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Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Woodworking tools: the Drill Press | Mere Mini

Do you need a drill press?

Woodworkers don't spend a lot of time discussing drill presses. When setting up a shop it may seem like a luxury: you already have a hand drill, so why bother taking up bench space (or floor space) with another stationary tool?

How it differs from a hand-held drill

I don't believe a drill press is an essential tool, but it makes woodworking easier in certain situations. It has a few major features that separate it form a hand-held drill. The biggest one is that it has a table which is perpendicular to the drill bit. Drilling straight holes is a surprisingly common woodworking task and one that is much more difficult with a hand drill.

Secondly, a drill press allows you to lock in the depth of cut so you can bore repeated holes all at the same depth. This saves a lot of effort and is much more precise than wrapping a blue tape stop indicator on your cordless drill bits.

In this Mere Mini, I'll give a very brief overview of my drill press. This video is aimed at beginning woodworkers or anyone who has wondered if he or she should consider buying one.




9 comments:

  1. Great video Steve. A couple items worth considering if your viewers are shopping for a drill press are size and the number of axis of adjustment. I had a really good full sized General DP that I spent a lot of money on, but it was so big it was hard to move around the shop, and I never needed the full 6 ft drilling capacity on it, so I bought a used benchtop model for $50 and sold the big one. My little press can rotate the table on 2 axis, offers handcrank control on the height of the table, and offers all the controls in your video. I love the ability to drill at angles for tricky parts Its like a huge pocket hole jig if I set it up just right.

    As far as accessories go, I got flycutters, fortsner bits and countersinks included in the $50 benchtop press. Not a bad deal at all! Sometimes a small used tool is way better than a big new one!

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  2. I some time need to make holes at an angle, with a jig you do a lot in a short time. Keep the videos coming.
    jim skaggs

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  3. I am building a Lutyens style bench and am using floating tenons for all my joints. Do you have any tips for cutting mortises on the end grain of long pieces of stock? I have been using my drill press but I have 4 pieces that are over 6 feet long and I would have to put the drill press on stilts. Any ideas?

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  4. Steve -

    Based exclusively on your enthusiastic endorsement, I just subscribed to Wood Magazine. Can't wait to see the first issue.

    Pat Corbin

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  5. Because I have always had a difficult time drilling straight, perpendicular, designated depth holes one of the first machines I bought was bench top drill press and have never regretted or had buyers remorse. Saves a lot of time and money with fewer mistakes in drilling.

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  6. Thanks for the lesson, as always.

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  7. I am enjoying these very informative Mere Mini's. A drill press is on the list for future purchase. i work in a metal fab shop and we use drill presses to death, sometimes literally. Keep up the good show.

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  8. I'd love an insight on getting/buying/using a bandsaw. I am considering buying one, yet the 800 usd pricetag holds me back for now.

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  9. An simple alternative is a drill stand where you can mount a drill. I use mine a lot. But a drill press gives more power, flexibility and precession to name a few advantages.

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