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DIY drill press table with swivelling fence

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DIY drill press table with swivelling fence
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I had never thought before about how to make a drill press table, because I never thought it could be more handy than the drill press built in metallic table. But I must admit it was a surprise to discover how useful is the drill press table I made. A bigger table has more surface to put the workpieces on it, so it is easier to hold them while drilling. And it is also easier to clamp them if needed. In addition, the swivelling fence I made makes it very easy to set the workpiece position, so I can drill with more precision.

To make this drill press table I use the jigsaw to cut a small plywood board (1). This one is 15mm thick. Then I have to centre this small board on the drill press metallic table (2) and against the vertical column. And I use a pencil to mark the position of one edge of the metallic table under the plywood.

I use the jigsaw to cut a piece of plywood board
I mark the position of the drill press metallic table

Now I use the square to to draw a perpendicular line (3) to the straightest long edge in the plywood board. That line must be right on the line that I made before to mark the position of the edge of the metallic table. Now I will put a small strip right against that line, but in such a way that the strip is “outside the metallic table”. So now I drill a guide hole (5), and I insert one screw (6). I use the square to make sure the strip is at 90 degrees with the edge of the board (7), and I insert another two screws (8).
How to screw the first strip under the plywood table

Now I put the plywood board on the metallic table, and I press the strip against the metallic table (9). And I clamp it. I press another small strip against the other side of the metallic table, and I clamp it (10). I eyeball where to put the first screw (11), I drill a guide hole (12), and I insert the first screw (13). And I do the same to insert another two screws.

Press the strip against the drill press metallic table
How to put the second strip under the plywood table

Drill press metallic table groovesNow I need a way to clamp the plywood board to the metallic table, so I will use some bolts and wingnuts to clamp it. Like that it will be easy to install and uninstall the plywood table. Furthermore, I want it to be easy to move forwards and backwards, and for that I will use the grooves in the metallic table (14).


How to put the bolts to clamp the drill press tableSo, I push the plywood table against the column, and I draw the shape of the metallic table grooves under the plywood board (15). Now I move the plywood table some centimetres away from the column, and I draw the grooves shape once again. Like that both drawings of each groove overlap. So now I drill a hole in the middle of each overlapping (16). I use a narrow chisel to carve the hexagonal shape of the bolts head in the plywood table (17). I carve that shape until the bolts head fit, and I use a washer to rub on them to make surte the bolts head don’t protrude the plywood surface (18).


If I use the plywood table like that I would ruin it after some drilling some holes. So I will put a removable small piece of marquetry that will work as a sacrificial surface. Like that I can move that marquetry piece when needed. Or I can put a new one. Then, I draw two parallel lines in the centre of the drill press table (19). I install a straight router bit in my plunge router and I put the router base on the lines. Now I turn the router bit until the cutting edges are at 90 degrees with the parallel lines. And one edge of the router bit must be right on one line (20).

Now, very carefully to make sure I don’t move the router, I put one strip against the router base. I use the square to make sure it is at 90 degrees with the front of the table (21), and I clamp one end of the strip (23). Now I move the router to the other line, and with the router bit cutting edges at 90 degrees with the other line, I put one cutting edge right on the other line. I put another strip against the router base, and I clamp it at 90 degrees with the front of the drill press table (22). I make sure both strips are parallel (23), and I screw the other end of the strips to make sure they won’t swivel (24). Notice that I use the clamps both, to clamp the strips and to clamp the plywood board to my workbench.
How to route a wide dado

And now I can route a wide dado to fit the marquetry (25). So, that dado must be as deep as the thick of the marquetry I will use. I cut a piece o marquetry that is some millimetres wider than the dado (26), and I sand the edges until the marquetry fits a bit tight (27).

Using the router to route a wide dado in the drill press table
How to make the marquetry piece fit in the dado

Washers and wingnuts to clamp the drill press tableNow I can put the plywood table on the drill press metallic table. I insert the bolts (28), and I put a couple of washers and a wingnut in each bolt (29). I put the swivelling strip fence on table, and I screw one end. I screw it from the bottom of the plywood table (30) using just one screw (31). Like this I can swivel the fence, and it is very easy to set in any position I may need. When it is in the right position, if needed, I simply clamp the other end of the fence (32), and I can drill the workpiece.

How to install the swivelling fence
Drill press table and swivelling fence

How to use the drill press table to drill holesThen, I put my workpiece on the drill press table and against the swivelling fence. I move the workpiece along the fence, and I swivel the fence and the workpiece until the tip of the drill bit is right on the point I want to drill in the workpiece (33).


Test drilling aligned holes in the drill press tableAnd like this it is very easy to move from one drilling to the next one I have to drill. I can also clamp the other end of the fence so I can move the workpiece to drill some aligned holes (34).

If I drill through holes, if the drill bit enters always in the same clean hole in the marquetry piece (35), that will help to avoid tear out in the bottom of the workpiece. And if I use a different drill bit, I can move the drill press table or the marquetry to make a new clean hole that will help to avoid tear out. So, this drill press table will help me to drill more precise and clean holes.

I also have another vertical drill press table to drill the strips head.

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