Pillar drill table
My cheap pillar drill comes with a standard table with two slots for installing a small vise. Rarely do I need to drill pieces that require tight clamping, so I figured my pillar drill would benefit more from a bigger table with an adjustable precision fence. I made one out of a few pieces of scrap wood.
The table is made using a 430x310mm piece of 18mm multiplex board, the fence using a 430mm piece of 50x50mm piece of Rubberwood. The fence slides over the back half of the table. Once the fence is set to a fixed distance from the drill bit, it is easy to accurately drill multiple holes that same distance to the side of the workpiece.
The fence has two rather large indentations. These were made on the new drill table with a hole saw.
The front indentation offers clearance for the chuck so that workpieces can be clamped very close to the drill line.
The back indentation offers clearance for the drill post so that the fence can move further back to accommodate a larger distance between the edge of the workpiece and the drilled hole.
The fence is secured with two long M6 bolts through the table. Two slots were milled parallel to the sides of the table to allow adjusting of the fence. The top of the two bolts are still waiting for a suitable knob to be fitted.
The new table is secured to the smaller original metal table with two M6 screws. They have recessed heads so that they don’t protrude from the table surface.
A routed recess was made in the bottom of the table so that it fit perfectly over the existing, smaller metal table. This way the metal table can be used for positioning the height of the new table and for fixing the new table to the column.
On the top of the table, two lines were drawn through the centre of the drill point. This allows for rough positioning of workpieces.
The table top and the fence were given a durable, waterproof coating of epoxy resin, thinned down 1:1 with acetone and brushed on.
I have ordered two 150mm metal rules which will be inlaid in a routed slot in the tabletop. They will enable precise positioning of the drill location.
Further improvements of the pillar drill
I am thinking of making the following future improvements to the pillar drill:
- fitting a knob to lock the depth of cut
- fitting a quill stop
- fitting a digital depth gauge made out of a cheap Chinese Vernier caliper
- fitting a better belt tensioning system
- Why I don’t use a drillpress table by Matthias Wandel: before building your own table, you might decide it might not be worth the effort. I use my table a lot for metalworking, not so much for woodworking.