A pillar drill is a type of drill press used for drilling holes in various materials. It is a stationary machine, which consists of a base, a pillar, and a motorized spindle. The spindle is connected to the motor, which is housed in the base, and is used to rotate a drill bit to create holes in the material. The pillar drill is a versatile tool, and it can be used for a wide range of applications, from drilling small holes in wood to machining metal components. This article will explain how a pillar drill works and its benefits.
What is a Pillar Drill?
A pillar drill is a stationary drill that uses a rotating cutting tool to make holes in different materials. It is fixed to the ground or bolted to a workbench, providing a stable and reliable drilling environment.
Features and Components
- Drill motor – provides the power to rotate the cutting tool
- Column – supports the motor and houses the mechanism that allows the drill head to move up and down
- Table – provides a stable surface for the material to be drilled
- Base – provides a stable foundation for the column
- Head – houses the cutting tool
The pillar drill is designed for precision drilling and is suitable for both home and professional use. It is used for creating accurate holes in wood, metal, plastic and other materials.
- Provides a stable platform for accurate drilling
- Allows the user to adjust the speed and depth of the drill
- Can be used to drill holes of different sizes
- Fast and easy to set up
Pillar drills are an essential tool for any workshop and can be used for a variety of applications, such as drilling holes for dowels, screws, bolts and other fasteners. They are also perfect for creating accurate holes for hinges and other fittings.
Types of Pillar Drills
- Bench Pillar Drills: Bench Pillar Drills are the most common type of pillar drill. These machines are mounted on a bench or table and have a drill head that can be moved up and down. They have a powerful motor and are suitable for a variety of drilling applications.
- Floor Pillar Drills: Floor Pillar Drills are larger than the bench model and are mounted directly on the floor. These drills have a larger motor and are more suitable for heavy-duty applications. They are usually used for metalworking and metal fabrication.
- Portable Pillar Drills: Portable Pillar Drills are the smallest type of pillar drill. These drills are designed to be easily moved from one work site to another. They are ideal for drilling small-diameter holes and for light-duty applications.
- Saddle Pillar Drills: Saddle Pillar Drills are similar to bench pillar drills but have a saddle design. This design allows for a greater range of motion as the drill head can move up and down and side to side. These drills are suitable for a variety of drilling applications.
- Magnetic Pillar Drills: Magnetic Pillar Drills are similar to floor pillar drills in that they are mounted directly on the floor. However, these drills are equipped with a powerful magnet that allows them to be used for drilling metal. They are an ideal choice for metalworking and metal fabrication.
Components of a Pillar Drill
- Base: The base of the pillar drill is usually made of cast iron and is the foundation upon which the other components are mounted.
- Motor: The motor is the main component of the pillar drill and is responsible for providing the power to rotate the spindle.
- Spindle: The spindle is the component that actually rotates, and it is connected to the motor via a belt or gear system.
- Column: The column is the component that connects the base and the head of the machine. It is the component that is adjusted when changing the speed or depth of the hole.
- Head: The head is the component that houses the spindle, the feed handles, and the depth stop. It is also the component that is adjusted for changing the angle of the drill bit.
- Table: The table is the component that is used to secure the workpiece in place during drilling operations.
- Drill Chuck: The drill chuck is the component that is used to secure the drill bit in place.
How a Pillar Drill Works
A pillar drill, also known as a ‘drill press’, is a stationary drill that is used to bore through material such as wood and metal. It is typically mounted onto a stand or workbench.
The pillar drill consists of four main components: the base, column, table and head. The base is the most important part of the machine, as it provides the drill with stability and allows it to be fixed firmly to the ground. The column is the support for the head, which is the part that moves up and down the column. The table is mounted onto the column and provides the workpiece with a stable platform. Finally, the head is the part that contains the motor and the drill bit.
The head is the most important part of the machine, as it contains the motor, the drill bit, and the controls for the drill. The motor is what powers the drill, and is usually an electric motor. The drill bit is inserted into the chuck and is what bores into the material. The controls on the head allow the user to adjust the speed and depth of the drill.
The pillar drill is powered by turning the power switch on and then depressing the start button. This causes the motor to start and the drill bit to rotate. The user then turns the speed control to the desired speed and then lowers the drill bit into the workpiece. They can then adjust the depth control to set the depth of the drill, and then press the start button to begin drilling.
|Base||Provides stability and allows drill to be fixed to ground|
|Column||Support for head|
|Table||Provides workpiece with a stable platform|
|Head||Contains motor, drill bit, and controls|
Once the drilling is complete, the user can release the depth control and turn off the power to the drill. The pillar drill is a versatile tool that can be used for a variety of tasks, from drilling holes to shaping materials. It is also a very safe tool to use, as it is firmly secured to the ground and the user is able to adjust the depth and speed of the drill.
Advantages of Using a Pillar Drill
- High Accuracy: A pillar drill provides greater accuracy than a hand-held electric drill. It is capable of making holes to the exact depth and diameter desired.
- Versatility: Pillar drills can be used to drill through a variety of materials, including wood, metal, plastic, and even stone.
- Higher Speed: Pillar drills are capable of higher speeds than electric hand drills, making them more efficient for repetitive tasks.
- Variable Speed: Many pillar drills have adjustable speed settings, allowing users to work at slower speeds for delicate drilling, or at higher speeds for more robust drilling.
- Safety: Pillar drills come with a variety of safety features, such as protective covers and guards, to help prevent accidents.
- Ease of Use: Pillar drills are easy to operate and require minimal setup time.
Disadvantages of Using a Pillar Drill
- High Maintenance Cost – The cost of maintaining a pillar drill can be high due to its intricate parts that need to be regularly replaced.
- Risk of Injury – The user is at risk of injury from the drill’s moving parts.
- Noise Pollution – The noise produced by a pillar drill can be very loud and can cause disruption to other nearby activities.
- Limited Mobility – As the drill is bolted to a table, it has limited mobility and can be difficult to move around.
- Expensive – Pillar drills are more expensive than other types of drilling machines, due to their complexity.
Safety Considerations when Using a Pillar Drill
- Always read and abide by the manufacturer’s instructions: Before using a pillar drill, the user must read the manufacturer’s instructions about the machine and its use. This includes the safety and risk prevention instructions.
- Wear protective gear: Suitable protective gear must be worn when operating the pillar drill. This includes safety glasses, ear protection, and a dust mask.
- Keep the area clear of obstructions: The area around the drill must be kept clear of obstructions to ensure that the machine is able to work properly. This includes clearing away any debris or objects that may get caught in the drill.
- Secure the workpiece: Before using the drill, the workpiece must be securely clamped to the drill stand. This will ensure that the workpiece does not move during the drilling process.
- Check the drill bit: Before using the drill, the drill bit must be checked to ensure that it is in good condition and suitable for the job. If the bit is damaged, it must be replaced.
- Turn off the machine when not in use: The pillar drill must be turned off when not in use. This will prevent any accidents from occurring.
- Keep hands away from the drill bit: It is important to keep hands away from the drill bit when the machine is in use. This will prevent any injuries from occurring.
- Use the correct speed: The correct speed must be used when operating the drill. This will ensure that the drill is used safely and efficiently.
Maintenance and Storage of Pillar Drills
Pillar drills require regular maintenance to ensure optimum performance and safety. The necessary maintenance will depend on the type and frequency of use. Some of the common maintenance practices include:
- Checking the drill’s power cord for fraying or breakage.
- Inspecting the chuck for signs of wear and damage.
- Cleaning and lubricating the drill’s moving parts.
- Checking for loose or broken parts.
- Ensuring the drill is securely mounted.
- Cleaning the drill’s table and work surface.
It is also important to properly store the drill when not in use. This may include:
- Covering the drill when not in use.
- Securely storing the drill in a dry area away from extreme temperatures and humidity.
- Regularly checking the drill for signs of wear and tear.
- Storing the drill away from any flammable materials.
By following the necessary maintenance and storage guidelines for pillar drills, you can ensure that your drill will last for years and provide you with high-quality results. With proper care, a pillar drill can be a dependable and valuable tool in any workshop.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the Safety Precautions when Using a Pillar Drill?
When using a pillar drill, it is essential to take the necessary safety precautions. Before starting the drill, ensure that the workpiece is securely clamped in place. Wear safety glasses and hearing protection, as the drill produces loud noises and flying debris. When changing the drill bit, ensure that the drill is switched off and the drill bit is securely clamped in the chuck. Lastly, never leave the drill running unattended.
Is a Pillar Drill Suitable for Use on Larger Pieces of Material?
Pillar drills are suitable for larger pieces of material as they have a large quill travel, usually between 4 and 6 inches, which allows for greater drilling depths. Additionally, the heavy-duty construction and powerful motor allow for precise and accurate drilling of thick and large materials. The chuck size, ranging from 6mm to 20mm, also allows for a wide range of bit sizes to be used.
How does a pillar drill differ from a drill press?
- A pillar drill is a light-duty machine with a motor and chuck mounted on a single column.
- A drill press is a heavier-duty machine with a motor and chuck mounted on two columns.
- A pillar drill is designed for smaller and lighter drilling jobs, while a drill press is designed for larger and heavier jobs.
- A pillar drill has a limited drilling capacity due to its single column design.
- A drill press has a much larger drilling capacity due to its two column design.
- A pillar drill typically has a speed range of up to 2700rpm.
- A drill press typically has a speed range of up to 5500rpm.
- A pillar drill is smaller and more compact than a drill press.
- A drill press is larger and takes up more space than a pillar drill.
What Types of Materials Can Be Drilled Using a Pillar Drill?
A pillar drill can be used to drill through a variety of materials, including metals, plastics, woods, composites, and masonry. The choice of material depends on the type and size of the drill bit being used, and the speed and power of the drill. Drill bits for metals should be made from high-speed steel or cobalt, and the drill should be able to run at a high speed to avoid overheating. Drill bits for hardwoods should be made from carbide, while drill bits for softer woods should be made from high-speed steel. Masonry drill bits should be made from carbide-tipped steel, and plastic drill bits can be made from high-speed steel or cobalt.
What is the Maximum Depth of Hole that a Pillar Drill can Drill?
Pillar drills are capable of drilling shallow to deep holes in a variety of materials. The maximum depth of hole that a pillar drill can drill depends on the model and size of the drill. Generally, a pillar drill can drill up to:
- 25mm – 40mm deep in materials such as wood, plastic and aluminum.
- 50mm – 80mm deep in materials such as steel and cast iron.
More powerful models can drill deeper than the abovementioned depth. To drill deeper holes, a pillar drill can be combined with an extension arm or a rotary table for deeper drilling.
The pillar drill is a versatile and powerful tool for drilling holes and shaping materials. Its adjustable speed and powerful motor make it ideal for a variety of applications. Its safety features, including the electronic safety switch, make it a smart choice for the workshop. With its wide range of applications, the pillar drill is a great addition to any tool collection.