Wednesday, July 10, 2013

V4,27 - Drill Press: How to pick ‘em

Alright, if you’ve followed along for the past 3 weeks, you (hopefully) know more about the workings of Drill Presses. We’ve told you about just how versatile a Drill Press can be. Now, you’ve made the decision that this is one machine your shop could really use… but what to look for? What are the most important features to consider? What will it have that will allow you to fully utilize its capabilities? Well, let’s just take a look at some of those thoughts and give you some ideas.
1: The entire Drill Press should be solidly constructed to allow for long life and the ability to continue precision work over time.
2: The Drill Press table and base should be ribbed for strength and rigidity. They should be slotted. The table should have flats or ledges on the sides, which can be used for clamping the work. (This offers convenience and safety to the user.) The table should have a precision-ground work surface which helps keep the work accurate and the base should also have a flat surface for holding large workpieces. The table should be easily adjustable, up or down – left or right, for adapting to different drilling situations.
3: The Drill Press head should be cast iron since that offers excellent support and protection for the most important parts of the Drill press, the motor, the quill and the spindle.
4: The Drill Press should be equipped with a chuck that is tightened with a key, not by hand. The chuck should have a one-half inch capacity so that it will accommodate the various size bits and accessories. Many drill Presses feature a taper-mounted chuck. By having a taper-mounted chuck, the runout of the chuck/spindle is practically eliminated and the user is assured of accurate drilling. Some chucks feature a self-ejecting chuck key which ensures that the key is not accidentally left in the chuck.
5: The Drill Press should be equipped with a depth-stop. The depth-stop will allow the user to drill many holes at the same depth as the original hole. It eliminates guessing and allows precision accuracy.
6: The Drill Press should have an adjustable motor bracket support. It should be sturdily constructed to support the motor, yet adjustable to allow for ease of setting proper belt tension.
7: The Drill Press should have a selection of speeds for drilling wood, metal, plastic, glass and ceramics. Some Drill Presses feature a triple-pulley arrangement for easy selection of 12 different speeds, ranging from a low of 250rpm to a high of 3000rpm.
We’ll stop here, for this week…
Send your questions or comments to: and we’ll see what we can do to help you. 

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