Drill Press Storage Unit, Table, & Fence

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Project by Calmudgeon posted 01-28-2015 04:53 PM 42836 views 98 times favorited 26 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I took advantage of some downtime in paying projects to build a custom storage unit to nestle under my drill press. The design owes some inspiration to one I found in Shopnotes Magazine (Volume 22, Issue 128) and another in a magazine I can’t locate right now. From Shopnotes, I borrowed the idea of the storage wings wrapping around the drill press post. The Shopnotes design had open shelving in the wing units; since I’m no fan of dusting off shelves, I elected to enclose these with slab doors to heighten the impression of a single continuous cabinet.

In actual fact, the storage unit is comprised of three carcasses, a 24” x 24” x 16” (h x w x d) main unit built of 3/4” maple ply and two smaller 9” x 8 1/8” (w x d, not counting doors) wing units built of 1/2” baltic birch. These three boxes are sandwiched between a sturdy castor base/plinth made of double 3/4” ply and a 3/4” maple top, making for a very rigid unit which is immune to flex as it rolls across less than perfect floors. I chose to trim out the top to form a tray to serve as a drop zone for bits and sundry items. I may live to regret this decision, as it also serves as an excellent catch basin for every wood chip that falls from the drill press. Time will tell.

All pieces were pre-finished with two coats of sprayed satin pre-cat lacquer before assembly.

Of course, the cabinet is easily rolled out of the way if I need to tilt the table or lower it to drill some exceptionally thick material, but for 95% of the work I do it can remain in place. Like most shops, floor space and storage in mine are at a high premium, so this unit addresses those issues. It also ensures that bits and other drill press accessories are right at hand.

I had barely finished the storage unit, when my planer died, leaving me with more time on my hands, so I quickly fashioned a table, made from doubled 1/2” baltic birch, and a fence, made from some scraps of 3/4” maple ply. I also made stops which quickly attach to the fence. I tried to position the t-track on the table so that a standard Rockler hold-downs (pictured) would be able to reach the smallest pieces. One word of caution here: the right-hand knob for locking down the fence comes perilously close to the hand feed lever. I lucked out, but planning would have been better than luck. If I had it to do over again, the t-track would have been slightly closer to the left- and right-hand sides of the table.

I’m not a fan of film finishes on fixtures and jigs, so the table and fence are protected with just a couple of coats of tung oil.

Thanks for taking a look.

-- "As are the things we make, so are we ourselves." - Lin Yutang

26 comments so far

View HighPointWW's profile


50 posts in 2551 days

#1 posted 01-28-2015 05:14 PM

Well done!!! As this is my next project, I may have to borrow your design :)

View Calmudgeon's profile


460 posts in 2483 days

#2 posted 01-28-2015 05:21 PM

HighPointWW, feel free! If you have any questions, just ask. I’m leaving for a week’s holidays on Friday, so my response might be delayed, but I don’t mind helping out if I can.

-- "As are the things we make, so are we ourselves." - Lin Yutang

View Danpaddles's profile


588 posts in 3367 days

#3 posted 01-28-2015 05:26 PM

Nice! I end up getting lazy on stuff for the shop, then I try to use up what ever crap leftover materials I have around, and seldom end up with much to be proud of (tho still usually functional).

Did you see the recent drill press table in Shopnotes? They came up with a way to raise and lower from the front, using bevel gears. That has my attention- only downside to a drill press table is raising and lowering.

-- Dan V. in Indy

View HickoryHill's profile


236 posts in 5201 days

#4 posted 01-28-2015 05:28 PM

Wow, nice! May have to steal this idea!

-- Jim, Michigan

View Calmudgeon's profile


460 posts in 2483 days

#5 posted 01-28-2015 05:31 PM

Danpaddles, yes I did see that. I didn’t include a picture of it but the back of the drill press table, on the right-hand side, has a pretty serious bevel on the bottom to allow clearance of the crank handle used to raise and lower the table, so there’s no real problem there.

As for scraps, there are plenty in this project. The back of the main carcass is a chunk of leftover cherry ply, the drawers are all made from leftover strips of 5/8” maple ply that weren’t good for much, and the mobile base for the drill press itself made use of a chunk of 3/4” oak ply that was in my way.

The doors on the wing cabinets are also scraps of 5/8” maple ply, although I would never do that again. It’s pretty much impossible to drill for the cups on European hinges without breaking through the front. They should have been 3/4”.

BTW, did you know that August Home has killed Shopnotes and rolled it into a larger Woodsmith? I was a bit ripped when I found that out yesterday.

-- "As are the things we make, so are we ourselves." - Lin Yutang

View Ivan's profile


16729 posts in 3923 days

#6 posted 01-28-2015 05:49 PM

Realy profesionaly done.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View Diggerjacks's profile


2330 posts in 4194 days

#7 posted 01-28-2015 05:51 PM

Hello mistuhd

Very nice build

I have to make the same for my drill press

The doors on the side is a very good idea

I like your concept and thanks a lot for all the explications

Thanks for sharing

-- Diggerjack-France ---The only limit is the limit of the mind and the mind has no limit

View ohwoodeye's profile


2602 posts in 4208 days

#8 posted 01-28-2015 07:11 PM

Very nice. Have to believe this makes working in the shop that much more enjoyable.
I’ve tried a string, magnets etc but still seem to lose my drill chuck key. This would be an easy way for me to know that it is always in the top drawer.
Well done.

-- "Fine Woodworking" is the name given to a project that takes 3 times longer than normal to finish because you used hand tools instead of power tools. ----Mike, Waukesha, WI

View USMCRet93's profile


32 posts in 2277 days

#9 posted 01-29-2015 01:23 AM

Very nice work indeed!


-- Live to dive.... dive to LIVE!

View mavsprophecy's profile


18 posts in 3018 days

#10 posted 01-29-2015 03:50 AM

Nice try, ohwoodeye, the chuck would just be lost in the top drawer. At least in my case!

This would look great in anyone’s shop!

View lightweightladylefty's profile


3627 posts in 4768 days

#11 posted 01-29-2015 04:08 AM

Nice job on the cabinet. Thanks for all the details. I started working on plans using that old ShopNotes idea as a starter, too. I’ve got it drawn up in SketchUp but haven’t started it yet. I, too, added doors for those shelves because I hate the sawdust on everything. I’m planning shallower (more shallow?) drawers for my drill bits to make them easier to find.

Once I get busy on the project I may be contacting you but that probably won’t be for a while yet. Thanks for your offer of help.


-- “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” Benjamin Franklin -- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.

View hoss12992's profile


4180 posts in 2948 days

#12 posted 01-29-2015 05:36 PM

That is awesome

-- The Old Rednek Workshop

View scarpenter002's profile


619 posts in 4960 days

#13 posted 01-31-2015 03:02 AM

Nice job. I have been considering mobilizing my drill press also.

Thanks for sharing.

-- Scott in Texas

View Roger's profile


21054 posts in 3859 days

#14 posted 05-22-2015 12:23 PM

Very nice. I like it.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

View toddbeaulieu's profile


851 posts in 4059 days

#15 posted 12-04-2015 02:48 PM

Dude. That’s pretty sweet.

I’m envious of your floors. While I definitely appreciate antiquities, the downside to my 1850’s barn workshop is that I can’t easily roll things around like that.

I’m going to favorite this, though, because I really am wasting space under my press. I rarely need a lot of clearance.

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