Drill press vise is a clamping tool used to hold a workpiece firmly in place while drilling. The vise has become an indispensable gadget to drill holes using a drill press. It ensures safety while using a drill machine and is used along with a drill press machine and a rotating table.
A drill press is a stationary drill that sits on a workbench. Its primary purpose is to drill holes, but it can be used for multiple purposes, including polishing, sharpening, spot-facing, counter-sinking, counter-boring, reaming, or boring.
Types of Drill Press Vise
Before moving on to the actual installation process and user guide, it is essential to know various types of vises. Although vises come in different designs and shapes, their basic purpose is the same. Types of drill press vises are discussed below.
Industrial Drill Press Vises
These vises are durable and suitable for industrial applications. There are horizontal and vertical grooves on their surfaces, allowing them to hold irregular-shaped things in place during machining.
Low Profile Drill Press Vises
These vises are suitable for small applications. The jaws are hardened to hold round objects.
These are general-purpose vises used for grinding and milling purposes. They are suitable for applications where height is an essential factor.
Standard Three-sided Vises
Some vises have a three-way base design that increases the vise’s versatility by working in three different positions. The jaws of vise are hard so that they can bear the pressure of drilling operations. There are models of drill press vises with horizontal and vertical grooves on their surfaces, allowing them to hold irregular-shaped things in place during machining.
Types of drill press include metalworking, woodworking, hand-held vises, and machine vises. All of them slightly differ in design. Metalworking vises are devised to work under pressure, and woodworking vises are used to clamp the wood. Using a metalworking vise on a wooden workpiece can damage the workpiece.
How to Use a Drill Press Vise: Step by Step
Although drill press vise is easy to use, it can be complicated and tricky for new users. The steps of installation are discussed below.
Determine the Position
The first step is to place the vise on the table of the drill press machine. If there is no rotating table, determine the best possible position to put the vise. The decision to position the vise is determined by the type of material used. The vise can hold various kinds of materials, including wood, plastic, and some metals.
Mount the Vise
The next step is to place the vise on a workbench so that the holes of the drill press machine and the mounting table coincide.
Fix the Vise Firmly
The last step is to secure the vise tightly by using four to six bolts. These bolts tighten the vise and give a firm grip on the table, preventing unwanted movements and jerks.
Once the installation is done, the next step is to use the vise. The vise should be tested before usage to ensure it is working correctly.
Label Drill Point
This step is quite simple as only a mark is made on the workpiece material. The mark indicates the position where drilling will be performed. A pencil or marker can be used to label the drilling point.
Open the Jaws
Rotate the handle in an anti-clockwise direction to loosen the jaws.
Place the Workpiece
Now, position the workpiece in between jaws making sure that the object is sitting straight to drill straight holes. If the workpiece is positioned at an angle, the holes will be uneven.
Close the Jaws
Rotate the handle clockwise to tighten the vise’s jaws until the workpiece is secured tightly/firmly. Usually, woodworking vises have smoother jaws so that the wood may not be damaged while clamping. Some vises have jaw pads to protect workpiece material. Jaw pads minimize the possibility of damaging a workpiece.
Move the drive belt between the pulleys to set the speed of the drill press vise. The speed of vise is entirely dependent on the pulley size because smaller pulleys move faster than larger ones.
Start Drilling After Proper Alignment
Before turning on the drill press, make sure to align the drill bits with the point labeled for drilling. Proper alignment makes sure that the hole is drilled with accuracy. Now turn on the machine and lower the drill press until it touches the workpiece. Now start drilling.
Estimate Hole Depth
It is crucial to control the depth of holes using a depth gauge. A depth gauge measures how far the spindle will penetrate the workpiece. Different types of materials require different hole depths. The drill bit can be adjusted to the desired length when holes with variable depths need to be drilled by the user.
Another version of the regular drill press is the quick-release drill press. Quick-release is relatively easy to use than its predecessor because the vise is adjustable and can move around smoothly. The installation of both vises is similar; however, the alignment method is different in the quick-release drill press and is discussed briefly.
- Align the holes of the vise with the holes drilled in the table
- The quick-release comes with a latch that is attached to a bolt. First, place a washer on both sides of the drilled hole.
- Once the bolt is threaded through the hole, tighten the bolt.
- During this process, the latch should be positioned on the bottom of the table.
- Once the bolt is entirely through, place a nut on top and tighten it until the vise is firmly seated.
- Just release the latch when the vise needs to be repositioned.
- Close the latch once repositioning is done.
Although it is pretty simple to use a drill press, still some safety measures need to be taken to prevent potential hazards and ensure safe usage. Precautions must be followed and are discussed briefly.
- During installation, unplug and turn off the drill press.
- Wear shatterproof safety goggles to protect eyes.
- Read the instruction manual and follow all instructions.
- Avoid wearing gloves, wristwatches, or sloppy clothes while drilling.
- Clean away any residue using the recommended brush.
- It is recommended to wear boots to keep feet safe.
- Make sure that the chuck and drill bit are correctly aligned.
- Hands should not be near the drilling area.
- Keep the drill bits sharp because dull bits can cause breakage.
Tips and Tricks
- It is good to practice drilling on some spare pieces of metal or wood to get used to the machine. It will prevent the possible wastage of any high-priced material.
- It is essential not to exceed the recommended speed limit as using higher speeds will make it difficult to get clean holes.
Benefits of Using a Drill Press Vise
- Since drilling operation requires extreme precision and stability, therefore, using a vise ensures that holes are drilled with accuracy because the vise holds the objects tightly and securely during drilling.
- Using a vise is safer because the user needs to hold only the vise instead of the entire workpiece.
- Drill press vises have powerful motors and can drill holes of wide diameters and handle stiff and rigid materials. Although these motors may be heavy, the mounted design doesn’t make weight an issue.
- Vises provide better drill control so that the drill doesn’t move accidentally during drilling operations.
Although drill press machine has numerous benefits, some of its disadvantages are:
- Reduced portability
- Limited drilling capacity and
- Drilling angled holes can be time-consuming
What is Drill Press Cross Vise?
Cross Vise is a version of an ordinary drill press vise and has two mounts. It is more versatile as the user can place jaws in multiple positions without detaching the base from the table. The presence of a dual mount allows the workpiece to move in different directions.
Another name for cross vise is XY axis vise. The top mount moves in the horizontal direction (X-axis), and the bottom mount moves vertically (Y-axis). Primarily, a cross vise is used for milling purposes. Milling is a procedure in which shapes are cut into a workpiece.
A drill press machine is a valuable drilling gadget that can be a great addition to one’s tool collection. Using a vise makes the challenging drilling operations much easier due to enhanced grip.
From many versions of this device, one can choose the one that is suited to their needs. Difficult it might be in the beginning, but operating a drill press becomes relatively easy with practice. However, one must follow workplace safety measures to prevent any hazards.