I found myself facing a project that required drilling a lot of holes in square metal tubes. Drilling metal of any kind at the drill press can be a grabby and unsettling affair. Once the bit breaks through the metal, the flutes of the drill bit often dig into it instead of shearing away the material. Then the metal bar wants to abruptly lift off the table and climb up the bit. This is not only annoying, it can also be somewhat dangerous. To bring some calm to the situation, I made a couple of hold-downs that can be used in any of the four slots in the table. Each one starts with a plywood, ‘T’- shaped base that fits into the opening of the slots in the drill press from underneath. A carriage bolt passes through the plywood, the hold-down clamp, a washer, and then into a star knob to bring the clamp together. This unit slides anywhere along the bed of the drill press. With the long arm and pivot ability of the hold-down clamp, you’re completely covered. These shop-made hold-downs are custom fit to the slots of your drill press table. Two of these clamps will cover all your needs.
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