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Thread: Can you recommend a good milling table for drill press?

  1. #1
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    Can you recommend a good milling table for drill press?

    I would like to have a milling table to use on my drill press. I just got back from Harbor Freight where I checked theirs out. What a sloppy mess that was. Maybe it could have been tuned up or improved, but I want to use it to complete some projects, not adding to my project pile.

    I don't think I could have the confidence to order such a thing off the interwebs without seeing it first hand. I will do some research to see if there is other local sources that carry them.

    All suggestions are welcome.
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    Re: Can you recommend a good milling table for drill press?

    You most likely will not use the smaller one available.

    http://www.grizzly.com/products/X-Y-...campaign=zPage

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    Re: Can you recommend a good milling table for drill press?

    What are you trying to do? Drill presses seldom have a quill that's really strong enough to take the side loads when milling. Even if the table is tight, the slop in the drill is going to cause issues. Drill presses really aren't designed to mill. If trying to mill light weigh materials like wood or plastic, they may work reasonably well, but when you start stepping up to steel, even with medium sized cutters you start to have issues.

    However if what you want is to be able to more accurately position stock for drilling, then they are useful. It's nice to be able to just crank the knob and move the part over 1/2" at a time to drill a series of holes, and it allows quick changes to be made easily.
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    Re: Can you recommend a good milling table for drill press?

    There is usually a pretty good milling table on milling machines.

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    Re: Can you recommend a good milling table for drill press?

    I will mount a drill press vise on it and mostly will use it for positioning. Seems like it would be much easier after clamping stock in a drill press vise to position to the mark on the stock. I am finding "cross slide drill press vises" that would probably be the better option. I see that Amazon has Wilton cross slide drill press vises. I will probably order one of those.

    I have an automated search on Craigslist for milling machines. Not getting many hits here locally. The Michigan, Ohio area has lots of them and maybe some day I will have to go there and check a few of them out. Else I should just order something from Grizzly and be done with it.
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    Re: Can you recommend a good milling table for drill press?


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    Re: Can you recommend a good milling table for drill press?

    I have an import cross slide table identical to the Phase II product in the Enco link, and it works well for accurate locating of holes. As stated above, it won't turn your drill press into a mill, but it will give you total control over where the hole goes. I recently had to tap some blind #2-56 holes into the edge of .125" thick aluminum, and without the cross slide table, it would have been a nightmare. Get an edge finder to go with it.
    Stay far away from garbage like this cross slide vise. The Wilton's are nice, but the tables are a little more versatile. You can always clamp a small vise to the table and have the same functionality as a cross slide vise. T-slots open up a bunch of workholding options you can't get with just a vice.

    By the way, Small Tools has the same table as that Phase II for half the cost. I've bought some machines from them, never been disappointed
    Last edited by bebo; 04-20-2016 at 11:21 PM.

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    Re: Can you recommend a good milling table for drill press?

    Quote Originally Posted by bead-boy View Post
    I will mount a drill press vise on it and mostly will use it for positioning. Seems like it would be much easier after clamping stock in a drill press vise to position to the mark on the stock. I am finding "cross slide drill press vises" that would probably be the better option. I see that Amazon has Wilton cross slide drill press vises. I will probably order one of those.

    I have an automated search on Craigslist for milling machines. Not getting many hits here locally. The Michigan, Ohio area has lots of them and maybe some day I will have to go there and check a few of them out. Else I should just order something from Grizzly and be done with it.
    I am wondering what you had in mind to do. There was a thread that came up a while back with a guy asking about the same tool you did. A lot of guys including myself were saying that they have one but just don't see the use for it.

    Yes it depends on what you are doing what you might need. If the material is already marked it has got to be faster to just float it in on a nice heavy vise.

    I am guessing my Grizzly suggestion would not work for you as it probably would probably snap an average shops drill press table off. Or at least distort the press out of any reasonable accuracy.

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    Re: Can you recommend a good milling table for drill press?

    Dsw nailed it.

    How far from Rochester are you bead-boy?
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    Re: Can you recommend a good milling table for drill press?

    If you've already marked where you're going to drill, letting the work float while the bit centers in the center-punch divot is more accurate. If it's in a vise just let the vise float.

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    Re: Can you recommend a good milling table for drill press?

    I too wanted and got a x-y table for my drill press for positioning work. I ended up getting an atlas x-y table for a good deal off ebay. I wouldn't have thought much about the atlas table but since I have an atlas lathe I was more prone to getting the atlas table. It has served me very well for many years! Up until I got a mill.

    I know where you are coming from wanting to position the work perfectly under the drill bit/hole saw/what have you. I loved the x-y table for that very reason!

    The atlas table isn't very big but it got the job done for me for years. I would steer clear of the HF tables, they are junk. Watch ebay for a heavier "name brand" table. Mount a good vise to it and you will be a happy driller. But don't expect to actually "mill" anything. I tried it, it doesn't work in a drill press.
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    Re: Can you recommend a good milling table for drill press?

    I honestly think a X/Y table is a waste of time on a drill press. It just takes too much time using the X/Y handles to get in the right position. You have to count revolutions and if you move both X and Y and a few times it's easy to end up in the wrong spot. I think it's just faster making punchmarks and then drilling.

    However if you have a DRO on the table then it's a different matter. But that's not likely something you have on a drill press.

    We have a drill/mill with a square column but it lacks the DRO. Other than that it's perfect for drilling and it can do some milling as well, but it's not as rigid as a real mill. Anyway I always end making punch marks and then drilling after those - which kind of defeats the purpose of an X/Y table.
    Last edited by Pete.S.; 04-26-2016 at 06:15 PM.

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    Re: Can you recommend a good milling table for drill press?

    I didn't use the x-y table like you would on a mill. I would center punch or mark the spot to be drilled and use the table to bring the mark right under the bit.
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    Re: Can you recommend a good milling table for drill press?

    Have a bench mill.

    For quick bracket adjustment holes. This is what I use.

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    Re: Can you recommend a good milling table for drill press?

    Pic for Bead-boy.
    Attached Images Attached Images  
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    Re: Can you recommend a good milling table for drill press?

    On one of my drill presses, I use a magnetic chuck. I then position the drill press vice on top of the chuck with the work piece locked in place, center it under the bit then energize the mag chuck. Slight adjustment to the positioning is simple by de-energizing the mag, adjust the vice location, re-energize in different position. This eliminates any clamping of the vice to the table and is very quick. Of course this does nothing for you if you were wanting to actually mill a slot. ....and unless you are a man of superhuman strength, you need to have a crank height adjustment on your table as the combination of components are quite heavy.

    DSW however, hit the nail on the head.

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    Re: Can you recommend a good milling table for drill press?

    Quote Originally Posted by VPT View Post
    I too wanted and got a x-y table for my drill press for positioning work. I ended up getting an atlas x-y table for a good deal off ebay. I wouldn't have thought much about the atlas table but since I have an atlas lathe I was more prone to getting the atlas table. It has served me very well for many years! Up until I got a mill.

    I know where you are coming from wanting to position the work perfectly under the drill bit/hole saw/what have you. I loved the x-y table for that very reason!

    The atlas table isn't very big but it got the job done for me for years. I would steer clear of the HF tables, they are junk. Watch ebay for a heavier "name brand" table. Mount a good vise to it and you will be a happy driller. But don't expect to actually "mill" anything. I tried it, it doesn't work in a drill press.
    VPT - hoping you can help. I bought an atlas X-Y table but the handles on the screws are not on. Are the attached with a key as there seems to be a slot?

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    Re: Can you recommend a good milling table for drill press?

    When I took the cross slide apart on my small South Bend
    lathe, I was surprised to find that instead of a rectangular
    or woodruff key,there was a tiny round pin lying in the slot
    on the shaft, where the ball crank goes on. Maybe this is
    something that was used on South Bend,Atlas and
    Craftsman for small lathes,mills,X-Y tables,etc.?
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    Re: Can you recommend a good milling table for drill press?

    Quote Originally Posted by rlmiller10 View Post
    VPT - hoping you can help. I bought an atlas X-Y table but the handles on the screws are not on. Are the attached with a key as there seems to be a slot?
    Yes there should be a woodruff (half round) key in the shafts and handles.
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    Re: Can you recommend a good milling table for drill press?

    Quote Originally Posted by jpump5 View Post
    When I took the cross slide apart on my small South Bend
    lathe, I was surprised to find that instead of a rectangular
    or woodruff key,there was a tiny round pin lying in the slot
    on the shaft, where the ball crank goes on. Maybe this is
    something that was used on South Bend,Atlas and
    Craftsman for small lathes,mills,X-Y tables,etc.?
    Sounds like a taper pin. I believe those pins have a taper of 1" per foot, however that works out on a short length and small diameter. I have one on longitudinal feed dial that keeps coming loose and needs to be replaced or reamed and replaced
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