Drill Press Table

I decided to put together a drill press table using wood scraps and some 8020 pieces that I have laying around the shop.  8020 is extruded aluminum that the manufacturer bills as Industrial Erector Set.  1″ thick segments of the 8020 channel will is used for the base and a larger 3″ section is used for the fence.

Most of the construction is with 1/2″ MDF leftover from the Simple Desk and Mobile Drawer projects.  The bottom piece was cut first, 12″x18.5″ wide.  The 8020 is 12″ long.

Placing the bottom blank onto the drill press and centering it, four hole locations were marked using a pencil through the bottom of the drill press table.  3/8″ carriage bolts are to be used, so the appropriate hole was bored out using a brad-point drill bit on the press.

Once that part has been completed, the holes need to be chiseled out to accept the square head portion of the carriage bolt so that it will sit flat and not spin when being tightened.  In the picture below, the bolts have been installed.  Four additional holes have been drilled to accept the hardware needed to secure the 8020 track.  That hardware is 1/4″-20, so the corresponding hole is 1/4″ in diameter, with a 1/2″ counter bore using a forstner bit.


Time to glue on the second layer… again, MDF.  But there has to be accommodations made to accept the heads of the carriage bolts, a 1″ forstner bit was used for that operation.  Then it was glue time.  Lots of thinly spread glue.  And clamps.


The extruded aluminum is installed next, which is a very simple process.


Since the overall thickness is achieved by laminating multiple pieces of MDF together, the sides have to be glued together now.  Since I only have so many clamps, I glued the two sets together and then clamped them at the same time.  The pieces what to move because the MDF is so flat and smooth, and the glue acts as a lubricant.  Most of the time was spent keeping them aligned.

Once dry, which does not take too long, the side assemblies are glued onto the base.  Watching for the shifting, clamp in place.

While waiting for glue ups to dry, the fence can be assembled.  It will be secured to the tracks with two 1/4-20 x 3 1/2″ carriage bolts.  The heads fit perfectly in the track.  Wingnuts and washers on top.

And that’s it.  The center section does not get glued in, it’s removable so if there’s a mistake made and it gets drilled or otherwise marred, it can be replaced.  The table is wrapped with some scrap pine.  Of course hardwood would last longer and be less susceptible to damage.


The fence is removable from the back, but there should be a way to remove it from the front.  That will be the first modification to this design.  Remove material from the pine front to allow the fence to be removed and to allow for hold-downs to be easily installed.


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