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Review by jim C posted 1003 days ago 3159 views 1 time favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch
A Great Product A Great Product No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

I acquired a good old (early 70’s) 14” cast iron (read “heavy”) drill press this spring. It was hardly used, but required elbow grease from a long period in a basement.

I haven’t used it much as I don’t like working with wood on a cast iron table.
Yesterday I went to Woodcraft and picked the the Pinnacle auxiliary drill press table for $99.00.
The key to giving it 5 stars is the care you need to take when installing it so you can reap the benefits of their design.

The first thing I did was to align the cast iron table to the quill by using a forstner bit that was a touch smaller than the table hole. I than rotated the table so the elongated slots were parallel left and right.
Next I set the movable fence dead center to the side grids and locked it down. Then I scribed lines on the MDF insert so I had perfect center related to the graduated inserts and centered movable fence.
I marked 2 points 4” left and 4” right of the scribed center. Pinnacle gives you wood screws and washers to attach the table, but I chose 5/16 machine bolts for better rigidity.
I carefully lined up the table by bringing the quill down and having a “pointer in the chuck, zeroing in on the scribed MDF, and tightening the table down.

The final thing was to drill a 3/8” hole through dead center.
The beauty of mounting this table carefully is you can put a workpiece relative to the grid and drill holes to very accurate dimensions. If you need a hole 3” by 5” from the corner of a piece, no need to mark the piece, just line it up to the graduations.
Thats the mechanical beauty of this well made table. Pinnacle had their thinking cap on. The surface is high pressure laminate micro dot which is extremely durable and friendly to wood.
The graduated inserts are marked incredibly well and visually pleasing. They have t-slots for any clamping arrangement you might need and accommodate 5/16 nuts.

It comes with a sliding stop for the fence.

The MDF insert I drilled the 3/8” hole in will be replaced and used only for resetting the table when I tilt, swing or move it for various set-ups. This “reference” insert make it a 30 second operation to re-align the table to dead center.

Now the BEST part….......Made in U.S.A.
I’m a happy camper

-- When I was a boy, I was told "anyone can be President", now I'm beginning to believe it!




View jim C's profile

jim C

1452 posts in 1695 days



14 comments so far

View Dusty56's profile

Dusty56

11638 posts in 2284 days


#1 posted 1003 days ago

Well I’m glad I read your entire post , because I was wondering at first , if you were never going to change your table height , etc.. Great idea with the dedicated insert feature !!
Nice review , although it could be a blog with all of your useful info / tips in this post : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View David Grimes's profile

David Grimes

2072 posts in 1236 days


#2 posted 1003 days ago

I wish I had come across this a few weeks back. Sweet setup.

-- If you're going to stir the pot, think BIG spoon or SMALL boat paddle. David Grimes, Georgia

View Roger Clark aka Rex's profile

Roger Clark aka Rex

6940 posts in 2031 days


#3 posted 1003 days ago

I have the “Red” version (Woodpecker) and although it is a nice looking unit, I found it really sucks.
Those thumb screws are a big mistake, they work themselves loose and let the fence move. I have had to retrofit lever assembly knobs to fix the problem.
The fence is WAY too low, pretty useless if you intend to use lumber more than an 3/4” tall.
I was pretty well disappointed with it being as it was an “acclaimed” Woodpecker product, I expected more for the money.

Right now they have a new version out, which, no guesses, kind of fixes the problems I had, Gone are the thumb screws, replaced with knobs you can really tighten down, and as an EXTRA you can now purchase a higher fence which is 3” high for an EXTRA $60. It’s great to know you can pay for their mistakes.

The one shown in the blog is the old model with all the problems, that’s why it’s on sale. Avoid it.

-- Roger-R, Republic of Texas. "Always look on the Bright Side of Life" - An eyeball to eyeball confrontation with a blind person is as complete waste of Time.

View jim C's profile

jim C

1452 posts in 1695 days


#4 posted 1003 days ago

Roger,
I have the latest, brass knobs that work just fine.
I don’t understand the problem when drilling over 3/4” thick wood, with a thin fence, unless you are not holding the wood firm against the fence. I have never needed a fence higher than 3/8” to register when you’re drilling vertically down on a piece of wood. Tall fences, to me, just get in the way and create problems if the wood is not perfectly square. You’re fighting the bottom against the side perpendicularity.
Even a 2” thick piece shouldn’t be a problem unless you’re somehow creating side pressure, which cannot be done unless you’re trying to mill something.
I don’t get what the problem is.

-- When I was a boy, I was told "anyone can be President", now I'm beginning to believe it!

View Roger Clark aka Rex's profile

Roger Clark aka Rex

6940 posts in 2031 days


#5 posted 1003 days ago

Jim, I am not kidding you, I had a terrible time with those thumb screws, I even tried putting a spring washer underneath, but they always kept coming loose. I fixed the problem by replacing the thumb screws with adjustable handles which give you some torque – and hold.
I do use lumber 4” or 6: tall and of course the 3/4” fence was too shallow to keep the lumber steady.
Ironically on the new version they have fixed the very things that I had problems with, so I can only assume that others have had the same problems too, and they have fixed their mistakes.
Jim, I hope it works out for you “as is”, but you will know how to fix it if it doesn’t.

-- Roger-R, Republic of Texas. "Always look on the Bright Side of Life" - An eyeball to eyeball confrontation with a blind person is as complete waste of Time.

View doordude's profile

doordude

1085 posts in 1579 days


#6 posted 1003 days ago

thanks for the tip. i’m hopping i can pick up one of these at the woodworking show in november

View NiteWalker's profile

NiteWalker

2699 posts in 1173 days


#7 posted 1003 days ago

Roger, they improved the fence clamping mechanism. You can order the kit to upgrade your older fence.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View Roger Clark aka Rex's profile

Roger Clark aka Rex

6940 posts in 2031 days


#8 posted 1003 days ago

Yes Nitewalker, I know that, I’m just a bit “miffed” that I purchased the Lemon, they obviously knew there was something wrong with the one I purchased earlier this year. That’s why they are now offering (at an extra cost) single hardware replacements for $20 a pop and a Fence for $60. I think they should have fixed the problem for free.
The new one should be good because the unit has great possibilities.
Thanks for the info anyway.

-- Roger-R, Republic of Texas. "Always look on the Bright Side of Life" - An eyeball to eyeball confrontation with a blind person is as complete waste of Time.

View richgreer's profile

richgreer

4522 posts in 1671 days


#9 posted 1003 days ago

I also have the red version of this table. I made my own auxiliary fence that I connect to the existing fence when I need a taller fence. I find that I only use that auxiliary fence on occasion.

I find the thumb screw knobs usable but less than ideal. I will probably replace them with something beefier one of these days.

I’ve also made my own hold down clamps that work in the T-track quite well.

I consider this to be a pretty good table. It is very flat and solid.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View Retrowood's profile

Retrowood

117 posts in 1015 days


#10 posted 828 days ago

The DP looks to be a older Orbit Bench model, I purchased one new in 1977 for $139.99…......Still have it, it’s been a workhorse. Looks like a nice set-up.
Retrowood

-- Retrowood

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

111999 posts in 2173 days


#11 posted 827 days ago

Thanks for the great Review Jim and all the fantastic set up details. Looks like a fantastic table ,enjoy.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View Roger Clark aka Rex's profile

Roger Clark aka Rex

6940 posts in 2031 days


#12 posted 827 days ago

Well, as I said before, after I modified the unit by taking out the thumbscrews that would never stay tight and replaced them with quick lock handles I had no problems.
I went out and ordered the new extra tall fence and fitted it, but found that the tall lock down on the right is nicely lined up to ensure the drill press lever hits it smack dab in the middle and prevents drill lowering. Now I have fixed that too, but wonder why this unit was never tested to work on a regular Delta floor Drill Press.

Maybe all the hype about Woodpecker products is BS. I will be very wary about purchasing another of their products.

-- Roger-R, Republic of Texas. "Always look on the Bright Side of Life" - An eyeball to eyeball confrontation with a blind person is as complete waste of Time.

View jim C's profile

jim C

1452 posts in 1695 days


#13 posted 551 days ago

Retrowood,
The drill press is a “Rockford Tool” model that was built in the mid 70’s.
Made like a brick $* house.
Probably built in the same factory as the Orbit (in Taiwan)

-- When I was a boy, I was told "anyone can be President", now I'm beginning to believe it!

View helluvawreck's profile

helluvawreck

15392 posts in 1463 days


#14 posted 551 days ago

That really is a nice looking table. Thanks for the review.

helluvawreck aka Charles
http://woodworkingexpo.wordpress.com

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

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