Did have the rod and the 2x4 "V block" clamped down, but maybe not securely enough....the table on my Ryobi drill press is not very flat on the underside, so I will check it, maybe buy some "deeper" c-clamps to clamp better.
Was using some oil as mentioned in another post, not exactly sure its the "3in1" oil as the old can states, but it is some type of light oil with a high flash point.
My first attempt was with some Irwin bits (black oxide), and from there I went to a Dewalt Ti-coated bit, when that broke, I extracted the pieces with needle-nose vice grips, then went to a "cobalt" Dewalt bit that THEN broke too...turned the workpiece 90 degrees and tried again, except THAT Ti bit broke when it hit the "cobalt" bit.
Buying another piece of steel this afternoon, and more drill bits, to try once more, and will slow the drill press down further. This is the last bit of work on the welding cart to finish it, and its seems like such a simple thing.