As multiple woodworkers have mentioned, a drill press as-is is poorly suited to doing woodworking: the cast iron table can transfer grease to the wood; the table is small; the table has limited places to fasten clamps to hold the wood down.
Formula 409 turned out to be, as people had suggested, a fine way to clean the packing grease (likely Cosmoline) from the drill press parts. It’s necessary to clean this goo off so that 1) you don’t get it on the wood you’re working with, and b) the drill chuck doesn’t fall off while working (!)
The two of us managed to mount the drill press head, so now it’s ready to drill.
By the way, the bolted-on base – to keep the top-heavy drill press from falling over – is pretty much 2 sheets of 3/4″ plywood. The two weird-looking things on the back are leveling feet from an old dolly roller I had lying around. The leveling feet make the base nice and sturdy.
The first thing I tried out was the countersink and 3/4″ bore that will be needed to bolt the two CNC X-axis boards together. The test drills worked great!
Once I started doing some drilling, I found I really need a drill press table, so I can safely clamp down the work – it’s not safe to hold a piece by hand as you drill. So…. that drill press table is my next project.
Et proiectus est talpa – "and the mole was cast out"