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Pillar drill old or new?


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Looking at getting a pillar drill. There is an Elliot Progress near me that seems in good order that would need a belt guard and chuck guard and an e stop button fitting but that’s not too hard or I could machine mart or a Axminster. My budget is up to about £400.  I won’t be doing a lot on it should I admit to myself I just need a hobby spec machine ?

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I’ve got a Clarke floor standing one had it about 5 years and it’s a good piece of kit for home workshop use it’s all you need can find the model number for you if you want but won’t be till tomorrow as I’m at work now .

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I have a JET 17 from Axminster, got it reduced as it had been opened on the dockside apparently. It was all still packed ok it's just the box had been rooted in and it had different tape on. :rolleyes: It was about £300 from memory and it was a lot of metal for the money, about 85kg from memory. :wacko:

I bought it as it would go down to a much lower RPM than most on the market which is good for holesaws etc and it had a more powerful motor. The frames and tables on old drills are usually more rigid which is why people like them. The downside for me was all the industrial auctions are now all online so buying an old drill from auctions is 3 days off work, 1 to view it, 1 to bid and 1 to collect. If you don't view it and it's had a hard life you've just wasted a lot of time to fill your garage with work. Atleast buying new you know what your going to get.

If it's near you and you can go with a dial gauge to see if there's any play then by all means go for it. I would also find out what speeds it will run at and look those up against a drill speed chart to make sure it can drill the sizes you want in the materials you want.

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For your budget, you could also consider a magnetic rotabroach type drill, so useful for jobs that can't be brought to the bench, a couple of old bits of heavy plate serve as a base for pillar type work on the bench,  mine is an 'Evolution' and came as standard with a regular chuck. Only drawback is a small throat if you have something that needs a machine vice.

Having said all that, Elliot machines are generally able to put up with a huge amount of abuse and one nearby has to be worth a look. I use my old Elliot mill (also bought within your budget) as a pillar drill when the magnetic drill is not suitable.

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I did go and see it today and seems solid although I do t really know what I’m looking at. Drill speed is 48 to 2470 rpm as it has the in head readuction gears so that may cover most things. The drill head had some movement at slow speeds but looked very solid apart from the missing belt cover.

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Another consideration is the throat and spindle travel the 50mm ones are often a pain. I managed to get an older unit with an adjustable table and 80mm travel, it has drilled every thing I have thrown at it. It also came with a cross travel milling vice which is also a good addition on any drill.

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Any play can (usually) easily be addressed by replacing the bearings, a cheap enough fix. sounds quite good, if its not too expensive, the DIY'er Clarke or similar will never give you 48 rpm. that is really useful.

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Chuck wobble is usually because some idiot has bent the chuck, rather than the machine. Doesn't take a huge amount of abuse on those spindly little morse tapers. A good chuck can usually be had on ebay for a few quid. Cover... Sheet of ali, tin snips, a pop riveter and an hours fettling can put that right. 

I'd go old industrial like that every single time, the new stuff in that price range just never matches up for rigidity and smoothness. 

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  • 2 months later...

Can't go wrong with that ! What I find with the modern DIY/budget drills, Clarke , Axminster, Sealey etc, is that when you put some pressure on the tool, the table deflects down, which of course affects accuracy and gives oval holes.

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  • 3 weeks later...
47 minutes ago, mad_pete said:

Nice, what’s your plans for them ?

If you're still after one then I've got a big floor standing pillar drill that's minus a motor you can probably have? Startrite I think - I got it off ejparrot but there was a three phase motor on it which has subsequently been repurposed at my parents.

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I was asking the same question a while back and everyone said get an old one, get an old one. So I spent a wad of cash getting a Startrite drill press. It works fine but it's not that powerful and it's a bit old and scruffy. Then I tried a friend's drill press, floor model, new build. Was just way more powerful, more accurate. It was better in every way. I'm disgusted with my crappy startrite now.

 

So try before you buy, try both. When I get a chance I'll offload my Startrite onto a victim and I'll buy a new one.

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  • 1 year later...

Just to round out the thread I really like the drill press I have but I would say go new. 
 

The old ones are great the solid feel is lovely but parts can be tricky and can turn into a project. New ones I think are close enough.

If you are the person that likes projects then great if you just want a drill get a new one. I know this view will vary but that is the view I’ve come to for myself.

My tempted by list was :

https://www.warco.co.uk/drilling-machines-bench-pillar-drills/302911-2f-floor-standing-drill-drilling-machine.html

(Found Warco was a bit variable for customer service on their open day)

https://www.gatemachinery.com/product/pr-2vs/

Gate machinery I found helpful.

 

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  • 1 month later...

I needed to buy a new floor standing pillar drill (quickly) a few years ago.  I ended up buying an Axminster Trade series drill which was similar money.  I have to say, I'm still impressed with it!

It has a double belt reduction so can go very slow.  Most drills are way too fast.

The spindle is precise and it's well built.   It has a hand-chuck which, while quick, doesn't grip as tightly as I might like - but it's a minor criticism & easily changed if I felt the need.

We have one the same at work which is in constant use (abuse) and has lasted 5 years so far without showing any signs of wear.  I was using it on Friday.  In the environment I work in, 5 years is the equivalent of several lifetimes normal use!

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