Like many woodworkers, I too found the crude metal platter common on most drill presses inadequate for much of the woodwork that I do so a couple years ago I created a much needed wooden table for my drill press. I was quite eager to get it finished at the time and didn't put as much effort into the adjustable fence as I should have.
Motivated by the FIX IT Contest I decided to create a New and Improved Drill Press Table.
My idea is to implement 'T' track embedded in the table surface to accommodate a sliding, locking fence.
I found a piece of aluminum angle stock that I can use for the fence.
Step 1: What I Started With...
I have a Delta DP300L 12" drill press.
The drill press table I built is 30" wide by 13" deep. It is comprised of two layers; 3/4" plywood on the bottom and 1/2" pre-finished birch plywood on the top. I created a 4"x4" hole in the center of the 1/2" layer to accommodate a 1/2" sacrificial insert. The lower layer has a 3" x 3" hole in the center thus supporting the sacrificial piece and allowing debris to fall through to a catch cavity I can vacuum out occasionally. I stacked 3 layers of 3" x 9" x 3/4" plywood mounted to the underside of the table on each side of the center cut-out, then a 9" x 9" x 3/4" base below the two stacks which bolts to the metal drill press table below.
I also drilled several 1/2" holes through the entire top to accommodate a table clamp for holding down working material.
You may have noticed several horizontal lines running across the table surface, they are spaced 1" apart and used mainly as a quick visual reference for drilling repeated holes where absolute accuracy is not critical - kind of an at-a-glance guide.
The fence was simply a piece of 3/4 fir plywood with a extension fastened at one end that hooked under the edge of the table and a crude 1/4" ready rod clamp at the other. It really wasn't very stable... let's move on.
Step 2: Tools and Materials...
Cutoff saw or hack saw to cut aluminum
Two pieces of 3/4" x 3/8" 'T' track equal to depth of drill press table (T track at Amazon)
Two 3-1/2" x 1/4" 'T' bolts (T bolts at Amazon)
Two 1/4" threaded knobs, preferably 'T' type (Knobs at amazon)
>>Note: Amazon has a great T-track kit
Six #6 x 3/4" flat head wood screws
Several 1/4" washers and or spacers (may need to adjust spacing to fit your specific fence design)
One piece of aluminum angle stock 2-1/2" x 2-1/2" x 3/16" long enough to fit width of drill press table
(I used 1-1/2" angle and would have preferred 2-1/2")
Step 3: Preparing the Old Drill Press Table for 'T' Tracks.
I'm quite excited about this step because it involves using my recently enhanced router table (featured in my previous instructable).
I chose to place the 'T' track 3-1/2" in from each edge of the drill press table.
The 'T' track is 3/4" wide and 3/8" deep so setting up the router is as simple as locking the fence at 3-1/2", inserting a 3/4" straight bit and setting the depth to 3/8". Two passes, Voila, done! OK, you should (I did) run a scrap piece through as a test.
Step 4: Fitting the 'T' Track
The drill press table is 30"w x 13"d so I cut each track to 13" long.
The full track was 36" long and had some mounting holes in it but I pre-drilled and countersunk extra holes so each track had a place for 3 screws.
Use six #6 x 3/4" flat head wood screws to fasten tracks to table top
Step 5: Making the Fence...
Remount the drill press table on the drill press.
Flush one end of the aluminum angle stock against one edge of the table and mark the other end at the other table edge.
Cut the aluminum angle stock to length, this is your new fence.
Slide a 'T' bolt in each track a few inches in from the front edge of the table.
Place the fence on the drill press table again with the vertical face towards you and the horizontal face laying away from you, parallel to the front edge of table and nudged up to each 'T' bolt. Align the ends of the fence flush at the edges of the table and carefully mark the back edge of the fence at the center of each 'T' bolt. Extend the marks inward 1/2" and mark for 1/4" drill hole. Note: don't make your mounting holes too close to the vertical portion of the fence as this limits the type of knob you can use to tighten the fence (next step).
Now mount a 1/4" bit in the drill press and make the two holes in the fence to accommodate the 'T' bolts.
Step 6: Mounting the Fence...
Mount the fence on the table, inserting the two 'T' bolts through the mounting holes.
Place three 1/4" washers over each 'T' bolt, followed by the 1" spacer, then three more washers and finally spin the tightening knobs on.
Note: depending on your tightening knobs you may have other spacing requirements and means, however the objective is to keep the tightening knob above the fence edge. Also I chose to use a 'T' handle knob so it can be kept parallel behind the top of the fence face so it won't interfere with taller material that will sit against the fence. I would have used 2-1/2" aluminum angle stock if I had some laying around and then a round knob would have been the obvious choice.
Enjoy your drill press table with the new and greatly improved, adjustable, securely clamping fence!
Step 7: Conclusion...
I loved making this Instructable. I have been putting off dealing with the drill press fence for quite some time, literally all it took was seeing the FIX IT contest featured and I knew right away it was time to put procrastination aside.
Thank you for taking the time to read my Instructable. If you found it helpful I'd love to hear your comments.
I'd also very much appreciate your support in the FIX IT competition, thank you in advance for your vote.
Kent at the FrontierShed