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Best Joints For A Drill Press Table

by jmalcolm001
posted 10-14-2016 12:00 AM


6 replies so far

View MadMark's profile

MadMark

979 posts in 1357 days


#1 posted 10-14-2016 06:13 AM

Biscuited & glued butt joints for plywood. Make the sides full height and the top / bottom inset as hangers.

M

-- Madmark - Madmark2150@yahoo.com Wiretreefarm.com

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

4611 posts in 1042 days


#2 posted 10-14-2016 12:44 PM

I constructed my DP table very similar to what you’re doing except I used MDF instead of plywood.

For the joints, I used rabbets and dados to ensure proper location. If using plywood, the biscuits and glue like Mark suggests should be just fine. If you don’t have a plate jointer, you can use some screws or brads to hold location while gluing up. I don’t know if I’d use pocket screws in plywood when you’ll have that much weight “hanging” from the top. Other than that, I think any of the methods you’re considering will be plenty strong.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

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jmalcolm001

18 posts in 655 days


#3 posted 10-14-2016 01:57 PM

MadMark & HokieKen: Thank you for your comments. I guess I am a little surprised that both of you suggested the use of biscuits and glue. I would have thought that my alternative #3 using a dado in the vertical piece would have been a stronger joint, or did you suggest the biscuit so that I wouldn’t have to drop the horizontal piece down 3/4”? I wasn’t too concerned about the drop down, since the top most horizontal piece would fill in the 3/4 inch gap.

HokieKen: As many of the commenters said, your DP table is beautiful and looks like a piece of furniture!! Can you explain in a little more detail your use of rabbets and dados, and why you chose MDF vs plywood? I live in So Florida with high humidity, and my shop (garage) is not air conditioned, so I generally shy away from MDF.

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

4611 posts in 1042 days


#4 posted 10-14-2016 04:42 PM



MadMark & HokieKen: Thank you for your comments. I guess I am a little surprised that both of you suggested the use of biscuits and glue. I would have thought that my alternative #3 using a dado in the vertical piece would have been a stronger joint, or did you suggest the biscuit so that I wouldn t have to drop the horizontal piece down 3/4”? I wasn t too concerned about the drop down, since the top most horizontal piece would fill in the 3/4 inch gap.

HokieKen: As many of the commenters said, your DP table is beautiful and looks like a piece of furniture!! Can you explain in a little more detail your use of rabbets and dados, and why you chose MDF vs plywood? I live in So Florida with high humidity, and my shop (garage) is not air conditioned, so I generally shy away from MDF.

- jmalcolm001

My reasoning for using biscuits would simply be because it’s easier. Personally, I’d go the rabbet and dado route.

I chose MDF because I’ve used it and plywood both in the past and I find MDF with formica laminate to be the most stable and the flattest to begin with. YMMV of course. If I were to use plywood, I’d go with Baltic Birch at least for the top. The typical home center stuff has too few plys to be really stable and I’m usually lucky to find a sheet that’s flat to begin with. Again, YMMV.

My table has a top that’s 2 layers of 3/4 mdf laminated together with formica on top. On the bottom side of the top, I routed dadoes for the 4 (1/2” MDF) vertical pieces. Then the bottom is 3/4”MDF as well. The 2 center vertical pieces are dadoed into the bottom as well. The bottom has 1/2” wide rabbets cut for the 2 outer vertical pieces. Then I cut 2 pieces of 1/2” MDF that fit the “holes” on the back of the table where the drawers go and just butt glued them in. They’re really just there for a little added structure.

Hope that explains it well enough. Below is a quick sketch to try to illustrate what I’m saying:

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

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jmalcolm001

18 posts in 655 days


#5 posted 10-14-2016 06:40 PM

Thanks again for your insight. Your illustration helps me understand your structure. But it does bring up a couple of questions. If your two pieces of 3/4” MDF are laminated together, how do you fasten them to the DP metal table, or do you just rest them on the table and use cleats to keep it from moving? Also, I see from your illustration the dados in the bottom top piece, but do you just use glue to attach the vertical pieces into the dados. That doesn’t seem strong enough with just glue, or am I missing something? I was thinking about having the outside verticals extend all the way up even with the top top piece, and then putting a dado in those two verticals 3/4” down from the top so that the bottom top piece could be inserted and glued into those dados. The bottom top piece would extend by the depth of the dado longer than the top top piece on both ends. That method seems like it would be the strongest of the joint methods that we have been discussing.

After looking at your illustration and doing some more thinking, maybe I am looking at this all wrong!! I was planning on setting the bottom top piece on the DP table and bolting it to keep from moving, similar to how you did. However, since the DP table is adjustable up and down, why not move the DP table down further and set the whole wooden table and cabinet on top of the DP table and bolt the DP table to the bottom piece of the cabinet. That way I would not have to worry about weight and strength of joints. My only concern is whether it would be top heavy and have a tendency to wobble since the table/cabinet is probably 2-3 times as wide as the DP table. What do you think?

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

4611 posts in 1042 days


#6 posted 10-14-2016 06:56 PM

Yes, the glue in the dadoes is all there is and it’s been sufficiently strong. But, my drawers aren’t as tall as your thinking about. You may want to add some countersunk screws since the bottom of your’s will probably end up quite a bit heavier.

I put threaded inserts in the table top on mine to bolt it down to the table.

I don’t think I’d put the whole thing on top of the table. No matter how you build it, there will be some vibration. With the work surface bolted to the metal table, the vibration will be minimized. I think I’d stick to your plan as far as that goes. Of course, as long as you space your drawers far enough apart, you can always try it one way and then switch it if you don’t like it.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

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