How to Use a Drill Press


An indispensable tool in the machine or wood shop is a drill press. The modern drill press has been around since the late 1800s. Not a lot of changes have happened in that time. A drill press will allow you to drill a defined hole into or through a work piece in a very repeatable manner. You can even configure a drill press to serve as a driller or tapper.

  • Select the drill diameter that you need for the holes that you will be drilling. You need to decide what type of drill to use, as machine drills are very different from wood working drills. The wood drill bits have a corkscrew type of cutting edge. If run too fast into the work piece, the bit will bind and jerk the work piece. This can be very dangerous.

  • Set the depth of the hole by adjusting the plunge depth on the right side of the spindle. The plunge depth setting has a pair of lock nuts that will set both up and down stroke.

  • Clamp the work piece down securely to the table. Align the drill bit with the mark indicating where to drill the hole or holes in the work piece. Select the motor speed to match both the diameter of the drill and the material you are using.

  • Turn on the press and slowly lower the drill bit into the work piece until the spindle reaches the depth setting. If the setting is very deep in the work piece, back the bit up out of the hole periodically to clear the shavings from the hole.

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