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Various Types of Drilling Machines

written by: jaychris • edited by: Lamar Stonecypher • updated: 1/17/2010

I wonder if it would ever be possible to drill extremely tiny holes- or extremely large holes- without the aid of drilling machines. The drilling machine is an important tool that is used not only in manufacturing, but in masonry and construction as well.

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    Various Types of Drilling Machines

    In a lot of manufacturing processes, one of the most indispensable machining tools is the drilling machine. The drilling machine is commonly called a drill press and is responsible for drilling various sizes of holes in any surface area and to precise depths. Aside from the fact the drilling machine is used primarily in drilling holes, there are a few other functions that the drilling machine is capable of performing. These functions include tapping, spotfacing, reaming, countersinking, and counterboring to name a few.

    • Tapping- is the process of drilling a hole most specifically in pipelines that are under pressure.
    • Spotfacing- is the process of furnishing finished circular surfaces around the top of a hole for seating the washer or the bolthead.
    • Reaming- is the process of making existing helos more dimensionally accurate for the improvement of the surface finish.
    • Countersinking- is a chamfering process around the top of a hole for holding the screw head or bolt below the surface of the drilled material.
    • Counterboring- is the process of enlarging an already drilled hole for the accommodation of the screw head.

    There are four major categories of the drilling machine which include the upright sensitive drilling machine, upright drilling machine, radial drilling machine, and special purpose drilling machine. Although these drilling machines perform basic drilling operations, there are some specific functions that are performed more accurately and conveniently by each of these types.

    Upright Sensitive Drilling Machine

    This drilling machine employs the use of a belt drive spindle head. The method of feeding this machine into the workpiece is by hand only, thus the name upright sensitive. This set-up is actually an advantage because the operator can literally feel the cutting action of the tool. There are two orientations of this machine- the bench style and the floor style. The upright sensitive drilling machine is recommended for moderate-to-light duty work.

    Upright Drilling Machine

    The upright drilling machine uses a geared drive spindle head. In comparison to the previous type, the manner of feeding this machine into the workpiece can be done by hand or automatically. For the automatically fed upright drilling machines, automatic table-raising mechanisms are also provided. This drilling machine is more appropriate to use in large-hole producing operations.

    Radial Arm Drilling Machine

    This is probably one of the most popular types of drilling machine. Due to its radial orientation, the radial arm drilling machine provides a great deal of versatility in its operation, most especially on larger and heavier parts. The set-up of this drilling machine allows the operator to manipulate the machine over the workpieces, thus making it more convenient to operate and drill on large workpieces. Moreover, the radial arm drilling machine can be coupled with a tilting table, or a trunion table, for the drilling of intersecting and angular holes.

    Special Purpose Drilling Machine

    This drilling machine is used for special purposes including that of drilling multiple holes at one setting. Intricate tasks such as the drilling of very small holes can also be performed by the special purpose drilling machine. Some of the special purpose drilling machines includes the Micro-Drill Press, Multiple Spindle Drilling Machine, and the Turret Type Drilling Machine.

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    Fig.1. Upright Sensitive Drill Press

    Image: itdc.lbcc.edu

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    Fig.2. Upright Drill Press

    Image: its.fvtc.edu

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    Fig.3. Radial Arm Drill Press

    Image: Wikipedia