Ingenious Jigs: A Better Table for a Drill Press

Hold and guide your work like never before with this fixture that will (finally) fix your drill press.
By Eric Hedberg
Pages: 36-40

From the October 2005 issue #150
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There probably isn’t any machine more ignored in my shop than my drill press. Even though I use it constantly for one thing or another, the last significant upgrade it saw was a slab of leftover plywood and a simple, but workable, fence. Even after swearing to myself (and at the machine) on numerous occasions that I would come up with something better, I’d still haul out a clamp and screw gun to hold down some odd setup.

Most times I’m drilling a hole located from an edge and end, or a series of holes along an edge. The hole diameters need to be precise, but usually their relation to an edge doesn’t require extraordinary precision. More and more often, I’m trying to hold down some elaborate fixture positioning an odd-shaped part.

Similar to many woodworkers, I often wondered why drill presses couldn’t be more like mills and less like drills on a stick. What if I could go to my drill press and set hole locations without marking the part? What if it had a slotted top so I could mount fixtures anywhere? Isn’t there a better alternative than a router-table-style fence?

As these ideas fermented in my mind, it wasn’t until a catalog with the prominently featured slot-wall-cutting bit arrived that things took off. In a matter of minutes the T-slot table was born.

From the October 2005 issue #150
Buy this issue now