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.
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. Our thanks to Leon Stoker for this tip.