PC drill press table tweak ideas needed

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Forum topic by Elizabeth posted 04-22-2014 11:21 PM 2431 views 1 time favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Elizabeth's profile


823 posts in 4429 days

04-22-2014 11:21 PM

I have this drill press:


It has a fairly small table, and the grooves in it do not go all the way through the table, so it’s been difficult to find on-table clamps that will fit it.

I’m looking for ideas on either some clamps that will work with it, or simple build ideas for a drill press table that I can attach to this for an easier time securing pieces to the work surface. Any thoughts? Right now I have an irritating system of C-clamps, a piece of plywood, and ratchet clamps, and it’s getting annoying.

I’m a router newbie so I’d prefer table plans that didn’t call for a lot of routing right now…I can always replace it with something fancy later.

Edit – I’m also not opposed to just buying a table if it’s not hugely expensive, as I have limited shop time right now and prefer to spend it making projects as opposed to making jigs.

18 replies so far

View kdc68's profile


3017 posts in 3562 days

#1 posted 04-23-2014 12:27 AM

Elizabeth….Pictures may explain how I did mine…hope it helps….

My table is a two piece assembly.

I went downstairs and removed 4 screws from underneath removing the top portion of the two piece assembly and snapped this picture. Basically I cut a square and drew an X through the center. Bored 4 holes that align with the OEM table slots. I think these are 3/4” diameter by 1” long hex bolts, washers and nuts that hold this square to the OEM table. The head of the bolt fits into the slots in the OEM table. ....

This is the underside of the top portion of this two piece assembly (placed on saw horses so I can snap a picture). The opening in the center fits over the square pictured above and held in place with 4 screws….

-- Measure "at least" twice and cut once

View kdc68's profile


3017 posts in 3562 days

#2 posted 04-23-2014 12:40 AM

I want to add that I’ve had this set up for quite awhile and has held up great. No problems what so ever. Easy to build. Took an hour or two to build the entire table top….T-tracks and hold downs from Rocklers. Removable and replaceable hardboard inserts…3/4” melamine and poplar edging and fence

-- Measure "at least" twice and cut once

View JJohnston's profile


1622 posts in 4576 days

#3 posted 04-23-2014 12:51 AM

T-slot nuts:

I’m ashamed to admit I’ve had my drill press for several years and have not gotten around to getting some of these for a decent table.

-- "A man may conduct himself well in both adversity and good fortune, but if you want to test his character, give him power." - Abraham Lincoln

View Toller's profile


64 posts in 2885 days

#4 posted 04-23-2014 12:54 AM

I have the same drill press. Great machine, except for the table.

I drilled holes in the table and bolted a sheet of 1/2” plywood to it. Then I glued a piece of 1/2” corian to the plywood. I routed a slot in the corian and installed some t-track. Finally I made a fence out of the same corian.

If you don’t have access to corian, two sheets of plywood and some formica would be almost as good.
Oh, I put in a replaceable wood square, much like KDC68.

View kdc68's profile


3017 posts in 3562 days

#5 posted 04-23-2014 12:55 AM

JJohnson… Yep, T- slot nuts absolutely will work if you don’t want to use hex bolts as I did above…..and will more than likely be easier than hex bolts

-- Measure "at least" twice and cut once

View peterbb's profile


37 posts in 3572 days

#6 posted 04-23-2014 01:32 AM

I jsut bolted a peice of 3/4 MDF throught the slots in the steel table of my drill press, to give a larger area table. I haven’t found a need for T-slots. I have, once or twice, clamped a scrap of wood to the MDF to serve as a fence on the rare occasion I needed one.

-- Peter

View Whiskers's profile


389 posts in 3312 days

#7 posted 04-23-2014 01:43 AM

Elizabeth, I have the same drill press and love it but it not purrfect. Ignore the people talking about T-slot anything, the PC tabletop has these huge T-slots that nothing will fit and are completely useless, What were they thinking! I’m still working with mine, and haven’t found and set up the best solution yet. C-clamps work great to clamp a board to the table for a fence, and can do wonders as hold downs. To do better Ultimately your going to have to build a new table, but be forewarned, all the table designs out there will not quite work, cause that stupid PC table not made like the others and your going to have to get creative about mounting it. Somewhere in my archives I think I have something about that. I’ll try and find it. Most designs involve using existing holes in the table to bolt a wooden table to the metal one, but the PC has no such holes. The few things I’ve seen involve rigging something so the bolts thru the new wood table rig into a clamping mech onto the PCs metal table.

Oh, and if it ain’t clear, be wary about buying anything commercial, it probably won’t work, lot of companies sell drill press tables, but they won’t work on this critter. If you even consider the commercial table route, make sure it will work first, it probably won’t.

View MT_Stringer's profile


3183 posts in 4516 days

#8 posted 04-23-2014 01:58 AM

I built my drill press table from plans in Shop Notes. I didn’t exactly follow their plans to a Tee, but the table turned out much better than I expected.

Check out the build sequence in this blog.

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

View NiteWalker's profile


2743 posts in 3862 days

#9 posted 04-23-2014 05:59 AM

I prefer to keep things simple with my drill press table.

I’ll take pics tomorrow since I updated it a bit, but here’s the lowdown.

- It’s two sheets of 1/2” baltic birch plywood glued together for a 1” thick surface with formica on both sides. A single sheet of 3/4” would work fine too.
- I have two t-tracks to secure the fence and for hold downs. It’s not a necessity, but I really prefer the convenience it offers.
- The fence is just a piece of 1 1/2” x 1 1/2” x 1/4” aluminum angle. Tall drill press fences are completely unnecessary but it’s the design everyone seems to follow. How often does one drill on edge? And even so, the 1 1/2” tall fence provides plenty of support; so skip the tall fence if possible.
Instead of making drawers or something to go under the auxiliary table to raise it up enough to give clearance for the height adjustment handle, I used two pieces of 3/4” MDF cut to the same shape as the stock table. They raise the auxiliary table enough so raising and lowering is still.
- My inserts are 1/2” thick MDF squares offset so I get 4 fresh areas per side, 8 per insert. I clipped one corner on each insert at the miter saw to make changing them out easy. There’s 4 small screws under the insert in the table body used for leveling the inserts. Once I centered the table, I drilled a 3/8” hole through the table body so I can easily center it when raising or lowering just by chucking a 3/8” bit in there and aligning it with the previously drilled hole.
- My dp table is bolted in place with four 1/4-20 bolts. Toggle clamps, or like methods of holding the dp table in place do not hold up over time and will eventually move. Bolt it down.

Edit to add:
To Whiskers and Elizabeth, cast iron drills easily. I’d drill mounting holes in each corner. Center punch, small hole to start with, then finish with a 5/16” hole for use with 1/4-20 bolts.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View Elizabeth's profile


823 posts in 4429 days

#10 posted 04-23-2014 03:13 PM

Wow, thanks guys, there are some great ideas here.

Nitewalker I’m looking forward to seeing your photos too. Can you drill cast iron with regular drill bits, or do you need something special?

Whiskers, yeah all the commercial fences I’ve seen tend to have a lot of reviews saying the MDF breaks or embedded bolts come out, and many of them say “works with most presses” the clamps “work with most tables” too and don’t work with mine, I’ve been wary!

KDC68, your table looks great! Maybe I’ll aim to do something like that, though I’ll need to get help routing the T-slots. My neighbor is a retired machinist and hobby woodworker, maybe he can help me learn to do those.

View NiteWalker's profile


2743 posts in 3862 days

#11 posted 04-23-2014 05:29 PM

Regular hss bits work fine. :-)

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View MT_Stringer's profile


3183 posts in 4516 days

#12 posted 04-23-2014 06:22 PM

Here is an example. I drilled a hole through the cast iron wing of my table saw so I could reach the router height adjustment socket underneath.

No problem. Just a regular drill bit, one small one and then a larger one.

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

View JayT's profile


6439 posts in 3496 days

#13 posted 04-23-2014 06:23 PM

Sounds like NiteWalker’s drill press table is almost as simple as mine

Click for details

They don’t have to be complicated or difficult to build to work well. That one is held down with four 1/4-20 flat head machine screws going through existing slots in the factory table and then fender washers and wing nuts on the bottom to hold it down. Solid and very easy to take off or adjust. You could do the same by drilling a few holes. Drilling cast iron is not difficult, just take your time and use a slow speed.

-- - In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.

View Elizabeth's profile


823 posts in 4429 days

#14 posted 04-23-2014 06:33 PM

Nice build, Jay, and I like the idea of using layers of plywood between the tracks rather than cutting dadoes or routing. I’ve been thinking of doing something similar for an outfeed table.

Hopefully this weekend I will get a chance to get out to the shop and knock something together, or at the very least take measurements so I can doodle some designs next week.

View 7Footer's profile


2575 posts in 3234 days

#15 posted 04-23-2014 06:35 PM

I’ve got that same PC DP Elizabeth and I’ve been meaning to build a table too, I agree it’s a pain to get any sort of a clamp system going to use on the table it comes with. Those T-slot nuts look boss though, they seem perfect for slots in this particular DP, thanks for sharing those JJohnston, McMaster C has everything! I have JayT’s table favorited, I even have one of those Rockler T-track kits lying in wait right next to the drill press, gotta get on it!


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