Hard lessons #6: OOHHHHH! That's why people use drill presses.

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Blog entry by mhawkins2 posted 12-28-2008 04:41 AM 1711 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 5: Step Away From the Random Orbital Sander! Part 6 of Hard lessons series no next part

The subtitle of this entry should be, “Greg, you were right and I was wrong.”

I must confess I never really saw the need for a drill press. I have a very nice Bosch cordless drill with lots of power. I can drill pocket holes all day long and I have made 32 mm holes with Forstner bits in poplar and birch without problems. I have a great jig for shelf pin holes and frankly thought my holes were perfectly straight for the task. I have even used it to cut 1/2” plugs from Bocote (but not optimally).

Recently while making wine balancers for Christmas gifts, I needed to drill 12 holes through 3/4” thick hard woods with a 1 1/4” Forstner bit using my cordless drill. Those of you who are experienced with drill presses may feel free to start laughing now. I did manage to complete the task, and the drill did survive, but just barely. It took a long time on each hole while having to pause and cool the bit and lubricate it. By the end I had a mild burn from the heat of the exhaust air vented from the drill.

So Santa brought me a 12” Ryobi bench top drill press (Wood magazines “Best Value” last year). I don’t anticipate using it as much as my router, table saw, or even my cordless drill. But when I need it there won’t be any other substitute. In short sure drill presses make nice straight “repeatable” holes, but the real value is the power and speed control.

-- mhawkins2 - why does my wife keep parking her car in my shop :)?

5 comments so far

View USCJeff's profile


1065 posts in 4548 days

#1 posted 12-28-2008 05:01 AM

I agree . . power and speed are much better than a handheld. I think one of the best qualities is that you get consistent holes very easily. Piece of cake to get evenly spaced holes on multiple pieces using stops. Angled or 90 degree, no sweat. Evenly stopped depth, etc . . . All can be done with a handheld, just not as easilly.

-- Jeff, South Carolina

View piper's profile


101 posts in 4557 days

#2 posted 12-28-2008 05:23 AM

I think you will be suprised at how much you use it now that you have it.

-- piper

View Karson's profile


35197 posts in 4880 days

#3 posted 12-28-2008 06:08 AM

Also holes 90 deg to the surface.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 4640 days

#4 posted 12-29-2008 09:13 PM

I like our drill press. Sure makes a lot of jobs easier.
Merry Christmas :)

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

View rikkor's profile


11295 posts in 4354 days

#5 posted 12-29-2008 09:32 PM

Mine has a limited “throw” or whatever you call it. I can only bore down 2”. A pen blank is longer than that.

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