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Shop Area: Woodshop

Tool: Drill Press

Requires in-person training: Yes 

Procedure Number

UG 110-06, Rev. 2





The drill press cuts holes of different sizes in different materials. It can be used to drill wood, plastics, ceramics, or metals. What matters when drilling the different materials is the type of drill bit chosen.

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  • Safety glasses to be worn when drilling
  • Proper clamping and holding (fixtures and jigs) the wood when drilling
  • Proper speed selection for size of bit and material to be drilled
  • Remove chuck key prior to drilling
  • Assure bit is centered in the chuck – no wobble
  • Remove all loose clothing, jewelry, and confine long hair.
  • Do not wear gloves.
  • Assure that the bit is sharp and no imperfections



  • Assure the bit is centered in the chuck, spin chuck to verify
  • Use correct spindle speed – see chart attached to the drill housing
    • Smaller bit – higher speeds
    • Larger bit – lower speeds
    • Softer materials - higher speeds
    • Harder materials - lower speeds
  • Place scrap wood beneath your part to avoid drilling into the table
  • Use clamping when drilling small parts
  • For deep holes, may need to peck drill to remove chips from hole
  • Put bits away– don't leave them in the chuck (easy to forget)
  • Sweep up



Bits Wandering


  • Bits wandering is caused mainly by excessive feed rate. When bits fed into the material gets too much, the bits begin to wander.
  • Chuck jaws holding the bits not being in place or firmly secured can bring about bits wandering.


  • Make sure that bits being fed into material are not too much. Feed materials with the required number of bits per time.
  • Also make sure that the chuck jaws are firm and properly tightened to keep the bits in its place.

Noisy Operations


  • The spindle getting dry can cause the drill press to begin making noise excessively thereby producing really loud noise.
  • Loosed pulleys have ask been major causes of excessive noise witnessed by a number of drill press users.


  • Constantly grease the spindle to avoid it from going dry on a timely basis depending on how often and how long the drill press is used.

Wood Splinters Underside (chip-out)


  • The singular cause of this is when the work piece lacks the support needed in terms of back up material to keep it firm.


Wobbling Drill Bits


  • Wrong or incorrect installation has been the major reason why bits wobble. For bits to function well, they have to be properly installed well in the chuck.
  • Incorrect sharpening of the bits before putting them in their place also contribute to wobbling drill bits.
  • A bent bit or a totally damaged shank can also cause the bit to wobble while being used.


  • Make sure to check the bits installation and be sure it is adequate. Any inconsistency noted in the installation should be rectified immediately
  • Bits should also be well sharpened before placing them in the chuck where they should be.
  • For damaged bits and shank, nothing except a replacement can be done to them. Replace damaged shank immediately to avoid further damage to the drill press.


Binding or Slipping Work Piece


  • Unsecured bits or improper installation of them is what is responsible for binding or slipping work piece.


  • To solve this, all you need to do is to install the bits properly and ensure they are well secured in its place.

Loosening Work Piece


  • For the work piece to be firm, it has to be supported by a clamp that fixes it to the table. When this clamp or support is absent, work pieces begin to loosen.


  • Make sure the work piece is well fastened to the table and supported with the clamps made available.


                                END OF THE PROCEDURE