Workshop tip: Drill-press table tackles dust and more
This wide table has an integrated dust-collection box and two vacuum slots through the top.
Drill presses are notoriously messy, because chips are so hard to collect from them. My solution is nothing fancy, but it works amazingly well. It’s a wide drill-press table with an integrated dust-collection box and two vacuum slots through the top of the table.
When I’m drilling small workpieces, all chips and dust are sucked into the slots as I drill, down into the box, and out the vacuum port. With large panels and plywood, the slots are covered, and the suction acts as a workpiece clamp (happy accident— wish I could say I intended it!). In that case, the chips stay on the panel, so when I’m done, I just tilt the panel toward the slots and the mess disappears.
To make the dust box more efficient, I inserted angled panels inside it, creating a sloped trough that funnels chips into the port.
Alongside the vacuum slots I inset two lengths of T-track, which secure an aftermarket drill-press fence. Between the vacuum slots I routed a shallow dovetailed socket for a sacrificial strip of 1/4-in. plywood. The strip slides back and forth to present a fresh backer surface for clean drilling, and can be replaced altogether in minutes.
—MIKE GULDENSTERN, Newburyport , Mass.
Illustrations by Dan Thornton
From Fine Woodworking issue #286
When using the drill press, I never have a good place to set aside multiple parts I am working on.