The base supports the machine. Usually, it has pre-drilled holes for fastening the drill press to the floor or to a stand or bench.
The column, generally made of steel, holds the table and head and is fastened to the base. Actually, the length of this hollow column determines whether the drill press is a bench model or a floor model.
The table is clamped to the column and can be moved to any point between the head and the base. The table may have slots in it to aid in clamping holding fixtures or workpieces. It usually also has a central hole through it. Some tables can be tilted to any angle, right or left, while other models have a fixed position only.
The head is used to designate the entire working mechanism attached to the upper part of the column. The essential part of the head is the spindle. This revolves in a vertical position and is housed in bearings at either end of a movable sleeve, called the quill. The quill, and hence the spindle which it carries, is moved downward by means of a simple rack-and-pinion gearing, worked by the feed lever. When the feed handle is released, the quill is returned to its normal up position by means of a spring. Adjustments are provided for locking the quill and presetting the depth to which the quill can travel.
The spindle usually is driven by a stepped-cone pulley or pulleys connected by a V-belt to a similar pulley on the motor. The motor usually is bolted to a plate on the head casting in the rear of the column. The average range of speeds is from 250 to about 3,000 revolutions per minute (rpm). Because the motor shaft stands vertically, a sealed ball-bearing motor should be used as a power unit. For average work, a 1/4 or 3/4 horsepower motor meets most needs.