Can a Drill Press be Used as a Lathe? Different Ways That You Can Use The Drill Press For Some Lathe Works

Can a Drill Press be Used as a Lathe?

Can really a Drill Press be used as a Lathe?

The answer is yes, and a drill press can be used as a lathe with the proper attachments. 

This can come in handy if you need to turn something around quickly or if you don’t have access to a traditional lathe. 

If you are in a position to purchase a few accessories, you can make this work, and it’s important to follow safety precautions. All in all, it is possible to use a drill press as a lathe.


Know the Types of Drill Press Machines First!

Know the Types of Drill Press Machines First!
Know the Types of Drill Press Machines First!

Portable Drilling Machine:

A portable drilling machine is a small, lightweight machine that can be easily transported and used in various locations. This type of drill press is typically used for drilling small holes in materials such as wood, plastic, and metal.


Sensitive Drilling Machine:

A sensitive drilling machine is a type of drill press that is used for very delicate work. It is often used in watchmaking and similar industries where extremely small and precise parts must be drilled.

These machines are incredibly accurate and can make very small holes with great precision. They are, however, very delicate machines and can easily be damaged if not used correctly.


Upright Drilling Machine:

Upright Drilling Machine
Upright Drilling Machine

An upright drilling machine is a type of drill press that is designed for use in a vertical position.

This type of machine is often used in large-scale industrial applications where space is limited. Upright drilling machines are also known as ” column drills” or ” floor models.”

Column drills are the most common type of upright drilling machine. These machines have a column supporting the motor and spindle and a base that the operator stands on while operating.

Floor models are similar to column drills, but they have a larger base that the operator must sit on while operating the machine.


Radial Drilling Machine:

It is a type of drill press that has its spindle perpendicular to the working table. The chuck is attached to the spindle, which holds the drill bit.

The arm and column of the machine are mounted on a base. The arm can be moved up and down while the column can be rotated. This machine is used for drilling large holes in heavy workpieces.


Gang Drilling Machine:

A gang drilling machine is a type of drill press capable of drilling multiple holes in a workpiece at the same time.

It is usually used for mass production purposes, where large numbers of identical holes need to be drilled quickly and efficiently.

Visual Explanations:


What is a Lathe and its Task?

A lathe is a machine that rotates an object about an axis of rotation to perform various operations such as cutting, sanding, knurling, drilling, or deformation.

The workpiece is held in place by a chuck or faceplate, which can be either stationary or rotating. The cutting tool is mounted on a spindle that also rotates.

The main difference between a lathe and other machining equipment is the ability to control the shape and size of the workpiece precisely.

Lathes are used in a wide variety of industries, including automotive, aerospace, energy, construction, and electronics. They are particularly well suited for the production of symmetrical objects such as shafts, bolts, screws, and pipes.

While there are many different types of lathes, they all share the same basic components and operating principles. The four main parts of a lathe are the bed, headstock, tailstock, and tool rest.

Visual Explanations:


How to Turn a Drill Press into a Vertical Woodworking Lathe?


Step 1: Make a perfectly aligned Dead Centre.

To make a dead centre that will be perfectly aligned with your drill press, you’ll need to start by fixing a small & sturdy piece of wood on the bed of the drill press using nuts and bolts.

Then in order to make a small pilot hole in the centre of the wood piece to fix the dead centre, bring the drill right on the wood piece and do the marking. Once you have your pilot hole, use a Forstner bit to enlarge it to the desired size. After enlarging the hole, firmly fix the dead centre on the wood piece.


Step 2: Go on a Test Run.

Now that you have your dead centre, it’s time to do a test run and make sure your live and dead centres are perfectly aligned with each other, and it has come up to the desired output.


Step 3: Make your own DIY Tool Rest for the Drill Press Lathe.

A tool rest is a fairly simple piece of equipment to make for your wood lathe.

The main purpose of a tool rest is to hold your chisels and other turning tools at a consistent angle while you’re cutting or shaping wood. This ensures that your cuts are precise and accurate, and it also helps to protect the sharp edges of your tools.


Step 4: Start Woodturning.

Now that your workpiece is attached to the dead centre, it’s time to turn on your drill press and set the speed.

Turn on your drill press and set the speed to a slow setting to do this. Once the drill press is turned on and set to a slow speed, you can now proceed to carve your wood piece.

Visual Explanations:


What can Lathe works get done by a Drill Press Lathe?


Shaping Wood Pieces:

A drill press lathe can be used to quickly and easily shape wood pieces into a variety of different shapes and sizes.

This is ideal for creating things like wooden bowls, vases, and other decorative items.


Sanding Wood Works:

A lathe sanding woodwork can be done by a drill press lathe.

The amount of sanding will be determined by the pressure applied to the work-piece and the speed rate.

The pressure applied to the work-piece will also be determined by the type of wood being worked on and the hardness of the wood.


Is converting a Drill Press to a Lathe could damage it?

Is converting a Drill Press to a Lathe could damage it?
Is converting a Drill Press to a Lathe could damage it?

If you’re thinking about converting your drill press into a lathe, you might want to reconsider.

While it’s possible to do this, it could potentially damage your drill press.

The main reason converting a drill press into a lathe could be harmful is the different forces involved.

A lathe spins an object at high speeds, while a drill press only needs to spin at lower speeds.

This means that the parts of the drill press that are used for spinning might not be able to handle the higher speeds required for lathe work.

Another potential problem is that the chuck on a drill press is designed to hold drill bits, while the chuck on a lathe is designed to hold wooden objects.

This means that the drill press chuck might not grip the object securely enough, which could cause it to slip or even fly off.

Overall, converting a drill press into a lathe is possible, but it’s not something that we would recommend.

If you’re set on doing this, be sure to take all of the necessary precautions to avoid damaging your drill press.


The Safety Measures to be followed the when using a Drill Press Lathe

The Safety Measures to be followed the when using a Drill Press Lathe
The Safety Measures to be followed the when using a Drill Press Lathe

When it comes to working with a drill press lathe, certain safety measures must be followed to prevent accidents and injuries.

Here are some of the most important safety tips to keep in mind when using a drill press lathe:


  1. Always wear proper personal protective equipment (PPE) when using a drill press lathe. This includes safety glasses or goggles, gloves, and hearing protection.


  1. Be aware of your surroundings and keep hands, fingers, and loose clothing away from moving parts while the machine is running.


  1. Feed material into the drill press lathe slowly and carefully to avoid kickbacks and other hazards.


  1. Use only bits, chucks, and tooling compatible with the drill press lathe and in good condition.


  1. Always disconnect power to the drill press lathe before making any adjustments or repairs.


You can help prevent accidents and injuries by following these safety tips while using a drill press lathe.

Remember always to wear proper PPE and take care when operating this type of machinery.


Related Matters


Can you use a drill as a metal lathe?

You can use a drill as a metal lathe, but it is not ideal.

A lathe is designed to spin an object rotationally while you cut into it with sharp tools in order to create evenly shaped and sized pieces.

A drill, on the other hand, is designed for drilling holes.

That being said, if you need to drill metal or there is no other option available, using a drill as a lathe can work.

First, secure the piece of metal you want to work with firmly in a vice so it won’t move.

Then set up your drill bit so that it’s perpendicular to the surface of the metal. Finally, start slowly and increase your speed gradually as you go.


Can you carve wood with a converted drill press lathe?

You can carve wood with a converted drill press lathe, but it will take some practice to get the hang of it.

I would recommend starting with something simple like a wooden Dowel.

You can always use a bigger drill press or even a Router if you need more torque.

With the right setup and technique, you can produce very intricate shapes. Just be careful not to overdo it and ruin your workpiece!


What can I use instead of a lathe?

There are a few different things that you can use instead of a lathe, depending on what exactly you need to do.

A router might be a good option if you need to make small, precise cuts.

If you need to cut larger pieces or shapes out of wood or metal, a saw might be a better option.

And if you need to do really intricate work, then an engraving machine might be the best option.

Of course, there are also many other tools that could potentially be used for some of these tasks, so it really depends on what exactly you need to do.


Hello, I'm Brian Herman, owner of Home Tools Pro - a website will help you get some valuable information about home and garden products before you make a decision to buy something.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recent Posts