While handheld drills are known for being lightweight and portable, there are a few limits to how much power it can actually yield. Because of the range of drill bits and materials, there’s also the precision and so much more a drill press can offer. There are many forms of drill presses and because of the vast expanse on the market, choosing is a process that one needs to be careful with. But before having to buy one, this guide will be giving you the basics of how to use one.
One thing you need to realize is that drill presses basically have the same control elements no matter what brand they are. But before we start with the instructions on how to use this type of equipment, let’s first get to the very first thing to do before operating it.
- Keep safe at all times
A drill press is not your average machinery. To make sure that you don’t waste time and materials, or worse, any of your limbs, it would be better to make a careful plan of the project and gather all the materials and some tools that you’re going to need right away. Next is to set up your work area and avoid any kind of clutter. Prepare a durable pair of safety goggles to wear, a pair of steel-toes shoes to protect your feet, and wear clothing with short sleeves so it won’t get caught on the machine. All of your tools should also be in working order with small components in place. And perhaps more importantly, do not start work under the influence of drugs or alcohol nor when tired, drowsy, or mentally or emotionally drained. It is imperative that you are focused at all times.
Now that we’ve reviewed some safety measures, let’s turn to the steps on how to use a drill press:
- Choose a speed setting
It’s important to set the drill press at an appropriate speed that would get the job done smoothly. In most drill presses, simply adjusting the drive belt at the pulleys is how it’s done. Basically, if the pulley on the chuck axis is smaller, it will pin faster. When working with metal, a slower speed setting is best while anything faster is best for wood materials. It will also be best to check the manufacturer’s manual to see the important instructions.
- Check if bits will fit
The next thing to do is to check if the chuck of the drill press will accept bits. You can do this by opening the shaft and try to fit in the bit snugly then close the jaws on the bit using a key. Remove the chuck after to safely operate the machine. Test the bit by drilling small holes on the pilot before trying larger holes.
- Set the table’s height
If the machine comes with an adjustable feature for setting the height of the table. Adjust accordingly to what will make you work comfortably.
- Adjust the gauge depth
You may want to do something about a hole on a material that’s stoppable and at a steady depth, you can adjust the bit lower to a preferred height as well as the nuts at the depth gauge at the appropriate stopping moment. The nuts should halt the spindle and one should lock it instead. But if you are to use it for drilling simply holes, there’s no need to touch the depth gauge.
- Stabilize the material
Before turning the drill place on, make sure that the material is steady and in place. There’s a feature here where you can clamp the material down to the drill press to prevent it from moving. It should also be supported by the column of the machine. Never operate this machine unless you’re sure that it’s firmly held down.
- Start drilling
After much of the drill press had been set up, it should be easier to start right away. Test the rotation of the drill and check if it’s going at full speed. Get a piece of wood board and lower the chuck down to the material. After drilling the desired size of hole, unlatch the lever so that it will release and return to its previous position.