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  1. #1
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    Default Basic Cross Slide/XY/Compound Table recommendations for a drill press?

    Hey guys,

    Newbie here, I've tried searching for existing threads on this to no avail (though I'm sure there must be plenty). I assume it's because these things have so many different names that people call them by: "Cross Slide Vice Table", "Compound Table", "XY Table" etc.

    I've just setup my first drill press (a table-top 390w unit from Ryobi), and have managed to break two drill bits right out of the gate thanks to slight slips in the vices I've been bolting onto the drill press' built-in table, and the lack of precision in positioning everything.

    So it's pretty evident I need a decent cross slide table to get the simple straight holes I'm trying to drill.

    This is for VERY occasional bits of metalworking (which will mostly just be drilling holes or tapping threads into various metal clamps now and then. So I don't want to spend more than a few hundred on the table (if possible).

    Here are a couple I've found that don't look terrible and suit the budget:

    https://mcjing.com.au/compound-slide-table.html

    https://forestwest.com.au/collection...th-swivel-base

    But I can't find much in the way of user reviews. And it's hard to find recommendations for any others. Looking on Amazon, most options just seem cheap - and most of the reviews mention having to modify and rebuild the units to get them working well (which is outside of the level of effort I'm looking to put in).

    So I was wondering if anyone could point me in the right direction, recommend a table that they like, or comment on either of the options above (if you've encountered them before).

    Would really appreciate the help!

    Cheers

  2. #2
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    Default

    But if the bits are breaking when the work is secured to the table, adding an X-Y table won't really help, as that too will be secured to the table. If you are considering attaching the X-Y table to the base of the drill, you will have problems because not all bits are the same length (and not all work pieces are either).
    Perhaps some photos of the set up you currently have - there could be something that is happening that someone might spot.

    Michael

  3. #3
    BobL is online now Member: Blue and white apron brigade
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    A cross slide vice is nice but it's not essential for most DP work.

    All that is needed to get started for small jobs is a regular ($30) Drill press vice like this.

    Screen Shot 2021-07-19 at 4.15.16 pm.png
    For light jobs it does not need to be firmly bolted down to the table just loosely bolted and tightened down as required.

    Another approach is using toggle clamps (~$16 each), something like this
    Screen Shot 2021-07-19 at 4.22.07 pm.png

    A small (100mm) budget end ($90) cross slide or compound vice looks like this.
    Screen Shot 2021-07-19 at 4.29.58 pm.png
    I used one of these for a few years - they are pretty sloppy devices and not much better and in some ways worse than a simple vice.
    They are pretty heavy and may be too much weight for your DP table.
    It makes lowering and raising the table somewhat awkward.


    I currently have one of these 125mm HD compound vices. It's more robust and heavier that the one above but X-Y wise still a long way from a proper X-Y table .
    Screen Shot 2021-07-19 at 4.35.02 pm.png

    A few years ago I made myself a DP table with a matrix of threaded holes and ratchet handle hold downs.
    Its the nicest to use for medium small jobs.
    You can see that it attaches to my 125mm compound vice.
    DPtable1.jpg

  4. #4
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    Hi Grumply,

    Welcome to the forums.

    I have and use an X-Y table similar to the one you linked to ! I replaced the drill table with the new X-Y one. However I still use a loose drill vise to hold work and stop it getting away if the drill grabs. If you are breaking drills, I would suggest that you are being a bit heavy handed applying pressure to the down feed handle.

    I generally just centre pop the work where I want to drill it and then clamp it in a loose drill vise. This works well for holes up to about 8 mm in steel. Anything bigger will get clamped in a fixed drill vice secured to the X-Y table. Be aware that the bigger the drill the slower it needs to spin. About 500 rpm is OK for 8 mm to 12 mm. A 2 mm drill needs about 3000 to 3500 rpm.

    HTH.
    13-02-2021-001.jpg
    Edited to add a picture of my Drill X-Y setup !
    Best Regards:
    Baron J.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by BaronJ View Post
    I replaced the drill table with the new X-Y one.
    I'm trying to work out how you did that John. How are the pedestal and X-Y vice connected?
    Chris

  6. #6
    BobL is online now Member: Blue and white apron brigade
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    Quote Originally Posted by jack620 View Post
    I'm trying to work out how you did that John. How are the pedestal and X-Y vice connected?
    I think he just put the X-Y table on a bench top under the drill press.

    This a a good idea for small DPs.
    A basic Hare and Forbes compound table (also found in other budget MW stores) weighs in at 28 kg - I doubt most small DPs could handle this sort of weight plus workpieces plus drilling thrust onto their small tables.

  7. #7
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    Hi Chris, Bob, Guys,

    If you look carefully at the picture you will see that there is a length of 12 mm thick by 50 mm wide steel bar that runs underneath the bottom. At either end is a 5/8" whit bolt and a spacer piece pulling a clamp bar down onto the foot of the X-Y table.

    It just happens that the table base is conveniently the same width and length as the drill press base. This makes squaring up the table dead easy ! Just push the table up against the two front bolts that hold the drill press to the cabinet top. OK I admit that I deliberately used hex head bolts to hold the drill down and twisted one of them round a little to ensure alignment of the X-Y table. It means that if I square up the vise on top I can just put a workpiece in and drill several holes in a straight line.
    Best Regards:
    Baron J.

  8. #8
    BobL is online now Member: Blue and white apron brigade
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    Quote Originally Posted by BaronJ View Post
    Hi Chris, Bob, Guys,

    If you look carefully at the picture you will see that there is a length of 12 mm thick by 50 mm wide steel bar that runs underneath the bottom. At either end is a 5/8" whit bolt and a spacer piece pulling a clamp bar down onto the foot of the X-Y table.

    It just happens that the table base is conveniently the same width and length as the drill press base. . . .
    Sure but the weight of the XY table is not being borne by the DP Table - it's on the DP base which is on the bench? That's how I see it.

  9. #9
    Join Date
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    Thanks guys. I have some prefabricated pieces that I need to attach to some odd-shaped clamps, so the hole spacing does need to be quite exact. The drill bits that have broken, have gone because of slight slippages with the vice I've been using. Which I think is down to trying to position the vice exactly, and then dealing with little movements to the positions when I've then clamped the vice down (on to the DP's tray).

    The XY Table will (presumably) allow me to get the positioning as exact as I need it, without having to deal with slippages. That's why I need one. I'm just looking at the smaller ones (like the ones I listed) because they come in under 20kg, and will hopefully not be too much trouble for the built-in tray on the DP.

  10. #10
    BobL is online now Member: Blue and white apron brigade
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    [QUOTE=Grumply;1987058 The XY Table will (presumably) allow me to get the positioning as exact as I need it, without having to deal with slippages. [/QUOTE]

    I the you may be putting a cart before a horse.

    Positioning of the drill bit above a centre punch mark relies on
    a) really good lighting,
    Ringlightviewon.JPG

    b) using a centre finder like this
    Cfinder3.jpg

    c) being able to move/jiggle/nestle the workpiece into the correct position on the table so the sharp centre finder tip nestles into the centre punch mark.
    Standard drill bits are not sharp enough to do this accurately.

    Sometimes X/Y table may actually be a hindrance to c) because they take the feel away from the 'nestle"

    X/Y tables are more about reproducing a values of "X" for a given "Y" and vice versa but the before you do this accurate positioning of the first hole is better done with other methods.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobL View Post
    Sure but the weight of the XY table is not being borne by the DP Table - it's on the DP base which is on the bench? That's how I see it.
    That is correct ! The movable table is around the back being used as a shelf !
    Best Regards:
    Baron J.

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