Jump to content

My Latest Project

Recommended Posts

Not sure that I would call that a drill press. I had one of those before I bought something more substantial. Time to get that antique press working, you will be amazed at how much better it is.


My small bench top drill press weighs about 60lbs, has a 1/2 HP motor that has a belt drive with stacked pulleys that let me change speed without loosing power. It is stable and has lots of torque at low speed. I chose this one because I need to move it around, but if I were equipping a proper workshop then a big floor standing drill press would be a high priority.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 48
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

I do also have access to a benchtop drill press similar to the one you describe, but it's not precise enough for drilling very small holes. I can't set up the vintage sensitive drill press yet because I'm currently living at a friend's place, making do with temporary folding workbenches and a small table in the corner of a barn that is otherwise full of building materials.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The problem with bits breaking in the last stage of driiling can be easily solved, by drilling through a compound "sandwitch". When I have to driil a hole in thin stainless steel I put a piece of scrap brass underneath (and in some cases also a pre-drilled piece of brass over, to work as a precision clamp extension) and clamp such sandwitch to my compound table. With such setup you'll get a nice, clean hole with no pressed dent.


As to tool options, I highly recommend this little piece of machinery: http://www.proxxon.com/en/micromot/20165.php(I use it with a different, more sturdy compound table). It costs more than a simple drill press but still is a lot cheaper than a fully fledged milling machine, and can deal with anything from brass ball joints for stop-motion animation puppets, to furniture making… It covers almost all my needs in my DIY Hayden project (except from fretwork cutting and preliminary, coarse woodwork).

@Don: those end mill bits are fine for metal work in small workshop conditions ONLY if they have a lot more cutting surfaces than typical 4… Even for woodworking in hard woods those pictured on wiki site, can catch into wood and require very shallow passes and sturdy setup. But various Proxxon or Dremel mill bits with 8-16 edges work great for brass or aluminum. But in general - saw cutting such works as fretwork is the only reasonable option, as there are too many drawbacks to milling approach: amount of material to turn into dust, round corners, bits wear, maintaining temperature while milling metals, and compensating for rotary force while cutting shapes…

Alex, a tip for center punching: don't :) Usually a nice cross scratch combined with a small pilot drill will work better. I often use a conical or small spherical Dremel milling bit as a center marker, as it won't deviate - it has a very short and thick shaft.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Łukasz, good advice. I normally use a sacrificial piece of scrap wood underneath but I had been considering trying aluminium instead.


I actually have a Taig Micro-mill, but again, it's in storage because I don't have the space for it here. It's currently manually controlled but I plan to convert it to CNC as soon as funds allow.


I've now heard two other possible solutions to the problem of stainless going hard when you centre punch it and causing problems for small HSS bits: 1, grind the punch as a three-sided pyramid rather than a cone and punch very lightly. 2, grind a point on the punch that is sharper than the angle of the drill bit, drill until you reach the bottom of the punch mark, punch again, drill again. The former is supposed to give you three hard dents surrounded by three softer regions that the drill bit is able to dig into. The latter allows the edges to cut the metal displaced by the punch without the point having to do as much work. (The latter tip came from Geoff Crabb.)


The carbide ex-PCB-manufacturer bits are relatively short. As an experiment I drilled one hole straight into the work somewhere that I hadn't centre-punched it first. It went straight in, no wandering. The paper template may have helped to keep it on track. Bit nerve-wracking though because it doesn't take much to snap them!

Edited by alex_holden
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I found this comment on a different thread but I think it was meant to be posted here:


Nice work.

All by hand? That's a lot of work.

The pattern seems to be a particular kind of flower but

I can't put my finger on it.

Thanks! The shape of the flower was stolen from inspired by the air button on a Jeffries Anglo (and similar patterns on several other makes of concertina).





I thought that the picture above showed the doorbell-array of an apartment-house :rolleyes:

Link to comment
Share on other sites



I thought that the picture above showed the doorbell-array of an apartment-house :rolleyes:

Haha! I bet that would confuse a lot of delivery drivers.


...especially those, who play English-System...


At least they wouldn't have to worry about the PULL...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Create New...