Before we talk about how a drill press works, let us first get to know what a drill press is. A drill press is a versatile woodworking machine used to make holes on pieces of metals, wood, and other materials. It can also be used for other operations besides drilling such as; reaming, counter-sinking and counter-boring.
You ever wonder how such a machine came into existence. Well, the human-powered drill press was very popular among mechanics and craftsmen, the very first electric drilling machine, however, was invented in Australia in 1889. But over time, improvements have been made on it to make it more efficient. With that little history, let us look at other aspects of the drill press.
Types of Drill Presses
A drill press is an essential tool in every household, this is because every once in a while, we have various DIY house repair projects that may involve drilling such as drilling holes in pipelines. You need to understand the various types of drilling machines to use them appropriately.
Portable Drilling Machine.
This type is perfect for use in situations that require good movement but with limited space. It is light in weight, compact, used in any position and convenient as it can be used even on very small diameters and with different sizes of drills up to 12 mm.
Sensitive Drilling Machine.
It is a manual drill press that has a spindle head and belt drive used for small holes. It is perfect for light to moderate projects. Uses drills of 1.5- 15.5 mm diameter. There are two types; bench mounting type and the floor mounting type which is faster, reliable and can be used for large projects.
Radial Drilling Machine.
They are very flexible, versatile and perfectly maneuverable. There are three main types; the plain type which can be used for movement in three different directions, vertical, horizontal and circular motions. Type two is the semi-universal one which has the same three movement options as in the plain type but is more advanced and versatile. The final type is the universal type which is ideal for rotation of drill head arm.
Automatic Drilling Machine.
Commonly used for high manufacture works. They have a swing mechanism and produce consistent results on similar substances. They are fast, time-saving and do not require much human interaction.
Deep-Hole Drilling Machine.
It is said to be among the most advanced drilling machines. Their level of accuracy, reliability, and convenience makes them just right for industrial and gun barrels applications. They come in two types; vertical and horizontal
Gang Drilling Machine.
It allows for various operations to be executed on different positions of the work surface. This makes it suitable for mass production
Multiple Spindle Drilling Machine.
If what you need is a tool that can drill many holes at the same time, then this is what you are looking for. It ensures all the holes are well-matched and is usually a vertical type drill.
How a Drill Press Works.
Before purchasing any machine or equipment, it is important to have a rough idea of how to operate it. Below are general guidelines to follow when operating a drill press.
- First ensure that the drill is not plugged in when setting it up.
- Set the speed: move the drive belt from one winch to another to adjust the tempo. Note that: when drilling metal objects, a slower speed does a better job whereas faster speed is ideal for wood pieces.
- Fit the bit: open the clamp to slide in the bit then wrap it around the bit. Once that is done, stiffen the clamp’s jaws to hold it in place during the drilling process
- Set the worktable: depending on the type of drill, you may have to adjust the table height although some are designed to self-adjust.
- Adjust the depth gauge: the depth gauge is what controls how deep the spindle goes. If you are just drilling a hole through a piece of wood then it may not be necessary to adjust. However, if you need a hole of a given depth in material, then you will have to drop the bit down to the required height then alter the nuts to the ending point to control the drilling depth.
- Fix the workpiece: place the equipment to be drilled properly before you start the drilling process. And ensure every part of the drill is in the right position. Clamping the workpiece to the worktop is very crucial when fixing the set-up.
- Drilling process: the actual drilling process is quite easy, setting it up is what might be a little hectic. Once the drill is set to full speed, place the bit on the workpiece and rotate the lever to begin drilling. Let go of the lever when done drilling to set it back to its original position.
Always follow the user manual for detailed information on use, safety and care for every specific drill press.
Drill Press Safety
Any tool is not well handled can be hazardous to the user. Here are a couple of safety tips to be observed when using a drill press:
- Put on safety goggles to protect the eyes.
- Unplug the drill from the power source when cleaning.
- Hands should be away from the spindle.
- Secure the workpiece with a vise or clamp before drilling.
It would be unfair if this article ended without suggesting the top choices for drilling machines. Here are our top 3 recommendations;
- WEN 4214 12-Inch drill press: it measures 9-1/2” X9-1/2 and can tilt up to 45 degrees. It has 2/3 HP motor which is quite good if you ask me.
- DEWALT DWE1622K 2-Speed Magnetic Drill Press: Dewalt drills always feature whenever the talk is about top benchtop drills. This specific one has a 4-inch spindle and a magnetic drill which is easy to handle
- SKIL 3320-01 3.2 Amp 10-Inch Drill press: it is a high-speed type of drill with a 3.2 Amp motor and a 10-inch swing which drills deep enough.
(Article source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drill)
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