WTB Cross Slide Drill Press Vise

Flute Maker

I am looking at cross slide vise for my drill press to do one light milling operation on my flutes.. I look at the ones online and wonder what is a good one.It would be on an old heavy Delta Rockwell drill press. I know ideally it would be good to have a light milling machine but cant justify the price. Thanks in advance!


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Check littlemachineshop.com - they have the small milling machines made in china and all the accessories for them. If you don't mind buying non-usa made stuff.

Alan in Little Washington

Alan Schaffter
Corporate Member
I used a HF X-slide vise for my hollow chisel mortiser, but the quality is pretty poor- too much slop and backlash, hard to adjust the gibs. I had to rebuild and tweak parts of it. I eventually modified it by reversing the position of the clamping leadscrew/crank so the clamping crank was on the front along with the in and out leadscrew crank. I removed the entire L/R slide section and mounted the vise to a homemade sliding table so I could move it farther and faster left and right. I'll post photos if I can find them.

Mike Davis

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A drill press is not designed for the pressure exerted against the chuck when milling.
Even a little force can loosen the Jacobs taper shaft connecting the chuck to the spindle.


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Adding to Mike's statement, most Drill presses do not have a strong enough set up to do milling. Bear in mind, the lateral force is pretty hard on bearings and shafts.
Grizzly does make a Milling drill press set up for that. I think it is 800-1000 bucks somewhere in that range.

That said , I know you are doing wood and it is way softer than metal, but unless the drill press has the design built in to handle a milling procedure you will end up over time with a drill press that will not drill straight holes, because of the side slop developed by the lateral forces wearing down the assembly.

As far a a decent vise with a X-Y adjust, plan on spending at least 75-100 bucks to get a "ok" used vise. Also, be advised a 1/2 decent vise will be pretty big even small ones 4 or 6" are sizable. They have to be to handle the forces. Do not waste your money on one of the cheap Gizmo Amazon vises that are 40 bucks, they cannot be used for this kind of activity.

A drill press is not designed for the pressure exerted against the chuck when milling.
Even a little force can loosen the Jacobs taper shaft connecting the chuck to the spindle.


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I too have one. It is big and clunky. I found even my Delta to have too much play to be very useable.


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I've been down this road myself. I started with an X-Y cross slide vise just like what's been discussed in this thread for positioning, not milling. Way too much slop in the one I have for anything except positioning. Not usable for milling at all. Actually, too sloppy for precision positioning for that matter. Then I bought a Grizzly G8750 - 6" x 18-1/2" Compound Slide Table.

Better and actually designed for milling. Also cost me $200+ with shipping. Then I ran into that compound slide table being way too heavy at 63 lbs for my bench top drill press so I upgraded to a full size floor standing drill press for another $500 or better (don't remember for sure). See where this is going?

Of course you cannot use a compound slide table without hold downs and yet another work holding vise to mount on it. Even if you get this far you haven't bought your first end mill yet (cutter). Another money pit.

Then you run into what Mike was saying about lateral forces on the drill press chuck and realize that when people tried to tell you that a drill press doesn't make a milling machine they were spot on. I have used my setup for milling plastic, delrin, and some aluminum. Anything harder and I'll have to buy an actual milling machine. For wood it has just been easier to hand cut things than futz around with milling operations.
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