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  1. #1
    I can't believe I've gone this long without access to my own pillar drill !

    So, I'm looking into bench mounted pillar drills. I want to drill aluminium plate up to 20mm thick, various woods, and the odd bit of thin steel. I'm looking for something substantial in the £250-£350 price bracket.

    I've found a few but keep coming back to the Warco 2B12. Anyone have any experience of this?

    Anything else worth looking at around this sort of level?

    Building a CNC machine to make a better one since 2010 . . .
    MK1 (1st photo), MK2, MK3, MK4

  2. #2
    I used an old Fobco pillar drill for years and was always quite pleased with its performance. Still plenty about and often quite cheap on ebay. G.

  3. #3
    as you mentioned metal work,if you could up your budget a little I would hold out for a used benchtop mill ive seen (and also bought one)used x3,s for as little as 500 quid and other similar sized mills.

  4. #4
    Hi Geoffrey,
    Yes, a friend at work also suggested Fobco so I'll have a look.

    Had also considered that long and hard. Looked at the ArcEuro Sieg Super X2P for around £630 delivered, and others. In the end I decided that I should continue to invest in making my homemade cnc machine the best machine it can be, and buy a purpose built pillar drill 'just' for drilling holes.

    Building a CNC machine to make a better one since 2010 . . .
    MK1 (1st photo), MK2, MK3, MK4

  5. #5
    Once you get a pillar drill you'll quickly wish you had two, or more ;-)

  6. #6
    To follow up on my original post Ė I bought the Warco 2B12 pillar drill in the end and have been using it for a couple of months now.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Here is a short review:

    I must say just how impressed I am with it and wouldnít hesitate to recommend it for DIY or light trade use. It is really sturdily built with a great spec for the price. The castings are reassuringly thick and heavy.

    I compared this to similar drills from Axminster and other places and couldnít match it for price / specification such as the 80mm column (many have 70mm) and 16mm chuck (some have 13mm).

    First off the assembly really does need 2 people. The motor head unit is VERY heavy and lifting it onto the column on your own is very difficult. As I was on my own that day I opted for a different approach which was to lay the column down on the workbench (horizontally) with the column hanging off the end and pointing towards me. I was then able to slide the motor unit onto it and tilt the whole assembly upwards into the vertical position. Again I wouldnít recommend single person assembly as it was all a bit perilous!

    After fitting the table, tightening the belts and so on I fired up the motor and found it pleasantly quiet. Then it started hesitating and cutting in and out. Turned out that the pulley cover lid was not fully home Ė you have to push it down quite hard to engage the safety cut out switch in the lid. Then it was running sweetly again. Finally I fitted the chuck making sure that the arbour was fully de-greased.

    I wiped over any exposed metal parts with duck oil, greased the table lifting rack and bolted the base to my work top. Be aware that even with the drill pushed to the back of a 600mm deep worktop, with the motor unit almost touching the wall, it still overhung the front by about 30mm. Iíll add a small extension to the worktop.

    Changing the belts is a fairly straightforward task although I need to use a step ladder to reach. I may replace the screw holding the cover on to something with a thumb wheel then the whole process will be tool-less.

    After using the drill for a bit I noticed what appeared to be excessive run-out on the chuck. After a call to Warco they assured me the one of the reasons they sell this unit is that the chuck is good. So I measured the run-out on the arbour (chuck removed) and found it was about 0.05-0.07mm. Pretty good for a pillar drill. I then re-fitted the chuck and put a small round bar in the jaws and measured around 0.1mm, which again I was happy with. A bit confused I then rolled the drills along a flat surface and found that they were pretty bent! The drills were a brand new (but cheap) set from ArcEuro. I then chucked up my trusted 4.2mm tapping drill from Tracy Tools and switched on the drill. The tip ran true to the eye so I went on the Tracy Tools website over Christmas and ordered what Iím hoping is a quality set of drill bits.

    But even with bent drills this makes light work of drilling holes in 20mm aluminium plate.

    I also bought a set of reduced shank drills up to 25mm. Iíve yet to use them but donít expect any power related problems based on current experience.

    I've bought a 100mm digital read-out which I intend to hook up to the quill to make accurate counter-bores for recessing cap heads etc. Iíve got some rough ideas about how best to do it in terms of brackets etc but donít have time for that project just yet. If anyone has done something similar Iíd be interested.

    I also plan to make a wooden drilling table, mounted to the main table, with an adjustable back fence to make woodworking jobs a bit easier. Something like this:

    In summary a great pillar drill and well worth £295 including VAT and delivery.
    Building a CNC machine to make a better one since 2010 . . .
    MK1 (1st photo), MK2, MK3, MK4

  7. #7
    I wanted a floor mounted drill, so I bought this one which I am very happy with.

  8. #8
    I'm thinking about adding a few features to my pillar drill - DRO, quill hold, better depth stop. I've got some ideas to make a nice package on the left side of the machine but before I do can anyone tell me if I take off the aluminium depth stop held on by 3 bolts will the spring and/or bearing fly out never to be put back?

    Click image for larger version. 

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    The instruction sheet that came with the drill shows a fairly poor photocopy of the internals.

    Building a CNC machine to make a better one since 2010 . . .
    MK1 (1st photo), MK2, MK3, MK4

  9. #9
    That's where the spring usually lives so it's likely it will make a bid for freedom if you take the housing off ;-)

    - Nick

  10. #10
    Yeah, mines not been the same since taking it off, not even sure why I took it off now...gave up trying to get it back to where it was before ;)


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