Pillar Drill Restoration.


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Have taken some pics of the offending spring. Basically, much like the spring loaded prawl at the head of the pivot arm, this seems to be employed to keep the pivot arm in contact with the cam on the wheel. If other people's drills do not have this, how does the pivot arm stay in contact with the cam?

Any light that can be shed on this would be fabulous as while I can use hand braces for most things this is needed to help me with such drilling that needs a higher degree of presision esp when drilling on angles. I live in a converted carriage house next to a old manor house. The owners have been more than happy to let me convert the loosbox attached into a woodshop on the proviso that noise is kept to a minimum, with no electrical machines allowed. So I leave work at the joinery and effectively step back into the 18 century much slower but generally more fun.


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Some "Cam contact" springs are torsion springs, which are around the pivot rod, and work by twisting rather than pulling or pushing. Given 50-100 years of gunk they can sometimes not be easy to see at first glance.


It should look like this:

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union pillar drill 02.JPG



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Looks good to me.
There are several different manufacturers, each had their own ideas.
Yours looks to be one of the better simpler ones.

Gosh, this takes me back! Been away for a while and only just seen this!

Well, from what I remember, the spring was weak on all of the 4 or 5 drills I restored, and I simply replaced it with a modern alternative.

I seem to recall that the feed rate was controlled by how fast you turn the main gear, the contact point with the advance gear was controlled by a simple on off lever, with no capacity for changing the feed rate. I think that manually turning the top wheel will allow you to advance the feed rate, but this would require the addition of a third pair of hands.

My caveat here is that, although I did restore and use the drills, they all went to the great auction site in the sky 4 or 5 years ago, so this is all from memory!
I think, the rate of feed is controlled by the lever. Left = disengaged; middle = slow rate; right = fast rate. Thats with the Union A1.

All the drills of this type, I've seen/had, the feed rate is wrong for what ever I've been drilling, so has been not used.
My current Mancuna will actually bend the pillar(!) if the auto feed is used, unless the drill bit is cutting aggressively.
Most will advance by 1-2 notches per turn of handle, and can often be adjusted by a screw.
Just flip the rachet over to stop the autofeed.