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Pillar Drills

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John Fenn14/01/2011 14:21:31
6 forum posts
I am looking for a pillar drill.  I do general woodworking and woodturning so would use the pillar drill mainly for drilling in wood (drill bits and forstner bits)and only occasionally in metal.
There are "hobby" pillar drills normally 250w and up to 5 speed that would appear to be underpowered if being used with either bigger drill bits or thick wood.  The next step up seems to be 370w or 550w with 12 or 16 speeds but of course these come with a bigger price tag.
I have looked at the Record Power DP58B (around £280), Draper 550w 16 speed (around £184) and Sealey GDM92B (around £172).  Does anyone have any experience of these pillar drills and particularly their capabilities for woodwork or perhaps you have experience of another make which you have found highly satisfactory.
I should be interested in any advice you can give.
BillW14/01/2011 16:33:00
711 forum posts
21 photos
Hi John,
I have no first hand knowledge of the drills mentioned but I would check spindle travel, the Sealey has 60mm  the record has 80mm.
Both have a rack & pinion  table adjustment which is good.
Those two have a revolving table, you could consider a T slot table.
Big Al14/01/2011 17:40:09
1599 forum posts
73 photos
Personally I own an Axminster HD16F for about 8 years, click here for info on the nearest model that they now sell.
It has all the power and torque that I have ever needed, the only problem that I have had with it is that the NVR switch broke a few years ago and I had to replace it.
Mailee14/01/2011 19:50:25
1048 forum posts
1235 photos
I have a Draper floor standing pillar drill which is about 350 Watt and I do find it a little underpowered  when using large sizes of Forstner bits. HTH.
John Fenn15/01/2011 09:59:14
6 forum posts
My thanks to Bill, Al and Mailee for your comments.  You have each made some valid points which I need to consider before deciding which pillar drill model to buy.
Overall however you have confirmed my initial thoughts - that the cheaper less powerful models do have limitations that I would probably find frustrating all too soon.
You have all been a great help.
John Kinch15/01/2011 17:17:54
206 forum posts
91 photos
John, You should also look closely at the Ryobi. I bought one last year and it is great, with cross hair location and a really good depth set-up which is simple to use. The round table has rome around the edge for clamping things to it. It was highly recommended in a magazine so I took a closer look and bought it and am very satified with it.
                     John k.
John Fenn15/01/2011 18:50:40
6 forum posts
Thanks John.  I found a useful review on The Woodworkers Institute site and as you say the Ryobi Bench Drill is certainly worth exploring more.  Thanks for putting me onto this model.
Simon Reeves18/01/2011 13:24:42
622 forum posts
227 photos
Hi John
One thing to watch out for on the cheaper models is the "run out", i.e. the amount of wobble you can get on the end of the quill. With better quality drills it is usually next to nothing, but on some it can be more significant. You can end up with larger holes or smaller plugs (if you use a plug cutter) if you aren't careful.
As Bill mentions, look out for the travel as well if you want to drill deeper holes. I use a Jet JDP15 from Axminster, which is only a bit more than the Record. Excellent machine, top build quality.
If you're planning on lots of wood drilling, I highly recommend making a large drill table with hold downs and built in clamping etc. There's loads of plans available on T'Internet, or take a look at my pix in "Turning an acrylic pen" on this site, which shows the one I made.
John Fenn18/01/2011 15:14:25
6 forum posts
Thanks Simon.  Good advice buy quality.  I loved your photos of the acrylic pen, a real work of art.  Yes I can see the jig you made.

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