Boring Holes with a Drill Press

The most commonly done operation on a drill press is making holes; it is fast, precise and simple to use, making it one of the most used power tools in a woodworking shop. Many types of bits are available for drill presses.

To bore a through hole, first, install the diameter size bit you need, ensuring it is in good condition and centered in the chuck. If you need a well finished hole on the far side of the work piece, place a backup block under it.

• Mark the hole location with a penciled crosshair.
• Locate the work piece so that the drill bit aligns with the hole location.
• Next, lower the bit down until it touches the workpiece and lock the spindle, this will hold the work in place while you clamp it.
• Clamp the work piece to be drilled to the steel table, with clamps evenly placed either side of the drill axis.
• Unlock the spindle and let it raise back up to the top position.
• Now, with moderate pressure, lower the spindle with the drill switched on and bore the hole.
• While the hole is being bored, periodically raise the bit out of the hole to remove excess shavings and sawdust.

Drilling Blind Holes

A blind hole is one that does not go all the way through a piece. They are needed for making dowel joints, counterbores for below flush fasteners, and installing pins. It is easy to make blind holes on the drill press to predetermined depths by setting the depth stop, which limits spindle axial travel.

• Mark the required hole depth on the side of the work
• Lower the spindle until the end of the bit is level with the line marking the hole depth
• Set the depth stop at this position
• Bore the hole per the above procedure

Boring holes at an angle is done by adjusting the table on the drill press to tilt. For very large workpieces, the table can be swung out of the way or removed, and the drill press’s base can be used for support. Before making any adjustments on the machine, shut off the power.

Drill Press Safety Tips

1. Always wear protective eyewear and a dust mask when drilling with a drill press.
2. After finishing work and shutting off power, remove the chuck key; if you do not, then when the machine is turned on and started again, it may be thrown out and cause harm or damage.
3. Ensure belts guards are installed and properly in place before starting the drill press.
4. Do not stand with feet directly under a drill press’s table in case the table should fall.