The drill press is a real machine tool, used mainly in metalworking. Composed, as its name suggests, a column on which a piercing head travels, it allows to perform very precise drilling. (Non-contractual photo, does not necessarily reflect the drawing)
There are several types of drill presses (or sensitive drills). The smaller ones are bench drills that sit on a table; their drilling capacity is of course limited.
The largest ones rest directly on the ground via a long rack-and-pinion column. The drills are equipped with a tray on which the pieces to be drilled rest.
On small models, only the head of the drill moves on the column. On the bigger ones, the head and the plate are both mobile, which multiplies the possibilities.
There are also radial drills on the market; these are highly specialized machine tools: the drilling unit rotates 360° vertically and can be rotated 90° in the axial direction.
The drill press is a fairly specialized tool that is especially suitable for metalworking. It allows to obtain a great precision in the opening of blind or through holes. It is also used for automatic tapping, because it allows the realization of perfectly finished screw threads. The drill can also accommodate milling cutters and various adjustable rod tools in the chuck.
Characteristics of the drill press
Mainly for drilling metal, vertical drills usually have a stronger motor than power drills.
The big models are equipped with a motor of 0,75 or 1 ch; however, there are small bench drills with a 650W motor. The power of the engine is of course linked to the drilling capacity of the steel which particularly characterizes each machine. Thus, such machine of 650 W will be able to drill 13 mm in the steel, while another, equipped with a motor of 1 hp will pierce up to 32 mm.
The height of the column is very important and determines the size of the parts that the machine can receive. Small bench drills have a maximum shelf / spindle distance of 150 to 200 mm. This distance reaches 700 to 800 mm on large drills.
The mobility of the drilling head on the rack is provided by a threaded spindle; a small locking lever makes it possible to immobilize it. The same system is used for the platform that goes up and down by maneuvering a crank.
The speed setting is very important for the precision of drilling: you drill less quickly in very hard materials and with large drills. On conventional machines, the number of speeds varies from 5 to 12. The transmission is by belt on pulleys with multiple grooves (one of the pulleys being secured to the motor shaft).
Changing the position of the belt changes the speed. To perform this operation, it is usually necessary to open the housing maintained by a manual screw. The motor pulley is unlocked to change the position of the belt. The tension of the belt is when the drive pulley is put in place. This system is a bit rudimentary; it tends more and more to be replaced by the electronic variator which allows to change the speed permanently without stopping the machine.
The most advanced models are equipped with a self-stabilized speed, a safety clutch, a left-hand drive (for tapping) and an automatic monitoring of the winding temperature, to avoid overloading. A small bench machine weighs 15 to 20 kg; the larger models weigh more than 100 kg.
The tray of all drills can receive a vise that immobilizes small parts. On models with a movable platen, it can rotate on its axis for angled drilling.
The drill press is a robust machine which requires, for only maintenance, periodic dusting. Keep it strictly to the drill so that it retains its precision which is greater than that of the drills mounted on support because the versatile use of a drill often results in giving some play to the axis.
A priori, the drill press is not a dangerous machine; however, it is necessary to remain attentive to the automatism of the gestures, favored by the ease with which one runs a series of piercings, and which can lead to accidents.
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