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Pillar drill dimensions - looking for something compact

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samhay

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I'm in the market for a pillar drill. Preference is to buy something old, but it must be as compact as possible as space is precious. Leaning towards a bench drill rather than floor standing model, but more important is the depth (front-to back), which must be less than about 24". Width and height are less of an issue.

The footprint/total dimensions are not always easy to find, but I think this rules out the usual suspects from Meddings. Not sure about Fobco.
Any suggestions for something that would fit? Primarily for wood, not metal.

If old iron is going to be too big, I'll consider new too. Would like ~ 6" throat, which rules out most of the hobby stuff. Can probably swing for lighter trade stuff, but not spending more than £4-500.
 

sunnybob

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axminster online catalogue gives all dimensions. They have bench drills from under £200 upwards.
I suspect other main suppliers have the same info on their sites as well.
 

samhay

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Right , have seen those. Have also seen plenty of recommendations to steer clear.
Previous threads here about pillar drills invariably lead to a recommendation for an old Meddings, Fobcio, etc machine, which I'm happy to do.

Problem is that the old catalogues for these machines don't always give overall dimensions. Meddings catalogues list a slightly baffling variety of models, most of which are 28"+ overall depth. Haven't found this info for other makes.
My shed is 5' wide, so 2' depth is all I can spare.
 

samhay

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Looks like all the bigger new drills all use a 3 pulley system to get more speed options. Expect this comes at the cost of extra depth?
 

That would work

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Im pretty sure an old Fobco star (bench mounted) fits that. I can't say with certainty about the dimensions (but I think its not more than 600mm front to back) as mine is still in pieces but due to be reassembled very soon... I picked it up on Ebay, was in a bit of a state but mechanically perfect, even rusty and full of leaves it was far and away better than a cheapie.
 

Lons

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Hi Sam

I have a Meddings Drilltru Mk3 and just done a quick measure. It's exactly 24" from front edge of table to back of motor hinge so within your dimention restrictions. 610mm depth x 270 width x 850 height.
Ignore the upright tube fixed to the side in the pic, it's an adapted flexy lamp I fitted which goes over the top as I didn't include that in the dimensions.

I was lucky to buy it from a known source who had it from new so it's in excellent condition and bought along with other items so estimated cost 5 or 6 years was around £120.

very heavy and pretty solid does all I ask of it wood and metal, throat is about 280mm but can get a good 350 if you swing the table to one side. Can't remember how many speeds it has as I rarely change but I think 4 or 5, can check if you want.

It's a great drill press and will certainly see me out, a revelation when compared to me previous 2 cheapies, so worth a look if you can find a decent example.
 

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samhay

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Thanks Lons.
That looks perfect. Will put on the watch list.

TWW - thanks. What I thought on both counts.
 

sunnybob

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Cant argue about "quality" of modern small drill presses, one of the complaint threads on here was me. :roll: (hammer)

BUT, once the really stupid and unbelievable quality control failures were sorted (quite quickly and very cheaply), I have a new drill press that is almost as good as a 50 year old one. Except I got it straight away rather than wait a couple years to find one and another year to restore it, and it came with as 3 year warranty. =D>

Worth thinking about. 8)
 

Bod

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Have you considered something like this.
IMG_0147 (2) - Copy.JPG

Fits well within your dimensions, if only doing occasional work, then the effort is worthwhile.
I wouldn't be without this one.
Cost wise £5-£50, 2nd hand only now. The two speed models are slightly more useful, as can work from 2mm to 150+mm diameter holes.

Bod
 

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sunnybob

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I bought the axminster 13 mm chuck bench drill. I use axminster because living in Cyprus they are the only company that will ship without charging three times the price of the machine. Local machinery is so wildly overpriced that I still save money by shipping stuff in (although I expect that will change once the UK leaves europe :roll: )

The quality control was non existent, but if you have any experience of motor mechanics, not very difficult to fix. I've had the drill possibly 2 years now (honestly cant remember) and I use it a lot.
Again, in my special circumstances I couldnt send it back, but if youre UK based and it dont work, send it back, and you can keep doing that untill you find one with the minimum faults. =D>
 

samhay

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Bod":22z5zp5n said:
Have you considered something like this.
...
Fits well within your dimensions, if only doing occasional work, then the effort is worthwhile.
I wouldn't be without this one.
Cost wise £5-£50, 2nd hand only now. The two speed models are slightly more useful, as can work from 2mm to 150+mm diameter holes.

Bod
I did briefly consider a hand cranked model as I primarily do hand tool work, but largely discounted them as I don't know anything about them.
They certainly fit the size budget. And look cool.

I take it they are actually genuinely useful then?
 

samhay

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sunnybob":14ce6cbh said:
I bought the axminster 13 mm chuck bench drill. I use axminster because living in Cyprus they are the only company that will ship without charging three times the price of the machine. Local machinery is so wildly overpriced that I still save money by shipping stuff in (although I expect that will change once the UK leaves europe :roll: )

The quality control was non existent, but if you have any experience of motor mechanics, not very difficult to fix. I've had the drill possibly 2 years now (honestly cant remember) and I use it a lot.
Again, in my special circumstances I couldnt send it back, but if youre UK based and it dont work, send it back, and you can keep doing that untill you find one with the minimum faults. =D>
OK, good to hear some counter arguement.
I take it you have an older version of this:
https://www.axminster.co.uk/axminster-c ... ill-105105
 

Phil Pascoe

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Off tack a little, but my Meddings is mounted sideways so It'll swing out over my large metal vice. A disadvantage in some circumstances, but ideal in others, as it also allows me to swing the whole thing outboard of the bench for working long and /or misshapen pieces.
 

Bod

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samhay":1lkazi6h said:
Bod":1lkazi6h said:
Have you considered something like this.
...
Fits well within your dimensions, if only doing occasional work, then the effort is worthwhile.
I wouldn't be without this one.
Cost wise £5-£50, 2nd hand only now. The two speed models are slightly more useful, as can work from 2mm to 150+mm diameter holes.

Bod
I did briefly consider a hand cranked model as I primarily do hand tool work, but largely discounted them as I don't know anything about them.
They certainly fit the size budget. And look cool.

I take it they are actually genuinely useful then?
I actually have 2 in use, the photos is the larger one, the smaller sits on a block of wood that fits in the bench vice, for use.
Dependant on your mechanical skills, don't buy any thing broken or with missing parts. You won't find spares! Rusted, seized, and worn, are down to your skills to put right.
However good usable ones, needing only minor lubrication, are out there. My main hunting ground is, car boot sales, some sellers are amazed that they are actually being offered money!!
Some "Union" brand drills, have removable chucks, that can be replaced with reduced shank drills for larger holes (1/2-1inch+dia) in steel.
You might come across machines, with a heavy disc at the top, these are not belt driven as often thought, this a clever mechanism for Auto-Feed, turning the handle, lowers the bit, till contact is made, then the disc revolves, creating the downward pressure for the feed, automatically adjusting to the cutting action.

Bod
PS Ebay has some at present, with remarkable prices! (Hand Cranked pillar drills)
 

samhay

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Thanks very useful. There is certainly some attraction to going down the route, not lest that if I don't get on with one it isn't a significant financial outlay.
Not aware of any decent car boot sales in my neck of the woods, but remarkable ebay prices are still cheaper than a good old electric alternative.
 

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