Parts of a bench drill press

Written by will gish
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Parts of a bench drill press
Bench drill presses combine manual and machine parts. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

A drill press is a power tool used for boring holes in materials such as woods and metals. It is a self-contained unit that requires neither support tools nor surfaces. Drill bench presses are designed with professional and educational shops in mind. Carpenters, wood and metal shop teachers and other professionals for a number of purposes use them. The four fundamental parts of traditional bench drill presses are the engine, handle, chuck, and table. Advanced modern drill presses have lasers.

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Engines drive the working parts of the bench drill press. On most models they are located at the top and back of the power tool. Drill bench press engines are relatively simple units powered by electricity. The primary function of the engine is to create the torque required by the chuck to drill. Engines must be capable of producing torque of varying degrees. The chuck of the bench drill press requires different levels of power to achieve a gamut of revolution per minute speeds that will allow the drill to bore a host of materials without over-drilling and destroying them.


Handles allow bench drill press users to move the chuck up and down. The engine creates the power of the power tool, and the handle allows the finesse of human hands and judgment to govern that power. Bench drill press handles usually consist of a central wheel orbited by three individual handles. Any one of these handles can be used for the vertical adjustment of the chuck. Some press handles include mechanisms for controlling the RPM speed of the chuck while other presses house such a mechanism on the body of the unit just beneath or above the handle.


Bench drill press chucks hold the drill bit that does the actual drilling. Chucks also use the torque created by the engines to turn the drill bit at varying RPM speeds to bore or rebore holes of different types in myriad materials. An example of revolutions per minute range on a contemporary bench drill press chuck as of 2010 is 570 to 3050. Chucks are adjustable to hold drill bits of varying sizes. Drill bits are often sold separately and come in a range of sizes; they are not a part of the actual drill press but rather are an accessory. As such, the chuck is the part of the drill press most closely associated with drilling.


Tables hold the material that is being drilled. Most tables have adjustable height and angle settings for the advantage of the user. Tables are thick and very hard metal slabs are attached to the column of the press. Hollow portions are created in the middle of tables for the drill to pass through without damaging the part. However, tables are generally constructed from metals hard enough to withstand occasional scratching from the drill bit. Some tables are equipped with clamps that hold materials in place for boring.


Unfortunately, bench drill press lasers are not flaming beams capable of boring holes in materials like a blast from a space pistol. Rather, they are beams of light similar to those used by snipers to guide a shot. Bench drill press lasers illuminate an area just below the drill bit so that users may place spots marked for boring in the direct path of the drill bit. The technology is available on many presses in 2010 and was developed to help users avoid mistakes.

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