Bench Pillar Drill

Back when one had a B&D plus stacks of accessories, I used to have a pillar attachment, which was handy for the odd time I needed better accuracy, or depth control, usually in timber.
Now we have moved on to a dedicated piece of kit for every task, and admittedly most of them do their jobs very well, I am wondering if I should get an inexpensive bench pillar drill for occasional use.
Is one of the really cheap ones worth having? Will I have to find somewhere to bolt it down?
Chris
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Chris J Dixon Nottingham UK
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Although not considered a "Production" drill (Like the old Startrite units) try
http://www.tooled-up.com/Product.asp?PID '067
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I used to work for Startrite way back when they were based in Gillingham, Kent. Produced much of the turned parts for pre-production/development. I made more spindles for the drill shown in this EBay link than I care to remember ;-)
At the price whoen it's a deffo bargain.
http://tinyurl.com/az7deq
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RW was thinking very hard :

That looks quite similar to the one Aldi have on offer next Thursday for around ฃ40 complete with a vice. Either is a good step up from a hand held drill. Worthwhile- yes, depending on your intended use and need for accuracy and robustness. There is no absolute need to bolt it down.
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Harry (M1BYT) (L)
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Harry Bloomfield wrote:

Thanks, I think I can risk that price ;-)
Chris
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Chris J Dixon Nottingham UK
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On Sun, 25 Jan 2009 12:36:12 +0000, Chris J Dixon wrote:

Then, for <deity>'s sake, bolt it down! Those things are top-heavy and pretty powerful if you have them set to medium or slow speeds. That can make them dangerous if your work happens to snag while drilling.
I got an Aldi one a while ago. They are far easier to use than the old B&D for a lot of jobs.
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mick wrote:

Message received and understood. I think I have worked out where I might fit it.
Chris
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Chris J Dixon Nottingham UK
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Chris J Dixon wrote:

The kids don't need a bedroom *each* it's just wasteful...
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mick explained :

Yes, they are like all drills of this design - top heavy. I only use mine for relatively small items which well within the base and it works fine.
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mick wrote:

I have what's probably the same machine, for a few quid more at Machine Mart (didn't know Aldi did them, till the shop was full of them the following week, grr).
I certainly wouldn't use it freestanding; I extended one of the benches in my workshop into a little platform to bolt it to. I agree with Rod on the safety guard - complete pain in the arse. It looks to me like an afterthought added to satisfy regulations in the European market, and not part of the actual design. I took it off; it's not as though handheld drills have them and I think I'd have to be really trying to get my hand in the way of this thing. Other than that, my experience has been much better than Rod's - maybe mine would end up in that knackered state eventually, but not for a while given the limited use, and at the price I don't really care.
Cheers,
Pete
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Chris J Dixon wrote:

I have one. It was 'inherited' from a friend after several years of use - and possible abuse.
It has been useful on occasion - but has several problems. There is far too much play everywhere. So it is difficult to drill as accurately as you might expect. The spring to raise the drill is broken - which makes it almost unusable (so it will be heading for the scrappy soon). The chuck is horrible. The safety guard is a bit of plastic that gets in the way of almost everything. However, the motor itself is quite nice and runs very quietly.
I do not have a permanent location for it. If I use it without bolting/screwing/clamping it, the whole things wanders quite a lot. (No - I should NEVER do that.)
Other cheap pillar drills might well be much better, and in better state, but I am disappointed. In another thread someone recommended these drill stands to me:
<http://tinyurl.com/aoo3fc
<http://tinyurl.com/as7tth
Maybe cheaper and more flexible than a pillar drill?
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Rod

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On my el cheapo B&Q one which I've had for years there is an adjustment to take up slack in the sliding bit - a locking allen screw which bears in a keyway. On mine the keyway was poorly machined and I got that fixed by a local machine shop. Which improved things no end.
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Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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Rod wrote:

Easily worked around, if its bolted down. Use a little rope plus a weight looped over

easily replaced for ฃ5

easily removed. I know, some will howl, but these things are better controlled than hand held drills, and no-one seriously suggests a need for a safety guard on those.

no, thats a genuine risk
NT
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Yes - even the very cheapest is far more accurate and pleasant to use than a drill in a stand. One important thing is the much lower spindle speed which is better for drilling metals.

One thing you may find a problem is the restricted travel compared to a drill in a stand - most are only about 2". Other thing to consider is the maximum distance between table and drill tip, especially when using a vice and large drills.

Yes IMHO.
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Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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What I've done with mine is make a piece of 50mm square wood that's somewhat longer than the width of the base of the drill with two 10mm(?) coach bolts sticking up out of it (spaced for the holes in the base of the drill). I loosely clamp the wood in a workmate, lower the bench drill onto the bolts, fasten it to the wood with a couple of wing nuts (and penny and shake-proof washers) and tighten up the workmate. This doesn't hold it as solidly as bolting it to a real bench would*, but it won't fall over and you don't have to have a permanent bench (of course, I want a permanent bench, but that's another issue).
The drill is a cheap Chinese import bought for me by a friend. It has several failings, but even so it has been very useful. (Of course, just after they gave me it, a better one appeared in Aldi for less than they'd paid). The main problem is that there's no way of raising and lowering the bed vertically without risk of rotation -- you just have to unclamp it and shove it, so if you want to drill with a different bit on the same centre and the bit's too long to go in without lowering the workpiece, you have to line it all up again. If you can get one with a bed that you can crank up and down without it slopping from side to side, do!
* mainly because the workmate is crap. A good design trashed by cost engineering.
Recently I've put some T-nuts through the workmate, so I'm thinking of bolting a slab of blockboard to the bottom of the drill and using wing-/bolts/ through that into the T-nuts. That would be more solid, I think. Why do none of the shops round here have wing-bolts?
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Chris J Dixon wrote:

I bough a cheap B&Q jobby a few years ago, it was cheap as chips on a clearance deal.
Its not half bad to be honest, surprisingly accurate - better than I thought it would be. The Aldi one someone else mentioned looks very sturdy & well made for the money.
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Dave - The Medway Handyman
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On Sun, 25 Jan 2009 08:50:14 GMT, Chris J Dixon wrote:

I've one of the ฃ30 cheapies well worth the money. They aren't precision but they do a good job all the same.

For use yes, the bases are quite small and the motor unit quite heavy. You'd probably get away with an 18" or better 2' square of 3/4" ply with the pillar over the center of the board. I'd have a couple of inches of board exposed past the front face of the base.
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Dave.




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Dave Liquorice wrote:

Mines bolted to the bench with a simple 'table' made from chipboard & 2 x 1 on three sides that fits over the base. Said table is about 2' wide and 1' deep.
I've got a basic wooden fence fitted to the table so I can set the front/back spacing & I can clamp a stop to the fence for repitition drilling.
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I've used those nuts which grip into the wood - dunno what they're called, but B&Q sell them - and bolt through the bench top to those. So if I need more bench space makes it quite easy to remove. Most often use this feature for stuff beside the compound mitre saw though - that's where my metalwork vice is and it often gets in the way. It would be great to have a workshop large enough for benches that could take any sized work easily.
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Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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Dave Plowman (News) wrote:

Tee nuts http://www.screwfix.com/search.do ;jsessionid=QY3CEZUC12PLECSTHZOCFFA?_dyncharset=UTF-8&fh_search=tee+nuts

Oh yes! It always makes me envious when I watch those TV shows wher they have workshops the size of tennis courts. I've got a piggin garage to work in!
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