drill press

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Completed Router Table (Mostly)

After competing the router table top, I noticed that I didn't have a reliable way of holding down the fence. Sure I could use some clamps, but since I had a two foot section of T-track lying around, I figured that T-bolts would be the easiest way to keep the fence in place. Read more »

Tools: corded drill, cordless drill, counter sink, drill press, file, Forstner, miter saw, router, table saw

Materials: angle iron, pan head screw, T-track, wood screw

Mounting the Remote Digital Readout

The router lift is designed with a 16 tooth per inch screw to adjust the height, which means if you rotate the crank one full rotation you raise the router 1/16". Although that's a pretty handy feature, I decided that I still wanted to be able to see exactly what height the router bit was, rather than try to keep track of the number of rotations. Also, you can zero the dial readout on the top of the router lift, but it's just not as easy as pressing a button. Read more »

Tools: aviation snips, ball peen hammer, bench vise, crimper, drill bit, drill press, tap wrench, taper tap

Materials: digital position readout, lock washer, pan head screw, sheet metal, spray paint, washer

Wooden Car

After seeing the wooden toy cars at my son's preschool, I thought that it would be easy to make some wooden cars of my own. The next time I went to Rockler I picked up some basswood carving blocks. I believe it's used for carving because it is an easy wood to work; it is soft and has consistent grain -- almost like a soft plastic or foam. I thought I'd try to use basswood for the toy car for the same reasons. it's easy to machine and forgiving -- it doesn't take much effort to sand out mistakes. Read more »

Tools: drill press, Forstner, hole saw, router table, scroll saw

Tags: round over

Materials: basswood

Leveling Insert Plates

I wasn't satisfied with the way the sacrificial insert plates sat in the recess on my drill table. My original plan was to use 3/4" MDF plates, the same width as the top layer of the table. As I later discovered, not all 3/4" MDF is the same thickness. I'm not sure if it's variation between sheets, or that the smaller pieces of the MDF are less stable with temperature and humidity variations. No matter the cause, I couldn't get new plates flush with the surface of the table without a lot of material removal -- even then it wasn't perfect.

I decided that the only way I'd get the plate level was to build some sort of leveling system into the table. After weighing the options I decided to use screws and jam nuts. Read more »

Tools: drill press

Tags: jam nut, leveling

Materials: MDF

Making a Colt Router Base

My wife's father gave me an old sign making kit that used to be her grandfathers. Until recently, I'd forgotten I had it. I'd put it away unused because at the time I didn't own any router bushings and the ones that came with the kit were for some old Craftsman router.

When I bought my Colt, I remembered that I had it. I thought playing around with the sign making kit would be a good test for the router. Unfortunately the Porter Cable style router bushings I had acquired since coming into possession of the kit don't work with the standard base, so I made my own base. Read more »

Tools: Colt, drill press, Forstner, router, router bushings

Tags: Bosch, Menards

Materials: plexiglas

Shop Tip: Use a Pipe Hanger to Hold Shop-vac Hose

When I built my drill press table, I made a split fence so I could eventually attach a dust collection port somewhat like the split fence on my router table. It turns out I never did; not that it wouldn't be nice to keep wood chips out of the way when drilling, it just seemed like a 2-1/2" shop-vac hose behind the fence would get in the way of too many operations. Read more »

Tools: drill press, shop-vac

Tags: tips

Materials: pipe hanger

Notes from the Workshop: 20110107

Wow, it's been a week since I've posted anything.  Christmas really disrupts the old household -- I think I spent over two hours pulling toys out of packages and trying to sort out the garbage from the recycling, which delayed other household chores, which seriously cut into my shop time.  Aside from that carnage, I wasn't feeling well again this last week.

Fixing My Drill Press Table

I had previously mentioned in my post Drilling Straight is Hard to Do that the insert on my drill press table wasn't sitting flush and one reason might be a slight gap between the two pieces of MDF that make up the table surface.  To close the gap, I drilled eight drilled pilot holes and counter bores for the 1-1/4" pan-head cabinet screws around the perimeter of the insert opening. Read more »

Tools: drill press, micro-mill, vise

Tags: notes

Drilling Straight is Hard to Do

I've been obsessed today trying to figure out why I can't drill a straight hole into the end of a one inch dowel.  This isn't the first time I've noticed this problem.  I've been working on wooden track risers and I've been able to drill straight into the face grain of the base and tops, but when it comes to the columns, whether it's dowel or 2" square stock, I just can't drill a straight hole in the end grain. Read more »

Tools: drill press, miter saw

Tags: end grain

Materials: dowel, hard board

Building a Bird House with My Daughter

My daughter has wanted to build a birdhouse for a while. I told her first she needed to figure out what type of bird she wanted to build it for. She decided to make a house for one of the Blue Jays we always see in our back yard. Googling Blue Jay house, I found some decent plans at the ShopSmith Hands-On website, I liked the fact they had a nice set of plans and a cut-list.

While building the house was fun, it turns out that this wasn't the best project for a six year old. While she did well with the measuring and gluing, there wasn't much else she could help with. She didn't like the noise my miter and table saw made. She wasn't necessarily afraid of the machines but couldn't even help me support the boards because she had her hands over her ears. Unfortunately I didn't have a set of clean earplugs and my muffs hurt her head. Drilling holes and using a screwdriver were also beyond her dexterity.

I think I am going to look for a hand miter box with a pull saw rather than the push style saw. She loves to saw with my pull saw and it would be nice if she could actually make cuts accurate enough to build things. Maybe I'll look for a small brace too, I'm sure she would love drilling holes.

Tools: drill press, hand saw, miter saw, table saw

Tags: bird house, daughter

Materials: cedar, glue