Respect Drill Presses (3)
  Re: Respect Drill Presses (3) by gMike (In line with the tab...)
I dug through the old photos and found this one showing both the the circle-cutter and the shield I talked about above.  

You can see the shoulder of the cutting tool that bound in the cut above the machined portion at the bottom.  I don’t know if I had the tool this far extended, but the shoulder was definitely below the bottom surface of the central hub.  If I’d kept it above, then the central hub would have bottomed first, but the cut would only have been about 5/8” deep.  I’ve chosen to use a cutter similar to the one in Steve N’s picture since then.  

The shield is just a flat sheet of polycarbonate in front of the cutter.  It does not absolutely prevent me from reaching around and getting my fingers in the way, but it makes it difficult and awkward to do so.  You can’t move your hand there instinctively.

At the time I made it, about 8 years ago, I considered instead making a semi-cylindrical PC shield along the lines of one described by Nagyszalansky in his Taunton “Jigs and Fixtures” book.  I think his approach might be safer in principle, more difficult to reach around, but I thought the downside might be filling the limited volume around the cutter with chips.  

I opted to make more of a reminder, not an impenetrable barrier, with more space for chips to spread out during a cut.  I have not seen a need to go back and revisit the semi-circular design.
  Re: Respect Drill Presses (3) by gMike (In line with the tab...)
My simple trick for drill press safety:  a 3" long 3/8-16 carriage bolt mounted in the T-track, upside down so that it creates a post against which to brace the work.  It is bonehead simple, and saves a great deal of risk.

No question about it, clamping things is the best route, but for much of what I do it simply isn't practical.

The post is the most bang for the buck I have found for reducing the risk of parts flying around and hitting the hand.  It won't work on round parts if you are drilling at the center, but that is a pretty low percentage of what I deal with.

I generally only keep the nut finger tight, but if I think a part could do serious damage I will grab a wrench and tighten it down solid.  A wing nut might be a good upgrade. 

Depending on your particular drill press table you might need a different size carriage bolt.  The basic premise is just a post that can be adjusted as need be so that parts can't spin if the bit grabs.  Be aware that there is the potential for a grab to carry the part up the spiral bit and then spin past the top of the post.  I haven't had that happen, but I imagine it could on something thin.

Just another trick to add to the mental tool kit.

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