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Drill Press table.


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Here's my drill press table, a project that I know several are interested in seeing, including @BobJ , @Biker and others.

This will be quite long and pic heavy, so bear with.

As with all drill presses, they are generally made for metal working and have relatively small tables on them. (Mine's 7"x 8"). For woodworking, you need a bigger table with some kind of back fence and maybe an adjustable stop block for repetitive drilling. This table is going to be 22" wide and 15" deep. It's made out of 3/4" WBP ply which is flat and stable. It will have aluminium T track as sliders for the fence and stop block.
The first two problems I had to overcome was the fact that once the table was in place, it was difficult to access the table lift crank and the column lock.
Drill press table.

Some make a cut out to allow the handle to turn, and I even saw one Youtube vid where the guy had used 90o bevel gears to turn the handle so it came out the front of the table. These gears are expensive to buy and in my opinion, over engineer the problem. I opted to make a straight extension shaft which will put the crank at the side of the table. Once the crank is removed from the 14mm stub, it can be seen that there is a flat on it where the Allen screw goes.
Drill press table.

I bought two pieces of steel tube from B&Q, one 14mm in dia. and one 16mm dia. The 16mm dia fits perfectly over the D shaped stub, once I squeezed a flat into it with a pair of pliers.
Drill press table.

I then cut this piece off and fitted it to the end of the 14mm tube where it is an interference fit. The crank then fits perfectly onto the 14mm tube. This will then be cut to length. There is no fixing for the D shaped socket as it needs to push on/pull off the stub in order to fit the table to the drill...its shape stops it from spinning on the stub.
Drill press table.

Drill press table.

Similarly, I made an extension for the column locking screw by removing the rubber from the handle, fitting it inside another piece of 14mm tube and drilling a hole through both to secure with a small bolt.
Drill press table.

Drill press table.

Drill press table.

Drill press table.

I needed a method of tightening this, and found an old box spanner that I cut the end off and managed to hammer into the end of the tube...another interference fit. A swivel ended spanner will suffice to tighten it.

Drill press table.

Drill press table.

Once that was all sorted, it was time to start on the table. The ply was ripped down to make two pieces for the table and two for the back fence. These will be laminated together.
Ripping with a piece of H section aluminium as a fence...
Drill press table.

Drill press table.

Cutting out the gap for the column with a jigsaw...I wanted this table to fit past the column as it will be more stable.
Drill press table.

Drill press table.

Drill press table.

Most woodworking tables have some sort of sacrificial insert that can be changed when they get full of drill holes. Some make square ones, but I opted to make round ones as they can be simply revolved into a new position when required. Once both sides have become worn out, a new one is fitted.
Cutting the round hole with a circle cutting jig on the router.
Drill press table.

The hole is only made in the top surface, and is offset so the drill comes down about an inch from the edge...once there is a ring of holes round the insert, it can be changed. The hole in the bottom board is the actual drill centre and allows a screwdriver or similar to be poked up to push the insert out.
Drill press table.

I made three inserts while I was at it, giving me 6 sides to use.
Drill press table.

Now it was time to fit the blocks that will carry the extension shafts. I found the stub of the table lift wasn't actually square to the table, and had to fit the blocks according to this wonky angle. I also fitted the stop blocks (2"x1") to fit round the original table. These will have toggle clamps fitted eventually.
Drill press table.

Drill press table.

Drill press table.

Drill press table.

Here you can see how the crank extension just pushes onto the stub to fit the table. The column locking screw on the other side fits similarly.
Drill press table.

Drill press table.

Drill press table.

Next, I had to route the slots to take the T track into the top surface. 
Drill press table.

In the absence of a router table, (next project!) I had to use the router with two fences fitted in order to route the slot down the centre of the back fence.
Drill press table.

Drill press table.

Drill press table.

Finally, the two table pieces can be glued and clamped together.
Drill press table.

The toggle clamps are fitted next.
Drill press table.

The T bolts are supplied 4" long and just need cutting to the right length.
Drill press table.

And the finished table. I ran the router round the edges with a rounding over cutter to finish it off and I might put some wax finishing paste on the surfaces and polish to help things slide. Overall, very pleased with the way this turned out...the extensions work perfectly and the sliders are silky smooth.
Drill press table.

Drill press table.

Drill press table.

Drill press table.

Hope this has been of use, and if you have any comments or improvements that I could make then then please add them below. As mentioned above, the next big project will be a router table.

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So when are you making me one then?  :laugh:

You've done a cracking job there Roger. Extending the crank handles from the pillar has got to be better than slotting the table weakening it.

I'm surprised the outlet for that crank in the casting isn't 90 deg to the table? as is the opposite locking handle.

Excellent project :thumbsup:

 

 

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1 hour ago, BobJ said:

I'm surprised the outlet for that crank in the casting isn't 90 deg to the table? as is the opposite locking handle.

Yes...it's a bit strange. I reckon the hole in the collar casting wasn't drilled straight. I tried to make it less out of square, but it made everything bind. At the end of the day, it's not seen from above, and works perfectly as it is.

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