Table and guide for drilling with the drill press

DIY drill press table with swivelling fence

I wasn't planning on making a drill press table because, like many other things that surprised me later in my little woodworking shop, I never believed that a drill press table could be much more useful than the metallic table that already comes with the drill press.

But as I have just mentioned, once I had the drill press table installed I was amazed with how much easier it makes drilling. A larger table provides much better support for the workpieces to be drilled, and a lateral fence, that pivots in one end, makes it easy to adjust the exact position in which I have to drill.

Cut a piece of plywood to make the table

To make this drill press table, I will use a piece of plywood board that is just a little more than 15mm thick. And I will cut it with the jigsaw (1).

Center and mark the width of the metal table on the board

I have to put this piece of board centered (2) on the drill press metallic table and against the drill press column. And with the pencil, I mark under the plywood board the position of one side of the metallic table.

Screw the first guide strip under the plywood

Now with the square I have to draw a perpendicular line (3) from the straightest edge of the board starting at the mark I made, and I am going to put a small wooden strip glued to the line (4) so ​​that the strip is in what would be the outside of the metal table. After drilling a pilot hole (5), I insert a screw (6). With the square I make sure that the strip is perfectly at 90 degrees with the edge of the board (7), and I put in a couple more screws (8).

Press guide bar against metal drill table

So, I put the plywood board on the metal table of the drill press, and I have to press the slat that I just screwed against the side of the metal table (9).

How to put the second guide bar under the table

And I hold the plywood table with a sergeant. I also need to put another strip underneath the board. So, I'm going to press it well against the other side of the metal table, and I hold it with another sergeant (10). I mark where to put the first screw (11), I drill a pilot hole (12) and I can now screw the first screw (13). And in the same way I put a couple more screws.

Slots for passing table anchor bolts

In order to use the plywood table in the drill press, I need to fasten the plywood table to the metallic table. So I will use bolts and wingnuts so that it will be easy to put on and take off the drill press table. Also, I don't want this drill press table to be fixed, but I want it to be able to be easily moved back and forth. For this I will take advantage of the grooves in the metallic table (14).

How to bolt the table

I fit the wooden plywood table on the metallic table and against the drill press column, and I draw the shape of the metallic table grooves in the bottom of the plywood table (15). I move the wooden plywood table slightly forward and redraw the shape of the grooves. So now I have an area to each side under the plywood table where both drawings coincide.

Now I have to drill a hole in the center of the areas where the drawings coincide (16), and I carve the shape of the hexagonal head of the bolts into the holes on the top of the plywood table (17). So, with a narrow chisel I have to carve the holes until the head of the bolts fully enter. And by rubbing a washer on top of the bolts head, I make sure they don't stick out of the table surface (18).

How to Guide to Milling a Recess with the Milling Machine

I could leave the drill press table like this, but when drilling it will spoil the surface little by little. That is why I will place a thin plywood plate that can be easily changed when it is badly damaged. For this I draw two parallel lines centered on the plywood table (19). I install a straight router bit in the plunge router, and I put the router on the plywood table so that the two edges of the router bit are at 90 degrees to one of the lines, while one of the edges of the router bit is right on the line (20 ).

Now, being careful not to move the plunge router, I place a wooden strip against the base of the router. With the help of a square I put the strip at 90 degrees with the front of the wooden plywood table (21). And I hold the strip with a woodworking clamp. I move the router to the other line, and with the edges of the router bit at 90 degrees with the line and one edge right on the line, I have to put another strip against the other side of the base of the plunge router (22). With the help of the square I put the strip at 90 degrees with the front of the table, and hold it with a clamp. I make sure both strips are parallel (23) before inserting a screw in the other end of these strips so they won't move (24).

If you pay attention, notice that I put the clamps so that, in addition to holding these strips, they also clamp the drill press plywood table to my work table.

Milling a rebajo with the router on the tabletop

That way I am sure that anything will move, and I can route a recess with a depth equal to the thickness of the thin plywood plate that I will use (25).

Cut a plate of marquetry and adjust it in the recess

With the jigsaw I have to cut the piece of marquetry a few millimeters larger than necessary (26). And now I can sand the edges until the veneer fits perfectly into the recess that I milled (27).

Put the bolts or screws and wing nuts

I can now put the table in the drill press. I insert the bolts (28) and insert from the bottom of the table a pair of washers and a wing nut on each bolt (29).

Install the side guide with a single screw

I put on the plywood table the strip that will work as a fence and also will help as a lateral support for drilling, and I fasten it in one end, from the bottom of the table (30), with a single screw (31). Thus this strip fence pivots on the table, which makes it very easy to adjust the position of the workpiece that needs to be drilled.

Column drill table and pivoting side guide

And when necessary I can hold the other end of the guide with a sergeant (32). In this way I already have my table for column drill ready.

Drill holes in line with the drill press

So by putting my workpiece on the table of the column drill and against the batten, and moving the part along the batten, and / or pivoting it together with the batten, I can accurately drill at any point (33) resulting very easy to go from one point you need to drill to the next.

Test Drilling Holes with the Column Drill Table

If needed, I can hold the other end of the fence to drill several holes aligned along the workpiece (34). And if I drill holes that completely go through the workpiece, if I make sure that the drill bit always enters in the same clean hole in the thin plywood plate under the workpiece (35), I will avoid chipping when the drill bit comes out from the bottom of the workpiece that I am drilling. So I can drill several clean holes in a row.

As you can see, a drill press table is a very easy project to do. And it will be very useful in many of our woodworking projects.

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4 comments on "How to make a table for the column drill"

  1. Hello …… I've been following your videos sporadically for years.
    You're a machine !!!!!! You edit them better and better and they are still as useful as ever.

    1. Enredando No Garaxe

      Thank you very much Alonso. After so long editing videos I suppose something that I will have improved 🙂

  2. Hello, I love carpentry work and now that I have almost all the time I am setting up a small workshop, I have been subscribed to your channel for some time following your work and I find some better than others that doubt fits, but what But it surprises me is the cleanliness with which you work and explain the work to be done, I tell you that I under many of your videos to try…. imitate you lol, or copy some of your ideas but hey I'll have time to look a bit like you.
    Follow this line I love
    a greeting

    1. Enredando No Garaxe

      Thank you very much Pedro. I hope my ideas are very useful to you 😀 This carpentry is a hobby in which you improve by practicing 🙂 Greetings and encouragement with your workshop

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