For jewelry making, you can simply use a small, economy drill press. With this basic power tool, you can easily transform the materials you have for jewelry making, so you can turn an attractive shell, stone or a piece of beach glass that caught your eye and make it part of your jewelry design. A mini drill press comes with just three speeds so you won’t have to do plenty of guesswork.
A benchtop mini drill press offers three main advantages, the first being the Jacobs chuck, which can handle a variety of sizes. Thus, you can use drills and diamond drills, max burrs, as well as rotary files. Let your imagination go wild, depending on what you have to do. The second advantage is the manner of mounting of the motor. The motor housing is above the work space and is kept immobile, so you can use the travelling arm to lower the drill into the piece, and drill perfectly perpendicular, clean holes on your workpiece.
This is unlike using a flex shaft, where you are holding the workpiece and your hand might shake a little bit so you may not be able to hold the shaft at an exact perfect angle, resulting in crooked or off center holes that will not look particularly good in a piece of intricate jewelry where you have to make several particles fit together well.
The drill press also offers speed control, so when you turn the machine on, you get a nice, constant speed By having a constant speed, you won’t have to fight against an unstable speed as what you can get from a flex shaft machine. This means you won’t be breaking any drills or burrs. Using a constant speed with a rotary file when you’re shaping or trying to form a piece wax or other soft material will give a much smoother, cleaner finish than trying to fight against something that has constantly unstable speed.
The small footprint of a mini drill press gives you optimal control so you can drill through just about anything. Bear in mind that larger and harder stones may take a significantly longer time to work on, though. You may want to use a diamond twist drill or a diamond core drill when working with shells, glass or stone. Starting off is easy with twist drills but the task tends to become more challenging as you progress to the end. Though core drills do not exactly provide easy start off, they make finishing less difficult.
When handling plastic materials, switch to other drills but you can very well work with a steel twist drill when working on metal. Don’t forget to use lubricant when drilling metal, as the formulation will facilitate easier drilling while prolonging the life of the drill.
You should start out with sedimentary rocks that are not too hard, and this includes sandstone and limestone. This is prior to working with much tougher metamorphic or igneous rocks including quartz or granite. To tell the difference between the softer and harder types of rock, igneous or metamorphic rocks are harder to drill since they take a very long time to attain a round shape, unlike sedimentary rocks that are easily rounded by time. Aside from drilling clean holes into stones, you can also try adding design elements such as embellishments on stones using a small drill press.