I've been looking at commercial add on tables for bandsaws and drill
presses with a view to building my own. All the models I have seen so far
are literaly 'add ons'; the new table is mounted directly over the existing
table. The same seems to hold true for plans in magazines. It seems to me
that this adds weight and decreases clearance.
Is there some reason not to remove the existing table and mount the new one
directly to the trunions?
I'd say the reason would be primarily one of flexibility. A lot of people
use their drill presses for multiple tasks - some woodworking, some metal
working, some respectfully use the table as it was originally intended - as
yet another flat surface in the shop for the convenient placement of
anything that you need to put down. Point being - I would not want to do
metal work on a nice wood top - metal work often gets messy. Better to do
it on the original table and throw on a top that is somewhat special purpose
when I need to do something like drill mortises with the press. Everything
stays much cleaner - the wood does not stand the chance of picking up oil
that you might not have cleaned up well enough from the last metal work you
Also - as time goes by you'll likely build more than one special purpose top
for your press to accommodate different tasks. It's easier to unclamp one
from a table and clamp another one on than it is to remove a table and mount
I just installed an "add-on". I see zero reason to remove the original
table. It would take more time, I don't need the clearance, and it's
something else to store. It works fine by just attaching the new table
to the old.
Lobby Dosser wrote:
I built a pretty hefty add-on drill press table and it is heavy.
The weight doesn't really bother me, but the lack of clearance to get
to the crank to raise and lower it does. I'm going to modify the table
to give me more clearance back there.
I don't have the tools to make a table that would fit in the existing
trunion accurately and don't really see any advantage to replacing it.
Way too difficult and no real benefit. I have a 30" x 18" table that is
held in place with two handscrews and I can have it off in about 1 minute.
Actually, I cannot think of a reason I would take it off. I built mine with
extendable table, extendable fence, tracks, etc. It can be used equally
well for wood or metal projects. The tracks are spaced to accept a the
hold-down vices I use for occasional metalworking.
As far as clearance loss goes I guess it depends on whether you have a floor
or bench model. I used two thicknesses of 3/4" Baltic Birch ply on mine,
with a third ply at the ends. Mine is a floor model so clearance is no
However, weight might be an issue if you don't have a mechanical lift (rack
and crank, etc,). Mine was a little heavy before the auxiliary table. I
rigged up a simple and inexpensive counter weight using cable, pulleys and
rubber bungee. Works fine. I posted pics a few months ago.
Building a drill press table is a fun and useful project. Depending on
design, it can add a lot of utility to the tool.
I found a plan somewhere that has you bolt hardwood supports to the tably via
the fence mounting holes. From there, I carefully cut out the shape of the
existing table inside a big hunk of melamine, and routed out the areas that the
supports will do their job. Some shimming, the addition of a clasp at the blade
removal slot, and then routing out the mitre slot got me a fair size auxiliary
table with no loss of clearance. I'll take a look for the plans later. Tom
Work at your leisure!
Thanks - Probably more stingy than ingenious. Actully the guys who frequent
this group came up with most of it.
Yeah, I addressed the drill press more than band saw. You are giving up
some depth clearance on that tool. I believe I saw some auxilary band saw
table and accessory projects in one of the magazines during the past 1 to 2
years. The table I am thinking of sat on top of the existing cast table.
Best bet is WOOD magazine but I loaned several of mine to my son a while
back. You might check the project list on their site.
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