Wise Buys: Drill-Press Tables
Why buy? Most drill presses come with smallish cast-iron tables that, frankly, don't work well for woodworking. Besides having a 1" or smaller relief hole in the center, support gussets on the bottom make clamping workpieces or jigs difficult. In search of good aftermarket table alternatives, we tested six models and found that most left us scrambling to make up for their shortcomings. We do, however, recommend two factory-made models, as well as one built in our own shop that we still use every day.
Hartville Tool #46515
This large table has more features than any other. With four T-track slots in the table and two hold-down clamps, I found it easy to clamp almost any size workpiece. The 36"-long, 3-1/4"-tall aluminum fence has two T-slots on its face for mounting the stopblock, with adjustment screws on the back side to square it to the table. I like the cam-style fence clamps because the fence doesn't shift when you tighten the clamps as it can do with threaded knobs. The 11/16"-thick, melamine-coated MDF top proved flat, but the kit comes without hardware for mounting to the drill press. Following the instructions, I drove four screws with washers into the bottom through the table slots. The 5x6" particleboard insert sat below flush with the tabletop, resulting in tear-out on the bottom of workpieces. (I replaced it with a flush-fitting MDF panel.)
-- Tested by Bob Hunter, Tools & Techniques Editor
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