A drill press, many DIYers have one in the workshop.
It seems like a harmless machine, but when your workpiece grips the fast rotating drill you can get seriously injured by the kickback.
Especially when drilling in small pieces, the risks are even higher, so you will have to find a way to secure your workpiece.
For that, you will need a drill press vise.
Using a drill press vise can prevent drill press accidents. Not using a drill press vise can cause creased or broken fingers, but also amputated fingers.
Avoid accidents and be sure to check out my article, — “Drill Press Accidents Happen Every Day: 9 Tips To Stay Safe.”
- Work safely, make a drill press vise
- What do you need to make a drill press vise?
- Watch the video here
- Building the DIY tilting angle drill press vise
- How to use this jig
Work safely, make a drill press vise
Making a DIY tilting angle drill press vise is very easy.
You simply ensure that you can clamp your workpiece in a larger whole so that you get more grip on the workpiece.
Because of this better grip, the workpiece will no longer turn around like crazy if the drill gets stuck in it.
This jig can also be attached in the table slots or even those weird slots no body know what they are in the base of the drill press. If you want to know more about these slots, check out my article, What Are The Slots In A Drill Press Base For? A Clear Answer.
With the steps in this blog, you can build your drill press vise.
A handy extra to this design is that this drill press vise is tiltable and you can drill at an angle.
What do you need to make a drill press vise?
To prepare you for building this tilting angle drill press vise, I have made a few handy lists.
In addition to a few personal protective equipments that I use*, I also list the materials as well as the (power) tools you will need to build this jig.
* Safety is always your own responsibility!
Safety first! Protect yourself!
Materials I used for this drill press vise
(power)Tools I used for this drill press vise
Watch the video here
Building the DIY tilting angle drill press vise
Now that we have gone through the list of what we all need for this project, I will explain step by step how to make this drill press vise.
Step 1 | Preparation
Start by cutting all parts to size.
Use the free plans that you can download in this blog.
Step 2 | Building the base of this drill press vise
First I will show you how to make the base of the drill press vise.
Later in this blog we will expand this base with the tilting part that will allow you to drill at an angle.
Step 2.1 | Clamping blocks
Start making the clamp blocks.
By connecting 2 pieces of plywood with wood glue you make sturdy blocks that can withstand the force when you start to clamp tighter using the drill press vise.
To speed up the drying process of the wood glue, I attached the pieces together with brad nails.
If you don’t have a nail gun, you can clamp the pieces after gluing. Keep in mind the drying times of the wood glue.
If you consider buying a nail gun, be sure to watch my blog How to choose the right nail gun for your projects. A complete nail gun guide.
I have used my nail gun for almost every project since I bought it, so I can highly recommend buying one.
Make the openings as indicated on the plans.
I used regular drills and speed drills for this, but you can also use a different type of drill for this.
The moving clamp block must not be completely drilled trough. This is because we want to put the tension force on this block via the threaded rod.
To protect the wood, 2 washers are placed in this hole against which the threaded rod can push.
Place 2 nuts on the end of the threaded rod and tighten them by tensioning them against each other in opposite directions.
To reduce friction I applied grease to the nuts.
Now place the end of the threaded rod in the pre-drilled hole and fix it by screwing a washer onto the clamp block.
In the clamping block at the front of the drill press vise, you place a T-nut through which the threaded rod is placed.
Make sure that the T-nut is placed on the inside of the drill press vise.
Step 2.2 | Base
You can now connect the clamp blocks to each other so that you get a solid base.
Make sure that the middle clamping block can move up and down freely.
You can now fill the gaps between the 2 connecting boards.
Both the fixed and the moving clamp block must be provided with this.
Because the moving clamp block would remain in place, you can now attach a thin plate to the bottom.
I used a 6 mm thick piece of MDF for this.
Make sure the plate is wider than the block it will be attached to, so that the moving clamp block hooks behind the base.
Step 2.3 | Handle
You can also easily make the handle yourself.
Take a piece of square wood and round the corners.
As you can see in the video, I used my router for this.
After rounding the corners, I placed a hexagon wood bolt in the top of the handle that allowed me to attach this part to the drill press.
By rotating this part and holding a piece of sandpaper against it, you can make a perfectly round handle.
After sanding, drill the hole where the hexagon wood bolt was in until it fits over the threaded rod.
If you want to know more about how to determine the right sandpaper for your project, be sure to check out my blog: The perfect sandpaper grit guide for woodworking.
Everything you need to know about sandpaper can be found in this article. It will no doubt give you a better understanding of the proper use of sandpaper.
There is also a FREE downloadable guide available to help you determine the right sandpaper grit.
You can attach the handle to the threaded rod by means of epoxy glue.
Facts about epoxy glue
- Resin and Harder must not come into contact with each other when not in use. After use, clean the nozzle with a cloth and place the special cap on the nozzle.
- There are types of plastic that you cannot glue, such as polyethylene and polypropylene.
- Store cool, frost-free, upright (nozzle up) and tightly closed.
Step 3 | Tilting mechanism
OK, you can already use the drill press vise if you only want to drill at an angle of 90 degrees.
But with this design we go a lot further and make it so that you can drill up to an angle of 45 degrees.
The advantage of this design is that the tilting arms can be folded away when you want to use this drill press vise at 90 degrees, So you will never be disturbed through the tilting arms.
Step 3.1 | Connection point
For the point where the tilting arms are connected to the drill press vise, apply T-nuts.
To do this, drill a hole of 2 mm deep in which the T-nut fits.
In the middle of the hole you now drill a new hole with the diameter where the sleeve of the T-nut fits.
Be careful when you hit the T-nut into the wood.
To prevent the wood from splitting, you can pre-drill small holes where the anchor pins fit.
Step 3.2 | Bottom plate
The bottom plate is built about the same as the base, with that difference that the boards are slightly less wide so that the anchor of the moving clamp block can move freely.
Glue these parts together, clamp them and set them aside to dry.
Step 3.3 | Tilting arms
The two tilting arms are a piece of wood with a groove in it.
I made this by cutting a slot with the router and a straight router bit using my router jig. Check out the video I made to see how I built this router jig here.
Take a piece of wood that is large enough so that you can clamp it securely to the workbench.
Mark where the slots should be and cut them out.
Place the marks far enough apart, taking into account the thickness of a cut when you will separate the two tilt arms.
Step 3.4 | Knobs
Now you can make the buttons with which you can fix the drill press vise in the position you want.
For this I used small homemade buttons in which I attached a piece of threaded rod with epoxy glue.
Do you want to be able to make these buttons yourself?
Then be sure to check out my blog How to make cheap wooden knobs quick and easy | FREE PLANS.
There I will show you how you can make these beautiful buttons with the help of a jig. There is also a free template available to make this jig.
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Step 4 | Final assembly
In the meantime, the bottom plate for the drill vise is dry and you can level the edges on the table saw.
Place the bottom plate under the base of the drill press vise and attach them together with a hinge.
Place the hinge on the back of the drill press vise.
You can now attach the tilting arms to the drill press vise with a small screw.
Do not over-tighten so that the tilting arm can move freely.
At the end of the tilting arm slot, mark a point in the bottom plate where you will drill a hole.
Here the knobs can be screwed in when using the drill vise at 90 degrees.
Drill a hole slightly smaller than the diameter of the threaded rod you used for the buttons.
With a threading tap (check out this threading tap set on Amazon) you go through the drilled hole.
Now you can turn the knob in the wood.
I used this way because force will never be applied to the button at this point.
How to use this jig
It’s very simple.
If you want to drill holes with the drill vise at an angle of 90 degrees, fold the tilt arms down and lock them with the knobs.
Never over-tighten the knobs as they are screwed directly into the wood. If you want more certainty, you can always place a T-Nut here.
To drill at an angle, loosen the tilt arms and attach them to the T nuts with the knobs.
Move the drill vise up and down until you find the correct angle, then tighten the knobs securely.
Check out my in-depth article, how to use a drill press vise, to see more details and get the most out of this tool.
If you want to get the most out of your drill press, check out the list of articles about this great tool that I have uploaded on this website.
Building your workshop can be daunting, filled with trial and error. Believe me, I’ve been there too.
But it was “The Ultimate Small Workshop” course, a gem I discovered and now endorse on Christofix.com, that provided insights unparalleled to any other. This expertise empowered me to invest wisely and save substantially.
I really suggest it to all of my fellow DIYers and creators!
I hope this information on how to make a tilting angle drill pres vise was helpful, and that this blog and video inspires you.
Let me know in a comment below.
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I’m looking forward to seeing you soon in another blog or video.
Christophe, founder of Christofix.com
Woodworking | DIY | Home decoration
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