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Online Tips Index / Drill Press/Drilling / Double Checking a Drill Press Table

Double Checking a Drill Press Table

Double checking a drill press I have a small bench top drill press with a table that tilts to accommodate drilling angled holes, which is very handy. Unfortunately, it doesn't have any stops or markings to let me know when I've got the table set back square to the spindle and bit.

I've seen techniques using a square to set the table perpendicular to the drill press column. But I figured it was more important that the table be perpendicular with a bit, so I made a simple jig I could insert in the chuck to set the table correctly.

The jig took me no more than five minutes to put together. It's just a narrow piece of ¼"-thick scrap wood that I cut about four inches long. I drilled a hole through the face near each end and pushed a 2"-long machine screw through each hole, pointing in opposite directions. Nuts hold the screws snug so they are roughly parallel.

To set the table, I tighten one of the screws in the chuck. Then I raise the drill press table until the screw sticking down from my jig just touches the table surface at one corner. I rotate the chuck by hand to four or five different positions, and adjust the table angle until the screw just barely touches the table at every point.

This process is easy, but I don't want to go through it every time I change the table angle. So once I had the table set, I drew a thin line with permanent marker where the table meets its mounting arm.