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Drill Press Fence

Pieces that form the basic fence

The fence that I've designed has a dust port to help remove shavings and dust.

The basic fence has two face plates that can be used depending on what you're drilling into.

For small/close pieces where you don't want the fence to interfere with the chuck, there is a low face plate.  For tall pieces, there is a high face plate that can be used.

Both face plates can be opened/closed to control the amount of dust control.

Rabbet to join the bottom and side of the fence

The basic fence is comprised of a bottom and a face. I've already applied plastic laminate to all of the pieces, so I won't cover that here.

The a rabbet is cut along the bottom edge of the face so that the bottom can attach to it.

Drilling holes for the dust port

I drill holes for the ​dust collection port to attach to the back.  I will put threaded inserts into these holes for the bolts to screw into.

Using the drill press to screw in the threaded inserts

The best way to install threaded inserts is to mount them on the end of a bold that is inserted into the drill press chuck.  There is a nut on the bolt that is tightened up against the threaded insert so that it will remain in a locked position.

Lower the chuck and turn it by hand. This will ensure that the insert goes in vertically.

After it's tightened in place, remove the bold from the chuck and then unscrew it from the insert.

It works every time!

Cutting the dust port opening with the scroll saw

I used my scroll saw to cut the hole for the dust port.

Gluing up the fence

The basic fence is glued up. I've added a couple of extra blocks of wood for support. I used a dado set to cut away a thin strip of the plastic laminate so that the glue would ahere to the MDF.

Fence with clamps

I know this looks like a lot of clamps, but you can never have too many!  


I've used some squares to help ensure that the fence face is perpendicular to the base.

Slots routed into the base of the fence

After it's glued up, I cut slots into the base using a 1/4" router bit.

Fence attached to the table's T-tracks

The slots are used to position the fence at any angle that can be accommodated by the T-tracks.

T-tracks routed in to the fence face plate

I use a T-slot router bit to cut T-slots into the interchangeable face plates.

Then I cut the face plates in half so that they can be opened up around the dust collection port (as shown below).

Fence with high face place installed

The tall face place is used for drilling into taller pieces.  


The T-slot on the back of the face plate is used to connect it to the basic fence.  


The T-shot on the front is used for attaching clamps or stop-blocks.

Fence with low face plate installed

The low face place is used for drilling into pieces that are small enough where you don't want the fence to interfere with the chuck.

The low fence is low enough that there's no room for a T-slot (because there's already one on the back). When using the low fence, the stop blocks are attached to the T-slot in the basic fence, as shown.

Dust port installed in the low position

The dust port can be attached in one of three positions. This photo shows the port installed in the bottom position.  This is useful for drilling into short pieces.

Dust port installed in the middle position

This photo shows the port installed in the middle. This is useful for drilling into medium high pieces so that the suction is in the right position.

Dust port installed in the high position

In this photo, the dust port is in the high position. This is useful for taller pieces to align the suction with the height of the piece.

Photo of fence being used

Here's the dust port in action with the low face place installed.

Cost of the fence ($105 total)

This wasn't really cheap, but definitely cost effective compared to buying a comparable drill press table and fence.  The costs for the table and fence were roughly:

  • $15 for the portion of MDF that I used

  • $12 for the portion of laminate that I used

  • $15 for bolts and nuts

  • $35 for the T-track

  • $10 for the dust port

  • $8 for the piano hinge

  • $10 for knobs

This totaled to about $105 plus tax.

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