A Different Kind Of Drill Press Table

Charles Lent

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Central North Carolina
A few years ago I made this drill press table for one of my bench sized drill presses and have dedicated it to doing small part drilling where many parts need the same hole drilled in the same location. I recently realized that I hadn't posted it, so here it is.

The table is just a piece of 3/4 cabinet birch plywood and the fence and other pieces were made from scrap poplar. The unique part of this is that the fence pivots off the left rear corner of the table, so moving it is easily done with just one knob at the right end. For most projects, the fence and piece to be drilled can be at any angle with reference to the drill press, so a fence like this works well because it's so easy to adjust and lock with only the one knob. A position stop was added to this fence and again, it adjusts easily with only one knob. I have a Wixey cross hair laser unit on this drill press that I have super tuned for accuracy, so it shows the same cross hair position at any table height, and set it up for it's position to match one of my smallest drill bits when clamped in the drill chuck.

The attached photos are pretty self explanatory, and building a table like this doesn't require much more than a few scraps and some easy to find hardware, about a 14" square piece of flat and smooth 3/4" plywood and a few pieces of poplar or other hardwoods, 1' of small T track for the top of the fence, two 1/4-20 hanger bolts for the fence position clamp (one keeps the clamp piece from rotating when the clamp is loose), a couple of 1/4-20 knobs for the fence lock and position stop, 2 carriage bolts and knobs for attaching this table to our drill press table, and a few small wood screws to attach the T slot extrusion to the fence, and one large bolt, lock nut and a few flat fender washers for the fence pivot point (I used 3/8 diameter bolt and long enough to go through the fence and plywood table).

I have two bench top drill presses and one floor standing. I've installed this table to my fixed speed drill press and rarely change it's speed from a relatively high speed pulley setting because I have pretty much dedicated this drill press to drilling small piece projects where I usually have many small parts requiring one or two small holes positioned where it is ideal to be able to use a fence and combined stop to locate the pieces and drill them one at a time.

If anyone decides to build one of these and has questions, or wants another photo I will be happy to help.

Charley

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Ryan Mooney

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I like the stop, I have something vaguely similar I use on one of my drill presses and it is super handy!.

One thing the fence on my dp has is a slight undercut on the bottom of the fence. I think that it's a good feature for doing a lot of repeat pieces because it gives a bit of a place for some small bits of swarf to collect without interfering with the piece registering on the fence. It doesn't work as well with really small pieces so I generally put a slightly thicker spoil board under those so the piece being drilled can register on the fence.

I could see having something like this as an upper table that would go into the cross slide vise on my other drill press though..
 

Rennie Heuer

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Nicely done Charles. The pivoting fence is a great idea and I'm sure it makes set up go pretty well. Reminds me of the TV program, I think it was called Router Workshop or something like that. He did everything with a clamp on fence and always clamped one end and pivoted into the setting.
 

Charles Lent

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Central North Carolina
Ryan,

I actually did under cut the fence, but I did it after the photos were taken. A coiled air hose and nozzle hangs from the ceiling just to the left of this drill press, for clearing the small chips off the table, and my most frequently used scroll saw is just to the left of the same air hose, so the one air hose serves both locations well.

Since I have two benchtop drill presses, both with laser cross hairs, the one with this table is a step pulley version and I leave this table on it with the belt in a relatively high speed position for drilling small holes. Most of the work done on this drill press is related to my scroll sawing, so pieces of 1/2 X 1/2 X 1" hardwood are quite common. For instance, I drill holes in my smallest reindeer (see photo) to allow attaching the ear ring hardware. Also blade starter holes for the scroll saw blade when doing inside cuts.

The table removes easily from this drill press with only two bolts and the two knobs below the table that need to be removed, but my second benchtop drill press is a continuously variable speed, so it's my preferred choice for most non production smaller hole drilling. Then I have the 1 hp floor standing drill press for the big stuff, and the long hole drilling like the 3/8" lamp wire holes, and the 2 - 3 7/8" Forstner bits or hole saws.
 

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Ryan Mooney

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Charles, a couple years back I found a set of jewelers or now commonly sold as circuit board drill bits at an auction. For really small stuff they've been pretty handy - although you need to be real careful to not break them. I've also been using some leevally set (which they don't appear to sell anymore) that had a bunch of 1/64, 1/32 and similar small bits for various things. For some stuff like spinning wheel hooks I've been just grinding a piece of the insert into a gun drill like end so it exactly fits.

I'm curious what tooling you're using for the really tiny stuff?

The circuit board bits are kind of like these (no relationship - just an arbitrary as found example..).


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Charles Lent

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I didn't mean that small. I have a drill index with all of the fractions up to 1/2", All of the letter bits, and all of the numbered bits.
I don't remember the bit size that I use for the reindeer to drill the hole through their hears for the ear ring hardware, but it's from this big drill index and I think one of the smaller numbered sizes. Your set in the photo appears to be even smaller than those in my drill index. I just measure the size of the ring material that I want to insert through the reindeer's head, and then pick a bit that is slightly larger, so the gold or silver plated metal ring can be opened and then just pushed through. I then bend the ring closed and attach the hook or clamp type ear piece to it. The ring through their head is 12 mm diameter, but I don't remember what wire size they are made from. I only remember the 12 mm because Hobby Lobby stopped carrying them and I had quite a time searching for them online.

This past Christmas I was still recovering from my heart problems, so I only made 8 pair of the ear rings and a few of the next size larger reindeer to make necklaces. This was my fifteenth year of making them. In 2018 I made 47 pair and 34 necklaces, plus 247 of the largest 3 1/2" tall reindeer. All are gone every year by about the New Year. Over the fifteen years I have made well over 5,000 reindeer. I just give them away, mostly to any woman who helps me when I'm shopping, or in some other way during the Thanksgiving to New Year Season. My doctor, her nurses, etc. all have them. If any get broken and they bring them back to me, I repair (usually replace) them. I have never sold anything that I make.

Charley
 
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