Drill Press/Drum Sanding Table




Introduction: Drill Press/Drum Sanding Table

About: I am an almost retired systems engineer who likes woodworking. I have been at it off and on for many years. I also like photography and these two interests are always competing for my time. When I found out...

This is a very useful adapter for your drill press. The slots in the top allow you to use bar clamps to hold down stock and to hold a fence. The center piece of the top is removable so you can drill into it. If you get too many holes in it, just replace it.

If you put in a drum sanding insert you can use your drill press as a drum sander. With the dust collection attached and running, some times its hard to see how much sanding you are doing as all the dust gets sucked away before you see it.

This is relatively simple project to make and mounts to your existing drill press table with 4 screws.

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Step 1: Materials

1 Top, MDF, 1" x 16" x 32"

4 Inserts, MDF, 1" x 4 3/4" x 16"

2 Rails, plywood, 3/4" x 2" x 32"

1 Bottom, Luan plywood, 1/4" x 16" x 32"

14 Ribs, hardboard, 1/4" x 3 1/4" x 16"

4 Bar clamps, 6"


1" screws


2 Vacuum adapter rails, plywood, 1/2" x 1" x 19 5/8"

2 Vacuum adapter styles, plywood, 1/2" x 1" x 3 7/8"

1 Vacuum adapter bottom, plywood, 1/2" x 3 7/8" x 19 5/8"

2" screws

Step 2: Tools

Drill press

Table saw

Dado blades for table saw

Hole saws

Drum sanders for drill press

Hand Drill with bits

Screw drivers

Step 3: Make the Rails

Warning: Always wear the appropriate protection when operating any equipment or using tools.

Set your table saw to make a 1/4" wide and 1/4" deep cut. I used my dado blades for this. There are 2 rails and they are symmetrical end to end. Therefore, set your saw to make the cut 1" from the end and then make 8 cuts, on the face and top, on both ends of both pieces. If you use this process, you will have a nice symmetrical looking piece and you will only have to set up for 7 cuts instead of 14.

Step 4: Make the Bottom

Warning: Always wear the appropriate protection when operating any equipment or using tools.

This is a pretty simple step. Again you can make this out of any 1/4" material. I used Luan plywood. Cut the plywood to 16" x 32". The hole is for dust collection as you will see later. Use a hole saw on your drill press to accomplish cutting the hole.

Step 5: Assembly Step 1 - Putting the Rails on the Bottom

You can glue or screw the rails to the bottom, or both. Make sure the slots cut on the wider face, are facing in and the slots on short face, are facing up. The outside edges of the rails should fit nicely along the outer edges of the bottom.

Step 6: Make the Ribs

Warning: Always wear the appropriate protection when operating any equipment or using tools.

While the glue from the previous step is drying, you can make the ribs. I made my ribs out of hardboard, but any 1/4" material will do.

  1. When cutting the ribs to the 3.25" dimension, do so using the same set up on the table saw, i.e. the same fence position. The vertical dimensions are critical to insuring the tops of the ribs lie in the same plane. I used a dado blade to make the corner cut outs.
  2. When making the cuts on the corner cut outs, again you should cut them all from the same setup. The coner cut outs will be glued into the notches of the rails so they can be over-cut slightly without a problem.

Step 7: Assembly Step 2 - Adding the Ribs

  1. Apply glue in the all of the bottom edges of the ribs and in the slots of the rails
  2. Insert the 14 ribs into the slots of the rails.
  3. Put something wide and flat across the tops of all the ribs and clamp. This will help insure the tops will be in the same plane.

Step 8: Make the Top

Warning: Always wear the appropriate protection when operating any equipment or using tools.

  1. Cut the top to 32" x 16". At this time, it important to only cut the top to this size. I used MDF to make the top, but you can use other material.

Step 9: Assembly Step 3 - Adding the Top

This is an important step. What you are going to do is glue the full 16" x 32" MDF as one piece to the assembly and then make the cuts to the MDF while it is a part of the assembly. This will help insure you have a flat top.

  1. First apply glue to the tops of all the ribs, EXCEPT THE MIDDLE 2.
  2. Put the top on the ribs, aligning it with the bottom and clamp.

Step 10: Cutting the Top

    Warning: Always wear the appropriate protection when operating any equipment or using tools.

    1. While the glue dries from the previous step, set your table saw to make a 3/8" wide cut all the way through the MDF, but not so high as to cut the rails. Here I used a dado blade set.
    2. After the glue is dry, turn the assembly upside down so the MDF is on the bottom.
    3. Make the cuts in the MDF as shown in the drawing. These cuts are also symmetrical, so you should only have to set your table saw fence 3 times and make 2 cuts each time.
    4. Be careful making the last cut. After the last cut, the center piece will be loose, as it was not glued down.

    Step 11: Adding the Vacuum Adaptor

    I made this adapter because I have a cabinet under my drill press table and it interfered with the dust collection. This step is optional if you don't have a cabinet under your table or if you don't have a dust collection system. If you do need this adapter, you may have to change dimensions to fit your dust collection system. I have a 2.5" shop vacuum system in my garage.

    1. I used 1/2" plywood to make my adapter.
    2. After cutting the pieces, glue the sides together and clamp.
    3. Before the glue dries, screw and glue the bottom on using 10 1" screws.
    4. When I mounted it to the bottom of the assembly, I removed the 1" screws in the corners.
    5. Then I glued and screwed the adapter to the assembly using 2" screws in the corners.

    Step 12: Mount the Assembly to the Drill Press

    1. Position the assembly on your drill press table where you think it needs to be. More than likely it should be centered left to right on your table and the back edge of the assembly aligned with the back edge of the table.
    2. Clamp the table into position.
    3. From the bottom, locate where you can put holes so that the 2 back holes align with the back rail. Mark the locations.
    4. Remove the assembly and drill holes all the way through the table.
    5. Re-locate the assembly where you had it before in step one and mount to the table with screws.

    Step 13: Cut the Inserts

    Warning: Always wear the appropriate protection when operating any equipment or using tools.

    You will need at least 1 sacrificial insert to use when drilling and 1 insert for each size sanding drum you have.

    1. Cut all the inserts to the size shown from the same material you made the top from.
    2. Make sure they fit snugly into the assembly. You may have to adjust the width of the inserts.

    For drum sanding inserts:

    1. Place one insert into the assembly and clamp into place.
    2. Mount a hole saw into the drill press. This hole saw should be no more than 1/2" larger in diameter than the sanding drum.
    3. Drill the hole into the insert all the way through.
    4. Repeat steps 1 - 3 for each size sanding drum.

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