Why you should get an 8-inch drill press if you’re a DIY-er

 

 

As a woodworker, having the proper tools for the projects ahead is crucial, and you may have noticed that time spent on bringing them to a finish is considerably shorter when you don’t need to improvise. Once you’re set on going through a number of operations, having all the tools in place will make you reach record speed.

An important addition to your gear collection is the drill press, and that goes for all do-it-yourself people, no matter what they favor. This versatile device is meant to create holes in wood, metal, plastic or other materials and enables you to drill hole sections to a determined depth.

Adding up to this basic function, the drill press brings along other advantages. Depending on the type of unit, you can use attachments to transform it into a spindle sander, grinder or buffer. That is the equivalent of a handy apprentice in your workshop.

Choosing the drill press might be challenging because there’s types, features, and brands you have to consider. First, there’s the benchtop or the floor models. Then, you could choose between radial or magnetic and start making options for a light fixture, adjustable head or drill bits.

But you can figure out the details after you decide on a budget and some basic features you actually need, like rpm, depth stop, multiple speed and power.

 

In my opinion, you should first decide on the magnitude of your projects. But there’s one advice I have for fellow woodworkers: the 12’’ or 16’’ drill presses may be remarkable, but you’ll do just fine with the 8’’ in your shop.

Purchasing the 8’’ drill press is a clever move because it greatly expands your possibilities. If you’ve been using a hand drill or drilling machine or even a chisel for holes and mortises, then you know what an 8’’ drill press can offer.

The difference is significant, however, because you get to use one tool only, the progress is a lot faster, and the errors are less likely to occur. Precision and easy maneuvering of the material will probably be the first things to show.

The space you can use is usually limited, and it gets stuffed in no time. So I think people who love woodworking really need the 8’’ drill press because it is easy to fit it into their shop or garage.  

It’s also easy to move, either in and out or to a different work location. That’s something to consider if you need to be a little more flexible and switch places or simply to make sure cleaning the garage won’t become a collective effort.

 

Personally, I think one other amazing advantage for purchasing an 8’’ drill press is the low level of noise. It’s more comfortable for you, and it doesn’t cause trouble with your neighbors or wife and kids.  A stable drill press table has to be acquired too, so no unfortunate accidents occur. 

I hope I made my point and my advice to you will prove useful.

What I love about woodworking

 

Geneticists have recently found out that human genes transform during one’s lifetime and the information is passed on to his children, and that started me thinking: maybe that’s why woodworking runs in the family.  

When colonists and immigrants came from the Old World, there was little they could bring with them: hope, ingenuity and some small valuable possessions. I don’t know if my German ancestors brought a woodworker’s tool kit with them, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they did.

Wood was among the first things you could get, and using it wisely was essential. At that time, you could do about anything out of wood, from soap holders to houses, from plows to suitcases and dinnerware.

Such variety of applications got me inspired, and I enjoy having to deal with a material that offers so much if you set your mind to it. A bit of practice and some good project ideas made me discover how easy it is to work with wood.

When real, usable products started to come out of my hands by using proper tools and a minimum of additional material, I discovered something important: it was satisfying enough to make a hobby out of it and everyone would profit from it.

 

The physical labor required to engage in woodworking projects is just enough to keep you fit without making you feel exhausted at the end of the day. Some choose to do long, strenuous hours of exercise, but that didn’t appeal to me that much.

Putting my creativity to work is important as well. When I look at the lumber and decide what to do next (I usually say I have a “board meeting”), I must figure out how to use the wooden boards with minimum waste and with as few maneuvers as possible.

I love coming up with technical solutions to various problems and woodworking is made for problem solvers. Some of the solutions apply to many situations once you’ve found them, others are a matter of inspiration or need a bit of online research, but it’s never a dull day.

There’s also a financial reason for which I love woodworking. It saves me a lot of money spent on repairs that I can now do myself. I also save a lot by making my own furniture instead of buying it. It’s great to see that the work I get done improves my comfort and is precisely what I needed.

Some of the items that I design have sizes and features that are not available on the market anyway. Designing my own furniture gives the house more personality, and it’s the safest way of getting what I ordered.  

There are other things that make me love woodworking, but I think the ones I just referred to are reason enough. I believe some of them are the same with what you have in mind.

 

 

 

 

4 home shop tools I couldn’t live without

Just as there are things in life you couldn’t live without, there also tools in a woodworker’s life that he couldn’t possibly give up without feeling like he just quit.

First of all, if you pretend to be working with wood, you’d have to be some sort of wizard to figure out the precise size of the boards and determine where the cut must be made without a tape measure.

That’s one tool that should always stick to you as if putting it down would leave you undressed. That’s how I think you would probably feel, but I wouldn’t know for sure because I never put it down. The tape measure is the one tool you usually forget to mention because it’s also been there.

I use it to measure length, width, and even thickness, even though the caliper is the first choice for this type of measurement. When given no choice, you can rely on it to replace the layout square.

I also couldn’t live without my saw. No matter how much technology evolves and transforms all of our tasks into a gadget-handling situation, some things are unchanged. Like the simplicity of getting the hand saw off the tool hanger and adjusting the edges of a small flitch or slate.

That simple steel blade works wonders in record time if I use it correctly. There’s no need to plug it or switch modes, I just apply some regular movements, and it does its job.

Another tool that I sure wouldn’t know how to go without is the claw hammer. Some projects use glue, miter joints or condor tails, but using nails is still the quickest and unelaborate finish. For my basic needs as a woodworker, the claw hammer is the main weapon.

The hammer always comes in handy, no matter what sort of utensils or hobby you keep in your toolshed.

Object number 4 on my list is a hand plane. Planers come in various sizes, and you can either choose a portable one or a benchtop planer. For the couldn’t-live-without-list I can pick the first option without a shadow of a doubt.

As most of the projects require a certain amount of detail work, I think a hand planer is one of the best options in taking care of irregular pieces of wood and bringing them to the same thickness.

One would think that if you put the parts together, your work is done, but woodworking projects are a bit more complicated that following the instructions you received from a Swedish guy. When working with lumber, I had to deal with leveling and curving operations much more often than I expected. That’s why I put the planer to regular use.  

In short, if I were to wake up one morning with these four tools missing from my toolshed I’d have to go and buy others before starting work.