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Pillar Drill


Les Henson
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I'm fed-up with drilling egg-shaped holes with the rubbish bench-mounted Clarke pillar drill that I currently own, I'm looking to replace it with something stronger/better. Everything seems to be belt driven, induction motors, which seem gutless (in my experience). I'm looking for a single phase, bench mounted, good quality, accurate drill to replace it.

Any recommendations?

Les.

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I have an Aldi special - made in Germany and £35. cannot complain at all.

Are you sure your egg shaped holes are the machines fault? a grown up once told me that twist drill bits cut funny holes in thin material. I have drilled holes that are almost triangular (well, three definate bulges in a circular hole if you get what I mean :lol: ) in thin sheet. doesn't happen in thicker stuff.

the solution is to use a step drill instead aparently...

Just a thought.....

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I have had a Warco 2B12 bench mounted drill press for many years now and it has been very good. Not the most robust model available but excellent value for money.

16 speeds are invaluable, mostly because you get the lower spindle speeds. I have successfully drilled 20mm diameter through thick mild steel plate, also a 70mm hole saw although this could have done with running slower. The main thing that stops any bigger drills being used is the limited torque that the drive belt can manage.

The table has T-slots rather than through slots for decent clamping, also less messy if you like to use coolant as the table has a drain hole.

Having said all this, you can't beat a good old fashioned industrial model with back gears such as the Meddings that my dad has. We converted this to a single phase motor for home use. Keep checking Ebay ;)

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Get yourself a nice Fobco, you won't get a lot better.

But it will still drill triangular holes. you get a hole with one more side than the

number of flutes, so to drill square holes you use a three flute drill and so on. Generally it only

happens, unless your drilling polygon holes, on thinish metal. If your drilling sheet you should

use sheet metal drills they drill much better[rounder] and as you get them split pointed and double ended

they work out pretty cheap.

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I have an Aldi special - made in Germany and £35. cannot complain at all.

Are you sure your egg shaped holes are the machines fault? a grown up once told me that twist drill bits cut funny holes in thin material. I have drilled holes that are almost triangular (well, three definate bulges in a circular hole if you get what I mean :lol: ) in thin sheet. doesn't happen in thicker stuff.

the solution is to use a step drill instead aparently...

Just a thought.....

Sheet metal drill bits are a dream on thin material :D, or just grind up an old blunt normal one :)

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Les, that was the state of them before delivery to me.

As others have said look at some of the older makes, Mine are Pollard, there are Meddings, Warco, Startrite etc.

The older drills still hold their value but if maintained and not abused will last for ever.

By the way, the shape of your drilled holes has nothing to do with the machine, it's down to drill grinding.

Nice Meddings HERE

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30 years old is fairly new;-) I bought my startrite in 1979. I would guess it was 20-30 years old at the time, cost me a

tenner I suspect I will get my money back;-) I sold my Denbigh bench drill to someone at the time I got the pillar drill and

we had the they don't make them like that anymore conversation, he had been to look at drills in Messengers in guildford

then he came to see my old denbigh, which was silent and smooth.

I worked in BVC, drilling holes with an archdale radial, in the 70's, nice drill but it would take up to much space for me.

I have used a mates fobco 10-8, nicest drill I have used. lovely large table. not to big. only problem is stealers ask from

500quid to a grand for the things.

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We have a startrite bench mounted drill, which my Dad bought when I was very young (i'm 36 now) which is still in 'as new' condition.. ;)

We also have a Meddings floor standing drill, which I reckon is the 'Rolls Royce' of drilling machines...

I bought it at an auction about 10 years ago for £240... it was basically new as the chuck was still wrapped in greased paper. ;)

It also has a very cool badge on it that says....

'PROPERTY OF THE ATOMIC WEAPONS ESTABLISHMENT' :P

If you don't get lucky and find a meddings or Startrite then Record made some decent machines, and some of the heavier duty drills sold by Axminster are very nice.

If our workshop burned down tomorrow I'd buy another Meddings drill to replace it. ;)

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Well I bought a 2nd hand floor standing Startrite Mercury MkII today for £100 :)

gallery_2_771_5204.jpg

gallery_2_771_42244.jpg

gallery_2_771_5420.jpg

The plate on the side mentions both 240 and 415 volts, but I know less than zero about this sort of thing.

gallery_2_771_23394.jpg

I take it that this means 3-phase?

gallery_2_771_39380.jpg

Can anyone tell me how to convert to single phase please? I know I'll have to replace the motor, but anything else? Will the foot kill switch still work on 240v? And will there be any problems performance-wise by converting to 240v?

Thanks.

Les.

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Good purchase, our Startrite is also a mercury, it'll last forever if you look after it.

you will need to change to the motor and almost certainly the switch box.

I think Axminster power tools sell replacement switchboxes suitable for that drill.

You can wire the foot switch into the new switch box (we did on my Meddings drill)

If you have an electric motor rewinders or similar near you they'll flog you a switch box and show you how to connect it up... its not difficult, but there are various different ways of getting there.

I'm not an electrician, so don't want to give you any duff advice, besides i'm sure there are loads of arm-chair sparkies on here that could give you better advice.

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