I’m working on a milling table for my lathe based on drawings and plans from this forum post (Scroll to the bottom of the post). This required drilling a lot of holes and it’s my first experience drilling that much steel. Experts will have more technical observations, but I have some practical advice if you’ve never done any work in metal.
- Don’t wear shorts and sandals. Those metal chips are hot and sharp. I got several slivers in my feet from wearing sandals.
- Chips and oil go everywhere in a 5 foot radius from the drill press. No advice, just a warning.
- Clear your work piece and table occasionally. The chips on the table can impact the drilling accuracy.
- The wood pecker method really does keep the chips manageable. Drill a little and back out.
- Start with a smaller diameter drill and work up. Use a center drill to start. This seems to work well.
- My cheap drill press doesn’t have a lot of rigidity and it tends to vibrate a lot with bigger diameter holes. I wish I had bought a better one.
Now I have to tap all of those holes. I think that will probably take a lot longer than drilling them.