|Project by Calmudgeon||posted 01-28-2015 04:53 PM||7418 views||75 times favorited||15 comments|
I took advantage of some downtime in paying projects to build a custom storage unit to nestle under my drill press. The design owes some inspiration to one I found in Shopnotes Magazine (Volume 22, Issue 128) and another in a magazine I can’t locate right now. From Shopnotes, I borrowed the idea of the storage wings wrapping around the drill press post. The Shopnotes design had open shelving in the wing units; since I’m no fan of dusting off shelves, I elected to enclose these with slab doors to heighten the impression of a single continuous cabinet.
In actual fact, the storage unit is comprised of three carcasses, a 24” x 24” x 16” (h x w x d) main unit built of 3/4” maple ply and two smaller 9” x 8 1/8” (w x d, not counting doors) wing units built of 1/2” baltic birch. These three boxes are sandwiched between a sturdy castor base/plinth made of double 3/4” ply and a 3/4” maple top, making for a very rigid unit which is immune to flex as it rolls across less than perfect floors. I chose to trim out the top to form a tray to serve as a drop zone for bits and sundry items. I may live to regret this decision, as it also serves as an excellent catch basin for every wood chip that falls from the drill press. Time will tell.
All pieces were pre-finished with two coats of sprayed satin pre-cat lacquer before assembly.
Of course, the cabinet is easily rolled out of the way if I need to tilt the table or lower it to drill some exceptionally thick material, but for 95% of the work I do it can remain in place. Like most shops, floor space and storage in mine are at a high premium, so this unit addresses those issues. It also ensures that bits and other drill press accessories are right at hand.
I had barely finished the storage unit, when my planer died, leaving me with more time on my hands, so I quickly fashioned a table, made from doubled 1/2” baltic birch, and a fence, made from some scraps of 3/4” maple ply. I also made stops which quickly attach to the fence. I tried to position the t-track on the table so that a standard Rockler hold-downs (pictured) would be able to reach the smallest pieces. One word of caution here: the right-hand knob for locking down the fence comes perilously close to the hand feed lever. I lucked out, but planning would have been better than luck. If I had it to do over again, the t-track would have been slightly closer to the left- and right-hand sides of the table.
I’m not a fan of film finishes on fixtures and jigs, so the table and fence are protected with just a couple of coats of tung oil.
Thanks for taking a look.
-- "As are the things we make, so are we ourselves." - Lin Yutang