A Woodworking Drill Press
Brings Versatility to Your Shop!
A Woodworking Drill Press is an essential device for drilling accurately spaced holes or boring to exact depths. With the right set-up, you can drill at almost any angle without the drill bit walking. With the correct part, you can use a drill press as a spindle sander.
Given their versatility and relatively low cost, these woodworking power tools, drill presses, are an excellent investment for most any shop.
For total shop woodworking tools, there are two basic models:
- Bench-top drill presses are compact. They are okay for small shops.
- Floor-model drill presses usually have more power, more attachments, and superior material handling capacities than bench-tops. The extra versatility makes floor models good choices for serious DIY woodworkers.
When you are looking for a woodworking drill press, compare the following:
Horsepower (HP) - Higher horsepower allows you to drill larger holes through demanding material. Drill presses range from 1/4 HP and up.
Drilling Capacity - Normally, Manufacturers state the size of a drill press in terms of swing. They define swing as twice the throat distance. The throat distance is from the center of the spindle (quill) to the closest edge of the column. A 16" drill press can drill a hole up to 8" from the board to the column or at the center of a 16" diameter circle.
Variable Speed - this allows you to drill different diameter holes through different materials without damaging the material or drill bits. The more speed settings, the more versatile the drill press.
Tilting Table - Better Drill Presses have large, tilting tables. The tilt allows you to drill horizontal to vertical or any other angle. On most drill presses, you can raise or lower the table along the column.
Quill travel determines the depth to which the drill press can bore holes. Greater quill travel allows you to bore deeper holes. My 16½" Delta has 4 7/8" quill travel, so you don't have to change table height as much.
Depth-stops control the depth to which the quill moves down. This limits the depth of the hole. Depth-stops are good for repetitive drilling. The more precise your depth-stops, the more accurate your drilling operations.
When choosing a woodworking drill press, check to see what accessories are standard. Find out what other attachments the drill press accepts. If you are just starting out, all the extras may seem unnecessary. As your skill level increases, you will appreciate the added utility.
Look for the following things:
Fences attach to the table and help position stock for repetitive holes.
Sanding drums attach to the chuck for sanding irregular edges or patterns.
Planer heads attach to the chuck for squaring the edges of stock or cutting rabbets.
Woodworking Drill Bits
Woodworking drill bits are the most important part of the drill press. Without quality, well-maintained bits, the best woodworking drill press will not function accurately. When choosing your bits, match the bit to the material you are drilling.
- Steel bits are inexpensive and work well for boring in softwood. Steel bits dull quickly in hardwood.
- High-speed steel bits (HSS) are harder than steel bits and stay sharp longer.
- Titanium coated bits cost slightly more than HSS bits, but their titanium coating is tougher so the bit stays sharp longer than HSS or steel bits.
- Carbide-tipped bits are more expensive than other bits, but they stay sharp much longer than steel, high-speed steel or titanium bits.
- Cobalt bits are extremely hard and dissipate heat quickly, they're most commonly used for boring in stainless steel and other metals.
You can find good prices for Quality Drill Presses, Accessories, and Drill Bits on the Best Place to Buy Page.