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Vertical drill press table DIY

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Vertical drill press table DIY
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Sometimes we are working on some woodworking project in our shop and we need to drill the head of some strips. For example to drill dowel holes to make some dowels joints. When we clamp the strips and we drill them freehand we usually make some mess. And it seems to be something very difficult, or even impossible, to drill them in the drill press. Unless we know the woodworking trick we are going to see in this post. And that woodworking trick is that we can turn the metallic table in our drill press. So, we can put that metallic table in vertical and perfectly parallel to the drill bit. Like that we can clamp the strips vertically in the drill press to drill them. But it will be easier to make perfect holes in the strips head if we attach a plywood table to the metallic table. I mean the drill press table I will make in this post.

How to incline the drill press table by 90 degreesIn my drill press, there is a bolt under the metallic table. And that bolt attaches the metallic table to the metallic clamp that runs along the drill press column. If I loosen that bolt [1] I can turn the metallic table by 90 degrees to put it in vertical. The problem is to make sure it is perfectly vertical, because there is a mark to put it horizontally, but not to put it vertically. So my trick is to install a drill bit in my drill press. Then I put the metallic table vertically against the drill bit. And I change the metallic table angle until the drill bit edge perfectly grazes the metallic table surface both in the top [2] and in the bottom [3]. Now, very carefully, I have to tighten the bolt [4], but checking to make sure I don’t change the metallic table structure.

Horizontal guiding strip and vertical fence stripNow I use the jigsaw to cut a 18mm thick plywood [5]. It must be some bigger than the drill press metallic table [6]. And one edge of that plywood piece must be perfectly straight, so I can put a small “guiding” strip perfectly flush with that straight edge [7]. I will use that small strip to hang the vertical plywood table on the metallic table top edge. That strip is also to guide the plywood table backwards and forwards to set the plywood position. And in the other face of that plywood table I will put another small “fence” strip. This one at 90 degrees with the first one. [8]. This second strip will help to keep the workpieces perfectly vertical while I drill them in the head.

How to install the horizontal guiding strip to hang the plywood table

Then, to make this vertical drill press table, first I will screw the guiding strip that helps to hang the plywood table on the top edge of the vertical metallic table. And it slides on the metallic table edge to set the plywood table. So, I put the plywood piece vertically on the workbench. I put the straightest edge on the workbench. I glue one strip perfectly flush with that edge, and I use spring clamps to hold it while the glue dries [9]. I drill three guide holes [10] and I insert three screws [11].

How to install the vertical fence strip

Now I will screw the vertical “fence” strip in the other face of the plywood table. This strip helps to keep the workpieces perfectly vertical while I drill them. Then, I put it more or less in its position, and I insert one screw in the top of the strip [12]. And now, with the help of the square, I swivel that strip until it is perfect at 90 degrees with the strip in the other face of the plywood. And I use a spring clamp to hold it in that position [13] while I drill a couple of guide holes and I insert two screws [14].

Installing the bolts to clamp the plywood table to the drill press tableNow I need a way to install the vertical drill press table, so I hang the plywood on the edge of the metallic table. I move it towards the drill press column and I draw the shape of the metallic table grooves in the plywood table [15]. Now I move the plywood table away the column, and once again I draw the shape of the metallic table grooves in the plywood table [16]. Like this there is a place where those drawings coincide [17]. So, I make a mark in the middle and I drill a couple of holes so I can insert two bolts. [18].

How to insert the bolts head in the plywoodI insert the bolts in such a way that, the bolts head and the fence strip are both in the same face in the plywood table. I use a narrow chisel to draw the bolts head on the plywood [19]. And I use that chisel to carve the plywood [20] so I can insert the bolts head in the plywood [21]. And I use a washer to check and to make sure that the bolts head don’t protrude the plywood surface [22].


How to turn the drill press head by 90 degreesNow I put the drill press sideways in the edge of the worktable. And I clamp the drill press base to the worktable. And I want to turn the drill press to the outside of the worktable.


Allen screws to block the drill press headIt is very easy to turn the metallic table, because I only have to loosen the metallic clamp that is used to slide it along the column. But it is also very easy to turn the drill press head, because there are a couple of Allen screws that fix the head to the column. When I loosen those Allen screws I can turn the drill head by 90 degrees. I tighten the Allen screws and the drill press is ready to install the plywood vertical table.

How to use the drill press table to drill the strips head

How to install the drill press vertical table

First, to install the vertical drill press table I pass the bolts through the groove in the metallic table, and I use the guiding strip to hang the plywood table on the metallic table. So now I have the guiding strip on the top edge of the metallic table. And I use two big washers, two small washers, and two wingnuts to tighten the bolts [25], but not too much. Now I install a drill bit and I move the vertical table until the drill bit is right in the corner between the vertical strip and the plywood surface. So now, if I turn the drill bit and the edge grazes the strip and the plywood both, in the top [26] and in the bottom [27], then the table and the strip are both perfectly vertical. And they are parallel to the drill bit.

Now I put the workpiece against the plywood surface and against the vertical strip. And the head must be, more or less, flush with the top of the plywood drill press table.

How to drill the head of one wooden stripI clamp it with two spring clamps, and I move the metallic table and I slide the plywood table on the metallic table, until I can put the tip of the drill bit right on the place I want to drill in the workpiece head. I tighten the metallic table clamp and the wingnuts.


How to set the drill press table to drill the strips headI check everything is still in place, and I can drill a perfectly vertical hole in the workpiece head. So now, with the help of this vertical drill press table, it is very easy to drill the head of the wooden strips, for example, to drill dowel holes.


Drilling the wooden strip headI also have the typical horizontal drill press table. A simple design with a swivelling fence and a sacrificial surface.

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Comments (2)

Excellent!

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Thank you very much Robert

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