Properly Operating a Bench Drill Press

What You'll Need
Scrap wood
Drill bit for wood or metal
Chuck key
Bench drill press
Safety equipment

A bench drill press is very similar to a traditional drill press. The main difference is that it is mounted to a tabletop, instead of standing by itself. You should be able to use these basic directions for operating either model of drill press. Keep safety in mind whenever you are working with machinery.

A drill press can drill through metal, wood and plastic with the right drill bits. Here is how you will set up and use the machine.

Step 1 - Don Safety Gear

You will need gloves, ear protection and eye protection. You will also find it safer to wear long sleeves and pants. Debris does fall from the bench drill press and can get onto and irritate your skin.

Step 2 - Mark Your Material

In order to know how to properly operate your bench drill press, you will need to have a mark that you want to hit. Use the pencil to mark your scrap wood in three places. You will need to practice with different bits and different depths in order to know how to use your machine.

Step 3 - Clamp It and Align It

Many drill presses come with a vise attached to the table. If yours does not have a vise, you can easily install one if you so choose. The vise keeps your material in place so you can focus on the drill. If your bench drill press does not have a vise, a clamp on the edge of your work bench will likely suffice. Make sure that you use the manual lever to align the material. It will do no good to clamp the wood five inches away from where you need the hole.

Step 4 - Choose the Bit

You will want to choose and install the best bit for the job. This means choosing a bit that is the right size as well as choosing one that was meant for the material you are working with. For instance, you need different bits for wood and metal. Loosen the chuck with the chuck key and install the correct bit. You can complete this step at any time before you actually start to drill.

Step 5 - Set the Depth Stop

Use the depth stop to set the proper depth for the hole. Many holes go all the way through the material so the depth stop will not be an issue. The depth stop is located on the right side of the bench drill press, directly next to the manual lever.

Step 6 - Drill It

Turn the bench drill press on and bring it to the speed that you wish to drill at. If you are unsure, start with a medium drill speed and adjust from there. Use the manual pull and slowly bring the bit down to meet the wood. You do not want to without being at speed or the hole may be jagged.