Drill press table and much more! #8: Center jig for drill press, recycled drill chuck

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Blog entry by mafe posted 03-21-2022 11:47 AM 1136 reads 1 time favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 7: Drill press drum sander jointer / planer - I just had to... Part 8 of Drill press table and much more! series no next part

Center jig for drill press
recycled drill chuck.

Here a small recycle project, giving new life to an old drill chuck, from a cordless drill I had trashed some time back.

The jig:
When drilling a hole in the centre of a dowel or other round objects, I always struggle to hit dead centre, so this is a try, to make it more possible.
The jig can also be used to hold a point, so the drill press can be used as primitive lathe, for small turning projects.
(I have a lathe, so I will not use it for that).

The jig mounted on the drill press table.
This is what we are making here.

The drill chuck I had laying around.
This is the type you can salvage from an old cordless drill.
This type has three pins, that I will use.

Some plywood for the base.
A piece that fits the width of the table.

And a couple of extra…

The chunk axel are placed at the middle of the base, tapped on top with a hammer, so the chuck axels pins are marked into the plywood.

Like this.

Drilling holes in the diameter of the pins.

Making a hole that fits the axel, with a Forstner bit..

The caliper is your best friend and yes we all need a big set of Forstners.

Axel are put in.
The plywood pieces to make the support got holes in the diameter of the axel.

Test fitting.


Support pieces are mounted.

Finally also screwed in place.

Finally the chuck can come in place.

And the screw that holds it, put in.

Drilling a couple of holes, on each side of the width of the drill press tables mounting rabbets, to make an easy adjustment, when mounting it on the table.

Now we can bring it to the router table.

To make those rabbets.

Bolts for the mount.

Sides grinded off to make them easy removable on my drill press table.

Finally in place!

Ready to drill.

The base was made of an old trashed piece of ply, an other recycle.

When using it:
Lower the drill bit into the base chuck.
Tighten the chuck around it.
Fasten the base to the drill press table.
Loosen the base chuck.
Put the item that needs drilling in the base chuck.
You should be dead center.

Hope it can be to some inspiration, or at least a dead center hole or two, as well as a little recycle.

Best thoughts,


-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect.

12 comments so far

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

10470 posts in 2071 days

#1 posted 03-21-2022 11:54 AM

Very nice, Mads! I have both a normal machinist vise and a cross-slide vise I use on my post-drill (hand-powered drill press), but something more automatic for drilling centered holes… I now need to think about this more…

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View FrenchGoattoys's profile


317 posts in 1239 days

#2 posted 03-21-2022 12:52 PM

Interesting. I too struggle with hitting the center of a dowel. Nice idea.

-- KJ, Spokane, WA.: Don’t count the days; make the days count.

View doubleDD's profile


11370 posts in 3532 days

#3 posted 03-21-2022 12:58 PM

Cool and unique set up Mads. That will get you dead center every time. About the same function and accuracy as a lathe set up.
I’ll have to see if I still have a drill chuck laying around.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View lew's profile


13546 posts in 5245 days

#4 posted 03-21-2022 01:23 PM

Thanks, Mads, for the detailed build. This is another one of your designs I need to make!!

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View pottz's profile


26504 posts in 2474 days

#5 posted 03-21-2022 01:55 PM

great idea my friend,your always creating the best ways to do things easier.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

View woodchucker1's profile


115 posts in 325 days

#6 posted 03-21-2022 02:47 PM

You still amaze me with your projects. Thanks. :}

View Davevand's profile


343 posts in 2325 days

#7 posted 03-21-2022 02:51 PM

When I am drilling holes in wheels, I use the same type of jig with my lathe chuck. It self centers all the wheels from 1”-4” without any changes

View Doug's profile


1305 posts in 4250 days

#8 posted 03-21-2022 07:57 PM

Fantastic! Now I’ll be looking for every old discarded drill I can find. Great idea Mads. Thanks for sharing.

-- Doug

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

27793 posts in 4595 days

#9 posted 03-22-2022 04:21 AM

Pretty cool, my friend!!!!!!!!! You will be using that a lot…...............Cheers, Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View icemanhank's profile


606 posts in 3645 days

#10 posted 03-22-2022 06:25 AM

Mads; you are an ideas man!

-- "These are my principles. And if you don't like them, I have others." ... Cheers, David from Sydney Australia

View icemanhank's profile


606 posts in 3645 days

#11 posted 03-22-2022 06:25 AM

Oops posted twice

-- "These are my principles. And if you don't like them, I have others." ... Cheers, David from Sydney Australia

View mafe's profile


13872 posts in 4578 days

#12 posted 03-23-2022 02:22 PM

Hi guys,
Good to see you all, thanks.

Dave Polaschek, smiles, I also have both types, this one was just a joyful experiment on doing some recycle and making a useful tool out of it as well. I do love these little projects, where we are playing as we go.

FrenchGoattoys, that is exactly for that purpose I build it, and sometimes I have also needed to drill a hole in the center of a threaded rod and struggled, now it’s easy. Thank you.

doubleDD, Thanks buddy. Yes the same can be done on the lathe, but my lathe is not permanently up, so it takes too long to set it up, that was why I made this.

Lew, big smile der Lew, our always growing to do list. Smiles.

Pottz, I’m a playful child in an adult body, that’s why. Big smile, thanks.

woodchucker1, A smile with red cheeks thanks.

Davevand, clever, I still have a lathe chunk on my wish list.

Doug, laughs, everyone around you will have to hold on to their drills. Thanks Doug.

Jim J, It’s already been in use a few time, even for some simple lathe work the other day. Thanks Jim.

icemanhank – icemanhank, I better go twice then, laughs. Thanks buddy.

A good thought to you all,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect.

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