Precision Drill Press Table: If you are in the market for a precision drill press table, there are many things to consider. One thing to remember is that the table is going to be your workhorse for years to come, and therefore it needs to last, and perform flawlessly.
There are many different brands on the market today, but all of them have one thing in common; they need to clamp on the fence. Clamp-on fences are made from wood, plastic or metal, with a multitude of different types of clamps, and varying quality of clamps.
Precision drill press table
A precision drill press table needs to clamp onto the fence, this is achieved through locking the fence to a stationary point on the table, and also locking the fence to the table leg, this is achieved by either using ball bearings or a mechanical lock.
Depending on the type of drilling you will be doing, will determine the type of clamp to be used. Most clamps will hold a drilling hole very tightly. The smaller diameter holes require the use of ball bearings. These bearings make drilling much smoother and also allow the drill bit to rotate much easier, and drill faster. The larger diameter holes will need the use of mechanical locks, this is usually done with a special lock designed for the drilling job.
A precision drill press table is an extremely important tool when performing precision drilling jobs, it makes precise drilling much easier, reduces mistakes, and makes the work much more efficient. They are also very durable and if taken care of will last for years. You will be happy you purchased an engineered table, as they last much longer than any other type of precision drill press table.
For accurate drilling, build an engineered table.
Did you know that most pillar drill tables are made for metalworking?
Carpenters need a better table – it should have a large surface, an easily adjustable rail with a stop, fasteners and replaceable inserts.
I have studied many designs for a table with these characteristics, but each one seems to have a flaw.
I have taken all their best qualities and created a table that should meet all your needs. It uses two types of Incra tracks, which I really like, but other types of T-tracks would work fine too.
The table is laminated from two layers of 3/4 ″ MDF. Cut the top (A, in the diagram below) to the exact size; cut the bottom piece (B) about 1/4 “larger. Make a large notch in the back of the top piece (Fig. B). (The deep section allows space to turn the table height adjustment handle .) First, drill holes to create internal corners, then cut the notch with a hacksaw. Cut out the same notch on the bottom piece, but reduce this notch by about 1/8 “smaller. Round off the outside corners of the top piece using a template and a wire finishing tip or a file and sandpaper.
Glue the top and bottom pieces together (Photo 1). After the glue has dried, mill everything around the table with a flush tip to level the edges of the two pieces.
Construct a template to route the recess for the sacrificial inserts (Fig. C). Glue the template pieces around a square piece of plywood, then fasten them together with screws. Install a template guide and a straight tip into the router and make a test notch in a scrap MDF piece. (This is a good time to plan ahead – if your inserts will be made with a 1/2 “or 3/4” sheet supply, adjust the cutter’s depth of cut to match the thickness of this material. ) The trial cut will give you the exact size of the niche. Back at the actual table, draw the recess (Fig. B) and drill holes in each corner. (These holes will allow you to easily remove an insert.) Place the template over the holes and mill the notch (Photo 2).
Using a nut set, cut out the grooves in the table for the T-track (Photo 3). At the bottom of the table, carefully prepare the screw holes that will secure the T-track in place (Fig. F). Use a Forstner bit to drill the large diameter part of the holes first, then finish drilling the holes using a smaller bit. (The heads of these screws are recessed so that the table has a smooth bottom. This makes it easier to secure a piece to the table.)
Install the screws and washers through the holes, then loosely fasten the nuts. Slide the T-track over the nuts (Photo 4). Once the T-track is in place, tighten the screws from below. This extra strong fastening system prevents the upward force of the fastening clamps from tearing the T-track off the table.
Table cutting list for precision drill press
Overall Dimensions: 1-1 / 2 “Th x 24” W x 18 “D
Th x W x L
3/4 “x 24” x 18 “
3/4 ″ x 24-1 / 4 ″ x 18-1 / 4 ″
Base of the fence
3/4 ″ x 4 ″ x 26 ″
1/2 ″ x 4 ″ x 4 ″
Fence and inserts
Make the fence by cutting the base (C) to size. Cut a notch in the base so that it can clear the column of the drill press (Fig. D). You could screw a wooden fence to the base; I chose an Incra fence because it has a built-in ladder and T-rails to hold a stop block.
Drill holes for the bolts that will secure the base to the table’s T-track. Drill holes for the threaded inserts that hold the Incra guide (Fig. E). Install the inserts and the fence.
Make a large stock of inserts to fit the recess in the table. Set aside an insert and draw a crosshair on it indicating where the center of the table will be (Fig. B).
Install the table
Install a small bit into the chuck of your drill press. Place the new board under the spindle, aligning the tip with the lattice you drew on the insert. Under the cast iron table of the drill press, trace the outline of the mounting holes with a pencil.
The most effective way to secure the wooden table to the cast iron table is to use 1/4 – 20 bolts, fender washers and threaded inserts. (The MDF does not hold the screws very well.) Turn the wooden table over and drill holes as far apart as possible for the threaded inserts. Avoid piercing the recess of the sacrificial insert. Install the threaded inserts and mount the table. Add the fence and you are good to go!
• 8 Allen screws, 1 / 4-20 x 1 ″
• 10 washers, 1/4 ″
• 8 dice, 1 / 4-20
• 2 hex head bolts, 1 / 4-20 x 1-1 / 2 ″
• 6 threaded inserts, 10-24
• 6 round head screws, 10-24 x 3/4 ″ and washers
• 2-star knobs with 1 / 4-20 inserts
• 4 threaded inserts, 1 / 4-20
• 4 hex head bolts, 1 / 4-20 x 1 ″ and fender washers
Incra T-track Plus, 18 ″ long
Incra Shop Track, 36 ″ long
Incra Shop Stop
Stella Picchio knob
Sealing Clamp – Pivot Style
Source: Popular Woodworking Magazine