A Woodworking Drill Press Table

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Blog entry by Bob Simmons posted 07-13-2010 02:06 AM 15470 reads 22 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

The drill press is one of the great woodworking 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 the accessory you could have it that very day if you have a woodworking store like Woodcraft or Rockler 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.

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.

The 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 ridigity. The table has two 3/4” x 3/8” x 18” dados 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”.
These 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 postioned to your liking thru bolts and threaded 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 knobs are tightened below the table. Also, notice the 3/4” x 1” x 22” stiffback 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.

In 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. Now, the only question that remains is what do you do with the money you just saved?


….............Learn more, Experience more!

-- Bob Simmons, Las Vegas, NV,

7 comments so far

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10369 posts in 4290 days

#1 posted 07-13-2010 03:19 AM

Very good…

When I mounted mine, I used some toilet bolts & good ole washers & went through some of the existing slots/holes in the metal DP table to hold it down… So far, so good.

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:"

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

6349 posts in 3432 days

#2 posted 07-13-2010 04:44 AM

Greetings Bob,
I built my d.p. table about 11 years ago to fit my Delta. When I designed the table, I wanted it to have a small drawer for drill bits paddle bits, stops, etc. I also wanted it to have dust collection. It has a 2 1/2” hole in the side of the d.c part. The top is 1 1/2” thick ply with a laminated top. The top measures 20” x 26”, Ttracks, and the fence is laminated ply. The fence is 3” tall, which is plenty high enough. Here’s a couple of pixs of mine….....

-- " At my age, happy hour is a crap and a nap".....!!

View Vicki's profile


1106 posts in 3582 days

#3 posted 07-13-2010 05:51 PM

I’m so glad you posted this. I need to upgrade my DP table and you’ve given me some great ideas. Thanks.

-- Vicki on the Eastern Shore of MD

View Bob Simmons's profile

Bob Simmons

505 posts in 3252 days

#4 posted 07-13-2010 09:12 PM

Joe…Thanks for posting. Sounds like it will hold up for a lot longer too. Great job!

Rick…Thanks for sharing. It looks like its good for at least another 11 years. Great ideas with the laminated top and the dust collection. An 1-1/2” thick table will make it plenty solid. The addition of the drawer makes it pretty convenient for accessories. I may have to upgrade. Thanks again!

Blondewood…After seeing Rick’s table I’m thinking about upgrading too.

-- Bob Simmons, Las Vegas, NV,

View PurpLev's profile


8548 posts in 3886 days

#5 posted 07-13-2010 09:22 PM

Here’s another one:

I incorporated a 90 degree vertical table to clamp parts that need drilling in the end grain, and also a replacement insert that works as a backer board for drilling through, and is easily replaced.

you can read more about it here:

Although I think at one point I’ll replace it with an upgraded version as I have a couple more ideas to incorporate into it.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Bob Simmons's profile

Bob Simmons

505 posts in 3252 days

#6 posted 07-13-2010 09:39 PM

PurpLev…I like the Jacobs Keyless chuck. That must be pretty convenient. Also, the ability to bore into end grain with 90 degree vertical table is a great idea. The bit holder that you have is quite simple and yet very effective. Thanks for sharing your description and your pics. Much appreciated!

-- Bob Simmons, Las Vegas, NV,

View PurpLev's profile


8548 posts in 3886 days

#7 posted 07-13-2010 09:45 PM

feel free to PM me if you have any questions. this DP table really works very well. and the keyless chuck is a blessing. I have you had it lose grip on any bits.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

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