How To Properly Align Your Drill Press

How To Properly Align Your Drill Press

Sam Chun2/ 4/21

Quality woodworking and metalworking demand precision. Fabrication facilities utilize drill presses to create accurate holes through various project materials. The machine can effectively work on hardwood, plywood, metal, plastic, and more; making it a standard piece of equipment in fabrication shops’ repertoire. Its structure provides a secure platform for material manipulation. To get the precise holes that your project requires, you must know how to properly align your drill press.

Inadequate alignment could lead to damaged goods and workplace injury. In addition to supplying high-grade metal fabrication equipment, KaKa Industrial offers professional advice on proper machine operation to increase fabrication safety and productivity. Read on to see how you can best align your drilling system.

Secure Its Base

The base and stand of your drill press must be secure before configuring proper alignment. Verify that the machine’s foundation is sturdy to confirm it can support your project materials and avoid a wobbly drilling process.

Pro Tip: Remember, drill presses are top-heavy. Though their bases are mutually heavy, enough lateral pressure can cause the machine to knock over. A stout lag bolt and anchor with the right washers can assist in securing the base to the floor or tabletop.

Verify Proper Motor Mount

With the base and column in the correct position, confirm that the motorhead is fixed to the column. Most drill presses have their motor mounted at the top of the column. Adjust the motor and column bolts as necessary to establish a well-attached motor.

Clean Out Gears

A drill press’s table is adjusted via a locking rack and pinion gear system. Over time, this system collects sawdust, grime, and other debris emitted from drilled materials.

To prevent buildup—and an eventual clog—routinely clean the machine’s gears. A lack of maintenance will prohibit you from adjusting the drill press table as desired.

Pro Tip: Be mindful of cleaning processes that lead to rust. To clean your gears, you should use a lubricating cleaning spray and lint-free cloth. You can use a bristle brush to get the hard-to-reach spots in the gears’ teeth. Wipe the gears and table clean with the cloth after spraying and brushing.

Check Table Rotation

Rack and pinion gear systems typically enable operators to rotate the table around the column and out of the way. To properly align your drill press, check to see that your table can rotate freely, but that it’s not too loose. Table rotation is particularly helpful when working with cumbersome materials and for maximizing your space.

Position Combination Square

Lastly, the drill press table should be perpendicular to the quill’s motion. You can check the table’s position by utilizing a combination square.

  1. Place a combination square on the table.
  2. Align its vertical side along the drill bit’s or punch’s side.
  3. Check for unevenness. If you notice uneven space when aligning the square, loosen and readjust the table so the square aligns as needed.
  4. Tighten the table in place and begin operating on your well-aligned drill press.

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