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How to Use Jigs With a Drill Press

The drill press can reduce the work involved in plenty of jobs, but it needs help every now and then. DIY experts show how the two jigs described below can make working with a drill press easier.

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jigs can make working with drill press easier

Step 1: Place the Plywood on Top of the Table

The auxiliary drum sanding table makes it easier to sand the full edge of a work piece. Because the sanding drum can't touch the drill-press table, if you ran the work piece across it, part of the edge wouldn't be sanded. But once the sanding table is in place, you can sand the entire edge.

Measure the drill-press table. Cut a piece of plywood to the table's exact dimensions. Place the plywood on top of the drill-press table, lining it up with the table's edges.

Step 2: Drill a Hole Through the Table

Use the Forstner bit to drill a hole through the plywood table (image 1). Remove the Forstner bit, and insert the sanding drum on the drill press (image 2).

Step 3: Drill a Hole for a Dowel

Drill a 1/2" hole in the plywood table for a 1/2" dowel to fit in. The hole should be about 9" from the sanding drum and will serve as the pivot point for the fence.

drill hole for dowel

Step 4: Fit the Dowel in the Hole

Drill a corresponding 1/2" hole about 6" from one of the short ends of the plywood fence. Insert one end of the dowel into this hole. Insert the other end of the dowel into the 1/2" hole on the plywood table.

fit dowel in hole

Step 5: Start the Drill

To use the jig, place the piece to be sanded against the edge of the fence, pushing the fence until the edge of the work piece touches the drum. Remove the piece to be sanded, and then move the fence 1/32" closer to the drum. Clamp the far end of the fence to the drill-press table. Start the drill, and push the piece to be sanded between the fence and the sanding drum.

push piece to be sanded between fence and drum

Step 6: Create a 90-Degree V-Shaped Groove

Drilling is often easier when the work piece is clamped in place, especially if the piece is cylindrical. The V-notch jig holds cylindrical objects steady for drilling (image 1). Set the table-saw blade to a 45-degree angle. Set the blade height to three-quarters the height of the wood block. Send the middle of the wood block through the blade to cut a 45-degree groove (image 2). Send the opposite end of the wood through to cut another 45-degree groove (image 3). Together, the two cuts will make a 90-degree V-shaped groove in the center of the wood.

Step 7: Clamp the Jig to the Drill-Press Table

To use the jig, clamp it onto the drill-press table. Place the cylindrical work piece into the V-shaped groove to hold it steady for drilling.