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Thread: Drill Press Table Mods.....

  1. #1
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    Drill Press Table Mods.....

    Like most, I have a pretty basic drill press. Got it at Lowes way back in the day when the last drill press died on me. And like most stuff at Lowes... the quality is decent enough for the average tinkerer.

    Lately, though, I'm more frustrated than not when it comes to using this thing. The little piece of fiber board in the center (scrap that you're supposed to replace as it wears out) should have been a hint, but I honestly wasn't thinking when I bought the thing.

    I drill a lot of holes for the hooks I forge, and have already upgraded with a quality keyless chuck to make things a little easier on me. Threw on a cheap-o vise that got me up off the table, but it's blah and needs to be removed if I want to drill odd stuff.

    Thinking about removing the vise, I got to pondering on what others might have done to make their drill presses more functional for them - specifically in regards to the table.

    Jason over at Fireball Tool has come up with a very nice add-on table that's really caught my eye because it lends a lot of versatility that I'm currently lacking. At four bills, though, it's bit pricey, especially when you consider that you're getting just the drilled plate and nothing else - even stand-offs to raise it up from the OEM table.


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    Re: Drill Press Table Mods.....

    For the most part, I love my 5" cross slide vice, but I hear you on the big odd shaped stuff. I've toyed with the thought of a portable table that could be slid into place and clamped to the upright to keep it solid. I had a 400 lb odd shaped casting off the front of the tractor I wanted to put another port into which ended up on an angle of an irregular shaped piece. If the table was on 4 electric jacks you could control height and tilt. Probably use a bunch of holes like the one pictured to allow a few bolts to secure it. Just when you thought the one you were looking at was too pricey, I've come along and made it more expensive...
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    Re: Drill Press Table Mods.....

    I like it but $400 is a lot of money. it could easily be made though. All it would take is time. I like the combination of taped holes and through holes for clamps. I would think it would need to be up off the original table about an inch or so. If built correctly all the tooling used on a layout table could be used with it. The precision layout would need patience to get right. It lends itself to repeat jigs and could easily pay for itself in a semi large production senario . Someone like Brooklynbravest could utilize it quite well. If a person had the right tooling, that layout could be done on a plasma table along with cutting it out. Then finish drill and tap the holes.
    Last edited by thegary; 05-13-2020 at 11:49 AM.

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    Re: Drill Press Table Mods.....

    And here I was trying to find some "frugal" solutions!

    Maybe I should just cut off the OEM table and use one of those hydraulic lift carts to raise and lower a chopped Strong Hand fab table?

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    Re: Drill Press Table Mods.....

    Gear reduction has been my best mod. Hf drill press clamps work well, though not convenient to remove from the table.

    I don't see how that table could be useful on a standard drill press? If I divide the price/dollar by the number of holes then I would I would probably use about 10 dollars worth of holes, ever. I assume it has a through hole in the center ?

    VaughnT' What does your 2nd paragraph of the first post mean?

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    Re: Drill Press Table Mods.....

    Quote Originally Posted by tapwelder View Post
    I don't see how that table could be useful on a standard drill press? If I divide the price/dollar by the number of holes then I would I would probably use about 10 dollars worth of holes, ever. I assume it has a through hole in the center ?

    VaughnT' What does your 2nd paragraph of the first post mean?
    Oddly, I've been thinking about getting a geared-drive press ever since seeing that other post about them. Never thought about one before, but I can see the perks to it. The only problem is not having the money for one!

    The second paragraph refers to my table having a 3x3" chunk of fiber board in the middle of the table. It's a sacrificial bit that you're supposed to drill through, ruin and replace rather than having a small hole in the casting like you normally see on drill presses. Rather than save you from drilling into the cast iron, the fiber board warps with humidity, making it impossible to get your piece flat to the table. I don't think mine lasted more than a week before it was bowed up, interfering with what you were trying to drill through. Replacing it also means that I have to cut wood to fit it because it's not like it's sized for a section of dimensional lumber that might be a hair thicker or thinner than the table will accommodate.

    I should replace it with some steel plate, but I've never gotten around to it. The vise covers it up so it's not a burden any longer, though.



    The Fireball table is certainly expensive, but I think there's value there if you're having to drill a lot of holes. For me, the real saving grace is just the size of the table. Sure, it'd be nice being able to lay down fences for some pieces, but the ability to clamp from anywhere and not crowd the chuck, or support a longer piece.....

    18x24 is pretty sizeable. Case-Hardened and oxide-coated, well, that's icing on the cake. Like you, I'd probably only use a dozen of the holes on the thing. The problem is that I don't know which holes I need, so if I was to try making one of my own..... I'd have to drill four holes just to mount it and then always be disassembling the thing every time I found that I needed a hole somewhere I don't have already have one.

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    Re: Drill Press Table Mods.....

    I use a regular T Slot clamping set. Never let me down yet and it cost $50.
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    Re: Drill Press Table Mods.....

    I welded up a vice holder from four pieces of angle iron, not designed to hold solid enough for jig and fixture work. Must have used one sometime in the past but sure can't remember where or when. Basically it prevents the vice from twisting while it is free to slide around the table. My drill press is an old Craftsman model that was sitting at the curb one day. New belt and some simple adjustments, can't beat the price!
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    Re: Drill Press Table Mods.....

    Iuse press vises and clamps like everyone but recently I found that a piece of wood clamped to the table is very handy for securing small pieces, you can chisel into the wood to hold odd shapes or you can drive a couple drywall screws in to hold the piece from spinning. Recently I had to drill some 2" X 1/2" flat brackets on both ends and I just chiseled the shape into a piece of 2X4 and laid them in there, made it very easy to drill and if you keep the recess shallow you can leave them in there while you sand/polish the pieces as well. I learned it from a guy over on the Old Woodworking Machines site at Vintagemachinery.com
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    Re: Drill Press Table Mods.....

    Here's what I'm talking about, I had this "retirement" light but did not have the mounting brackets so I cut them out then put them into the recess for drilling. Kind of a crude example but you get the idea.
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    Drill Press Table Mods.....

    This isnít so much a table modification as an ďassistĒ


    These two freebie DPs lacked geared crank type table lifts so I added a small bottle jack to one and a mechanical trailer hitch jack to the other.



    :

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    Re: Drill Press Table Mods.....

    Nice. I could talk about drill presses all day............maybe because I don't own a lathe.....yet.
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    Re: Drill Press Table Mods.....

    Quote Originally Posted by Lis2323 View Post
    This isn’t so much a table modification as an “assist”


    These two freebie DPs lacked geared crank type table lifts so I added a small bottle jack to one and a mechanical trailer hitch jack to the other.




    The trailer jack is a great idea....

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    Re: Drill Press Table Mods.....

    Quote Originally Posted by jbacc View Post
    The trailer jack is a great idea....
    A side winder as opposed to a top wind is preferred.
    :

  17. #15
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    Re: Drill Press Table Mods.....

    my drill press

    Uses the knee like the above Drill press.
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    Re: Drill Press Table Mods.....

    That is how you do it! Scheming and dreaming how to outfit a well equipped shop, meanwhile making it work with what I scrounge up. Vice was another freebie, my favorite flavor. Name:  IMG_20200523_150950.jpg
Views: 422
Size:  208.9 KB

    Can't have you thinking I am cheap, the plywood is just a fitcheck. I will cut a full width piece for under the vice. Strategically located those two pieces to hide the circle of shame in table. It was like that when I found it, :-)
    Last edited by _Dom; 05-23-2020 at 07:35 PM. Reason: Added parting shot
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  20. #17
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    Re: Drill Press Table Mods.....

    Quote Originally Posted by _Dom View Post
    That is how you do it! Scheming and dreaming how to outfit a well equipped shop, meanwhile making it work with what I scrounge up. Vice was another freebie, my favorite flavor. Name:  IMG_20200523_150950.jpg
Views: 422
Size:  208.9 KB

    Can't have you thinking I am cheap, the plywood is just a fitcheck. I will cut a full width piece for under the vice. Strategically located those two pieces to hide the circle of shame in table. It was like that when I found it, :-)
    That's a pretty useful almost no cost modification that surely makes work easier.

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    Re: Drill Press Table Mods.....

    The trailer jack is a good idea but darn hard to drag the whole contraption over to hold the trailer up so you can hitch it to the truck.

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    Re: Drill Press Table Mods.....

    This came in handy a couple times...can wack it with hand or head if you are afraid to let go...Name:  19768A47-A238-4907-B9D3-86B9F0F8B80F.jpg
Views: 325
Size:  89.3 KB

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