Building A Drill Press Table

Been wanting to build a table for my drill press for sometime now. Reason being, I feel a larger table will make for a more stable surface, while performing drilling operations. The finished product is shown in the following Photo and Sketches.

The three sketches below provide dimensional & other data for the drill press table, that I built.

In the first sketch here (Sketch #1), a Top View and also a Front View of the drill press table are shown.

Notes for Sketch #1:
Note 1 — Shown here is a T-Track (Details in Sketch #2) installed in a 3/4″ wide by 3/8″ deep dado. Actually I cut the dado a tad deeper than 3/8″ deep, to insure it didn’t protrude above the surface of the new table top.

Note 2 — This represents a 1-3/8″ diameter counterbored hole & also a 1/2″ diameter drilled hole. The holes above house the following:
1) 1/2″ diameter hex head bolt & flat washer.
2) Installed at the bolt end opposite the bolt head is a flat washer, split lock washer,
and nut.
3) See Sketch #3 for more details.

The T-Tracks shown in Sketches #1 & #2, are for moving and locking the fence. T-Tracks are also handy for clamping devices for holding wood being drilled.

Board 2 is where the drilling takes place. I’ve made it removable, for replacement after repeated encounters with the drill bit.

Sketch #2 below provides dimensional values and also a source for the T-Track shown in this Sketch.

Sketch #3 below expands on the bolt hole requirements covered in Sketch #1.

Putting the Drill Press Table Together:

Step 1 — Bolt Hole Template:
For determining where to drill the four holes for fastening the new OSB table top to the
existing metal top, I used the following procedure:

1) Clamp a scrap piece of wood to the side of the existing metal table as shown in the
following Photo.

2) Next clamp a scrap piece of OSB to the top of the existing metal table. This is shown in
the Photo below.

3) Using the setup shown in the Photo above, I marked where to drill the four holes by
penciling thru the openings in the metal table onto the OSB shown. Using the penciled
marks on the OSB, I next drilled four bolt holes. Bolts & flat washers are shown in
the following Photo.

In the Photo above, notice the wood member inserted between the back of the OSB and
the drill press metal shaft. This wood member (Approx. 1/8″ thick) was used to provide
clearance between the drill press metal shaft and the OSB shown. The OSB shown will be replaced with the new drill press table, here shortly. The temporary OSB is just a bolt hole template, that I will use to drill bolt holes in the real OSB drill press table, here shortly.

Step 2 — Cut OSB Boards 1 thru 4 to Size:
Next thing to do, is to cut the OSB sheets for the drill press table. Additional details are
as follows:
1) Dimensions overall for bottom OSB sheet (Board 4) for table, are 22-1/2″ wide x 13-1/4″ deep x 3/4″ thick. Board 4 is the bottom sheet of OSB in the Photo below.

2) Dimensions for top OSB sheet for table, are the same as the bottom sheet. However, this sheet will be further cut into three pieces, as shown in the Photo below. The three pieces at the top of the Photo are also shown in Sketch #1 as Boards 1, 2, & 3.

3) The top OSB sheet is shown cut into three pieces in the photo above, and dimensions for the center piece (Labeled as Board 2) are 3-5/16″ wide x 13-1/4″ deep x 3/4″ thick.

The center piece just mentioned will be a removable piece, that can be replaced with a
new piece (Same dimensions). This is a handy feature that will permit this center piece
(Board 2) to be replaced after repeatedly being drilled into.

Step 3 — Cutting the Dadoes:
Taking Boards 1 & 3 to my table saw, I cut the dadoes req’d for the T-Tracks. As noted in
Sketch #3, the dadoes are 3/4″ wide x 3/8″ deep. Actually, I cut the dadoes a tad deeper than 3/8″, to insure that the T-Tracks when installed, do not protrude above the new drill press table top. Be sure to use the hole template in Step 1 above, to verify that the planned dado locations do not overlap with the req’d 4 hole locations.

The cutting of one of the dadoes is shown in the Photo below.

Step 4 — Hole Drilling:
The Photo below shows the hole template used for drilling the 4 bolt holes (Boards 1, 3, &4) and associated counterbored holes (Boards 1 & 3). The hole template is positioned as shown in the Photo below. The center line shown on the Hole Template Board is positioned to lineup with the center line shown on Board 2, in the Photo below.

Step 5 — Fastening Boards 1, 3, & 4 Together:
With all four boards (Boards 1, 2, 3, & 4) cut to size, drilled, and dadoes cut, next step was to lineup and fasten Boards 1 & 3, to Board 4. To fasten the Boards together, I used 1-3/16″ brad nails.

Step 6 — Install T-Track:
Screw & Drilling Info for T-Track:

1) Three screws per T-Track
2) Flat Head type screws, #6 x 1″
3) After using an awl to mark the drilling point, a 5/64″ dia. drill bit was used for drilling
the pilot holes.

Step 7 — Wood Washers:
The Photo below shows a wood washer (Rectangular in shape), typical of four wood washers.

The wood washers are used to keep the existing metal drill press table from making direct
contact with the metal washers associated with the four bolts. Also shown, is one of the bolts, associated washers, a split lock washer, and nut.

For my drill press, the wood washer dimensions needed were 4″ x 2-1/2″ x 3/4″. The 1/2″ dia. holes for the bolts, were located to line up with the bolt holes thru the new wood drill press table. The “FL” in the Photo is just a note for myself, to indicate that this particular washer goes in the front left corner under the existing metal drill press table.

Step 8 — Bolt Her Down:
The Photo below, shows my new wood drill press table bolted to the existing metal drill press table. Shown in the Photo, are the four 1/2″ dia. hex. head bolts, associated washers, split lock washers, and nuts. It’s not going anywhere.

Step 9 — Fence:
Pictured below is my fence, for now. Nothing fancy, but it will do the job, for now. And if not, well I can always build another fence, to meet future needs.

Step 10 — Houston, We Have a Problem:
Seems that with the new drill press table installed, that the crank for moving the new table up and down, doesn’t clear the new table. This dilemma is shown in the following Photo.

Yea that’s a problem, The crank & table conflict, with one another. I decided to press on with the project, and revisit this issue later. Amazing to me, how leaving a problem for a while and returning to address the problem on another day, can work wonders. At least it did, for this particular problem.

Here’s what I came up with, for solving the crank and table conflict issue.

1) I removed the crank handle, from the shaft it was attached to.
2) Measured the shaft dia. with a vernier caliper. The dia. was 9/16″.
3) Bought a rod coupling nut, at Home Depot. The rod coupling nut was for coupling 5/8″
dia. threaded rods together.
4) The rod coupling nut fit reasonably well over the shaft, the handle had been on. And it was the closes couple fitting, I could find.
5) Next step was to drill & tap a hole thru the rod coupling nut, for a set screw, to secure the coupling to the shaft.
6) The Photo below, shows the coupling clamped by my drill press vise, which in turn is
clamped to my new drill press table. I first used a 3/32″ dia. bit, followed by a 7/32″ dia.
bit, and then I used a 1/4″ x 20 tap.

The 1/4″ x 20 tap used, is shown in the following Photo.

7) I used a 1/4″ x 20 hex. head bolt, 3/4″ in length. As you can see in the Photo below, the bolt broke on me. It was a shear type stress failure. I question the quality of the bolt. If I had it to do over, I would use a bolt intended for automotive type applications, and use a 5/16″ x 24″ bolt. With that being said, I filed the rough edges left by the broken bolt. Going to leave it as is, since I have no plans to remove the rod coupling nut, from the shaft in the future.

8) Pictured below is the socket and ratchet, used for turning the coupling, which in turn moves the drill press table, up and down. Socket shown is a 15/16″ deep well socket, and the socket is a 6 point type socket. Ratchet shown is a 1/2″ drive size ratchet.

So far, using the coupling, socket, and ratchet set up, for moving the drill press table up & down, has worked out just fine. Excuse me for a second, while I pat myself on the back.

Final Thoughts:
Now that my new drill press table is finished, I look forward to using it, for years to come. For operations such as drilling holes in multiple pieces at identical locations, on each board drilled. And no telling what other uses I will find for it. I have one idea for another use already. However, let me save that for a future post.

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Until next time, take care.