Imagine my surprise when I was a Harbor Freight last Friday and saw a Central Machinery drill press table for $30. I just worked a handful of nights and spent that much alone for the T-slot router bit to build my own table for the last part of the DP 350 review.
Toolmonger covered the inexpensive MLCS table before, which cost $60, but you had to deal with the wait and the shipping charges. In comparison, Rockler’s cheapest table runs $100 and their deluxe model runs $120. This table from Harbor Freight beats the cheapest one mentioned by $30.
But what does $30 buy you? First, the 1″ thick particle board table measures 23-7/8″ by 11-5/8″ and can accept a sacrificial throat insert to back up your holes. The 1″ thick fence rides on an aluminum T-track and is adjusted by loosening two top mounted knobs. A T-slot in the fence accepts other accessories, like the included stop block. The T-track on the table can also be used to mount hold-downs and other accessories. Along both of the aluminum T-Tracks is a ruled stick-on tape for setting the fence.
The table mounts to any 4″ to 5″ mini drill press, but given that it mounts the same way most drill press table mount — with two upside down hold-downs — it’d probably work on a bigger drill press.
In the end I’m glad I spent the time to build my own drill press table. It fits my drill press like a glove and has more features than any but Rockler’s best table. If you’re not handy with a router, or just don’t want to spend the time futzing with a jig when you should be productive, it’s hard to beat Harbor Freight’s offering.