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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I tossed together a crude platform for my drill press a while ago. Been wanting one for a long time so I can support longer pieces easier and also clamp them before drilling at times.

I don’t know if the slots in the iron platform were meant to work this way but they made a convenient way to bolt my platform on and loosen to slide when I need to raise or lower the platform. I loosen the wingnuts below, slide it out to give the crank room to operate, and then slide back when I get it where I want it.

I keep thinking I would like a fence for it but I can’t really see a need. I always precision mark my wood before drilling and then use a piloted bit like a bradpoint or forstner bit. Also my drill press is not very large at all and a fence would take away from needed depth between the bit and the post supporting the whole machine.
 

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Theo
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Not a thing wrong with that.
 

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Oliver (Prof. Henry)
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I added a fence to mine, Duane, and use it most of the time. I also cut a notch in the rear of the table for the hand crank so I don't have to move the table laterally to adjust it up and down. The side T-tracks are for the fence, and the front T-track is for a hold down. I routed a T-track into the fence for the sliding stop block you can see on the right side. The strange thing next to the crank notch is my poor-man's micro adjustor for the fence.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
That last post just made me rethink my entire top. I used scrap I had laying around to make it and I’m out of material so I’ll put a few miles on it as built but my next one will have an insert like that one has. Good idea!
 

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Duane. on mine I did similar to Oliver's and cut a semi circle in the back on the "L" of the base of the fence so the column doesn't hold the fence out more than 3/4"and the fence clamps are on both ends. I have found that fence's are quite handy on the DP.
As you can see the half round cut out on the vertical leg of Olivers' is to give the drill chuck clearance to be tighter to the fence.
I like the way you mounted the table to the cast iron one. You might think about putting some hand wheels on the table bolts under the table.
Herb
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Yes I’d prefer knobs over wingnuts. I just used what I had laying around. The plywood I used was even already cut to that size. But I see what you’re saying about the table extending beyond the back of the original table to allow room for the fence to sit, with a notch for clearance. The loss of depth would be minimal this way. These are good things to know for my second table top. I’m sure I’ll be making another after using this one and seeing what I like about it and what it still lacks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
By the way, I have discovered that I much much much prefer making my own tools over purchasing already made devices. The work bench I’ve been building, and the miter saw cart before that, and now this table top have all showed me that it is much more fun, turns out far better, and is custom designed to my own tastes far moreso than anything I could buy in a store. Speaking about the “poor man’s” micro adjustment, I love it, and I’d do the same exact thing before buying one.
 

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I have a table I made for my old DP that has a box below the top that clamps to the table. But with the new table, which has a much taller platform, I think I'm going to remake the platform. I think it makes sense to make it two layers thick. That way the replacable insert can be cut in the top layer and a pretty standard thickness of ply can just be dropped in. I really like the holes drilled in the insert corners to make it easier to lift it out.

The crank running into the platform is an annoyance, so I'll use Oliver's idea of cutting out a space for it in the top. I also like the suggestion of using star knobs on the mounting bolts. I hadn't thought of putting a groove on one side. Most of the time, the workpiece is in at an angle, so being able to fix the fence at an angle, and lock one end down seems like a good idea too. I have some 2 inch aluminum L bar that I could use for a fence.
 

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Nice basic platform. I got by for years with less. But recently I upgraded my table saw and my old homemade router table insert and fence did not fit my new saw. Even more recently I upgraded my drill press- made a cart for it and repurposed my old router table and fence to my new drill press.
Quick acting clamps make it easy to remove if necessary. Also added track and hold downs and fence stop.
 

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Would be nice if there was a clever/cheap way to extend the crank out so the platform doesn't have to be moved to raise and lower it.
I saw once where a guy took the crank off and chucked an old 1/2" drill motor on to the crankshaft, then mounted a 3 way switch in a box on the side of the table to raise and lower the table.

Herb
 

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Wes; one thing to watch out for is instability and tipping, especially with castors on the base. The tipping point is relative to the ctr. line of the castors, not the total width of the base cabinet (side to side, not necessarily front to back.
When it will happen (if it does) is if you have a long board or panel and the weight is loaded on one side or the other. This is a perfect opportunity to use a couple of those portable telescoping roller stands to support the ends of the long pieces. keep the weightier stuff in the base cabinet down as low as possible...the heavier the better.
 

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Would be nice if there was a clever/cheap way to extend the crank out so the platform doesn't have to be moved to raise and lower it.
Shop Notes, I think within the last year of the stand-alone magazine, did a drill press table and used miter gears to locate the height adjustment to the front of the table. They used another set to do the same with the column lock. When I sent my old Craftsman RAS head in for the $100 bounty, I tore down what remained and salvaged one pair of gears (even the right bore for the height shaft). Miter gears are a little costly, but "free" wasn't bad. Need to find that issue again--that's a project i'd get a lot of use out of.

If by chance it wasn't Shop Notes, it would likely be Wood--probably 3 years ago +/- 1 year.
earl
 

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Thanks for posting Duane. I really appreciate that you included all the photos; especially the view from below. I've been planning to make a really nice drill press table with fence & T-tracks (similar to Guitfiddle's) for years. Key word is "planning". As the plans kept changing trying to come up with what would be my ideal DP table, I've been using that miserable cast iron table on my 14 inch bench-top drill press and suffering with unsatisfactory results. Seeing your DP table brought home the point that I need to build something functional now, and worry about building the ideal table down the road. Thank you for changing my perspective. I'll copy your table and get it built this weekend so I can get using the drill press more often and with better results.
Michael C
 

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Shop Notes, I think within the last year of the stand-alone magazine, did a drill press table and used miter gears to locate the height adjustment to the front of the table. They used another set to do the same with the column lock. When I sent my old Craftsman RAS head in for the $100 bounty, I tore down what remained and salvaged one pair of gears (even the right bore for the height shaft). Miter gears are a little costly, but "free" wasn't bad. Need to find that issue again--that's a project i'd get a lot of use out of.
Shop Notes #135, May/June 2014, page 34.

The miter gears they used are mineral filled nylon from Stock Drive Products & are $5.94 per set ($10 min order charge for orders less than $30, so $15.94 + shipping). Or from Amazon (ASIN: B004NYAFLS) for $21.95 each. Only one set needed, the column lock is just an extension of the locking screw.
jp
 

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Shop Notes #135, May/June 2014, page 34.

The miter gears they used are mineral filled nylon from Stock Drive Products & are $5.94 per set ($10 min order charge for orders less than $30, so $15.94 + shipping). Or from Amazon (ASIN: B004NYAFLS) for $21.95 each. Only one set needed, the column lock is just an extension of the locking screw.
jp
Wow--4 years ago??? Thanks for that, I need to dig it out and update my DP table. Great info on their source for gears too--just in case I can't find the set I salvaged from the RAS dismantling.

I'd have never guessed it was 4 years back, 2 or 3 maybe...but not 4.
earl
 

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Would be nice if there was a clever/cheap way to extend the crank out so the platform doesn't have to be moved to raise and lower it.
The crank assembly shaft on my dp is metric so I ground it down to accept a 1/2" coupling. Attached a bracket to the underside of the table with 9/16" hole that lines up with the coupling and cut 1/2" steel rod to length. Then mounted crank handle to rod. Works great!

I made the table out of and old kitchen counter and some other material I had lying around the shop.
Sorry for rotation on first pic.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thanks for posting Duane. I really appreciate that you included all the photos; especially the view from below. I've been planning to make a really nice drill press table with fence & T-tracks (similar to Guitfiddle's) for years. Key word is "planning". As the plans kept changing trying to come up with what would be my ideal DP table, I've been using that miserable cast iron table on my 14 inch bench-top drill press and suffering with unsatisfactory results. Seeing your DP table brought home the point that I need to build something functional now, and worry about building the ideal table down the road. Thank you for changing my perspective. I'll copy your table and get it built this weekend so I can get using the drill press more often and with better results.
Michael C
You’re welcome. I had a chance to use mine today. It takes using one to see what you like and what you don’t. As far as surface area, I love what I have now! Wow, what a difference! I should have done this years ago. What I don’t like is the crank being in the way. A few times to move it isn’t bad in a project but today I was at it repeatedly and seemed to always need to raise and lower the platform. So I can see a redesign or an add on coming like what is in the other post I quoted below.

Would be nice if there was a clever/cheap way to extend the crank out so the platform doesn't have to be moved to raise and lower it.
The crank assembly shaft on my dp is metric so I ground it down to accept a 1/2" coupling. Attached a bracket to the underside of the table with 9/16" hole that lines up with the coupling and cut 1/2" steel rod to length. Then mounted crank handle to rod. Works great!

I made the table out of and old kitchen counter and some other material I had lying around the shop.
Sorry for rotation on first pic.
This!!!!! And your DP is even similar to mine so I’m going to borrow this idea. I need this badly! Thanks for posting.
 
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