Step 3: Make Drill Holder

Draw a vertical centre line down one of the pieces of ply, and choose a point at the level of the horizontal centre line for the stock, allowing for bed, carriage, stock width/diameter and a gap of maybe an inch or two.  Measure the diameter of the drill's collar, and choose an appropriate hole saw if you have one, or draw a circle to cut around.

Cut a hole big enough to snugly hold the collar of the drill.   Screw this piece to the piece of board which is just a bit shorter than the drill body (base board).

If you have one, fit a long straight piece of bar, or dowel, in the drill chuck.  This will soon show up any misalignment.  Fit the drill collar into the holder you just made. Prop up the drill body with the handle vertical or horizontal so it is held with the long bar parallel to the bed and to the edge with the strip attached.  Run the drill (slowly if it has speed control) to check for wobble, so you know to compensate for any.

Measure the height of the top and bottom surfaces of the drill body at the position the second piece of ply is going to be.  Draw a vertical centre line down the piece.  Mark the exact halfway point between your top and bottom lines and cut a round hole centred on it.

File the hole to fit the shape of the drill body, taking care not to go past the top and bottom limits you marked, and not to make it so the drill is twisted at all.

Fit the drill into the two boards and screw the back board to the base board.

Check the alignment again and secure the base board down to the bench.  Re-check the alignment.  Adjust any tilt using shims.  Gentle application of a hammer to the base board seems to be the best remedy for horizontal misalignment.

I found it necessary to add a couple of wood bars to the top of the drill holder, to stop the drill collar being pushed out of its hole when pressing hard with the workpiece (photo to follow)

The run out that you mention is all too common in both hand and drill presses. Part of it is built into the economy of the product but much of it often comes from the strain caused by harsh usage of the drill, hard or inconsistent materials and particularly from not having the right drills, low quality drills or hand sharpened bits that are less than perfect. Some of the cheaper bit sets have such poor metal that they can't even drill soft woods easily and getting more than one hole drilled with such a bit is unlikely. The cost of a good collection of drill bits can easily pass the cost of a good, pro quality table saw.
What an interesting and informative comment! Thanks! I'm glad it's "not just me".

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Bio: Loving getting back into electronics as a hobby after a break of many years. Now I work as an EPOS engineer, so I spend my ... More »
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