Introduction: Drill Press Table With Dust Collection
For me, this is one of those projects that I’ve been wanting to build for years but could never seem to get around to it. Well now I have.
Taking inspiration from other drill press tables I’ve seen, I set out to design my own. I used the Fusion 360 design program to do so. I love this program for the amount of detail it offers and the ability to make highly detailed building plans straight from the program. And, speaking of building plans, if you are interested in the plans for this build, you can get them from my website.
Table saw or Circular saw
Clamps (spring clamps and F-style clamps)
1/2 drill bit
Dado stack for a table saw (optional)
Band saw or hack saw
Orbital sander with sandpaper (120 to 220 grit)
Dust collector - Still makes a great table even with out dust collection.
The above links are affiliate links which means if you purchase anything through the links I will receive a small commission but there is NO extra charge to you. Just a small way to support my woodworking:)
Step 1: Break Down the Lumber
I designed this table to use sturdy 3/4″(19mm) premium plywood. The nice thing about this table is there’s not a lot of difficult cutting to be done. Using my table saw I cut the two pieces for the table itself with two quick cuts. Then, adjusting the table saw fence to the height needed for the drill press table fence, I made three more quick cuts. Utilizing my cross cut sled, I cut all the pieces to their final widths. All of this could also be done using a standard circular saw with a guide for straight cuts.
Step 2: Removable Insert Location Prep
Now that all the pieces are cut, I decided to start with the removable table insert in the table base itself. This insert will lift out, rotate or flip over. All to allow a fresh surface when one area gets worn out. And being that’s it’s a perfect square, it makes it easy to cut new pieces on the table saw when one gets worn out.
To cut the hole out, I first measured off its size and location on top of the table. Speaking of location, it’s located such that when a drill bit is lowered to drill, it will be located in the top left section of the removable piece. Basically off center to the whole table base.
I drilled out four pilot holes at each corner. Using a jig saw I cut as close as possible to the lines. The piece that has been removed can be discarded. To get all the way to the lines and create a nice straight cut I would say there are several methods to achieve this.
For me, I chose to use chisels to get to the line. Using these with a scrap block of wood that has a perfect 90 degree cut will allow you to chisel straight down through the wood. Take your time and don’t try to chisel too much wood at one time.
Optional methods would be to use a router with guides or just use files to get to the lines.
Step 3: Cutting Out the Tunnel
To make the tunnel though the three pieces of plywood that would make the fence, I first marked out the locations on each piece. Each piece has a different height so once that was set on the table saw I set my miter gauge to 45 degrees and cut to the marked lines using my dado stack. And when the pieces are lined up you can finally see the tunnel through them.
Step 4: Adding Dados for T-tracks
Since I had the dado stack already in my table saw, I decided to go ahead and cut the dados that would accept the T-tracks later on. Using a T-track as a guide, I set the depth of the cut on the table saw. After I marked out the location of the two cuts, I made one pass and checked the fit. It didn’t fit just yet so I moved the table saw fence just a smidge and cut again. It now fit perfectly.
Optional methods would be to use a standard blade in your table saw. But this would take lots of passes to complete. Or you could use a router with a straight cut bit and a guide of some sort to guide your cut.
Step 5: Cut the T-Tracks to Length
Now to cut the actual T-tracks to length. In order to keep the mounting holes somewhat centered in the table, I chose to cut off the excess from each end of the T-track. If I didn’t do this, one mounting hole would be less than a quarter of an inch from the edge of the table. Since I couldn’t find a marker to mark the cut location I just used a piece of painters tape. Using my band saw made quick work of cutting but you could certainly do this by hand with a hand saw. I set these aside to be installed at the end.
Step 6: Glue the Base Together
Time to do some gluing. Applying generous amounts of Titebond 3 to the top side of the bottom piece, I spread that glue out being careful not to spread it in the area where the removable piece will sit. From here it’s just a matter of setting the top piece on the bottom piece and add all the clamps you have. And maybe something that is heavy as well.
Step 7: Glue the Fence Together
To finish the glue up, I set the fence pieces in order and started applying glue to the first two. After spreading the glue evenly, I lined them up and applied just about every spring clamp I own. Like they say, you can never have enough clamps!
Step 8: Clean Up the Edges
To clean up any glue squeeze out and any slight unevenness I went back to the table saw and cut along all the edges.
Step 9: Optional Step
My shop is fairly small so all my tools are pretty close together. This means I’m usually bumping into things quite often. So mainly for the table base I decided to cut the front corners off. I also went ahead and cut the top corners off the fence but this was purely for decoration. This was a simple operation of marking out the cuts and then using my band saw to cut along the lines. If you don’t have a band saw, a typical wood hand saw would work just fine.
Step 10: Drill Some Holes
The first hole to be drilled is what I call an access hole. This is centered on the table and will be directly over the hole that is in the center of the steel table on the drill press. From the underside, I can insert a screw driver or the like straight up through this hole and push up on the removable block.
The other two holes are drilled though the fence that the T-bolts will pass through to secure the fence.
Step 11: Install Threaded Inserts
Of course this table needs a way to be secured to the drill press and for that I chose to use threaded inserts. Temporarily setting the table on top of the drill press metal table, I marked out the slots on to the under side of the wood table.
Using these locations I could then drill out some more holes to accept the threaded inserts. And be sure to check out the build video where you will see a funny mistake I made at this time.
Step 12: Everyone’s Favorite Past Time
To smooth out all the surfaces and edges I used my orbital sander with 220 grit sandpaper. Nice and easy and fairly quick.
Step 13: Make the Insert
Since the hole in the table was made as a perfect square, the insert is easy to make. Simply set the table saw to the dimension needed and cut once. Then flip the piece 90 degrees and cut again. This makes a perfect square. Now yes, I did start with a setting a smidge big and then snuck up with repeated cuts to get the perfect fit. From here you could make several more to set aside for later use.
Step 14: Getting Close to Done
To add a “finish”, I choose to use mineral oil and some paste wax. The mineral oil is only because I have a ton of it in a bin since I make a lot of cutting boards. This is an easy process of wiping on the oil and letting it dry. Once dry, I wiped on some wax and buffed off the excess.This step is purely optional or you could use any other type of finish you would like.
I also went ahead and installed the T-tracks using small wood screws. And after they were installed I filed down the edges of the metal nice and smooth.
Step 15: Install the Dust Collection Port
I used a standard angled 2″ dust port from Powertec. However, I did have to cut off some of the flange on the top and bottom so it would sit flush with the back of the fence. To do this I used my band saw which made quick work of it. From here I mounted it to the back of the fence using some super glue and small wood screws.
Step 16: And Done!
Finally, we are done! To finish, all that’s needed is to secure the table to the drill press and connect the dust collection. Using some quarter inch “star” knobs that I cut to length, I screwed these into the threaded inserts from below and pressed on the hose to the port.
I should point out that the design of my drill press does not have large rotating handles to adjust the stock table up and down. Due to this, I do not have any clearance issues with the new wood table and this adjustment handle.
I mention this because other drill presses may have a larger handle and this would cause clearance issues with this wood table design. To solve this problem I would recommend adding spacer sections of plywood between the stock metal table and the new wood table. The amount needed will depend on your drill press.
Another option would be to build a small drawer that is a narrow as the stock metal table but high enough to clear the adjustment handle.
If you have any questions on this or anything else related to this build please leave a comment below.