Here are some handy tips and tricks for beginners that will help you harness the power of the drill press.
1. Replaceable parts
If you drill press is relatively old, then it might be difficult for you to get replaceable parts for it. A quick and easy way to get those is to go to our workshop and ask if they have an old drill press the can spare. Most serviceable parts in a drill press are cross compatible and should work with one another. You can go even a step further by buying a used and/or broken drill press for your spare parts.
2. Preventing Runout
A run out in the drill press in when the bit will spin sideways instead of being perfectly fixed. One of the major cause of a bit run out is the drill bit not lying flat on the ground. You must assert your drill press remains perfectly flat on the ground at all times. You can use a leveler to check.
3. Preventing Smoke
When drilling through tough material, it is very common to see smoke. This happens because of friction and the faster the bit rotates, the more heat it generates. If you are boring holes into tough material that is smoking, then you can simply pour water on it. The water will also act as a lubricant. Be careful, never to put oil as oil can be flammable at high temperatures.
4. Use Clamping
It can be tricky to get the perfect hole without proper clamping, despite using a drill press reputed for its accuracy. By clamping your material using another piece of lumber, you can drill more accurate and easy holes.
5. Use a Ruler
As simple as that! To get perfect spacing between your holes, you can simply clamp a ruler to the table top. This trick is especially helpful if your table does not come with a fence or metric measurement out of the box.
6. Change bits often
It is a good practice to change the bits of your drill press regularly. This is especially true if you use it every day.
7. Regular Maintenance
Performing regular maintenance on your drill press will prolong its lifetime.
8. The Pan Trick
When drilling through metal, it is a good idea to put an empty pan under the metal. Tiny metallic shavings can affect other materials you will be working on later. The trick is simply to collect those shavings and discard them without making a mess.
9. Drill Dead Center
If you want to drill dead center in any material, then instead of drilling directly at the material, place another piece of lumber on it and drill from on top. This will not only give you a very accurate drill but also a sharp drill.
One of the best all-rounder materials to make clamps with or drill dead center holes is MDF. It is cheap and easily available. Have a few boards around in the workshop. You never known when they will come in handy.