Machines make our lives more comfortable and easy. Drill presses are prominent power tools. They are not only unique but also versatile. They were introduced to help create angled and more accurate holes.
These power tools consist of a column, a base, and a head which has motor and drilling equipment as well as tables. They also come with some parts which can be adjusted, such as table position and height.
Unlike a hand drill, a drill press is hard to move around and is suitable for drilling large diameter holes, or when someone wants to create many different holes, without the material moving when changing the drill bits.
But like all other machines, a drill press will only be useful if you know how to operate it properly and effectively. That's why we've written this guide on how to use a drill press. We'll take you through the steps of using this machine to ensure that you are fully aware of how you should operate it.
However, before you begin operating it, you should ensure that it is unplugged. Then make sure that you've read and understood the manufacturer's guidelines before you start. That said here is a step by step guide on how individuals should use this power tool.
Step By Step Guideline On How To Use A Drill Press
1. Understand Its Components
Never begin using any machine without knowing its components. A drill press contains a motor, ½-2 horsepower, and gears that set its speed. There is also a chuck that is compatible with bits of various sizes and an arm in which individuals turn it manually to raise or lower the chuck and bit. Again, there is also a table that can be lowered or raised as well as tilted to various angles.
2. Set the Speed
In most drill presses, one can adjust their speed by moving the drive belt from one pulley to another. How slow or fast your machine spins is affected by the pulley size. Smaller pulleys often spin faster than larger ones.
Also, the material one is cutting will determine what speed they should use. However, a rule of thumb is that individuals use lower speeds when drilling metals, and faster speeds when drilling woods. But, you should consult with your manufacturer on which speeds to use.
3. Fit the Bit
Once you open the chuck, slide the bit in. Then snug the chuck by hand around the bit's shaft then tighten your chuck using its key. Make sure that you remove your chuck as it can become a dangerous projectile when you turn on your drill.
4. Adjust the Table
Different models allow tables to move at different angles. In some models, once you release the clamping lever, the table moves easily. However, others are adjusted using a crank. It's therefore wise that you check from your manufacturer's guidelines on which method you should use.
Before setting your table, ensure that you consider which tasks you'll be performing as well as your height and physical needs.
5. Gauge Its Depth
Adjusting the depth gauge is essential, depending on what operations one is doing. If an individual is drilling a hole in a block of wood, they'll not necessarily need any adjustments. If one is creating stopped holes at different fixed depths, some changes will be necessary.
The depth gauge is a threaded rod that controls what distance the spindle travels. You adjust it by lowering the bit to desired height then adjust knurled nuts on the depth gauge to a suitable stopping point. One nut stops the spindle and the other ensures the first nut is in place.
6. Secure Your Workplace
When using any machine, your safety should always come first. Before starting on your drilling machine, ensure you've fixed the material in place. When the drill bit rotates, it may spin your metal or wood.
It's therefore wise that you ensure it is securely clamped and braced against your working table. Never start operating if you've not firmly anchored your workpiece.
After you've laid out your workpiece and correctly mounted your machine, you can begin drilling. This process involves drilling holes to specifications within a tolerance that has been prescribed. Tolerance is how far one is allowed to deviate from the standard size.
Oversizing naturally occurs when drilling. Drilled holes are either slightly oversized or larger than the diameter of your drill's initial designation. For instance, a 1/2-inch drill can produce holes that are larger than ½-inch. Tolerance provisions are, therefore, essential
Several factors cause oversizing such as the accuracy of the chuck and sleeve, spindle, as well as the entire drilling machine, and how rigid your workpiece was.
Drill Press Safety Measures
Whether it's your first time using this machine or you've operated it before, taking safety precautions is essential. It ensures that you remain sound and safe when working with it. A drill press is a treacherous power tool. Therefore, one should take safety measures when operating it. This will prevent injuries, time wastage, as well as resources.
Here are some safeguards:
- Start by reading the manufacturer's instructions before operating this power tool.
- Use a brush when cleaning chips away.
- Make arrangements when your machine is not running.
- Wear eye protection when drilling.
- Use clamps for securing workpieces.
- Don't use sloppy clothing or gloves while operating this machine.
- Avoid placing tools or equipment on drilling tables.
- Remove chuck keys and wrenches before you begin operating.
How to Select a Good Drill
Some factors determine what drill one should select, such as the type and size of the material to be drilled as well as the size of the drill hole. Again, your drill should have correct lip angles as well as clearances.
It should also be clean and not have any chips or burrs. As most drills wear on their outer edges and chisel points, individuals should regularly check these points. Resharpen or replace them if need be before you begin drilling.
A drill press is an excellent tool for tapping holes on hard objects such as metal, concrete, or wood. Apart from drilling, individuals can also use this machine for spot facing, counterboring, countersinking as well as reaming. But, for it to be effective, one should understand how to operate it effectively. If you're still unsure about how to use this powerful tool, you can get more guidelines from the manufacturer.