Notes from the Workshop: 20110107

Wow, it's been a week since I've posted anything.  Christmas really disrupts the old household -- I think I spent over two hours pulling toys out of packages and trying to sort out the garbage from the recycling, which delayed other household chores, which seriously cut into my shop time.  Aside from that carnage, I wasn't feeling well again this last week.

Fixing My Drill Press Table

I had previously mentioned in my post Drilling Straight is Hard to Do that the insert on my drill press table wasn't sitting flush and one reason might be a slight gap between the two pieces of MDF that make up the table surface.  To close the gap, I drilled eight drilled pilot holes and counter bores for the 1-1/4" pan-head cabinet screws around the perimeter of the insert opening.

Even after adding the screws, the insert still sits a hair high in the front no matter it's orientation, but it's better than it was.  The only other thing I can think of is that there must be a slight variation in thickness of the MDF.  I'm not sure whether it's a problem of manufacturing tolerances, or an effect of changing humidity in the shop. 

Drilling Straight Holes

After researching the problem a bit on the Internet, I've found I'm not the only person that can't drill straight into end grain.  Some tips I learned were to use a sharp bit, hold the blank as securely as possible, and drill at a lower rpm and feed rate.

My next try was using the drill press vise to hold the V-block and blank.  Unfortunately that worked about as well as all of my previous tries.  Then I thought about my micro-mill.  Since I bought the drill press my mill has been sitting in a corner collecting sawdust.

I figured that it anything could hold the blank securely and perfectly vertical it would be the mill, plus it can finely control the speed of the bit.  With my drill press vise screwed to the flat x-y table, and the blank and V-block locked securely in the vise jaws, I was finally able to drill a relatively straight hole!

Tools: drill press, micro-mill, vise

Tags: notes


Todd @ Tool Box Buzz's picture

Very nice tip!! I'll keep that one in mind! Thanks for sharing.