The Drill Press
A Drill Press(DP) is a practical tool which ensures that drilled holes are aligned precisely with the exact depth and width you want. Modern drill presses are electrically run, stationary or fixed drills which are attached to a very stable base and then bolted a workbench or floor. Drill presses are also referred to as pedestal drills, pillar drills, floor drills or bench drills. Full standing drill presses are usually equipped with flat areas called tables upon which the users place and then secure the objects being drilled. The DP can be vertically adjusted thus allowing the drilling of materials with varying thickness. Some types of presses have tables which can be tilted to allow angled drilling. A drill press isusually intended for precise work.
Parts of drill presses
Every DP is unique. However, there are essential parts for any type of DP. These includes: the table, the chuck, the spindle, chuck keys, a motor, a drill head and belts. A lot of motors that are used by a DP are run by induction. Additional rotation accessories and bits are used in the chucks to allow the drill presses to perform other types of jobs besides drilling. These jobs include sanding, honing and polishing.
Using the drill presses
Bits in drill presses are usually changed in a manner which is similar to the way it is done with the hand drills by using keyed chucks to either loosen, remove or replace the bits. Speed is normally belt adjusted in selected types of drill presses while on others, the speed is changed by variable-speed motors. The sizes are determined by throat distances multiplied by a factor of two. Throat distance refers to the actual space that object occupies when it is drilled. If the drill is noted as being a sixteen-inch DP, then its throat distance is eight inches.
Drilling a Hole
A center drill is always used when drilling a hole. A center drill usually has very short flutes and a thick shaft. This makes it very stiff and would not work as the hole gets started. In case it does not cut as easily as drill bits, then cutting fluids are used.
The hole can now be drilled. In case it is too large, it is a good idea to drill smaller pilot holes before drilling the final hole. This makes the drilled hole to be rounder, more accurately positioned and bits will last for a longer time. In case the hole becomes deeper than it is wide one should use a coolant and occasionally back off so as to clear the chips. The drill spindle speed is reduced when stepping up in drill size. In case one is drilling a through hole, they have to make sure that the bits do not drill the tables after doing your work. In order to set desired depth of the hole, a depth stop which is found on the quill is normally used.
Deburring a Hole
Normally, the top edges of the hole shall be fairly clean while the bottom edges shall have substantial burrs. In order to remove these burrs, deburring tools are inserted into the hole and then run the tools about the edges of the hole using moderate pressure.
Reaming a Hole
A drilled hole shall be accurate to around two thousandths of an inch in its diameter. In case greater precision is needed for interference fits or slip fits, a reamer should be used. The straight flutes of the reamer cannot drill a hole. Therefore, one should drill a hole which is slightly undersize so as to start. The reamer is then driven down with a constant, slow speed.
Tapping a Hole
A tap is used to cut threads into a hole. The tap has cutting edges which are used to straight flutes and cut the threads so as to allow the chips to be expelled. Their ends are tapered slightly so as to help the tap in getting started. Dies and taps are brittle and hard thus one should be careful while working with them. The drilled hole has to have the correct size for the tap being used so as to avoid breaking it inside.
Radial Drill Presses
Radial-drill presses are able to extend the throat dimensions further by horizontally moving the drill`s head away from the columns. As a matter of fact, a radial-DP is usually made together with a drilling head which pivots thus making the drill a great tool to be used in drilling angled holes. The assembly and drill head can also be horizontally turned, 90 degrees in both directions thus allowing larger pieces to be drilled with a lot of ease.
Drill Press Advantages
The advantage of using drill presses over its handheld counterparts is the fact that it has a very stable base and the ability to make the drilling process to be more correct. Angled drilling makes it easy to achieve more precise results using drill presses. Large pieces are can also be managed easily by using the right type of DP.
Before using any portable drill press, one should thoroughly read the owner’s manual so as to know how to properly use it. Ensure that you secure the DP firmly to sturdy locations and the drill should be tightly attached to the shafts before drilling. This does not only ensures your safety but it also makes sure that the holes are exact and straight. If possible, practice first on spare pieces of wood so that you do not accidentally ruin finished products.