Lathe Drilling, Countersinking, and Reaming - 5: Drilling a Hole
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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.
After the center drill cup is made mount the drill. Drills mount in the tailstock with either a Jacobs chuck (figure 1) or by direct Morse taper (figure 2). A sleeve may be required to fit the drill taper to the tailstock taper.

Drilling is a common operation so it is important to understand lathe basics regarding drilling

  • Drills need coolant.
  • Drills need chip relief and removal.
  • Drills always cut over nominal size.
  • Center drills break very easily.
  • Drills walk off-center.
  • Drills burn up in parts.

Follow this video procedure


  • Feed the drill into the part
  • Stop the feed to break the chip curl
  • Retract the drill to clear chips and feed again

Figure 1
Figure 2
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label: lathe drilling, countersinging, reaming, tailstock alignment, indicating, center drilling, chamfering