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Drill presses – Q&A

Last Updated: 22.01.22


What are drill presses used for?


Drill presses can be used for a wide variety of tasks in the workshop. The most common (and obvious) one is, of course, to bore holes in a workpiece and to fasten 2 materials together with a fastener. These 2 tasks can also be done by a handheld drill, but the drill press does them more accurately, faster, and in a way that makes it safer and easier for the operator. These advantages are mainly the result of the drill press being fixed to a stand or table, or bolted to the floor. Because the angle of the spindle is also fixed to the table, boring with greater accuracy and consistency becomes possible, the motors used can be more powerful and heavier than in hand-held drills, while the work can be secured on the table.  Drill presses are made for home use, woodworking and metalworking alike. By attaching other accessories, the drill press can be transformed in a tool that sands and polishes as well.


Can the drill press be used as a milling machine?

Yes, the drill press can be a lighter, space-saving and less expensive alternative for a milling machine.  A mill drill adds the X/Y coordinate ability of the milling machine’s table to a drill press and uses a locking collet to make sure the spindle cannot fall by the horizontal force exercised on the bit. However, a drill press will not perform as well as a milling machine, as it will provide you with less accurate work and it will take you longer to finish your tasks.


How to remove the drill press chuck?

The chuck of the drill press, needed to hold the drill bit, can be removed in 2 ways. The first method is named the ‘chuck key method’, the second is the ‘wood piece method’.

For the first method, you will need a chuck removal key.  You start with lowering the quill & check of your drill press to their lowest limit by pulling down the handle. By rotating the quill lock, you keep the mechanism in a lower position, while you search for the vertical slot on the shaft of the quill. After inserting your chuck key in the slot, you tap it at the end with a mallet, until the chuck comes out of the spindle.

The ‘wood piece method’ does not require any keys, just a strong wooden piece of the right length and width. You hold this piece in a downward angle above the chuck and hit it in swift downward strokes with a hammer. If done in the right way, keeping as much a downward angle as possible to prevent damaging the spindle, this should remove your drill press chuck.


How to make a drill press stand?

A self-made drill press stand can be very simple or more complex, depending on your needs. Mostly, what you need to do is attach your drill press to a wooden cabinet. This is done quite easily: raise the height of the cabinet by putting it on a frame and then bolt the drill press to a wood sheet on top. In any case: make sure you use sturdy materials that can hold the weight of your drill press and withstand its vibrations when you work. You can add wheels to your drill press support so that you can transport it to various places easily.