Metal Drill Press Class
Lesson 4: Operating the Metal Drill Press
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Introduction: Operating the Metal Drill Press

The following outlines basic operation and etiquette for using the metal drill press.

Area and Machine Prepartion

  1. Clean and clear the table.
  2. Clamp your material in a vise, and clamp the vise to the table whenever possible.
    • If clamping to the table, use a sacrificial board under the workpiece to keep from hitting the table.
  3. Insert the drill bit.
    • Remove the chuck key immediately.
  4. Adjust the table height.
  5. Adjust the RPM.
  6. Get a bottle of cutting fluid designed for use with your material.

Drilling the Hole

  1. Start the drill.
  2. Slowly pull the quill handle until the bit contacts the material.
  3. Apply more pressure as needed. When drilling metal, apply a small amount of cutting fluid to the bit with the brush.
  4. Holes in deep material may become clogged with chips. Pull the bit out of the hole periodically to help to clear out chips.
  5. Turn off the drill press by pushing the E-stop.


  1. Remove and return the bit.
  2. Return the coolant & clamps.
  3. Brush off the table and clean up the area.
  4. Recycle scraps and put reusable pieces in the storage bin in the metal shop.

Print Out This Guide

This course is available as a PDF that is attached to this step. Enjoy the drill press safely!

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