Drill Press Table

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Forum topic by Bobmedic posted 06-12-2012 03:09 PM 4826 views 2 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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379 posts in 2769 days

06-12-2012 03:09 PM

I know there have been many posts about drill press tables on here. I have read most if not all and there are many great ideas. The question or questions I have is, what is the optimum size for a table? I know this question seems arbitrary but I am wondering if anyone has made one and wished it was bigger/smaller? Do you find it better to leave the table in front of the column or make a cutout in the table to recess the column into? Fences, low profile vs vertical? Low profile fences don’t interfere with the chuck and the drill handles but don’t provide good stability when drilling boards on edge, like drilling mortises. What are the opinions of you LumberJocks?

10 replies so far

View Ripthorn's profile


1454 posts in 2952 days

#1 posted 06-12-2012 03:19 PM

I have made two, the first one was 24” x 36” and I felt that was actually too big, so I downsized to 20” x 30” and that is a much better size. I put the second one on a little bit of a stand to provide clearance between the table and the height adjustment crank. I still need to do a fence though, so I can’t answer you there. There really is such a thing as too big as far as a drill press table is concerned, though.

-- Brian T. - Exact science is not an exact science

View Bobmedic's profile


379 posts in 2769 days

#2 posted 06-12-2012 03:28 PM

Ripthorn, That is a good point about raising the table on a platform to clear the table crank. I had been thinking about extending the crank handle but the platform seems easier and can give opportunities for using it as a sanding platform. 20×30 seems like a good size, not too deep and wide enough to support larger work pieces.

View Rick's profile


9436 posts in 3000 days

#3 posted 06-14-2012 03:15 AM

Hi Bob:

I posted a Project on here about a year ago for my ”Self Designed” DP Table. The only modification I’ve made since then is to cut out the back corner where the Handle is which allows me to crank the Handle without having to remove the table.

Other than that, I’m Very Pleased with it.

It’s a 2 Part Post. First Part is here: Second Part is right beside it. You can click on it in the “Next Project” window on the Left Hand Side.

The back of the Table has a Half Round cut out just to move it in tight to the Main Column.

I use it a Lot for Drum Sanding. 100% of the Dust is picked up by my Shop Vac. In fact it’s so strong I’ve had smaller pieces sucked right out of my Hand! ....Does that mean my DP Table ”Sucks” ....LOL…

So I made one of these ”Small Parts Clamp” which solved that wee problem. NOTE: The picture shows a tight fitting “Insert”. IMHO all they do is Inhibit the flow of Sawdust if the Table is so equipped.




I very rarely do “Deep Drilling” as you’ve mentioned. However, if I have to, it only takes 3/5 Minutes to Remove the Table as it’s held on by 2 Nuts/Bolts, 1 Front and 1 Back, Centered and drillled through the Metal Table. Then I just Clamp a 3 to 5 inch high Straight Edge directly to the Steel Table for the Task at hand.

Hope this is of some help.

-- LIFE is what happens when you're planning on doing Other Things!

View Rick's profile


9436 posts in 3000 days

#4 posted 06-14-2012 03:35 AM

Me Agan ..LOL..

I also use it a fair bit with ”Hole Saws” up to 4 inches in Diameter. If the wood is deep it had a habit of ”Burning and Smoking” it’s way through. It also takes it’s Toll on the Hole Saw.

It had no way of getting rid of the “Dust Cuttings”, that’s what was Smoking.

This little Tip solved that. It allows the Cuttings to exit through the bottom and makes for a much easier and faster “Drill Through”.

I don’t have a “Backer Board” as mentioned in the Picture.





As Simple as that!!


-- LIFE is what happens when you're planning on doing Other Things!

View Bobmedic's profile


379 posts in 2769 days

#5 posted 06-14-2012 04:29 AM

Great suggestions, I will be making a platform table. It will give clearance for the crank handle and storage as well as a down draft table. I like the hole saw tip. Thank you all.

View Rick's profile


9436 posts in 3000 days

#6 posted 06-14-2012 04:56 AM

My Pleasure Bob!!

-- LIFE is what happens when you're planning on doing Other Things!

View ErikS's profile


2 posts in 3720 days

#7 posted 07-20-2012 11:02 AM

Bob, just finished a few weeks ago my new DP table. It is a small one 12×21” with a fence. Nothing big due to the small size of my shop, but it will fill in my needs. I looked at the DP table of JPHeisz. Table has been made of concrete plywood, that has already a phenolic finish.

View NiteWalker's profile


2736 posts in 2544 days

#8 posted 07-20-2012 02:02 PM

My table is 14 3/4” x 23 3/4” with a fence that’s just over 29”. I used what I had on hand and am very happy with the way it came out:

IMHO size is in relation to the drill press. If I had a drill press with a deeper swing, I’d probably build it around 16” x 26” or so. Building it too big results in having to reach around the table to make adjustments and ends up being very cumbersome.

Edit to add:
As you can see, I didn’t bother with a column cutout; with the kind of fence I made it’s pointless.
My fence is 1 1/2” x 1 1/2” I think. That’s as tall as a fence needs to be. The t-track is for stop blocks but no track and a clamped stop works just as good. I will say that I’d make my fence around 36” long or even 40”+ since the extra length can always come in handy. The only time I’d make a cutout is if I made a fence where the face is a piece of 3/4” piece of plywood attached to two other pieces at 90* with room in the middle for the column. The fence clamps would be on the two wing parts. That way you can slide the fence right up to the column and still be able to lock it down and you’d only be losing 3/4” of swing instead of the 1 1/2” I lose now. Sorry if that sounds confusing. If you have a smaller drill press (12” or shorter swing), that’s the way I’d do it to maximize capacity. Otherwise, it’s preference.

Next go around I may add a riser block to give some clearance for the height crank. Mine doesn’t hit, but barely. It works fine for me though.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View nwbusa's profile


1021 posts in 2253 days

#9 posted 07-20-2012 04:00 PM

Made mine about 26” x 18”, with a drawer. It’s plenty big enough for my needs, although the drawer space can never be too big it seems…

-- John, BC, Canada

View cutworm's profile


1075 posts in 2760 days

#10 posted 07-20-2012 08:21 PM

I made my fence taller on the end opposite the drill handle. That said I don’t recall needing a fence over a couple inches tall. What I have found useful is replaceable inserts in the table center. Mine are about 4×4” squares and pop out with the help of a flat screwdriver.

-- Steve - "Never Give Up"

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