Today, many shops still have the need for manual drill press operations. They are excellent for small projects and can lighten the load on your main machinery. However, whether you use a carbide drill bit or high-speed steel, it’s important to remember shop safety for drill press machines. Here are some basic safety rules to keep in mind as you work.
1. Training is Essential
When you have a new machine, it’s important to check out the operator’s manual. Even machinists with years of experience need to do this. It helps you understand the equipment’s capabilities and limitations.
2. Protect the Eyes and Face
It may seem like common knowledge, but people often forget to put on safety goggles or shields when they use a drill press. This is just as important for a quick job as it is a major project. It only takes one lapse of judgment to cause a disaster, and it’s even more important when using a carbide drill bit because they are very sharp and easily create tiny shavings.
3. Check the Chuck Key First
It’s not hard to get injured if you forget to remove the chuck key before you start the machine. This is why many shops now use self-ejecting keys.
4. Always Use Drill Press Bits
If you do high-speed drilling, then a carbide drill bit specially designed for the job is the best choice. In fact, using a hand auger bit can create a hazard, so always check your bits before drilling and use the right ones.
5. Secure Small Work Pieces
When you need to drill into small pieces, make sure to secure them with clamps. Otherwise, they may spin, and this can result in hand injuries.
6. Use High-Quality Tools
When you use the best tools for the job, you’ll get better work and enjoy a safer working environment.