Friday, March 11, 2016

New Drill Press Table

So for my next project I'm going to tackle making a new table for my drill press.


The one that I'm currently using is simply a 1x12 scrap board.  This is not a great board - it's warping a little.


For the fence I use a 1x4 board which is screwed to the table.  So the fence doesn't move at all.


So I began designing a new table to make.  This one had a sliding fence.


I rummaged through my workshop looking to see what material I had on hand to use when I came across my old table saw's table.  I kept this piece when I threw out the old table saw, figuring I could probably use it for something one day.


I think that day is today!  Plus I still have the miter gauges for it.


So, I removed my old table from the drill press.


I took apart the table and kept all the pieces to use later.


Next I removed the drill press from the stand...


...and took out the throat plate from the table saw table.


Then I put the table onto the drill press stand to see if it fits - which it does.


I can use the old fence with the miter gauges to make a new sliding fence.


Looking at the under side of the table, there's not much I can use to connect it to the drill press' table.  There are however 4 mounts for bolts.


So I emptied my container of random bolts, trying to find 4 that fit.


And I found exactly 4.  2 small and 2 large bolts.


These bolts must be a weird size, but they work.  Next I had to figure out how to make some legs for this thing.


I started chopping 2 pieces of 2x4 wood to make up the legs.


Unfortunately this table won't be height or angle adjustable, but it's okay.  Most of the time I use the drill press' table at it's lowest height anyway.


Next I used that 1x12 board from earlier and cut 2 strips.  These will connect to the 2 legs.


I drilled pocket holes...


...and connected the rails to the legs.


Next I spent a good amount of time lining up the new stand to the mounts on the under side of the table.


I also had to do some creative drilling for the 2 smaller bolts.


After a bit of playing around I got it to work.


Now the table stands off the table and is quite sturdy.


I removed the old table from the drill press stand and placed the table over it.


Then I attached the miter gauges and the top of the drill press.


I screwed the old fence to the 2 miter gauges to make a new sliding fence.


Then I tested the depth of the drill with my longest drill bit.  The table is too low as the drill bit barely makes it to the height of the table.


So I placed 2 more 2x4s under the legs and that did the trick.


I removed the 2 newer 2x4s and drilled holes.


Then I screwed them to the older legs.


With the height working now I moved the stand back to the spot I normally keep the drill press.


Then I added the new table...


...then the drill press top...


...and finally the fence.


While putting the fence on I realized there was nothing to hold it in place.


So I cut more of the leftover 1x12 wood...


...drilled pocket holes and screwed them to the back of the fence.


Now I can use clamps to hold the fence in place.


And with the use of a stop block I can drill holes in the same spot multiple times.


I played around with it for a while and discovered one small problem:  Since the drill press and the table are not connected to each other, things have a tendency to move around - whether it be the drill press or the table.  This is not good news if I'm looking to make accurate drills.


I could use some clamps to hold the table and drill stand in place...


...but then I would have to push the drill stand all the way forward, and then I'd be drilling into the table top.


So instead I cut a little more wood and screwed the drill press stand to the work table.


Then I screwed the drill press table to the work table.


Now everything is in place and all my drilled holes are exactly where I want them.


This drill table is a bit on the large side, but I think it was a good way to make a drill press table.  Having the miter gauges makes for an easy, sliding fence.

For a day or two I was happy with this new drill press table, but not long after I made this I had a project in which I needed the table to be adjustable.  So I removed the screws and unmounted the whole thing.  I started all over again, this time using a [straight] piece of plywood.


I'd like to use the miter gauges for this table as well, so I measured the tracks.


Then I set up a straight cut flute bit on my router table.


Then I made passes on both sides...


...creating some grooves for the miter gauges to pass through.


Then I attached the same fence as before.


To mount this to the existing table I cut 2 small pieces of wood, which I drilled holes into.


Then I sandwiched the old table with those small pieces of wood and the new table.  Then I drove screws through it all.


Then I reattached it to the drill press.


Wow that was easy.  To lock the fence I simply clamp the miter gauges to the table.


And with a stop block I can make holes in the same spot on multiple pieces of wood.


And I can adjust the height and angle of the table easily!



Making the old stationary table took several hours.


This new table took about 30 minutes to make and works much better.


I'm sure I'll find a better use for that old saw table top, but for now this easy solution is the best solution.
Thanks for reading!

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