Wise Buys: Drill-Press Tables

Hartville Tool #46515
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 o

Hartville Tool #46515

Dimensions: 17x32"

Editor test-drive:
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

To learn more:
800-345-2396, hartvilletool.com

Peachtree Woodworking #1015

Dimensions: 15x24"

Editor test-drive:
If you don't have the time to build your own table, this model offers plenty of good features for a reasonable price. To start with, you get two aluminum hold-down clamps and a UHMW stopblock. The 2-3/4"-tall MDF fence sports a T-track along its 32" length, and mounts solidly to the table track with aluminum angle (although I had to shim it square to the table). The table itself is 2"-thick MDF with plastic laminate on both faces, rather than the thinner melamine coating on some. I found it quick to install and remove from my drill press with two threaded knobs that fit through the slots in my table.

-- Tested by Bill Krier, Editor in Chief

To learn more:
888-512-9069, ptreeusa.com

WOOD magazine plan-built (issue 156, June/July 2004)

Dimensions: 14-1/2x29-1/2"

Editor test-drive:
I might be a little prejudiced when it comes to this table--because I designed it--but it fulfills all of my needs, and for about half the price of manufactured tables. Two T-track slots in the table accommodate hold-down clamps as well as the fence; a third T-track helps me quickly position and clamp the microadjustable stopblock. The 3"-tall fence gives plenty of vertical support without being in the way of the quill-feed handles. Plus, it telescopes on each end for a maximum length of 48", and the table has replaceable center inserts. You'll invest a few hours making it, but the payoff is worth it.

-- Tested by Kevin Boyle, Senior Design Editor

Hardware kit: #ADP-1

WOOD® magazine plan-built (issue 156, June/July 2004)

Hartville Tool #46515
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