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How to convert your drill press into a woodworking-friendly tool.

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Project by Brad posted 640 days ago 3663 views 23 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

“Now what?”

That’s what I asked myself after buying a $25.00 drill press at an estate sale and tuning it up. You can read about that adventure here.

The “what” as it turns out, was to make it woodworking-friendly by building and affixing a drill press table. Let’s face it. While the metal circular shelf might be great for metal working, it’s crap for delivering the precision us woodworkers require.

So after some research I created a list of criterion that my table had to meet:

• Hold stock securely for mortising and drilling
• Able to angle with bed
• Large enough to complete most tasks easily
• Pleasing appearance
• Replaceable insert
• Adjustable fence with slotted grooves top and bottom to secure stops and holddowns

That said, I settled on this design.

I tweaked the design by eschewing slot tracks that formed a square, and going with two tracks perpendicular to the front and back.

As an aside. Can I ask you a personal question? When was the last time you saw the word “eschewing” in a woodworking article?

Materials
The fence I made from a reclaimed oak 2” x 4” that I picked up for free at a Fort Collins, CO warehouse shipping dock advertised on Craig’s List. The base is ¾” plywood with oak banding around the edges. I eased the sharp edges with a roundover bit on the router table.

The t-slot hardware I got from Lee Valley because it was inexpensive. The hold-down hardware I got from Rockler on sale.

The stop blocks I made out of scraps.

The insert, I made out of 3/8” plywood.

Using it
First things first. Here’s the final build.

As careful I was in my planing and squaring the fence, it still requires me to tweak it a bit when I put it under tension. Meaning that things can go slightly out of square. This is a case where working the fence on a power jointer would have paid dividends.

Still, the fence is functional and, so far, has met all my needs.

You’ll note that the top of my fence has a slot but no t-slot track. I cut the slot in anticipation of purchasing the t-slot track later (wanted to minimize costs on the initial build). Frankly, I haven’t felt a need for it so I’ll go without for now.

I also had to cut out a bit of table to allow the table adjustment handle to move freely.

###

-- "People's lives are their own rewards or punishments."





12 comments so far

View DIYaholic's profile

DIYaholic

13271 posts in 1302 days


#1 posted 640 days ago

I can’t say that I remember see the word “eschewing” in a woodworking article!

I do however, need a DP table! I also need a router table, cross cut sled, a miter sled, a pline jig….....

Thanks for the reminder.

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procratination a bad thing?

View Dave's profile

Dave

11150 posts in 1467 days


#2 posted 640 days ago

Now thats a great table. Way to go!

-- Superdav "No matter where you go - there you are." http://chiselandforge.com

View GrandpaLen's profile

GrandpaLen

1494 posts in 900 days


#3 posted 640 days ago

Brad,

All eschewing aside, that looks like a very user friendly table.

Work Safely and have Fun. – Grandpa Len.

-- Mother Nature should be proud of what you've done with her tree. - Len ...just north of a stone's throw from the oHIo, river that is, in So. Indiana.

View jap's profile

jap

1225 posts in 681 days


#4 posted 640 days ago

great job

-- Joel

View EarlS's profile

EarlS

150 posts in 975 days


#5 posted 640 days ago

eschew – gazuntite. Do you need a tissue? As for the woodworking – nice build and low cost. It looks very sturdy which reminds me that I need to build a drill press table since the one I bought is flimsy and small.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

View ybotyawnoc's profile

ybotyawnoc

78 posts in 698 days


#6 posted 640 days ago

This is really good, I need to make one myself

View BigDaddio's profile

BigDaddio

19 posts in 2062 days


#7 posted 640 days ago

I think I may be motivated to finish mine now. I purchased a piece of Baltic ply clad in laminate for the table and every now and then look over and put it on my mental list. I also have the track and such. How many times do we do that? Buy stuff for a project we want to build but get side tracked by other shiny objects?

View Ken90712's profile

Ken90712

14878 posts in 1816 days


#8 posted 640 days ago

well done, Should serve you well.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View dnick's profile

dnick

910 posts in 1010 days


#9 posted 639 days ago

That’s a great table. Enjoy.

-- dnick, North Hollywood, Ca.

View whitebeast88's profile

whitebeast88

3467 posts in 818 days


#10 posted 639 days ago

very nice.your table has inspired me to build one for my drill press.

-- Marty.Athens,AL

View Mauricio's profile

Mauricio

6799 posts in 1779 days


#11 posted 621 days ago

Great blog Brad, Your making me want to make one. I need to upgrade all the half aas stuf I made when I was starting out in Woodworking. lol.

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

View bobasaurus's profile

bobasaurus

1221 posts in 1811 days


#12 posted 605 days ago

I need to make a similar setup for my drill press. Thanks for sharing your version.

-- Allen, Colorado

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