If you've ever tried to do any kind of straight line cutting, drilling, or routing in the shop, you know the benefits of using a fence. I needed one today, but didn't have one on hand. I looked it up, and a fence for your drill press will run you anywhere from $30 - $80. Well, a) I couldn't wait for it to arrive in the mail, and b) I knew I could make one that would do the same thing at a fraction of the cost. Well, I decided to document it, so you can too for virtually nothing!
All you'll need is some scrap wood, a couple of carriage bolts, nuts and washers, and you're good to go.
This project only takes about 20 minutes or less, but it's well worth it for future use.
Enjoy this ible, and if you like it, please vote for me in the Wood contest!
Lets get on with it already!
Step 1: Tools and Supplies
1 1/2" X 1 1/2" hardwood scrap (you'll need at least the length of your drill press table)
Any kind of saw (I used my miter saw, but you could use a hand saw if you don't have one on hand)
2 x 3/8x2" Carriage bolts, with matching nuts and washers
1/2 Drill bit
Sandpaper (any kind will do)
Protective Eyewear (always a must in the shop)
Step 2: Measuring for Drill Holes
First things first, you'll want to measure out your drill press table, and the spacing between slide holes in the table
To find the center of each slide hole, measure the width of the slide hole, and divide by two. Then, measure from the outside edge of the table to the first edge of the slide whole. Add this number to the first one, and now you have your center. Repeat for the other side.
Step 3: Marking Your Wood
Using your measurements, you'll want to cut the wood to length. Once wood is cut to the same length as the table, begin marking. First, you'll want to find your center, and mark a line down the entire length.
Using this line, starting at the outside edge, mark the center for each hole to be drilled. You'll want to double check your measurements, and my Gramps always said, measure twice, cut once!
Step 4: Drilling Away!
Now that your wood is nicely marked, lets get some holes in there! Depending on the size of your carriage bolts, you'll want to make sure that the drill bit is the appropriate one so that the hole is not to tight. If it's a little loose, that's perfectly fine. For example, I used 3/8" carriage bolts, and a 1/2" drill bit to make my holes.
If you have a laser marker on your press, awesome. If not, line up the mark you've made on your wood with the bit, and tap it to the mark to ensure you have the right line. Then, clamp in place, and drill your first hole.
Repeat for the opposite side. When you're finished drilling, use a bit of sand paper to smooth the edges of your tear out from drilling and cutting if you have any.
Step 5: Fitting
Take you're newly minted drill press fence, and lay it on the drill press table holes facing down. Then, put a washer on the top of the wood, before dripping a carriage bolt through it and the hole in the wood. Now screw the nut on, but not too tight, as you'll still need to measure. Repeat for other side.
Step 6: Tighten Your Fit
Using your square, measure for where ever you're drilling before tightening. Once measured, to tighten up, use your wrench at the square part of the carriage bolt to hold in place while using your fingers to tighten the nut at the bottom. If you feel like you need a tighter fit than this, you can use your socket wrench to further tighten the nut, but I found a finger tightening was more than adequate.
Now enjoy your new fence, and have fun drilling holes in a straight line!