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Tip #26
Drill Press
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Drill Press Speeds

Before you begin any drill press operation, set the Mark V to run at the correct speed. To do this: turn the machine on, turn the speed dial to the correct speed and let the machine come up to speed.

The operating speeds for drilling are determined by the size of the hole you want to drill and the material you're drilling. Generally, you can use faster speeds with softer woods or smaller holes. Use slower speeds as the materials get harder or the holes get bigger.

To a lesser extent, the speed will also be determined by the type of drill bit you use. For example, twist bits will work better in wood at higher speeds. Spade bits must be used at slow speeds. Forstner bits must always be used at very slow speeds.

To help determine the right speed for the job, refer to Table 7-1. This table is intended as a general guide when using brad-point bits and twist bits. If you use other bits, follow the manufacturer's recommendations. Note: A good rule of thumb is: The smaller the hole and the softer the material, the faster you can run the drill. But don't drill too fast or you may burn the wood and ruin the bit.

Table 7-1: Drill Press Speed Chart
Size of Hole Hardwood Softwood
1/4" and less H (1600 RPM) I (1750 RPM)
1/4" to 1/2" F (1300 RPM) G (1450 RPM)
1/2" to 3/4" D (1050 RPM) E (1150 RPM)
3/4" to 1" B (850 RPM) C (950 RPM)
Over 1" SLOW (700 RPM) A (750 RPM)
Boring metals (twist bits only) -- Slow (700 RPM)
Note: These speeds are for 60 hz. operations.

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