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How to: Measure and Size a Drill Press

Drill Press Articles (Part 1 of 5)

Drill presses have been around for quite a while. We use lots of different ones in our shops for different operations, and we have manuals for many of them. They are designed mainly to help keep precision while drilling holes. Of course, drill presses can be used for many other things like sanding, wood shaping, and more, but we’ll get into that later in this series of articles. There are lots of different sizes and types of drill presses, and this series of articles is to help you identify what type of drill press you have or what type of drill press you may want to purchase.

How Do You Measure a Drill Press?

The first thing people ask us is how to size a drill press. What is the difference between a 15″ or 17″ drill press? The measurement is simply the distance from the center of the spindle to edge of the column, then doubled. So if you measure 7.5 inches, you have a 15 inch drill press. This is referred to as the swing of the drill press which is the largest diameter piece this drill can handle. This is similar to the way a lathe is measured.

Next Article

The next article will be on the differences between bench top and floor model drill presses, and the advantages and disadvantages of both.
Please feel free to post comments and questions on this post or any ideas or topics you would like to discuss on future post. And remember if you need a manual for your drill press, we have all of them listed here: Drill Press Manuals. 
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Machine ID’d: Atlas Press Company Model 1010 12 3/4″ Bench Top Drill Press


Here are some pictures of a nice Atlas 1010 12 3/4″ bench top drill press. This particular drill press has serial number 000355. These drill press models were made in the early 1950’s.







We have manuals for a few different Atlas drill presses, and we have a manual for the 1010 drill press here:
The Atlas Press Co. 12 3/4″ drill press model 1010 sold for $74.50 in 1950, which is equivalent to $720.48 today. Here is a page on the model 1010 drill press from a 1950 Atlas Press Co. catalog.

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