Harbor Freight Drill Press Table

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Project by EEngineer posted 12-12-2010 12:04 AM 9271 views 8 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Harbor Freight Drill Press Table
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Several months ago I bought the drill press table sold by Harbor Freight. A drill press table is one of those things I always intended to build and just never got around to. When HF first offered theirs at $30 I figured I could easily spend that much on the parts for one so I just went ahead and bought it.

One feature that I had never considered and didn’t think much of when I bought it was the simple rulers attached to the table next to each of the two T-tracks that the fence attached to. As I used the table I really came to depend on those. It made setting the fence parallel to the table edge easy. If I was using a jig with the drill press, the rulers made aligning the jig for clamping to the table easy, also. Unfortunately the ones on the HF table were simple self-stick tapes that protruded slightly above the table surface. After a few months of use sliding work across the table had completely torn off one rule.

Stainless steel 12”rules were $2.25 from Grizzly. I bought two of them and routed channels so the rules sit slightly below the table surface. Two lines of Loctite epoxy holds them in place.

One thing I never liked about the table was the raw unsealed edges of MDF. The table itself was machined very nicely, would it have killed them to seal the edges? So while I had it torn down to install the rules, I sealed the edges of the table and fence with gloss black enamel I had on the shelf from another project. It looks much better now and I don’t have to worry as much about moisture ruining the table.

I had pictures of the entire process but, klutz that I am, I dropped my phone and broke the screen and they are not accessible. I’ll just have to settle for one picture of the final result.

-- "Find out what you cannot do and then go do it!"

7 comments so far

View BigFoot Products Canada's profile

BigFoot Products Canada

711 posts in 4400 days

#1 posted 12-12-2010 12:28 AM

I like this. You are right about the parts costing that much to make one.
I built my own out of pine and put small drawers underneath to hold drill bits etc. Having the bigger table and fence really come in handy.

View Doug's profile


1204 posts in 3768 days

#2 posted 12-12-2010 12:55 AM

I’d thought about getting one of those. For thirty bucks you can’t beat. Thanks for the post about the upgrade.

-- Doug

View NormG's profile


6508 posts in 4010 days

#3 posted 12-12-2010 01:53 AM

great review, modifications can be a big help

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

View RonPeters's profile


713 posts in 3887 days

#4 posted 12-12-2010 05:49 AM

Not to mention they also shipped it across the pond… nice review, thanks.

-- “Once more unto the breach, dear friends...” Henry V - Act III, Scene I

View Vicki's profile


1152 posts in 4351 days

#5 posted 12-13-2010 05:35 AM

I have that same table and for the price and time saving it is more than worth it for the casual user like myself. I love the replaceable insert, just need to get some stock to make more.

-- Vicki on the Eastern Shore of MD

View Tuuek's profile


56 posts in 4438 days

#6 posted 12-22-2010 07:17 PM

Nice modifications. As for the phone if you still have it, you may be able to recover the data by taking it to the local wireless store and having the memory card removed if it had a removable one.

-- Kelly -- Common Sense, Isn't Common to Everyone. - Me

View EEngineer's profile


1137 posts in 4620 days

#7 posted 12-23-2010 01:30 AM

Nope Tuuek, ain’t gonna happen. I got an Incredible. It has an internal 8G + microSD. The internal is inaccessible (unless you make it so by default – I didn’t) and that’s where pictures are stored. I just gotta make sure I unload pictures immediately. I was waiting until it was done and dropped the damned phone on the shop floor!

Got a chance to use this on the drill press this week. One thing I don’t like is the reflections from stainless rules. I gotta install a gooseneck lamp next to the drill press to generate more direct lighting. Next project!

-- "Find out what you cannot do and then go do it!"

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