Lathe Drilling, Countersinking, and Reaming - 4: Center Drilling
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WARNING: Machine tools present a safety hazard. Improper operation can result in severe injury. These topics are for non-laboratory study only and are not to be used in conjunction with the operation of any tool or machine described herein. Never use a machine tool without the supervision of a qualified instructor.
Center drills are used to provide a nesting hole for a lathe center or to provide a pilot cup for a drilling operation. Since a center drill is short and rigid it does not wander like a drill can. So the pilot cup is very accurately centered in the work piece Center drills come in various numbered sizes.

Follow this video for the procedure to center drill:


  • Determine the center drill number needed by the size of the cone required for the process.
  • Chuck the center dill into the tailstock and feed into the material.
  • Make sure to feed passed the piloting nub and into the angled portion of the tool.
  • Do not feed passed the body edge.
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label: lathe drilling, countersinging, reaming, tailstock alignment, indicating, center drilling, chamfering