Drill Press

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Drill press.

A drilling machine, or drill press, is used to cut holes into or through metal, wood, or other materials .

Using a stationary drill press has advantages over using a handheld drill:

  • Less effort is required to apply the drill to the workpiece, The movement of the chuck and spindle is via a lever working on a rack and pinion, giving the operator considerable mechanical advantage and allowing harder and more denser materials to be cut.
  • The table allows a vise or clamp to be used to position and restrain the work, making the operation much more secure and consistent.
  • The angle of the spindle is fixed relative to the table, allowing holes to be drilled accurately and consistently at specified angles.:*Because the drill press offers a consistent range of motion and more powerful motor over a handheld drill, this allows for a wider variety of bits to be used on the drill press for a variety of applications .

Machine Details

Safety Instructions


  • Dress appropriately. Remove all watches and jewelry. Safety glasses or goggles are a must.
  • Prior to drilling a hole, locate the hole by drawing two crossing lines. Use a center punch to make an indentation for the drill point to aid the drill in starting the hole.
  • Select the proper drill bit according to the size needed.
  • Select an appropriate size center drill -if necessary.
  • Select a cutting fluid when necessary (e.g. cutting soft metals, aluminum and mild steel)
  • Properly secure the workpiece to the table.
  • Select the correct RPM for the drill bit. Take into account: size of bit, material, and depth of hole to be drilled.
  • Clamp all work securely to the table.
  • Always remove the chuck key immediately after using it. A key left in the chuck will be thrown out at a high velocity when the machine is turned on. Never let the chuck key leave your hand except to put it back into its holder.

Active Use

  • Use an interrupted feed, called peck drilling, to break up the chips being produced.
  • If there is any smoke generated from drilling stop immediately. Excess heat will damage the drill bit causing it to shatter.
  • Pilot holes should be used on holes larger than 3/8” dia. Holes are to be enlarged in no more than 1/4” increments.

Clean Up

  • Clean the drill press and surrounding area when finished.
  • Use a brush, not your hands, to remove chips from the machine. Do not clean up while the machine is running.
  • Never stop a drill press spindle with your hand after you have turned off the machine. Chips often build up around the chuck.
  • Remove burrs from drilled work piece as soon as possible.
  • Keep the floor area clean. Immediately wipe up any oil spills.

Safety Training

When doing a safety training with the lab manager, be prepared to show the following steps:

  • How to zero your work piece
  • How to raise and lower the press table
  • How to change the bit
  • How to change the speed
  • Basic safety knowledge