What to Look for When Purchasing a Drill Press Part III

Enhancing Your Drill Press: A Comprehensive Look at Accessories 

In the world of woodworking and metalworking, the drill press stands as a versatile and indispensable tool. But what takes its capabilities to the next level are the accessories that accompany it. These additions not only expand the range of tasks you can tackle but also make your work more efficient and seamless. In this exploration of drill press accessories, we'll delve into the diverse array of tools and attachments available to most drill presses, shedding light on their functions and applications.

Sanding Drums and Abrasive Sleeves: When it comes to sanding curved surfaces, the drill press can be a handy ally. Sanding drums of various sizes are at your disposal, allowing you to achieve smooth finishes on both metal and wood. Aluminum oxide-coated sleeves excel at tackling metal surfaces, while garnet-coated sleeves are tailored for woodwork. These sleeves come in different grits and sizes to accommodate your specific needs. For disk sanding, while primarily designed for portable drills, a 1/4-inch shank-arbor adapter can fit into a standard drill press geared chuck. By attaching a 5-inch rubber backing pad to the adapter, you can equip your drill press for sanding tasks. Be mindful not to use a backing pad larger than 5 inches on a standard drill press.

Buffing Wheels, Polishing Bonnets, and More: The drill press can also be transformed into a tool for buffing and polishing. Wheels and bonnets, measuring 5 inches or less, are suitable for this purpose. Additionally, consider incorporating rotary rasps, rotary files, and a flexible shaft with a chuck into your arsenal. Rotary rasps work wonders for rapid wood removal, slotting, and shaping, while rotary files excel in metal-related tasks such as filing, hole elongation, burr and scale removal, light milling, and more. The flexible shaft extends your drill press's reach, enabling drilling, sanding, or shaping in remote areas. These shafts typically span around 40 inches.

Vises and Hold Downs: When working with small or oddly shaped workpieces, securing them can be a challenge. To simplify the process, utilize a drill press vise or C-clamps. A vise ensures stability for small workpieces, while C-clamps are excellent for holding flat materials and securing unwieldy pieces to the table, providing the support needed for your tasks.

Lamp Attachment: Adequate lighting is crucial for precision and safety. Consider attaching a lamp to your drill press for consistent illumination of your work area, ensuring you can see every detail clearly.

Drill Press Table: Most modern home shop drill presses are equipped with tilting work tables. These tables can be adjusted by loosening a nut underneath and have a pin system that provides secure stops at both horizontal and vertical positions. For efficiency, look for a rack and pinion table assembly that simplifies height adjustments. By loosening the table bracket lock and turning the handle, you can swiftly position the table as needed. Additionally, the ability to swing the table left or right is essential for alignment during drilling. In some cases, you may need to completely move the table aside, a task made easy by loosening the table bracket lock and rotating the table to the desired angle. These features empower you to make the most of your drill press and ensure precise, efficient operations for your woodworking and metalworking projects.

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