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View Full Version : Work holding on a drill press table.



spinrow
01-25-2012, 09:40 PM
I recently had to drill some 1"x2"x 1/16" thick items on my drill press table. I tried several types of vises but still had difficulty getting the object oriented to the drill bit and securing the vice. I could get one or the other but not both at the same time. I have a plastic pan beneath my table to catch debris,drill bits,etc. and this makes bolting down the vises difficult. Would appreciatge your recommendations or ideas. Thanks Paul

Ggerg1186
01-25-2012, 09:56 PM
1/16" thick, can you clamp the part to the drill press table with a C-clamp?

Pictures would help.

dalee100
01-25-2012, 09:56 PM
Hi,

Throw away the vise. It isn't needed here.

Get a clamp like this to hold the work down to the table like this. http://www.harborfreight.com/9-inch-drill-press-locking-clamp-36221.html (First one I could find). Then use a stop in a slot to prevent rotation while drilling.

dalee

J Tiers
01-25-2012, 10:31 PM
Hi,

Throw away the vise. It isn't needed here.

dalee


Maybe..... I have an Atlas 1800 (same as Clausing) with an MT3 spindle..... it will eat that clamp for breakfast and ask for more.

I bolted an X-Y table with 6 x 12 top (similar to Phase II) on the DP table, and use a vise clamped down on that when I want a vise, or I can clamp directly if that's better.

Makes it REALLY easy to align the hole and drill. Downside is you HAVE to align, but if you have a 3/4" drill in the spindle, clamping of some sort is not optional, preferably clamping down solidly....

There are also "safety vises" that have an arm thru a swivel on the table back... They hold the part to keep it from spinning, but allow you to move it around to drill holes fairly freely. OK for smaller parts and small holes that are not likely to "ride up" the drill.

My DP had one on it, but the seller kept it.

darryl
01-26-2012, 12:57 AM
I make a lot of use of a Jorgensen clamp on my drill presses. I pretty much always use a sacrificial piece of mdf as well, as a base. Lay the part on the base, open or close the clamp so the jaws come parallel at the diameter you're clamping. Lay the clamp flat on the base and snug up the handles, making sure to keep the jaws parallel.

Once you do this a few times it's easy to get the hang of it. Then just hold the clamp while allowing the drill bit to center the workpiece, then hold more tightly and drill. I like to get the hole well started, then ease up on the bit and let the workpiece self-center again, then hold and drill.

I've been meaning to get a couple more of these clamps. One I would modify by taking it apart and cutting a V groove right down the center on both jaws. This would be handy for holding a piece of flat, relatively thin material. Then you can cut some mdf as a sacrificial spacer and backup for the piece you're drilling.

Only on rare occasions do I find the need to secure the clamp to the drill press table.

Now there is one other thing that I've thought of, and that is to use the Jorgensen clamp hardware and one of the jaws, but make a longer version of the other jaw and reassemble it. Now you would have a real handle to hang onto.

Since the clamp is sometimes too wide (or tall as it's laying on its side on the dp table) I have envisioned copying it in metal and making it much thinner.

And then there is the metal handle which you might call the fixed jaw, with a movable jaw which has a pivoting jaw on it. It would automatically adjust to hold the workpiece firmly as you tighten the clamp. You could still use the two threaded adjusting rods like the normal Jorgensen, but it would be easier and faster to use since once you've set it for the diameter you're gripping, you could use just one adjusting rod to open and close it.

Note that the theme for this idea is to be able to grip a workpiece firmly and safely while allowing for it to float for self-centering. For the most part there's no need to clamp this clamping device to the table. You still could, of course, depending on your needs. Drilling out multiple parts in a bit of a production run, for example. As an improvement to this last type of gripping device, you could drill a few holes in the handle/jaw so it could be screwed to the piece of sacrificial mdf. It more or less becomes a low-profile vice with a replaceable base.

Paul Alciatore
01-26-2012, 02:03 AM
Throw away the vise? No. Throw away that tray that is making it hard to clamp things down. You didn't say if this is a floor stand DP or a smaller bench top model, but if bench top, the bench will catch things and if floor stand, get a broom.

I may get some heat for this, but if you are drilling smaller holes, like 1/16" or 1/8" I would clamp these small parts in a drill press style vise and hold that vise by hand. I would orient the vise screw to lean on or near the column just in case it does try to grab and spin. It won't get very far that way. If larger holes, you can drop some bolts through the vise's bolt slots and just put the nuts and some washers on loosely below the table to allow you freedom to locate the holes. The bolts will still keep it from getting too far out of control.

If the holes are larger than, say 3/8" or 1/2", then do bolt it down tight.

Parallels can help in positioning the part. Also, if you are drilling several holes, they are probably at one or two spacings from the sides of the part. Once you get the fixed vise jaw the right distance for one and it is bolted down tight, you can just slide the part on the parallels to the next hole(s) and re-tighten the vise.

Anyway, that's what I would do.

Forrest Addy
01-26-2012, 02:30 AM
There's a trick to drilling on ocation in the drill press where getting things lined up may be uncertain. Plain raw eye power is tricky. There are some aids you can use.

First acquire a "wiggler set" and learn to use it. That's the official way. A wiggler will help your line things of to 0.005 or the layout if your eyes are good enough. Here's a wiggler set tutorial: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RhtBdar4iVg

If you don;t want to be fussy. Center punch the location deep enough to give you a 1/16 or 2 mm dia punch mark. Install a 1/16" or #53 or a 2mm drill and positioning the work by hand find the punch mark with the drill. The drill being long and flexible will steer itself into the punch mark, drill just to the lip and stop. repeat for all other holes. You have the holes located and ready for the size drill.

Place the piece on the table, start the drill, enter the drills tip in the located hole when the crill centers itself it will pull a light part into alignment. Stop and clamp. Drill as needed.

Drilling thin smalling sheet metal poses special problems. The drill has a tendancy to break through suddenly and "follow the flutes" You need to "back off the lip angle. Here's alink to a post response by a very handsome and intelligent man that discusses doctoring drills. http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net/showthread.php?t=25998 look at post #2 about 3/4 of the way down.

BTW, if need to learn a few new skills it doesn't hurt to practice them at first on scrap and remnents. That way when you need the skills you don't have to develop them on the spot, under the gun, on work you already have hours in making.

Black_Moons
01-26-2012, 04:31 AM
I may get some heat for this, but if you are drilling smaller holes, like 1/16" or 1/8" I would clamp these small parts in a drill press style vise and hold that vise by hand.

Anyway, that's what I would do.

*shakes head* We normaly call that a portable drill, Except you seem to have gotten it backwards... The crooked, inaccurate holes that result are why we eventualy go out and buy drill presses.

daveo
01-26-2012, 06:09 AM
I may get some heat for this, but if you are drilling smaller holes, like 1/16" or 1/8" I would clamp these small parts in a drill press style vise and hold that vise by hand.

Im guilty:D

Rosco-P
01-26-2012, 07:12 AM
The vise JTiers is referring to: http://www.heinrichco.com/sdvise.htm

A vise doesn't have to be bolted down solidly to safely drill small parts, but the right side of it shoud butt up against stud or bolt protruding from the table to help keep vise from being pulled out of you hand(s) should the drill catch.

dalee100
01-26-2012, 07:23 AM
Maybe..... I have an Atlas 1800 (same as Clausing) with an MT3 spindle..... it will eat that clamp for breakfast and ask for more.

I bolted an X-Y table with 6 x 12 top (similar to Phase II) on the DP table, and use a vise clamped down on that when I want a vise, or I can clamp directly if that's better.

Makes it REALLY easy to align the hole and drill. Downside is you HAVE to align, but if you have a 3/4" drill in the spindle, clamping of some sort is not optional, preferably clamping down solidly....

There are also "safety vises" that have an arm thru a swivel on the table back... They hold the part to keep it from spinning, but allow you to move it around to drill holes fairly freely. OK for smaller parts and small holes that are not likely to "ride up" the drill.

My DP had one on it, but the seller kept it.

Hi,

I use 5' radial arm drills with enough power to eat your drill press alive with 2 1/2" drills and I very often use no more than that.

The clamp is to simply hold the part down and prevent lifting when withdrawing the drill. You need to use a stop in one of the slots to prevent rotation while drilling.

Think about the direction of the cutting forces. They are downwards into the table and then rotational, generally clockwise. So which directions do you need to provide control? A stop and a simple clamp are all that's very often needed for flat parts.

dalee

Mcgyver
01-26-2012, 07:30 AM
Are those responding realizing the the work is 1/16"? that's sheet metal. Putting a 1/2 hole in sheet metal is something to exercise care around....sort of one of the most dangerous thing to do on the shops most dangerous machine. Definitely clamp this sort work, used a piece of scrap metal under the clamp and have it close to the hole so the material can't lift. For thinner material I use cheapo woodworking brad point drills - imo a neat way to reduce the tendency of thin work to want to pull up the bit as it breaks through.


*shakes head* We normally call that a portable drill, Except you seem to have gotten it backwards... The crooked, inaccurate holes that result are why we eventually go out and buy drill presses.

I don't understand why you shake your head at this. Allowing either the work to float directly, or in a vise on the table is SOP...and for a lot larger than 1/8!

With the work floating, the twist drill will easily pull a centre market into alignment. Holes end up as accurate as the layout work....need better, coordinate drill in the mill. Sometimes I'll coordinate drill with a spot drill then finish all the clearance/counterbores etc in the drill press....with the floating and hand aligning, the hole will be right where the spot drill starts it.

Mostly, work doesn't get clamped unless the hole size gets large. The operator has to exercise judgement, you're not going to put 3/8 holes through 1/2 x 1/2/ 1/2 pieces of steel holding it in your hand. small- medium holes in large work, float on the table, small to medium holes in small - medium work, in the vise floating on table, large holes (esp in thin pieces), clamp.

A short of 4" angle iron is semi-permanently clamped to the table so that nothing floating can rotate is something does get away from you.

The drill press's advantage is speed; so much quicker than the mill if you have 10 parts with 5 holes each that a clearance hole for 5/16 bolt, all centre punched and ready to go. Would you really align and clamp all those? yuck.

vpt
01-26-2012, 08:09 AM
I use a small x-y table. Clamp part in vise then just move the table to perfectly center the bit. Wouldn't go back to any other way.

http://img839.imageshack.us/img839/8991/excursionfpr010.jpg

http://img801.imageshack.us/img801/5870/porsche018.jpg

J Tiers
01-26-2012, 08:47 AM
The vise or clamp must be proportioned to the work....

A vise alone is good for many small parts and holes. large parts may need NOTHING, since they allow you to safely hold the part against drilling forces, or are so big they won't move due to weight and inertia.

Oh,, yeah, WHAT DIRECTION are those forces?

1) down... tables are good at fixing that.

2) spinning..... you are not strong enough to hold against that with a larger hole.... the part needs a larger handle, or to be clamped.

3) UPWARDS in some cases when the drill breaks through, depending on material, drill, RPM, etc. Some materials are very bad, and hand feeding the drill also leads to the problem. Power feed not so much.

This can break drills off, and can jerk the part right off whatever "stop" you have it laying against, turning the part into a spinning "shredder blade".

It's best to have something to hold the part down, you are NOT strong enough to hold the part down in every case.

The drill press is probably one of the most dangerous machines in the shop... "Everyone" knows exactly how to use it", and they don't look ahead or think about possible problems until they get a damaged hand.

Spin Doctor
01-26-2012, 09:04 AM
There is of course a solution to the whole problem. It's called a milling machine with a tee slot table. IMO most drill presses we see in home shops (a lot of industrial ones to) have tables that are too small. The best table to swing ratio I have seen is generally in a Leland Gifford. Single spindle driil press with a 24 x 36 table

Paul Alciatore
01-26-2012, 10:46 AM
*shakes head* We normaly call that a portable drill, Except you seem to have gotten it backwards... The crooked, inaccurate holes that result are why we eventualy go out and buy drill presses.

I wasn't talking about using a hand drill, I was talking about holding a drill press vise ON A DRILL PRESS TABLE by hand. I know it can be somewhat dangerous, but if the screw of the vise is against the drill press column or against a stud mounted on the table, you can limit that danger to a large degree. And I only use this technique for small holes/small drills.

I have seen a vise spin on a drill press table and I do not want to repeat that. So do take precautions to prevent spinning in all cases.

PS: I do use hand drills and can drill a fairly straight hole. But I wouldn't try them for a deep hole unless it was not critical.

Toolguy
01-26-2012, 10:52 AM
The safe way to drill sheet metal (or sheet anything) is with the step drills with a single straight flute. They will not grab the material at the end like a twist drill does.

Paul Alciatore
01-26-2012, 11:11 AM
Are those responding realizing the the work is 1/16"? that's sheet metal. Putting a 1/2 hole in sheet metal is something to exercise care around....sort of one of the most dangerous thing to do on the shops most dangerous machine. Definitely clamp this sort work, used a piece of scrap metal under the clamp and have it close to the hole so the material can't lift. For thinner material I use cheapo woodworking brad point drills - imo a neat way to reduce the tendency of thin work to want to pull up the bit as it breaks through.
......

The OP did not specify what the hole size is. In any case, care should be exercised. A 1/2" x 1" x 1/16" piece is too small to hold by hand for anything but a very small hole - 1/16" to 1/8", as I said above. Any hole larger than that does require some kind of work holding (and the drill press vise would be my first choice). Even with rounded edges, you do file after cutting, don't you. can be dangerous to your hands if they are spinning around. A larger piece would be perfectly safe with small holes as you would have a lot more leverage to prevent spinning.

As someone above said, judgement is needed.

1/16" thick is sheet metal? Well, from the point of view of a 1/2" drill, perhaps it is. The point of the drill is longer than that. But for a number 60 or even worse a number 80 drill, it is actually getting close to being a deep hole and other concerns would come to mind. And I have and use even smaller drills. "Sheet metal" is a relative term. I guess the guys that built battleships would consider 1/2" thick to be "sheet metal".

Your Old Dog
01-26-2012, 11:40 AM
I leave the work loose on the table, lower the drill bit to the center punch mark, rotate the quill by hand backwards and let the drill bit center the work. Then I tighten down any clamps "while" holding down the quill to keep it centered while the clamps get tightened.

I also have a bolt sticking up through my table. It's only function is to stop any propeller movements of the stock should it get away from me wether hand holding or viced. If something does get away, just have to remember to keep downward pressure on the quill and let the bolt do it's job. OSHA would probably tell me to send the work out.

I do use my milling machine clamp kit a lot with drill press if drilling tall or large items.

It also helps to do a finger count after each operation to make sure you don't throw anyway in the trash :D

Mcgyver
01-26-2012, 11:50 AM
The OP did not specify what the hole size is.".


you're right, it was too early and I read 1"x2" as 1/2 :o

JRouche
01-26-2012, 12:20 PM
I recently had to drill some 1"x2"x 1/16" thick items on my drill press table. I tried several types of vises but still had difficulty getting the object oriented to the drill bit and securing the vice. I could get one or the other but not both at the same time. I have a plastic pan beneath my table to catch debris,drill bits,etc. and this makes bolting down the vises difficult. Would appreciatge your recommendations or ideas. Thanks Paul

I use a magnetic chuck and a vise. I can move the vise around on the chuck with the drill press on and zero in on the punch mark then hit the power button for the chuck and it locks the vise in place.

Ive drilled some fairly "grabby" stuff that you would think would rotate the vise but the chuck has held it so far.

For your metal I would use a hole saw if the hole was larger than my largest step drill IF the hole was anything larger than say a 1/4". .250" and smaller Id use a regular drill bit for 16ga. sheet.. JR