Whether you are working at home or on the job, having the right tools can make all the difference.
It didn’t take long for me to realize just how much I had relied on my bench drill until it was gone. Drilling glass bottles with an electric hand drill and regular glass drilling bits is do-able but it doesn’t produce the nice clean edges. You have to take this with a grain of salt, because when I’m using the drill press, I’m also using my diamond tipped drill bits. Something you can’t do (yes, I tried), with an electric or cordless drill.
After careful consideration of both price and size, I decided to go with the WEN 4208 8-Inch 5 Speed Drill Press .
Price-wise it is mid range and it fell in line with a lot of what the other bench drill presses had to offer; varying speeds, adjustable table, and around 1/3 HP. The 8 inch is on the low end in terms of size, WEN also offers a 10, 12 and 15 inch machine, but having anything bigger in our house seemed absurd.
From a hobby perspective this little guy offers plenty of power in a compact unit (it weighs only 33.5 pounds) and I like that it has a place to attach the chuck right on the side of the machine.
Some More Product Details:
- Includes: The Drill, 1/2″ Keyed Chuck, Chuck Key and Tools for Assembly
- 620-3100 RPM Range (5 Speeds: 620, 1100, 1720, 2340, 3100) to accommodate various materials and thicknesses
- Spindle Travel of 2″ with easy to read, locking linear depth stop for accurate and repeatable drilling operations
- Durable 1/3hp induction motor develops ample torque and power
- 6-1/2 x 6-1/2″ cast iron worktable is height adjustable and bevels up to 45 Degree left & right
Some careful price comparisons brought me to Amazon where the WEN drill press retails for only $79.99. This will get you free shipping even without Prime membership and it took just five days (including the weekend) until it arrived.
Right out of the box it took me around ten minutes to assemble it completely (see video for unpacking and set up).
The minute you turn on this drill press, you will notice something missing right away. The noise.
I was expecting it to let everyone in the house and the neighbors know that it was running, instead it quietly hummed to life and it was ready to go to work. It had been a long time since I had a chance to use my diamond tipped drill bits, much less drill a glass bottle. I got all my gear together and prepared my first job.
Drilling bottles involves having some plumbers putty that you roll into a donut shape. Once you’ve found the area where you want to drill you circle it with the putty. This will allow you to retain a small amount of water over the area where you are drilling, it will also minimize glass dust and reduce heat from friction.
Working with the WEN drill press was effortless and it was nice to be able to once again create the nice clean edges that I had come to expect from the diamond tipped drill bits.
It is my intent to add some materials to the drill press work table that will accommodate the bottles. A little buffer to rest the glass on will also be added. Having the drill come right out of the box and be ready to go with minimum effort and time was a huge plus.
The only thing that I can even bring to this discussion as a point of complaint would be for the fact that I’m left handed. In a right hand dominated world I’m sorely outnumbered and as my brother always says; “You will learn to adapt.”
This quiet, compact, powerful machine is everything that I had hoped it would be. With the versatile speeds and angles I believe that I will be able to accomplish all of my hobby projects and more. Easy on the pocket book, it’s practically a steal, and it drills through glass like butter. :)
Read more about the WEN Drill Press on Amazon, including a ton of customer reviews!
Please feel free to leave me a comment below.
Whether it’s your own personal experience with drill presses or feedback on your bottle drilling, it would be great to hear from you.