Projects – Drill press table – Part 1

I’ve been thinking for a while about building a larger table for my drill press and now the drill is securely mounted I might get moving on it.

Most DIY drill tables look something like this:

Drill press table mock-up

They usually have an adjustable fence, to enable to placement of the wood being drilled relative to the fixed chuck of the machine.

Radial drill

The problem with this table on a bench radial drill such as mine is that it’s fine while the throat is set similar to a non-radial drill:

Table mock-up

Table mock-up – side view

But when the throat is extended by cranking the chuck forwards, the chuck overhangs the table by quite a bit:

Table mock-up - drill extended

Table mock-up – drill extended

One option I’m considering is to have a table that can be mounted both “across” and “out”:

Table mock-up mounted "out"

Table mock-up mounted “out”

The table would have to be pretty rigid to cope with this and it would have to be possible to mount the fence in both positions (or maybe have 2 fences, although I’d prefer not to in this small workshop).

Without some specific applications in mind, I’m not sure whether the loss of the sides would limit its usefulness. Perhaps some extending wings might be the answer if so?

Of course if I’m working on something that requires such a large throat it may be too big or heavy to fit on the table anyway …

Edit 06/01/2013: My Dad has sent me this little sketch of an idea for extending the table when the throat is extended:

Dad's idea for an extending base

On the same subject, Paul has suggested on Facebook that a gate leg table arrangement could support the front of the table when it’s extended.

I don’t think a full vertical gate would be the answer, but a diagonal one (maybe 45 degrees) would probably do the trick. I think this may also be the answer to supporting the extended sides of the table.


Whatever I end up with, I’m intending to build something like this, with a sacrificial strip rather than just a small circle or rectangle in the middle, to allow for the variable throat.

I’ll probably use a layer of MDF on top of a layer of plywood, to give a nice smooth surface on a strong base. The sacrificial inlay may be dovetailed if I’m feeling brave 🙂

I’d also like to make provision for dust collection – even if it’s just a place to clamp the hose of my shop vacuum.


Jig hardware

I stocked up on various jig hardware for this and the router table project a while ago, including some 1/2” T-track, some 3/4” T-track and some T-track sliders.

Mounting the table might not be easy, because although the cast iron table has some useful slots, they’re very close to a cast rib, so I won’t be able to fit most of my selection of knobs in the cramped space. I should be able to fit Bristol levers though – maybe even ratcheting ones.

Under table view

Under table view

This entry was posted in Drill press table, Machinery, Projects, Setting up shop, Workshop and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Projects – Drill press table – Part 1

  1. Pingback: 2013 Workshop projects | Aggravated Wood Butchery

  2. Pingback: Projects – Circle Cutting Router Base – Part 2 | Aggravated Wood Butchery

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