Make a simple adjustable fence and a right angle drilling jig to make your drill press work quicker and more accurately. Store them nearby so they're handy when you need them.
By the DIY experts of The Family Handyman Magazine
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Jig 1: An adjustable fence
Add an adjustable fence to your drill press to make it a lot handier for woodworking projects! A fence is especially useful for drilling rows of precisely placed holes. Also, boring holes in a small workpiece is a snap—just clamp the piece to the fence at any angle and drill the hole. You won’t struggle with holding small pieces in place while you drill. (That’s also dangerous!)
1. Attach a 2-ft. x 1-ft. scrap of plywood or particleboard to the drill press table with countersunk 1/4-in. flat head machine screws, fender washers and nuts. (Run the screws through the slots in the metal table. The fender washers will span the slots.)
2. Create the fence from a 2 ft. x 4-in. x 1-in. board bolted to a 2-ft. piece of 3-in. x 1/8-in. aluminum angle iron ($10 at a home center for a 4-ft. length). Again, countersink the holes in the board before bolting the board to the angle iron.
Thanks to Bryce Schultz for this tip.
Adjustable Fence Jig
Make this jig from a 3-in. aluminum angle and a straight 1×4.
Jig 2: A vertical drilling jig
If you’ve ever tried to drill a perfectly straight and centered deep hole in the end of a board, you know that it’s nearly impossible with a handheld drill. But add a drill press and a jig and the job becomes very doable. Make this jig from two 8-in. x 12-in. pieces of 3/4-in. plywood or medium-density fiberboard (MDF). Just screw the pieces together to form a “T” and reinforce the jig with a couple of triangles.
To use the jig, clamp it to the drill press table and the workpiece to the jig. Draw an “X” across the corners to find the exact center of the piece. You’ll have to adjust the height of the table and pivot it until you line everything up, but after that, drilling a straight, centered hole is a cinch. This trick will work for rectangular or square boards.
Thanks to Leon Stoker for this tip.
Vertical Drilling Jig
Make this jig from 3/4-in. plywood or MDF.
Required Tools for this Project
Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration.
Required Materials for this Project
Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here’s a list.