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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    45

    Drilling/Cutting Speeds

    I haven't been around here in a while, but I thought I'd poke my head back in and ask another question.

    A while back, I asked some basic questions about my new (to me) drill press. It's 1hp, and has a speed range down to 160 rpm. Basically, I leave it at 160 all the time. I mostly drill mild steel, with a few holes in wood blocks from time to time. Bigger holes get tapping fluid, but mostly I run it slow to keep temps down.

    Similarly, i have an HF 4x6 band saw and I always run that on the lowest speed.

    The question: Is there any down-side to drill/saw life by running them at the slowest possible speeds all the time? Or am I just giving up the speed of the job?

    And I appreciate the advice and concern given when I bought it a while back. I still have all my fingers, limbs, and all blood has remained inside my skin (at least with regard to using the press).

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    houston pa
    Posts
    1,508
    You should run your drill press at different speeds because that is the best way to do it.A larger cutter generally needs a slower rpm and a smaller cutter a larger rpm. Every machine is different and a guy needs to experiment with speeds feeds and grinds.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Posts
    2
    Yes, speed plays an important role while cutting or drilling. As per mikecwik said larger cutter generally need a slower rpm and smaller cutter requires larger rpm. One can get some more information regarding drilling and its speed at this website. Also the quality of the drilling machine matters a lot. The better the quality the better are the results.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Toronto
    Posts
    4
    Slow doesn't work well with all materials. If you're not sure, use a drilling chart, look here:

    https://www.fnal.gov/pub/takefive/pd...peed_Chart.pdf

    A good place to start, notice wood and steel speeds, you'll figure out what works best for you. I go slower in steel than the chart suggests, but that's what I learned...if it squeaks, it's too fast. I always try to use high quality HSS drill bits and I sharpen them myself.

    sorry to resurrect old thread, but this stuff is important.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    Cluj-Napoca, Romania
    Posts
    9
    It depends on a lot of factors, but most frequently the ideal speed is the medium speed. Safe and reliable.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Clark County, NV
    Posts
    5,285
    Quote Originally Posted by Dumitru Ivanov View Post
    It depends on a lot of factors, but most frequently the ideal speed is the medium speed. Safe and reliable.
    Welcome.

    However, um, no. "Medium" is a relative term with a different speed on different machines. And in many shops and for many projects it is very frequently NOT the correct speed.

    Use a drill chart that gives you the speed in RPM, and set your machine as close to it as you can, for each material and drill bit size.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Calgary
    Posts
    1,903
    Quote Originally Posted by MAC702 View Post
    Welcome.

    However, um, no. "Medium" is a relative term with a different speed on different machines. And in many shops and for many projects it is very frequently NOT the correct speed.

    Use a drill chart that gives you the speed in RPM, and set your machine as close to it as you can, for each material and drill bit size.
    I agree, and would add, if you can't get your speed low enough to drill according to table, then use cutting lubricant.
    Messy, but extends life of drill bits and reduces sharpening enough to pay for itself.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Posts
    1
    So, don't you have the option to choose the power level/speed level? I think the speed is managed from your motor settings...

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Calgary
    Posts
    1,903
    Quote Originally Posted by djacob View Post
    So, don't you have the option to choose the power level/speed level? I think the speed is managed from your motor settings...
    Not "motor settings"...
    For most of us, the speed is managed from pulley settings, as few have gear-driven drill-presses. I have a 12-speed 20" floor model with 3/4" chuck, and use cutting oil on all drilling above 1/8" thickness in steel, which is what I drill most.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Elsewhere
    Posts
    368
    One thing every drill owner (any drill!) should buy is a set of machinists center drills. They are also used in milling machines because even on a rigid mill conventional twist drills walk quite a bit.

    Link shows examples. You can get them at any industrial supply or online.

    https://littlemachineshop.com/produc...ProductID=4859

    Also get a quality prick punch and center punch if you don't have them.

    Even little drill presses can turn out good work with patience.

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