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Sensitive Drilling Attachment

Hi All. I’ve been drilling a lot of holes lately, using a fantastic
drill press accessory that I think I’ve grown to take for granted
over the last few years. But as I was drilling, it occurred to me
that most of the Orchid gang probably have never heard of this
thing, and it’s one of my favorite tools!

I use a Sherline mill for drilling (, and one of their
many great accessories is something called a Sensitive Drilling
Attachment(P/N 1012). It’s about $100. The device is a Jacobs chuck
that fits into the chuck on your press and effectively takes it’s
place. Look on their site for a better description, but basically
it’s spring-loaded and is operated by pressing on a knurled collar
above the chuck. So the drill bit is mounted as usual, but instead
of using the normal drill press levers, you use finger pressure on
this collar to push the bit down. You can really feel what’s going
on and the feedback is very helpful. When you let go, the spring
raises the bit back up.

It’s especially great for small holes, but I use it for much bigger
ones too. A real bonus is that both hands are in your field of
view(assuming you’re holding the piece down manually), and it’s a
hell of a lot easier to just press this collar rather than reaching
up to use the regular levers- all your focus is on the hole rather
than the machine. And the added sensitivity makes for better holes
and fewer broken bits.

I have no connection to Sherline, but I’ll be a lot of you could
fall in love with this thing!

Allan Mason

Hey Allan,

Sensitive Drilling Attachment(P/N 1012). It's about $100. The
device is a Jacobs chuck that fits into the chuck on your press and
effectively takes it's place. 

The center of the sensitive drill is the arbor, which is a spring
loaded spindle within the arbor. These are available for about $55.00
from all major machine shop suppliers. The chuck is sold separate and
if you use it a lot, you would really love it with an Albrecht
keyless chuck (total about $275.00).

Daniel Culver

These can be used in lathes as well. You need higher speeds for the
smaller drills used in this attachment, And a accurate rigid machine
Worth a look into.