How to use the drill press and set it up-Pro Tool Review

2021-11-25 08:43:39 By : Ms. Catherine Wei

Professional tool reviews for professionals

I like my drill press. This is my favorite tool. Actually I have two. I bought a bench model when I was in college, and I picked up a large floor model shortly after graduation. The drill press is very quiet. They are precise. Most importantly, they are versatile. If you use the best drill bit, you can drill almost anything as long as it fits. With the right accessories, the drill press can also be turned into a sander. It can even drill square holes in wood with mortise attachments. I have used these tools for decades, and I think I can teach you how to use a printing press like a Pro.

If you already know what a drill press is, please feel free to move down to the next part to get a lot of operating tips and tricks. Simply put, a drilling machine is a drill bit installed on a column. The drill bit moves up and down, while the workpiece remains stationary. The biggest advantage is that the drill press aligns the drill bit completely perpendicular to the material. No more crooked holes! To the inexperienced, this may not seem like a big deal, but when you start to actually try to build something, you quickly realize its importance.

If you are trying to make something better than a flower pot, making your hole completely vertical will greatly improve the quality of your project. It makes the parts easier and safer to assemble together. The drill press also allows repeated drilling at a constant depth. This is much more difficult when drilling manually.

All drilling machines have the same basic components. They consist of a head and a motor mounted on a pillar. The column has a table that can be adjusted up and down. For inclined holes, most of them can also be inclined. In the head, you will find an on/off switch, a spindle (spindle) with a drill chuck. This is raised and lowered by rotating a set of three handles on the side. Generally, the drill chuck can move up and down about three inches of stroke. In other words, you can drill a three-inch deep hole without adjusting the height of the table. 

The material is placed on the table, fixed by hand or clamped in place. Then raise the workbench to the drill bit that is locked into the drill chuck. The speed of the turning drill is usually controlled by a series of step belts on the head. Some high-end drilling machines (such as Nova Voyager) use variable speed motors. There are many online speed charts to help you determine the required speed for the material and size of the drill you are using.

When you are ready to drill, open it and slowly pull one of the handles forward and down to feed the drill bit into the material. The amount of pressure you use depends on the material you drill. For example, steel requires more pressure than wood. With a sharp drill, you should remove the shavings from the hole when drilling, not dust. When drilling metal, when the shavings appear in a long spiral, you are using the correct pressure. Drilling metal is a process in itself. Find upcoming articles about drilling metals, wood, and plastics.

There are several different shapes of drill presses. You can get a drill guide that allows you to connect a hand drill to the guide rod. You can also get a drill press stand without a motor or chuck. Instead, you can clip your own hand drill into it. Both of these options are cheaper and will be used in a pinch, but they will never replace the real thing. Most beginners are best to use a bench drilling machine. These smaller tools usually have all the functions of a large floor model, but are small enough to fit on a workbench.

The floor model is a big boy. These power units can drill holes in almost anything without stopping. They will drill holes that are very dangerous or cannot be drilled by hand. The floor model has a larger motor and a larger chuck for drilling larger holes. Their throat gap is much larger than desktop models, so they can drill into the center of larger materials.

The rated value of the drill press is the distance from the column to the center of the chuck (radius) multiplied by two (diameter). In other words, what is the diameter of the largest circle you can install on a drill press? This is called drill press swing. The nominal size of a typical desktop computer may be 8 inches or 12 inches. This means that there is a distance of 4 or 6 inches between the column and the center of the drill bit. The floor model may be 16 inches, so you will have a gap of 8 inches.

In addition to the column, the radial drilling machine also has a horizontal column. This allows you to drill to the center of larger workpieces, up to 34 inches for some small bench models. I have wanted one for years. They are quite expensive and take up a lot of space. Always bolt these top-heavy tools to prevent them from tipping over. But the advantage is that the column will hardly hinder you, so you can put all kinds of things that you normally can't, such as the entire bicycle or pickup truck tailgate. 

In the manufacturing, shipbuilding, and installation/construction industries, you will find magnetic drilling machines (magnetic drills). They do not have a central column or table. It is replaced by a powerful electromagnetic base. Place the magnetic drilling machine on the I-beam, steel plate or other structural steel. Then you turn on the magnet and the drill bit fixes itself in place, even upside down. Just don't stand under it in case the power goes out! This is why they should attach safety ropes where possible. 

Precautions about magnetic drilling machines. They will erase your credit card! The first time I used it, the wallet in my back pocket was too close to the magnetic drilling machine during use. It erased everything in my wallet. Learned knowledge! If you absolutely need it, you can also buy battery-powered models, such as the Milwaukee cordless magnetic drill.

Changing the speed of most drilling machines requires adjusting the head belt. Open the top and you will see a series of two to three stepping pulleys. Also at the top of the drill press compartment there will be a diagram showing every possible configuration of the belt on the step pulley. Each configuration will result in a different speed of the drill press.

Behind the motor and on the side of the drill press, there will be a handle. After releasing this handle, you can pull the motor forward. This causes slack in the belts, so you can adjust them from one pulley to another. If they are very tight and the motor is straight forward, rotate the pulley/motor shaft while sliding the belt from one layer to another. Our lawyer wants us to remind you to always unplug the drill press when performing this operation, so as not to lose a finger!

After placing the belt in the correct position, push the motor back as far as possible from the front of the drill bit. This creates tension on the belt. While pushing back, re-tighten the handle on the side. Close the cover to prevent the worn belt from turning into projectiles when it breaks.

Most drilling machines have a worktable that tilts. The tilt table is used to drill holes at an angle. There is usually a large bolt under the table, which you can loosen to tilt it. I use iGaging Angle Gauge Cube to set my angle, but you can also use a sliding T-shaped bevel and a protractor to set it. The meter cube can also help you reset the workbench to a position at 90 degrees to the drill bit. 

For many years, I used the "hanger method" to reset the table because you can't trust the built-in scale. Take a hard wire from the hanger and cut/bend it into the shape shown in the picture below. Clamp one end in the drill press and the other end above the workbench. Rotate the chuck, and when you rotate it 180 degrees, the amount of space between the wire and the hanger on the left and right sides of the table will be the same.

The irony is that the most expensive drill presses usually don't have a tilting table. Found in the machine shop, these are used to drill holes in metal. The metal drilling machine does not have a hole in the middle to prevent you from damaging the workbench when you drill too deep. If you get a discount on a metal drill press, please buy it. They are durable and work well in wood or plastic. Just make sure you can actually move it, as it may weigh 250 pounds or more.

Of course, you should always wear safety glasses when using the drill press. In addition to this, one advantage of these tools is that you should never try to drill manually. An example is drilling with a circular tool. Try this with a hand drill and you will be crazy. By the way, this is not a challenge or an adventure. When you leave the emergency room with a broken arm, you won't do it again.

Things to pay attention to when using a drill press are long hair and necklaces. Since your head is close to the rotating drill chuck, loose hair is more likely to be sucked into the machine than a hand drill. When your hair is pulled in, the drill press will not stop. Many people have actually used this tool to peel their scalp when their hair is loose.

Another thing that hurts people is when the drill bit grabs the material and sends it flying or grabs it and starts rotating it, like a machine that smashes a finger or breaks a wrist. It will continue until you press the power switch or the material finally flies through the room. This is why it is important to either clamp your material or make sure it is large enough that you can grab it. Due to its design, there are many ways to clamp objects on top. However, we can improve the performance of your drill press in many ways. 

The first thing I did when I got the drill press was to add a quick release clip. I put mine on the table almost all the time. It makes clamping something very easy and fast. I will also get a drill press vise for machining smaller workpieces. These can be bolted to the workbench, but usually, you can hold the vise while drilling. Even better, use quick release clips to secure the vise for you.

So I will never lose my chuck key or taper drift (tool to remove the chuck), I installed a magnet on the top of my drill press (like the one used to hold a kitchen knife). This is a great upgrade because I can reach out and grab my chuck key from the magnet. When I opened the lid of the drill press to change the speed, it didn't even fall off.

One of the free upgrades I made was to draw a line on the pillar and a matching reference line on the table. When the two lines are aligned, my drill press table is directly below the chuck, so the clearance holes will be aligned. This way I won't accidentally drill a hole in my desk. This means that when I clamp a plank, I can move the pillar up and down without having to loosen the plank to see if I will hit my table. As long as the lines meet, I will never accidentally get into my table, even if I can't see the gap hole.

The drill head is heavy. The more weight you can add to the base, the more stable they will be. For my bench drill press, I just lay a 20-pound barbell weight flat on the base. You can usually buy these at bargain prices in yard sales, sporting goods stores, or flea markets. For my floor model, I put a steel toolbox on the base and put most of the drill bits in it. This provides additional weight and bit organization for my various bit indexes.

A few years ago, I added an extension arm that connects to the column and supports longer working hours. This is actually useless. I'd better buy a separate stand-alone work holder.

Perhaps the biggest upgrade you can make to a drill press is to manufacture or buy a drill press. The adjustable table on the drill press is quite small. Adding a bigger, more work area is a huge help. After I made mine, I no longer need the extension arm I bought before. It also makes it easier to add fences, stops, and other fixtures to the table. These allow repeatable holes to be drilled without measuring.

At some point, your drill press chuck will either wear out, or you will get tired of using the chuck key to manually tighten the chuck when you put the drill in the chuck. Mine has worn out recently after nearly thirty years, so my money is worth it. 

To replace the chuck on the floor model, you need to use the tapered punch tool that comes with the drill press. Most people will lose these. Keep it in a safe place. You can always buy alternatives on Amazon for less than $10. You also need a new chuck. This chuck is the chuck I chose for my drill press. It has a No. 2 Morse taper at the end of the drill string. The second Morse taper (2MT) is probably the most common size taper.

With the new chuck, lower the quill (drill head) all the way down. You should see a slot on each side of the quill. Insert the small end of the tapered drift tool until it stops. It will now rest on the back of the chuck. You may need someone to fix the handle in place so that the quill will be down when you proceed to the next step. Hit the butt end of the tapered drift tool with a wooden mallet or plastic mallet. If you don’t have a mallet, use a wooden block and a hammer. After a few taps, the chuck should fall out-get ready to catch it!

The price of the new chuck is half or more of that of the desktop model, so it is not worth upgrading. In addition, the chucks in many desktop computers are not designed for replacement.

If you search for drill press accessories online, in addition to many types of drill bits, you will find hundreds of them. Some accessories will turn the drill press into a drum sander for sanding curves, especially internal curves. With a sanding wheel, you can hold the material and bring it to the sander, which is sometimes safer or easier, depending on the size of the material you want to sand. The V-shaped block allows you to safely drill and saw into round materials such as pins. You can even turn the drill press into a woodworking lathe. 

Drilling machine is an indispensable tool in any workshop. If you apply a paste of wax on cast iron table tops every 6 months to prevent rust, they will last for decades. The more you use the drill press, the more you want to buy a larger floor model. However, I found a smaller drill press to be useful, placing a desktop model in my office and "wiping" the hard drive by drilling holes in the hard drive. This can be done in an office environment because the drill press is very quiet. In your store, no matter what size you choose, you can find multiple uses for drilling machines. 

Gregory works in an art museum as an IT staff, photographer/videographer, and security supervisor. He has written, produced, filmed, directed and edited TV commercials for his museum for PBS and Spectrum. He served as an exhibition manager there for nearly 20 years and has installed more than 40,000 artworks and 300 large outdoor sculptures. Gregory is also a sculptor and has taught photography for more than ten years.

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Amazing article. So thorough, interesting and real. I am really touched. I think I don't even need a drill press in my lifetime, but it is really interesting to read such high-quality articles. It is rare to pack so much value into one page. My initial Google search was only about square bits, and I, as a new owner of an old house, as a complete beginner, I am trying to learn how to fix everything by myself. I will definitely look up your other articles!

Great article, lots of useful information, thank you.

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