Drill Press #2: Drill Press Table - Still Learning

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Blog entry by Emanon posted 01-15-2019 06:09 PM 666 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: The Stand - 1st Blog and Lots to Learn Part 2 of Drill Press series no next part

While goofing around with my drill press (aka The Beast), I was amazed that it required a bunch of clamps to get the wood to be still enough to actually do some drilling. Bolstered by the encouragement from some friendly folks on this site I decided my next foray into learning will be a drill press table.

After my first project, I figured a simple design would be best for me and use something on I saw on TV. Essentially one side of the table fence moves and the other remains at a pivot point. Thinking I would make the table dimensions small enough to store in the bottom of the stand and make it out of plywood because I was given a bunch of plywood cutoffs from someone my aunt-in-law knew. (that could be another blog but would be too long)

(fast forward past the measuring, cutting, screwing, finding out it does not fit, mumbling, unscrewing, to Hades with measuring, marking, and whatnot….... Really, you guys must have the patience of saints.)

First problem was the table was unstable if I put top pressure on either side. I had a hold down clamp and attached it underneath and that did the trick.

Then upon testing the table I managed to drill an impressively large hole into its center (and another blog on how wood gets stuck in a hole saw bit and won’t come out). Switched bits, continued to test and discovered the true meaning of tear out.
That was when I understood why in that TV show they made a sacrifice MDF top. The MDF was sectioned into three parts with the two sides glued down. The side pieces had a 45 degree cut so the sacrifice center piece (also with opposite 45 degree cut) can slide back and forth and ultimately be replaced.

(back to measuring, cutting, mumbling, gluing, need more clamps, etc.)

So I finally finish putting on the MFP top and discovered my center piece was not centered. At that moment, time slowed to a crawl and I could only stare at the mistake.
While my brain was rebooting, I figured out this was not so bad. Hopefully when I’m finished using one side, all I need to do is pull it out and flip it around….I could use the same sacrificial piece twice so to speak.
Reboot complete, self-image restored.

5 comments so far

View stefang's profile


16752 posts in 3847 days

#1 posted 01-15-2019 08:39 PM

That looks like a pretty good solution to me. I just use a flat board on my DP table and use clamps when I need a fence, which I don’t most of the time. Being able to easily angle your fence seems smart to me and more useful than just a straight fence.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View socrbent's profile


883 posts in 2782 days

#2 posted 01-16-2019 02:12 AM

Simple is a great way to start. I like your clamp solution for anchoring the table.

Here’s something you might not know – the table on most drill presses will swing left and right when the table is unlocked (release the clamp that also needs released to raise or lower the table). Using this you can swing table to change where your insert is relative to the drill.

-- socrbent Ohio

View Bill Berklich's profile

Bill Berklich

907 posts in 901 days

#3 posted 01-16-2019 12:53 PM

Sweet! I have the same problems with my DP and really need to build one of these. I like the simple design.

-- Bill - Rochester MI

View BlueRidgeDog's profile


499 posts in 292 days

#4 posted 01-17-2019 01:55 AM

Great minds. I use an arc for my drill press fence and router fence. Simple, easier to adjust in small increments. I can always put a different fence on if needed.

View Emanon's profile


9 posts in 328 days

#5 posted 02-01-2019 10:59 PM

Thanks guys for your encouragement and advice. Never knew about the swing left/right, very cool. Love to take credit but this was something i saw on TV. Have to do “honeydo”s for a bit before I can play again.

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