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Shop Tool Projects #2: A Totally Insane, Ridiculously Over Engineered, X-Y T-Track DRO Drill Press Table

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Blog entry by teetomterrific posted 02-09-2020 01:42 PM 879 reads 0 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: A Router Table with Rack and Pinion Linear Motion DRO Fence Part 2 of Shop Tool Projects series no next part

Sometimes a tool project takes on a life of its own. This is one of those cases where at some point I was in too deep to just let it go and I had to make the thing that was an idea that I had been toying with for almost a year. The genesis of this crazy thing I have made came about while cruising tools on Amazon and I came across this Milling Machine Compound Drilling Slide Table For Bench Drill Adjustment X-Y .

The thing is tiny and made to fit on a small bench top drill press but I could see some interesting possibilities for replacing my run of the mill drill press table I made shortly after I purchased my Nova Voyager a couple years ago. So I started researching how I could build something that did the same thing but was as large as my existing 20” X 30” DP table. As it happened I had also been casually shopping for CNC machines and the genesis of an idea to use off the shelf CNC parts was born. Long story short I ended up settling on a series of heavy duty 20mm CNC parts and my basic design was driven by the available T-Track Extrusions I could find that wouldn’t break the bank. That was a 250mm flat 8mm T-Track Extrusion form Misumi.

Part of the process was to draw the entire thing in Sketchup to make sure I could actually build it. This went through several iterations and all through the drawing process I was ordering parts to solve the various challenges that building out my idea was presenting me. Prototyping anything is always a process of making mistakes and finding solutions for them and that went on throughout this build process. I won’t bore you with the details but the final Sketchup drawing collection is a result of correcting several miscalculations.

The true purpose for building a large X-Y drill press table was to be able to move the work piece to the drill bit in a precise way while clamped to the table. Also for the ability to move the fence forward with linear motion instead of manually moving the fence so the work orientation doesn’t change.

So anyway, I present to you for your amusement a video of my Totally Insane, Ridiculously Over Engineered, X-Y T-Track DRO Drill Press Table for your enjoyment and or ridicule.

The one thing that surprised me during the build was just how flipping heavy it was. When I finally completed it I weighed it on my big shipping scale and it is a whopping 96lbs 12oz or just a hair under 44kg. That’s pretty heavy but my Nova Voyager is handling it with ease.

- The table is primarily designed to use spoil boards with the T-Track.

- The T-slots are an 8mm opening and will fit most 5/16 T-Track hardware.

- Total Table Top Size = 750mm wide X 450mm deep

-Total Depth = 525mm when including the X axis crank wheel

- Total X-travel 100mm from center forward and 100mm from center backward, (~4” each way), (travel is limited by DP throat from Table to Column. On the Nova Voyager that is less than 25mm, or less than an inch backward)

- Total Y-travel 225mm from center leftward and 225mm from center rightward, (~9” each way)

I’ve spent the last couple weeks putting together 4 page Master Parts List with Purchasing Notes and also a 14 page Build Notes document with illustrations. This should provide interested folks with additional details necessary to tackle building a version of this project, (if they are totally insane that is). The latest Sketchup drawings from my 3D Warehouse collection X-Y DRO Drill Press Table are linked in the build notes documentation as well as here.

Now for the shocking part. The total cost to build this beast really surprised me when I finished putting together the master parts list. Not including tools like metric bits, and taps, the price for all the parts was $990.98 YIKES!!! I know that since I purchased everything over a 3 month period while I refined the design, I experienced the boiling frog effect of not noticing how much I was really spending all the while thinking it was half what reality was. Sheesh! No regrets though. I think this thing will be worth every penny I spent on it in the long run. YMMV

-- Tom, Adams, TN



11 comments so far

View Redoak49's profile

Redoak49

4404 posts in 2620 days


#1 posted 02-09-2020 05:21 PM

Amazing work!

View danda's profile

danda

1 post in 1984 days


#2 posted 02-10-2020 12:03 AM

Very nice piece of work

View LittleBlackDuck's profile

LittleBlackDuck

3670 posts in 1452 days


#3 posted 02-10-2020 12:06 AM

Whoa there Hoss (aka ttt)... read a few times and still digesting… took a few antacid pills and still digesting.

Love the engineering and the whole concept. Only issue I initially saw with that setup, is no sacrificial insert... DOH! with the milling table, the whole top is drilable.
Lucky you have the Voyager... add a wooden sacrificial top set the depth and you will really have to try hard to create an oopsie.

Your setup seems to have indirectly solved the crank-handle/alternative-DP-tabletop conundrum. I replaced my handle with a longer one (Jet) and still had to perform surgery on my tabletop corner.

Those digital readout are one helluva bonus and combine them with the 5,000 RPM of the Voyager, you have a functional milling machine.

Can’t stop raving about it and the indigestion is killing me.

All that scares the bjesus outta me is the 44kg vs my hernia. I acquired a milling table that I share between my DP and my lathe and I thought my 25kg was pushing boundaries.

PS. Don’t forget the shekels for a decent DP in the costing… as such an addition would be lost on an Ozito $100 benchtop, drill press.

PPS. Talking about boiling frogs, I think it was started on me while I was a tadpole (the duck version).

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

View teetomterrific's profile

teetomterrific

89 posts in 993 days


#4 posted 02-10-2020 12:25 AM

LOL Woah there LBD! Hold the bus. Unfortunately the Voyager doesn’t have a draw bar to secure the arbor up the quill. Any side load from milling would likely make it fall out. That would sort of ruin the whole user experience.

Can you say ”Spoil board”? Sacrificial inserts are for noobs!

Yeah that distance from the table and the DP crank handle was part of the design criteria. Win, Win!

-- Tom, Adams, TN

View LittleBlackDuck's profile

LittleBlackDuck

3670 posts in 1452 days


#5 posted 02-10-2020 01:17 AM


.... doesn t have a draw bar to secure the arbor up the quill. Any side load from milling would likely make it fall out…
- teetomterrific

Never got that technical and had to read (ugh) what a drawbar was.

I have often used the quill lock with small router bits over multiple depth passes in a milling fashion… Without digital readout, these multiple passes have to depend on failing eyes… this has somewhat been improved by the use of rulers… the more accurate metric kind… though mag-switches can fake travel stops to some degree (as long as I sneak up on them… and don’t use dislodging force… BTDT).

Maybe I have just been lucky so far.

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

View teetomterrific's profile

teetomterrific

89 posts in 993 days


#6 posted 02-10-2020 02:40 AM

As long as the side load isn’t too heavy, some very light wood milling with a router bit probably is OK. People use sanding drums on drill presses too so….

Teknatool does make a DVR metal working drill with an ER32 Collet System called the Nova Vulcan. I wonder if there is a retrofit kit to covert my Voyager.

-- Tom, Adams, TN

View LittleBlackDuck's profile

LittleBlackDuck

3670 posts in 1452 days


#7 posted 02-10-2020 03:12 AM

Not into metalworking… get paranoid when I see metal/aluminium swarf in the workshop… would use wood drill bits if I could.

That’s probably why I drooled over your metal setup… next life maybe!

‘gree, bout DP sanders… with the exception of, loosely packed flappers…

I only do multi shallow passes with the router bit and have been wary of side load. Having said that, I do trust the Voyager more than my old DP… but hate it when I turn on “auto start” and then try to manually calibrate depth stop (push button toggle for auto start would be a nice enhancement).

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

12210 posts in 1770 days


#8 posted 02-10-2020 01:32 PM

I approve whole-heartedly! If you use your drill press often enough, this will prove to be worth the money spent IMO. Unfortunately, for milling, the spindle really needs to be on tapered roller bearings and those generally take more room than axial bearings. So converting your DVR is unlikely. On the other hand, you spent almost a grand on the table, the cost to upgrade to the Vulcan and sell your DVR is likely justifiable ;-)

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View pottz's profile

pottz

7910 posts in 1616 days


#9 posted 02-10-2020 04:47 PM

looks like the ducks been out engineered this time ;-(

-- sawdust the bigger the pile the bigger my smile-larry,so cal.

View LittleBlackDuck's profile

LittleBlackDuck

3670 posts in 1452 days


#10 posted 02-10-2020 11:57 PM



looks like the ducks been out engineered this time ;-(
- pottz

Hey pottzy my crown has been relayed...

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

View teetomterrific's profile

teetomterrific

89 posts in 993 days


#11 posted 02-11-2020 03:14 AM

-- Tom, Adams, TN

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