Page 1 of 4 1234 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 47

Thread: Drill Press Table

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Perth, Australia
    Posts
    6,846

    Drill Press Table

    A couple of weeks ago I took advantage of a Black Friday sale and purchased a Nova Voyager drill press for a great discount. This replaced a Taiwanese model I had for 25 years. Yeah, I know this machine is OTT, but it is an amazing tool. For those who are not familiar with the Voyager, it is a computerised, variable speed drill press with a 2 hp direct drive motor (240v). I have already used it to determine the ideal speed for a selection of forstner bits, and then drill to a preset depth, and stop automatically at that depth.


    Putting it together was .. uh ... a little scary. The motor section is extremely heavy, and I was concerned that I would drop it in my usual clumsy fashion. Anyway, it was put together without mishap. A Nova fence was one of the freebees thrown in ...





    Nova recommend that one not use a mobile base, however I need to do so since my machines occupy one side of a double garage, and some machines need to be mobile. The drill press is one. The ideal mobile base is as low to the floor as possible. A low centre of gravity is more stable, but also you do not want to raise the drill press up too much as the controls and computer screen may be moved out of your comfort zone.





    Steel mobile base on lockable wheels ...





    This post is more about the table I built for the drill press. Some may be able to use the ideas here. Most of the ideas are old hat, but there are a couple of novel ideas. My old drill press used nothing more exciting than a piece of plywood over the cast iron table. Somehow it was sufficient, although the work holding sucked ... and this is what I wanted to address here. Plus, the sacrificial board became chewed up and useless very quickly, and I had an idea to improve on this.


    I was not crazy about the cast iron table as a work surface. For a top I found in my local salvage yard a 18" x 25" UHMW slab 30mm (1-1/4") thick. This is about as perfect a table top as one could get - it is very resistant to damage, and yet will not damage wood placed on it.


    It planes without any tearout





    The first task was to dado in aluminium tracks for the fence and hold downs, and then to create a circular mortice for a sacrificial section ...





    Using a power router to waste UHMW is an interesting experience - lots of plastic string everywhere, and dust control was not working well. The circular recess was time consuming and finicky. The template began as a 2" forstner cut hole. This was then progressively widened to 4" using a rebate and a flush cut bit in the router table. Finally, the template was used with a pattern cutter to create the circular recess, above.


    The circular sacrificial disks are 1/2" thick MDF. I found it quicker to saw them fractionally oversize on the bandsaw, and then turn them on the lathe ...





    Here now is the basic table ...





    There is a cut out at the rear for the winder ...





    Now why did I choose a circular sacrificial section? I have seen many drill press tables using square sections. I cannot recall seeing any with round disks (unless it was dedicated to a sander, but that is not the same thing). The drill bit is not centred on the square. Instead, it is moved to the rear of the square. That way one can rotate the disk four times after it becomes holed. My objection to this design was that one only obtained four points, and as soon as one section became holed, it could no longer back up the drill.


    Now a circular disk, on the other hand, has an infinite number of positions (infinite until the circle is completed). Just rotate as much as you need. More work to make, but better in the long run.





    Here is the finished table ...





    The Nova fence came with those twisty levers. They are useless ... difficult to achieve the ideal tautness and hard to get to behind the fence. I replaced them with the long knobs. These needed to be cut down by 3/4" to avoid fowling the downfeed handles.





    The tracks not only hold the fence, but also Incra hold downs ...





    ... and even the Micro Jig clamps for taller boards ...





    I hope there is something you can use.


    Regards from Perth


    Derek

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Elmodel, Ga.
    Posts
    453
    Nicely done. I have one that I made out of 2 - 3/4" baltic birch plys. I had to put another t-track down the center up to the sacrificial board to hold down smaller pieces that my clamps would not reach. I had the same problem with the raise and lowering handle getting in the way. My solution is to rotate the table on the cast iron table and it moves far enough for clearance.
    SWE

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Ellsworth, Maine
    Posts
    1,613
    That is an incredible setup Derek. The drill press is stunning and the table is perfect! That's a great find at the scrap yard to find that piece of UHMW that thick. My only issue would be how slick that must be in use. Where you are clamping most of the work down anyways it shouldn't pose that much of an issue. That would make an incredible router table top!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Perth, Australia
    Posts
    6,846
    Interesting idea for a router table top, but in reality it is not a slick surface. Perfect for drill press. Also, here there is the advantage of support from the cast iron. It is thick, heavy and stiff. However, I do not know how it would behave with a heavy router on top.

    Regards from Perth

    Derek

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Lake Gaston, Henrico, NC
    Posts
    4,387
    Could you just cut the disposable inserts with a hole saw, without the centering drill, on the drill press?

    edited to add link to plug popper: https://vsctools.com/shop/the-plug-popper/
    Last edited by Tom M King; 12-09-2019 at 1:28 PM.

  6. #6
    Lots of great ideas Derek, thanks for sharing them! How do you hold the top to the drill press table?
    --Certainty is the refuge of a small mind--

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Columbus, OH
    Posts
    1,748
    Nicely done Derek! I was wondering at the top of your post how you were going to handle the height adjustment handle issue. Think I'll borrow that idea when I build the table for my Voyager next week.
    Brian

    "Any intelligent fool can make things bigger or more complicated...it takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." - E.F. Schumacher

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Location
    Phoenix AZ
    Posts
    360
    Great idea using round sacrificial wood instead of square- thanks for sharing!
    “Pay no attention to what you cannot control..” Epictetus, 100 A.D.
    It costs nothing to be kind to others

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    Posts
    50,696
    That was a really good tool enhancement project! Scoring that material was great and clearly, it's perfect for the task.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Perth, Australia
    Posts
    6,846
    Quote Originally Posted by Tom M King View Post
    Could you just cut the disposable inserts with a hole saw, without the centering drill, on the drill press?

    edited to add link to plug popper: https://vsctools.com/shop/the-plug-popper/
    Tom, I did consider a hole saw. I am not sure it would work with UHMW, even if I could have found one 4” wide. The Voyager certainly has the power to drive it, however cutting UHMW is different to wood. The UHMW does not slice and dice easily. Just routing it out was heavy work.

    When drilling it - for the corner cut out - it was necessary to use cutting fluid. The 2” forstner bit heated up, and the Nova stopped the drilling process twice as it could “feel” it overloading.

    Regards from Perth

    Derek

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Perth, Australia
    Posts
    6,846
    Quote Originally Posted by Paul F Franklin View Post
    Lots of great ideas Derek, thanks for sharing them! How do you hold the top to the drill press table?
    Paul, you will note in the original photo that the cast iron top has slots. I tapped in aluminium threads on the underside of the UHMW top, and then bolted it through the slots. It is secure and unobtrusive.



    Regards from Perth

    Derek
    Last edited by Derek Cohen; 12-10-2019 at 6:34 AM.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Lake Gaston, Henrico, NC
    Posts
    4,387
    Quote Originally Posted by Derek Cohen View Post
    Tom, I did consider a hole saw. I am not sure it would work with UHMW, even if I could have found one 4” wide. The Voyager certainly has the power to drive it, however cutting UHMW is different to wood. The UHMW does not slice and dice easily. Just routing it out was heavy work.

    When drilling it - for the corner cut out - it was necessary to use cutting fluid. The 2” forstner bit heated up, and the Nova stopped the drilling process twice as it could “feel” it overloading.

    Regards from Perth

    Derek
    I meant to use a hole saw to make the inserts?

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Perth, Australia
    Posts
    6,846
    Tom, I can see a hole saw working, but I have not come across a 4” diameter to date. It would be expensive as well.

    I was planning to build a circle cutting jig for the bandsaw - still will ... one day. It just seemed quicker to use the template to mark a few disks, saw them out on the bandsaw close to the line, then trim them on the lathe. A few minutes for four inserts, all fitting perfectly. These should last quite a long time.

    Regards from Perth

    Derek

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Belden, Mississippi
    Posts
    2,714
    Derek, did you make a "stop" to keep the inserts from spinning. Maybe a detent ball/spring in the insert the would register in the tabletop?
    On the other hand, I still have five fingers.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Perth, Australia
    Posts
    6,846
    Bill, the Nova fence comes with a flip stop (see the early photos). I plan to build something to replace this as it is too chunky.

    Regards from Perth

    Derek

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •