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Radial Arm Drill Press

Click here for general information on drilling holes in glass with a drill press.

One of the issues with drilling holes in large objects is that the throat of most standard drill presses is not large enough to permit drilling in the middle of the piece.  (The "throat" is the distance between the column that holds up the head of the drill press and the center of the chuck that contains the drill bit.)

This problem, which is especially prevalent when drilling holes in items such as glass sinks, can be alleviated by purchasing a drill press with a larger throat.  Unfortunately, larger drill presses are very expensive.

For those who want to drill holes in larger items without the expense of a top end drill press, the radial arm drill press offers one lower cost solution.  A radial arm drill press is much more versatile than a regular drill press.  Although it looks similar, it has a head that tilts in most directions and a table that also tilts to permit drilling a virtually any angle.  This combination means that even a small radial arm drill press can drill the center of items as large in diameter as 30 inches (76cm). 

Inexpensive radial arm drill presses start around $US 250. This is more expensive than a low end standard drill press, but it's far less expensive than large drill presses, which can easily cost $1000 or more.

If you decide to purchase a radial arm drill press, be aware that while they can work for drilling holes in glass sinks and similar items, some finesse and experience is necessary to do the job well. 

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Copyright 2006 Brad Walker.  All rights reserved.

Thanks to Bert Weiss for assisting with this tip.

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Copyright 2005-2006 by M. Bradley Walker.  All rights reserved.

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