Drill Press Setup - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 04-16-2019, 02:49 PM Thread Starter
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Drill Press Setup

Last night, I had the need to drill a hole in the end of a piece that's about 30" long. I wanted it to be perfectly parallel to the edge of the wood. I tilted the table 90 degrees and began to position the piece on the table so I could drill the hole. Even after getting the table's surface parallel with the travel of the quill, getting the piece parallel was quite a chore. Since the table rotates in addition to being able to be placed at an angle, there's no reliable reference point for square or parallel. I spent probably 45 minutes doing it by drawing lines on the table and clamping the piece to it. At one point, I even thought about gluing a piece of paper to the table's surface so it would be easier to draw on.

Surely there's a better way.

Do any of you guys have drill press set up tips that you've used for drilling other than perpendicular holes?
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post #2 of 8 Old 04-16-2019, 05:37 PM
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(floor standing model) I used a spirit level to make the column plumb. I could then mount/clamp the work piece plumb and it drilled straight.
this assumes the head/quill and parallel to the column...."should be" but I did check a couple scrap pieces before doing the actual work pieces.
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post #3 of 8 Old 04-16-2019, 08:10 PM
where's my table saw?
 
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Get out your dial indicator and ......


Find the longest length of 1/2" drill rod you have and chuck it up.


Pivot the table so it's vertical.

Rotate it so it bears directly against the drill rod, checking for parallelism.

It doesn't matter if the column or quill is plumb.


Clamp an angle vertically, to the table to locate your stop for your workpiece.


Drill your holes.






Some ideas here:
https://www.google.com/search?client...30.MSQzIgZB95E
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The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)

Last edited by woodnthings; 04-16-2019 at 08:12 PM.
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post #4 of 8 Old 04-23-2019, 03:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TomCT2 View Post
(floor standing model) I used a spirit level to make the column plumb. I could then mount/clamp the work piece plumb and it drilled straight.
this assumes the head/quill and parallel to the column...."should be" but I did check a couple scrap pieces before doing the actual work pieces.
Setting any machine level with the world is usually preferable in the long run.

Setting it up a drill press with the column plumb is the way to go if you want to drill straight holes in long stock. You support the outer end, lay a level on the stock and adjust the table to make stock level.

Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something -Plato

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Last edited by FrankC; 04-23-2019 at 03:19 PM.
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post #5 of 8 Old 04-23-2019, 04:08 PM
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I have a centering dowel jig. Assuming that the hole was at least 1/4" diameter I would use that jig to make the pilot hole or if the hole was 1/4", 5/16" or 3/8" to make the final size hole.

After making the pilot hole I would open it up to the desired size using one or more drill bits going up in steps. The pilot hole should keep things aligned.

I would use a hand held electric drill for the operation

https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon....L._SL1500_.jpg


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post #6 of 8 Old 04-23-2019, 06:39 PM
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Setting woodworking machines plumb and level .....

I have never used a level to set any of my woodworking machines either level or plumb. In my opinion, all that matters is the relationship with the cutter or bit to the supporting surface which can be checked with a square or dial indicator. In the case of my drill presses, all 4 of them, the table is factory set square with the quill by either a moveable pin in a pre-drilled locating hole OR by the machined surface on a fixed table. There are no "user" adjustments for fine adjustments other than the coarsely graduated degree half circle provided. Nor do I go around with a level and shim the bases to thwe bench top or the floor to get them level, as they are sometimes moved about.


My milling machine is not adjustable for table to column adjustments either. All that matters is the relationship between the quill and the table which is established with a dial indicator and"tramming" the table back and forth with the work piece held in a vise or clamped to the table.


My table saw may or may not be level, I have no idea? All that matters is the relationship of the blade to table surface which can be determined by a digital angle cube or a draftsman's triangle. The blade should be and is set at 90 degrees to the table surface for all my cuts except bevels, which I rarely do.


In industry, where there are huge multiple machines ganged together, like the printing industry (Hi Frank) having them level is paramount. In the auto industry, where I worked, level and plumb was also of primary importance. The clay models I worked on where self locating on one side on ball shaped center pods. Each time a model was moved out of the studio to the viewing area it had to be first scribed with cross hairs and in and out measurements so when it was brought back, it would be in the exact same position. Engineering would precisely scan the surfaces to translate them into digital data for CAD drawings. Accuracy and precision was THE name of the game.


Woodworking is precise for certain, but not to the tolerances of other industries.
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Last edited by woodnthings; 04-23-2019 at 06:42 PM.
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post #7 of 8 Old 04-23-2019, 10:56 PM
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I agree that it is not critical to have the machines level, but sometimes it just makes life easier. If you don't have a level shop floor then outfeed tables etc. will all over the map anyway.

Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something -Plato

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post #8 of 8 Old 04-24-2019, 06:27 AM
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Try dealing with adjacent machines on the floor sloped for washdown drainage in a food plant!
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