Drill press issues

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Ddw04

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Jul 14, 2019
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Hey guys so I'm trying to get back into pen turning but ran into some issues lately. When I first started pen turning I used a heavy duty big drill press to drill hole in blanks. now I'm borrowing a neighbor's bench sized drill press and I'm having trouble making the drill bit drill right where I want it to, it tends to slide a little bit before drilling, I can sometimes get it to drill if I'm quick enough at the start but once i get in the bit starts to squeak and smoke. Please help! I really want to get back into this and dont want to feel like I spent all this money for nothing.
 
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jttheclockman

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Is the bit perfect round?? Is there play in the chuck?? Wiggle. Is the chuck running true?? Is the table 90 degrees to the bit?? These are all starting points.
 

tomas

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Sharpen the bits, slow down your feed rate and think about drilling on the lathe. Its easier, more accurate and in my humble opinion, works better.

Good luck!

Tomas
 

Woodchipper

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Good advise to use as a check list. I tried to drill on the lathe but, to me, it took too long if I'm turning more than one style. Here is my setup. Had to put washers under one side of the vise. My son made a triangle IMG_20171118_060456492_HDR.jpggauge to square the bit to the bed of the vise. Said it was accurate to a couple of thousandths.
 

campzeke

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Most of the tables I have seen on the table top drill presses tend to flex downward when you start drilling and add pressure. That will cause the problems you described.
 

Ddw04

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Good advise to use as a check list. I tried to drill on the lathe but, to me, it took too long if I'm turning more than one style. Here is my setup. Had to put washers under one side of the vise. My son made a triangle View attachment 222500gauge to square the bit to the bed of the vise. Said it was accurate to a couple of thousandths.
That is actually kind of how mine looks lol but my vise is drilled into a piece of wood what is yours drilled into?
 

leehljp

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Feb 6, 2005
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Here is what the bit looks like. I dont know how to answer your other questions. Sorry I'm not really familiar with a lot of this.
No just dust from the wood
That does not look like it is "all" dust on the outside. A sharp bit should be shiny on the leading edge of the flute as well as fairly sharp too, excerpt on some specialty bits. If it is sawdust, sawdust build up that doesn't fall off - is usually there because of resin - ( and that creates too much friction) which can really cause problems such as smoking and squeaking as you mentioned. That bit does not look sharp enough to be precise as blank drilling usually requires.

Table saw blades collect resin rather quickly which leads to smoking and inaccurate cuts. Drill bits can have the same problem.
 

Ddw04

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Jul 14, 2019
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That does not look like it is "all" dust on the outside. A sharp bit should be shiny on the leading edge of the flute as well as fairly sharp too, excerpt on some specialty bits. If it is sawdust, sawdust build up that doesn't fall off - is usually there because of resin - ( and that creates too much friction) which can really cause problems such as smoking and squeaking as you mentioned. That bit does not look sharp enough to be precise as blank drilling usually requires.

Table saw blades collect resin rather quickly which leads to smoking and inaccurate cuts. Drill bits can have the same problem.
It was there cause I just finished trying something out with the bit not 5mins before I took the picture. But I will try and buy a new one soon
 

tomas

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How do I drill on a lathe????
I am on vacation or I would post some pictures. Get a Jacobs chuck to mount in your tail stock and a Penn State dedicated drilling chuck to mount in your head stock. Use the slowest speed on your lathe and feed the bit into the blank using the quill on your tail stock. Take it slow and backout often to clear chips and cool the bit. There are a bunch of videos on YouTube. Search on "drill pen blanks on lathe".

Tomas
 
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I am on vacation or I would post some pictures. Get a Jacobs chuck to mount in your tail stock and a Penn State dedicated drilling chuck to mount in your head stock. Use the slowest speed on your lathe and feed the bit into the blank using the quill on your tail stock. Take it slow and backout often to clear chips and cool the bit. There are a bunch of videos on YouTube. Search on "drill pen blanks on lathe".

Tomas
This is what Tomas is talking about. You can get it from PSI or from Amazon as I did. I had the same problem with my drill press as many mentioned above. I had to oversize my blanks to make sure I had enough meat left over to turn the pen. Switched to this and the problem is gone.
Here's the PSI item: Item #: PENPALXD
 

leehljp

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I thought so to but it drills fine in some pieces of wood but doesnt get anywhere in others
That statement alone is a sign of dullness. A butter knife will cut butter but not a steak. A butter knife will even mash-cut sliced bread or a cake but not cut fish or slice tomatoes.

For about 4 years I sharpened my tools what I called fairly sharp back then. Then I started making segmented blanks with metal spacers in them. I could turn the blanks with the metal without a problem. However, for finishing, when sanding, the sanding would smear the metal dust onto the wood. DNA (denatured alcohol), and other methods would not clean the metal sanding dust off very well.

I suddenly realized that after turning there was no sanding dust, only after sanding. So I set about spending an hour on sharpening my HSS scraper tool to an excessive sharpness. Wow, was I surprised at how smooth the blank was after turning with that kind of sharpness. It did NOT need sanding, baby butt smooth!
. . . the point, there are different degrees of sharpness on chisels and on drill bits. Just because one calls it "sharp" does not mean that it is really "sharp". There are numerous degrees of sharpness among people's opinions and they are not the same. The experienced ones can look at your bit and tell that it is not sharp for what you want.
 
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RProctor

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Jul 8, 2019
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Rialto, CA
I thought so to but it drills fine in some pieces of wood but doesnt get anywhere in others
Different wood have different ratings for hardness. Thats why you are getting some success with a dull bit. Trust me its a night and day difference.
 
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