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Woodworker's Gazette
Gazette Archive 1/15/00

Rockler Drill Press Table
Review by Ted Whittenkraus

For all of you with short attention spans:I like it. Enjoy the pictures.

If you're still reading you must be one of those cerebral types. I've heard there are woodworkers like that, though I've never met one personally. I'll do what I can to enlighten you further on this drill press table.

Features I wish I'd thought of:
  • split fence
  • dust pickup hood
  • 1" thick melamine MDF table
  • horizontal thrust quick clamp
  • hold down quick clamp
  • aluminum T channel for quick clamps
  • fence stop mounted in T slot
  • fence mounted to table in T slots
  • replaceable fence sections mount to table on aluminum angle bar.
  • nice positive 90 degree mounting for the fence
  • easily replaceable table insert under drill

The two quick clamps come in handy in their own obvious ways. You will on occasion wish that they were a little closer to the action. This should be quite easy to do by replacing or adding on to the oak mounting blocks. A word of caution, get too far from the aluminum channel and the force of the thrust will multiply through leverage to destroy the channel.


Most of the woodworkers I know (read "real men") never read any directions. The folks at Rockler seem to know this about us and have only included one direction, which boils down to "Mount the table to your drill press". There are two threaded posts and two brass inserts to do this with. Suggestion: Don't rely on the slots in the inserts to drive the post into the holes you drill in the table bottom. Use two opposing nuts on the post and a wrench.


The recess for the replaceable insert is routed out at 29/64". Seems like an odd depth but when I checked a few pieces of Baltic Birch ply that were laying around the shop I found that they were very close to this dimension. Coincidence? You be the judge. For my part I much prefer planing my own solid hardwood down for replacement inserts, so whatever the depth is should be no problem. I made a years supply of inserts in 20 minutes out of a few scraps so I won't even think about this subject again for a while.


The split fence is really the Bees' Knees! The two fence sections adjust quickly along the aluminum bar to increase or eliminate the gap. Many times I've needed to cut part of a hole on the edge of a wide board. Setting up this task took 1/2 the time I normally spend. The split fence also allows for the dust pick up hood. I'll probably use this feature most when drilling MDF (yucky stuff to breath).


One major improvement I will suggest. Add the capability for using this as a router table as well. This won't work for every one. Your drill press has to be heavy enough (or bolted down) to provide stability. You will also need to modify the fence mount to allow it to slide further forward on the table. See below.


This is the view from the back. To add the router table feature I will drill an extra pair of holes in the bar right over the aluminum T channel. Or you could extend the slots that are cut through the table which are provided for fence mounting/adjusting.


Over-all, I give the Rockler Drill Press Table high marks for quality, simplicity, and functionality. Address all praise for this review to Ted@CustomMade.com. Chuck or Jim will handle complaints.

Ted Whittenkraus

More details about the Rockler Drill Press Table can viewed at Rockler's website

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