Drill presses are mechanical devices that use a spinning drill bit to bore holes in wood, making them a crucial tool for both amateur and professional woodworkers. When choosing a drill press, you'll want to look for a machine powerful enough to handle thick wood, a range of speeds for different species of wood and adequate safety guards.
Naturally, a great drill press will be an investment, so you'll want to make sure you take good care of yours. Once you've purchased your dream press, here are four maintenance tips to follow.
1. Don't forget to lubricate the chuck
Forgetting to lubricate the chuck of your drill press (the part of the device which holds the drill bit) is a common mistake, but one you should avoid at all costs. If you don't keep your chuck lubricated, it will soon start to seize up, eventually rendering your drill press unusable. To prevent this, lubricate the chuck before every use with an oil that is specifically designed for drills. This will ensure your drill press's motion runs smoothly at all times. Just remember to wipe or blow away any sawdust before lubricating.
2. Pay attention to the belt
If you don't take care of your drill press belt and run it regularly, it will start to get dry and wear out quickly. If left unmaintained for too long, it can even break. Be sure to check that your belt tension is set properly before each use and visually inspect the belt's condition on a regular basis. If you spot any lumps, cracks or damage, replace the belt before it breaks.
3. Check the quill periodically
The quill plate is a very important part of your precision drill press because it holds the drill bit in place. As such, it works as a guide for the drill bit to follow as it moves out of the table to prepare for drilling your hole. However, the quill plate can become worn or dislodged as time goes on, so you'll want to inspect it frequently. If you notice that your quill is loose, tighten the bolt to keep your drilling precise.
4. Cleaning the table is important
Wipe away any grit that might develop on your drill press worktable using a simple damp cloth. After wiping, use a dry cloth to wipe away any remaining dust and remove the moisture left behind. Keeping a clean table will minimise the rest of the damage from dust and splinters. If you want to go the extra mile, you can also apply a rust-resistant spray to the surface.
For more information on woodworking machinery, contact a professional near you.