Drill Press (Shop Fox W1848):MOST

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Drill press located in M&M 518
The Shop Fox W1848 standing drill press is located in M&M 518. With 12 speeds, 3-1/8 inches of spindle travel, and a built-in oscillator, this is a very versatile tool.

Introduction[edit | edit source]

The Shop Fox is manufactured by Woodstock International, whose website has product information and the user manual. Prior to using the machine, be sure to read the `Safety` and `Operations` sections of the user manual. A few of these operations are summarized below. The most important things to keep in mind are these:

  • Be safe!!
  • Unplug the machine when its not in use or when handling any rotating components (installing a drill bit, moving belts to change spindle speed, etc.)
  • Keep the machine clean!
  • Keep bits organized (put them away when you're done!)

Safety[edit | edit source]

  • This machine, like any other powered machinery, requires some basic safety. If you have never received safety training for using similar equipment, please consult someone who has. Better to humble yourself and ask for help than to risk serious injury!
  • Please read the `Safety` section of the user manual. It's only 3 pages long and contains a comprehensive list of things to keep in mind.
  • The primary danger with a drill press is that it is rotating machinery - getting hair or clothing caught on the spindle, or a finger pinched in a belt, will result in serious injury. Be sure to wear short sleeves, tie up long hair, and remove any jewelry or watches on your fingers and wrists. Do not wear gloves, as they can catch and drag your hand into the spindle or drill bit.
  • Wear eye protection to keep you safe from shavings or, should a bit break, flying metal.
  • The drill press is not secured to the floor. Large or long work pieces present a tip hazard. Get help from a second person for handling any bulky work pieces.
  • Use a brush, rather than your hand, to sweep up drill shavings - particularly metal ones. The goal is to move the shavings to a dust pan, not to embed them in your skin.
  • Use work-holding measures such as clamps or the drill-press vise to hold your work piece on the table. Your hands are not strong enough to hold a work piece in place for most cutting operations. Losing control of a work piece presents a hazard to everyone in the room, and will damage whatever you're trying to cut.

Equipment or Bill of Materials[edit | edit source]

When drilling, it is important to keep in mind what you are drilling, and use appropriate bits (size, material) and spindle speed.

When drilling a new material, consult a feed/speed sheet for recommended cutting speeds. The speed depends on both material and bit diameter, so these recommendations are typically provided in SFM (Surface-Feet per Minute) for a given material. This provides a general speed per material, which must then be converted to RPM for a specific bit diameter. This can be done using a calculator or a table

Maintenance[edit | edit source]

The user manual describes recommended maintenance. The general recommendations are restated here:

Daily (Before Use):

  • Disconnect power if the press is not in use
  • Check belts for wear and proper tension. When necessary, replace as a match set
  • Check for loose bolts
  • Check for worn or damaged wires
  • Make sure the drill is clean and lubricated
  • Check for any other unsafe conditions

Every 90 Days:

  • Lubricate the Spindle and Column racks, then follow the spindle break-in procedure to distribute lubrication
  • Check for rust and treat any rusting surface with Boeshield T-9 or a light wax, such as SC Johnson Paste Wax

Operation & Procedure[edit | edit source]

The overall process is described here, with extra detail below.

  1. Disconnect the drill press from power.
  2. Mark the desired hole location or locations, preferably using a center punch. Having an indent in the work piece makes locating and starting a cut much easier.
  3. Select a proper drill bit, ensuring that the bit is sharp.
  4. Secure the drill bit in the chuck.
  5. Set the spindle speed according to the material and bit you are using, as described in Equipment or Bill of Materials.
  6. Set the depth stop, if you need it. If you don't need it, be sure to reset the stops to allow maximum cutting depth.
  7. Secure the workpiece to the table (or base, for large work pieces). The table height and tilt can be set, and the table can be rotated out of the way. These are covered in the manual.
  8. Plug in the drill press
  9. Complete the cut
  10. Unplug the drill press
  11. Remove the workpiece
  12. Put the drill bit away - be sure to let it cool down before handling it!
  13. Use a brush or vacuum to clean up any shavings, and wipe away any oil with a shop rag. Leave it clean for the next user!

Set the Spindle Speed[edit | edit source]

  1. The drill press has a chart on the belt cover showing the belt positions for a given spindle speed.
  2. To move the belts, loosen the thumb screw near the motor on the right side of the press. This will allow you to push the motor inward toward the column, loosening tension on the belts.
  3. To move the belts, lift one end of the belt and get it onto the next level of the pulley, then rotate the pulley to draw the rest of the belt onto that level. Be careful to avoid pinching your fingers

Secure a bit in the chuck[edit | edit source]

  1. Open the chuck by hand
  2. Insert the bit. It should be as far into the chuck as it can go, though for smaller bits, ensure that the fluted portion of the bit does not enter the chuck.
  3. Hand tighten the chuck onto the bit. For smaller bits especially, be sure the bit is centered between the three jaws of the chuck, rather than caught between two jaws.
  4. Use the chuck key, which is hanging from the press, tied to the column, to fully tighten the chuck. Failure to do this will result in the bit slipping, and potentially being thrown from the machine (at you!)

Good Practices[edit | edit source]

These are general good practices to get clean cuts and to keep drill bits sharp.

  • Be sure that the drill bit is set to pass through a hole in the table (as opposed to hitting and damaging the table!) If it's not, rotate the table by loosening the handle on the back, then lifting and turning the table.
  • When cutting through wood, place a piece of scrap wood under the piece you are cutting to prevent blowout (splinters) at the end of your cut.
  • When cutting metal, apply some Tap Magic Pro Tap cutting oil to the bit or the work piece every so often. This will keep the bit cool and reduce friction, improving the efficiency of the cut.
  • If anything starts smoking, stop cutting immediately. This means you are either cutting too quickly, need cutting oil, or have a dull bit.
  • When drilling deep holes, lift the bit fully out of the work piece every 1/4 to 1/2 inch to allow shavings to be cleared from the hole. This helps with cooling and friction, and is referred to as peck drilling.


Shutdown[edit | edit source]

  1. Unplug the drill press
  2. Remove the workpiece
  3. Put the drill bit away - be sure to let it cool down before handling it!
  4. Use a brush or vacuum to clean up any shavings, and wipe away any oil with a shop rag. Leave it clean for the next user!