Safety Fast! Work safer and faster!
The long time MG phrase “Safety Fast” has a different meaning in this hint. While not limited to be used on British cars, it sure helps working on one.
Have you ever had to drill a hole in a piece of thin metal on a drill press and had no proper way to hold the metal as you drill. In the past I have tried holding with heavy gloves or c clamps. I was always afraid the drill bit would catch and the thin metal would spin around. Not too safe.
The solution is to use a drill press locking clamp.
It goes by various names: bench mounted locking pliers clamp, locking drill press clamp, etc.
It is available at HF, McMaster Carr and other tool supply houses. It is also available on Amazon and Ebay. Prices range from cheap to pricey.
It is simple and quick to use. Secure the clamp on the drill press table, place the piece to be drilled and lock it down like vice-grips. Turn the adjusting knob to get the tension you want. It can be made really tight!
If you are drilling multiple holes in one piece you can clamp, drill, un-clamp, move the piece to the next hole, clamp and drill etc.
Picture One shows my collection of three drill press locking clamps, each a slightly different size. On a difficult job I use two to ensure nothing moves.
Picture Two shows the clamp holding a piece of 1/8” aluminum plate.
Picture three shows the plate drilled with a 1/2” drill bit. I did not start with a center drill bit but went right to the big one.
Picture four shows a 3” thick block of aluminum held with the same clamp. These things have quite a range.
So be safe and invest in one or more of these locking drill press clamps. It will also save you time!
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