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Drill press table/fence recommendations for my very first drill press

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Forum topic by Micah posted 11-25-2020 05:01 AM 828 views 1 time favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Micah

22 posts in 203 days


11-25-2020 05:01 AM

Just ordered the WEN 4214 12-Inch Variable Speed Drill Press off Amazon and I am going to need a decent drill press table/fence to go with it.

Seeing as how the drill press itself only costs $240, I don’t think it makes a lot of sense to spring for something as fancy as a Woodpecker table/fence (which would add up to even more than the drill press), so I was hoping you guys could recommend an affordable yet fully capable alternative that I should consider. Thanks!


13 replies so far

View SMP's profile

SMP

3171 posts in 874 days


#1 posted 11-25-2020 05:29 AM

I guess it depends on what you plan on doing with it? I’ve never needed more than the stock table and a drill press vise from harbor freight.

View AlanWS's profile

AlanWS

110 posts in 4526 days


#2 posted 11-25-2020 05:39 AM

Many people don’t use a drill press table other than the cast iron one. A scrap of wood directly under the bit can prevent blowout while drilling a hole, and when you need a fence and/or stop block, these can simply be clamped down. Some glue the fence to the edge of the loose board, and clamp the whole thing down to the table when they want a reference fence.

I use a sort of compromise between the fancy fences and the loose board. I use a couple of clamps (Grizzly T27044 $15 for 2 clamps) that fit into T-slots cut into the bottom of a piece of ~16” square scrap plywood to hold it in place. The slots are cut with an inexpensive router bit.

This is my table. It quickly and solidly clamps into position, so repeated holes of the same size get blowout protection. If I switch bits, I just move the whole table a little to a fresh spot. If I want a fence, I use a 2’ clamp-on straightedge. Stop blocks are less commonly needed, but any scrap long enough to reach near the edge of the table to be clamped down will do.

When one side of the plywood gets chewed up, I can cut another set of T-slots on the opposite face and flip it over. If you really want hold-downs, you could cut these at the start and use another set of the cheap clamps. I haven’t bothered yet.

-- Alan in Wisconsin

View Madmark2's profile

Madmark2

2048 posts in 1556 days


#3 posted 11-25-2020 06:30 AM

I have a stick with a 1/4-20 bolt/knob in one of the table slots. That and a magnetic square to insure the stock is plumb and a clamp to lock the stock down.

Not fancy but it was cheap, easy, and works really well for fast single holes or repetitive drilling.


Fast setups and accurate drills for pipe stems.

-- The hump with the stump and the pump!

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

6310 posts in 2356 days


#4 posted 11-25-2020 04:48 PM

Harbor Freight use to sell one identical to this one from Wen for about $30 but I don’t see it on their website anymore. It works well enough for me. The fence is nice when you need to drill repetitive holes using a stop block but can also get in the way. There are plenty of DIY designs out there but for me, by the time I bought some the materials including the T-track and the mounting clamps, it was going to be well over $30 so it was sort of a no-brainer. At $50-ish? The T-track makes it easy to remove the fence when it is in the way. BTW, I don’t see what type of mounting clamps Wen table comes with but the HF one came with some similar to these.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View BattleRidge's profile

BattleRidge

152 posts in 1184 days


#5 posted 11-26-2020 02:12 AM

Building your own can be an option and you can design it to best fit your personal needs. A replaceable insert is a good idea and I created mine so that it can be repositioned after a section develops wear for a total of eight new surface areas. I also made mine easily removable for use without the table. I use the adjustable guide on the fence the majority of the time and the hold-down clamps quite often too.

Here is what I made using a mix of ideas I found while researching.

-- ~Art~

View woodbutcherbynight's profile

woodbutcherbynight

7233 posts in 3377 days


#6 posted 11-26-2020 02:58 AM

Like SMP I don’t use anything more than the stock table. I have some jigs I made for drill metal or plastic pipe that attached to the metal base, and then a scrap piece of wood to go under what I am drilling.

Have 3, none have a table.

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View LesB's profile

LesB

2789 posts in 4411 days


#7 posted 11-26-2020 06:02 PM

I’m part of the stock table group. When I have to drill multiple duplicate items I make a jig from scraps. I do have a vice that mounts on the table support with the X – Y screw adjustments which is very handy.

-- Les B, Oregon

View bigJohninvegas's profile

bigJohninvegas

883 posts in 2430 days


#8 posted 11-27-2020 02:41 AM



Building your own can be an option and you can design it to best fit your personal needs. A replaceable insert is a good idea and I created mine so that it can be repositioned after a section develops wear for a total of eight new surface areas. I also made mine easily removable for use without the table. I use the adjustable guide on the fence the majority of the time and the hold-down clamps quite often too.

- BattleRidge


That’s a really cool table you got there. Love the way you positioned the insert.
I’ve got the Jet 17’ woodworking drill press. So it came with a nice table that has the T tracks built in.
And a piece of extruded aluminum for a fence. Sad part is I have not made a hold down to use the T track. still clamping it down. No excuses, just lazy on my end.
But if I did not have this table I would be making a copy of yours.

-- John

View bondogaposis's profile

bondogaposis

5928 posts in 3319 days


#9 posted 11-27-2020 03:26 PM

If you are going to use the drill press to waste out mortises, it is helpful to have a wider table than the stock one that is common on drill press tables. It is a simple matter to make one from scrap plywood and add a simple fence. It’s not rocket science and need not cost much.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View Bstrom's profile

Bstrom

258 posts in 141 days


#10 posted 11-27-2020 06:30 PM


I m part of the stock table group. When I have to drill multiple duplicate items I make a jig from scraps. I do have a vice that mounts on the table support with the X – Y screw adjustments which is very handy.

- LesB

I m part of the stock table group. When I have to drill multiple duplicate items I make a jig from scraps. I do have a vice that mounts on the table support with the X – Y screw adjustments which is very handy.

- LesB


I use one of these and it takes a lot of work out of precise drilling. Use it all the time…

-- Bstrom

View JIMMIEM's profile

JIMMIEM

111 posts in 1810 days


#11 posted 11-28-2020 06:03 PM

If you’re inclined to make your own check out the Woodsmith auxiliary table. They’ve got a couple of Youtube videos that demonstrate the build. It has a pivoting fence. I made one and it’s really worked well.

View WoodenDreams's profile

WoodenDreams

1219 posts in 879 days


#12 posted 11-28-2020 09:21 PM

oops, posted twice

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WoodenDreams

1219 posts in 879 days


#13 posted 11-28-2020 09:22 PM

This is the type of table I have. Easy to make and similar to BattleRidge. But clamping it to the table, I used two T-nuts from a hardware store https://www.rockler.com/tee-nuts-select-size. Then I made the same type of hold down clamp for the top table to hold what’s being drilled and also clamping the table to the drill press. Quick way to remove and put back on the drill press..https://www.rockler.com/tee-nuts-select-size.!https://s3.amazonaws.com/vs-lumberjocks.com/qkiz9gn.jpg!

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