I posted a forum question on lumberjock’s regarding carbide versus regular steel Forstner bits. I finished up with a slightly smaller Forstner bit. Note the irregularity in the face of the fence.

I attached my dust collector to the drill press table fence and tested it for suction. It was very successful.

I attached the top layer of the drill press table by screwing through the bottom of the attached plywood. I then mounted the 18 inch T tracks and attached a 1 1/2 inch by three-quarter inch trim with slots cut for the T track. This was glued and screwed. Another use for my bar clamps.

If you are interested in this version in this blog was not clear as I hoped it would be please PM me.

As always, your comments, humor, and suggestions are always welcome.

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

26 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


115171 posts in 2996 days

#1 posted 06-13-2015 04:39 AM

Top notch blog Tom. I’ve been in Murphy’s classes for a long time :))

-- Custom furniture

View DocSavage45's profile


7647 posts in 2261 days

#2 posted 06-13-2015 04:47 AM


Thanks for your support!

I hope if nothing else I’m learning patience. Drilled 30 plus accurate holes today!

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View a1Jim's profile


115171 posts in 2996 days

#3 posted 06-13-2015 04:51 AM

No wonder those holes are accurate you’ve got the mother of all drill press tables,this puppy will serve you well for years to come.

-- Custom furniture

View DocSavage45's profile


7647 posts in 2261 days

#4 posted 06-13-2015 04:56 AM


I tend to overdo sometimes!

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View UncleStumpy's profile


707 posts in 1732 days

#5 posted 06-13-2015 10:00 AM

Beautiful tools Doc. Now you have to make something!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

-- "They don't want it perfect - they want it SPECIAL"

View PhilBello's profile


389 posts in 1386 days

#6 posted 06-13-2015 11:32 AM

I think Murphy has a big Family!!! That is going to last you some time Tom, as for me, I know Murphy would force me to drill in the wrong place, or in the case of saw jigs cut in the wrong place, so I make mine as functional as possible whilst not making them into furniture, in that way I only cuss when I ruin it, I don’t cry!!

-- If you want the rainbow, you got to put up with the rain - Steven Wright

View gfadvm's profile


14929 posts in 2109 days

#7 posted 06-13-2015 01:22 PM

Congrats on a very fancy drill press table (it came out great despite Murphy’s input).

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View doubleDD's profile


5055 posts in 1462 days

#8 posted 06-13-2015 01:22 PM

Nice blog. Building things to get ready for a project is just as much fun as the project sometimes. I hope you didn’t send Murphy this way.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View Bricofleur's profile


1355 posts in 2612 days

#9 posted 06-13-2015 01:38 PM

Tom, this idea of a tunnel with holes as dust catchers is great (or what didn’t I think of that !)
Nice build buddy. Thanks for sharing.



-- Learn from yesterday, work today and enjoy success tomorrow. --

View CharlieK's profile


462 posts in 3212 days

#10 posted 06-13-2015 01:49 PM

Great pictures and documentation. Thanks!

-- Adjustable Height Workbench Plans

View Blackie_'s profile


4527 posts in 1931 days

#11 posted 06-13-2015 04:27 PM

Let me be the first to favor your blog Thomas, I’m going to steal this idea and pitch my cheap HF table, As for as for as MURPHY goes you and I both kept him busy, he was in my shop as well during my miter saw station.

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at

View DocSavage45's profile


7647 posts in 2261 days

#12 posted 06-13-2015 06:44 PM

Uncle Stumpy,

i’‘m working on it. LOL! Used the table to drill my next projects holes 30 plus! It’s a chain saw mill bench/table.

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View DocSavage45's profile


7647 posts in 2261 days

#13 posted 06-13-2015 06:45 PM


If you want some plans, check out Stumpy Nubbs. I borrowed the dust collection ideas from him.

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View DocSavage45's profile


7647 posts in 2261 days

#14 posted 06-13-2015 06:46 PM


Thanks! And I got the video. Yippee!

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View DocSavage45's profile


7647 posts in 2261 days

#15 posted 06-13-2015 06:47 PM


Murphy is a teacher to us all.? But we have to remember what we are taught? LOL!

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

showing 1 through 15 of 26 comments

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