How to set up your drill press and work area

Drill presses are fantastic machines, but they won’t work properly unless you set them up well! A well set up drill press will be your ally in the workshop for many years to come, so it’s best to take your time and do it right.

As a primer to this guide, I would recommend you watch this video


The first thing to understand about the drill press is that it’s a heavy piece of equipment/machinery and needs to be either bolted or mounted to the floor or the workbench, for that matter. Before buying the drill press, you need to ensure that you have allocated or found a place in your work area, where the drill press can be set up. A couple of points that you would probably want to consider is that –
It should be placed to close to the area where most of the work is done or handled.
There needs to be a good light source to ensure you are working with enough visibility.
Having storage nearby, especially to keep unfinished pieces of work would be an advantage.

Image: Drill Press Pro

If you have a drill press with a length of about 8 inches then it’s probably best to mount it to your work bench, ideally near your bench vise and other tools for easy access. If you buy a floor drill press (taller column) then you’ll need to bolt it to the floor instead. When you’re mounting your drill press make sure that the base is secure by doing the bolts up tightly. This will prevent wobble, and make sure you drill accurate holes (it’s also important for safety). If you’re mounting your drill press (benchtop model) to your table then be sure that the table has sturdy feet that will not become wobbly when using your machine.

You should check that the area you’re placing the drill press has good ventilation. Ventilation is important because drilling produces a lot of wood dust (or metal shavings) which can be dangerous for your lounges and eyes. Ideally you would have some kind of extraction system for the dust, but it’s not always necessary as long as you are careful about keeping your work space clean. Another safety tip is to ensure all of your tools, including the drill press are connected to a surge protector so they aren’t subject to dangerous surges in voltage that can occur.

How to Maintain and clean your drill press

When you first get your drill press you need to set your work area up to suit your drill press. But after some time of using your tool you will need to stop using it and do some maintenance to keep it in good working order. Even though the drill press looks like a simple machine with only a few parts (like the chuck, spindle, column, etc) there’s actually quite a few small parts that need regular cleaning and maintenance.

We will start by going over how to perform routine maintenance on the chuck. You will need to open the chuck jaws by twisting. Before you get in to do the final clean it’s a good idea to give that large surface area a quick wipe with a cloth or similar.

then you can clean the chuck on your drill press using a bristly brush, or by blasting it with compressed air. If you have an air compressor on hand this method is ideal. You simply put the nozzle of the air compressor inside of the chuck opening and blast away. This should easily remove debris that might be stuck in there like wood or metal shavings and dust.


After you’ve made sure the chuck is clean it’s time to lube it up! I use CRC lubricant for this. You should apply a generous load of lubrication to ensure you cover all the surface faces completely. Other than the chuck you should also lubricate any part of the drill press that is constantly in motion when the machine is turned on and operating. Pulley’s, drive belts, spindles, and even the column all should be given a coat of lubricant. Hopefully after reading this you’ve got some ideas for keeping your drill press in good shape. For more information check out this video.


The different types of saws that you need to know about

If you’re a seasoned wood worker you are likely familiar with an array of different saws, each suited to their specific uses. However, there are actually so many different types of saws for wood working that I’m sure we will show you some that you didn’t know of before. The most common saw everyone knows about (and most DIY folk have) is the handsaw. The hand saw is very useful, not only for building and crafting but even your every day joe  type of job.  On the other end of the spectrum you have table saws, and miter saws etc.


The Hand Saw

Hand saws have been around for a long time, as they are in essence a very primitive and basic tool. They’re useful in many different areas, but the basic design handsaw  is used for sawing through wood by builders, and anything you can imagine as a household tool by most handymen. As this is an absolutely crucial tool to have in your shed you should check out this guide to choosing the best handsaw here.

The Hacksaw

The hack saw is a common variant of the traditional type of hand saw. The hacksaw is mostly geared towards cutting through metal with high precision. The design of the handsaw is unique. It has a replaceable blade that is mounted in a frame.


The Band Saw

The band saw is an electrically powered type of saw, used for cutting all sorts of materials from metal to wood and plastic. The band saw is basically  a machine with a long blade fixed between the wheels. There are stationary varieties, as well as portable varieties of the band saw. They’re great when you need to cut more precisely, and quickly than you can with a hand saw. For most handymen they might be over kill since they’re pretty expensive.




Valentine’s Day Drink Coaster Craft Project

This coaster craft project is perfect for the Valentine’s Day dinner table. You can use some materials from the house to cut costs down on this project. Broken dishes are great used here instead of tossing them into the garbage. Beads, rocks, and marbles can also be substituted for the tile in these Valentine’s Day drink coasters.
Overall this craft project will take you an hour or two on two different days. The difficulty scale is easy.

This Valentine’s Day drink coaster is easy to make, and perfect for any decor. You can choose tiles and paints that match any décor from country to contemporary.

To make a Valentine’s Day Craft Project You Will Need:
4″X4″ inch picture Frame
Piece of plywood cut to 4’X4″
Broken tile pieces
Tile Adhesive
Paint Brushes
Wood glue
Finishing Nails

Start this craft project by taking your small picture frame apart. Remove the back, all of the cardboard, and the glass. Now, take some pliers and pull out any of those metal tabs that hold the back onto your picture frame.

Now, lightly sand your picture frame with a fine grit sand paper. Wipe the dust away. Prime the entire picture frame with a good quality primer like Kilz.

Once the primer has dried you can add a coat of paint in your choice of color. I like to use Valentine’s Day or even metallic that can easily interchange from holiday table to holiday table.

Cut your piece of plywood to 4″x4″, using a handsaw. Glue some wood glue around the edge of the piece of wood. Layer the paint picture frame on top of the piece of wood. Carefully line up the edges so that they look it clean and professional. Use finishing nails to attach the frame to the piece of wood.

Now for the fun part. Break up your Valentine’s Day colored tiles by placing them inside of a paper bag or an empty pillowcase. Use you hammer to smash the tile into small piece. Old dishes, store bought tile, and even old glass bottle are perfect for this part for the project. Mirror is also a great option.

Use a trowel to scoop some tile adhesive out onto your piece of wood, filling the area inside of the frame. Try not to get any onto the frame. If you do though, wipe it off with a damp rag. If some adhesive dries on your frame you will have to sand it to remove it.

Lay your broken tiles pieces in any design you want. Let them sit over night and dry into place.

Use the same trowel to smooth grout over the dried tiles. Completely fill all of the open spaces in between the tiles. Don’t leave any gaps or air bubbles because you will have to go back and fill them in later if you miss them.

Allow the grout to set up for about 20 minutes, and then carefully wipe it away with a damp sponge or rag. Ring the sponge out in water to keep it clean, and then wipe some more grout away.

Cut out a piece of felt to 4″X4″. Carefully glue it onto the bottom of your coaster. This will protect your table from being scratched.


If you need some more design inspiration, check this site out.

-Use different colored tiles to create a Valentine’s Day design on your drink coaster. Roses, and even a small heart would be cute.

-You can also create a geometric pattern wit h small accents of color.

-These Valentine’s Day drink coasters also make great candle bases.

– Use up old broken china as the tile mosaics. This is a great way to tie your table together.

– If you don’t have any broken china try to buy tile that matches your dishes.