Please help find a right pillar drill/ drill press/ drill stand for me

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Jupiter

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Hello everyone.
I need to get myself a drill stand for lamp making to drill a straight vertical holes in the pieces of wood that are up to 250mm tall. I have looked everywhere online I could imagine but all of them nice and affordable drill stands have not got a sufficient drilling depth for drilling through pieces of wood of that size.
Could you please advise me on what could I do in this situation? Is there possibly any other equipment I could use for that purpose instead of the drill stand?
Thank you in advance for your help.
 

__jvc26

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a couple of thoughts — though both would depend on tools available and ability for safe work holding whilst doing them.

Approach from both ends and drill a shorter distance (may not still have enough travel or accuracy for that); consider splitting the piece and routing a channel then gluing up the final assembly?
 
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Sideways

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Drill to the full travel of the quill, back off, raise the table, repeat 2 more times ?

But the only drill bits I have that are long enough to do 250mm in one hit are either SDS masonry drills or super cheap long shank flat bits, so I can't advise you about suitable bits that will handle the depth.
 

Sandyn

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The way I would try is in my mortise machine, using just a drill. I would have to rotate the stand through 360 degrees to get the lower clearance, but it has a travel of about 300mm. You can get 300/400 mm wood drills. 250 mm is a long way to drill and keep it straight.
 

Jupiter

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thank you all for your replies. they had given me enough food for thoughts and some ideas too... to those who suggested drilling from both ends:
I will definitely try that and see if it is going to work for drilling a piece through for a cable... whether it will be possible to center it so well on both sides so both hole are going to join in the middle...
I just needed to hear from people experienced in carpentry to understand what sort of drill stand to buy, or possibly that can be done with the help of some other equipment.
will try the advice with raising a table and will try working by splitting a piece in the middle at some point - it may turn out to be a good idea - I should give it a go...
 

Fergie 307

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You can get masonry bits this long. Cut the end off to lose the tungsten insert, then sharpen the fluted shaft like a normal drill. Not actually tried it but can't see why it wouldn't work. I have used this method to drill a hole where there was no access for a normal drill, but only in stuff about 2 inches thick. Don't see why it wouldn't do what you want. Your problem is going to be that the debris won't clear out of the hole so you will be in and out like a fiddlers elbow, maybe cutting a couple of inches at a time and having to withdraw the bit to clear it, so a right faff I would think but perfectly doable.
 

mr rusty

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I don't think I would buy an expensive tool just for this one task. I'd be more inclined to knock up a sled for a hand held drill. It's not as if it's going to need engineering accuracy to pass a cable through.
 

recipio

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Have you a lathe ? Its not too difficult to make a horizontal jig to drill through the centre. It would be better to start with square stock but cylindrical could be used if well clamped. A 12.5 cm length bit from both sides would do the job.
 

--Tom--

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A lathe would be my first thought assuming a way of holding the piece in a chuck

Otherwise I would assume that you could freehand drill from each end, maybe using a jig to locate the hole and start it off straight. So long as they still meet in the middle you can then tweak with an extra long drill bit, eg a long auger. It won’t be perfect but the imperfect part is all internal.

The other option is to use 2 pieces of wood laminated together instead of one piece. You can then router a groove in the middle to form a channel before glue up.
 

Tris

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You can get 600mm auger bits in a set from Toolstation for about £20, probably not the best quality. If you aren't doing many lamps a set of these and an old hand brace will do the job cheaply.
From drilling these on a lathe I think a shell auger bit will stay straighter in end grain but they seem to be like hen's teeth these days
 

Ttrees

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I'm near finished making a indexing jig for my pillar drill, on the metalwork section with misleading title.
Should it be a one off, then might not be worth making a stop for the table, but scooting the drill over to a wall or something might be a quick solution,
since something of that length would need table rotated anyway, so possibly much simpler... provided you can hold the work well that is.


Tom
 

Jupiter

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Thank you everyone for replying.
I haven't got a lathe. If I got so far in woodworking to have a lathe, I probably would already know the answer to my question.
All I have at the moment is a drill, grinder, vice and a saw. No workshop - that is a luxury for me. Doing everything in the kitchen cos it ain't got carpets. Drilling by hand.
It is true that one doesn't need a very straight hole to put the cable through, but my lamps have all threaded rods hammered in on top covered by the tube covers of different metals. And if the hole in the lamp base isn't drilled straight those rods aren't straight and then I have to do "magic" with the bottom of the lamp base to fix that and as you can imagine it takes ages.
So I thought pillar drill or drill stand is the answer in this situation. But I came to learn there aren't any for deeper holes, so I came here to get advice.
I thought maybe I am looking for a wrong thing and could use something else for drilling straight vertical holes.
 

Bod

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Thank you everyone for replying.
I haven't got a lathe. If I got so far in woodworking to have a lathe, I probably would already know the answer to my question.
All I have at the moment is a drill, grinder, vice and a saw. No workshop - that is a luxury for me. Doing everything in the kitchen cos it ain't got carpets. Drilling by hand.
It is true that one doesn't need a very straight hole to put the cable through, but my lamps have all threaded rods hammered in on top covered by the tube covers of different metals. And if the hole in the lamp base isn't drilled straight those rods aren't straight and then I have to do "magic" with the bottom of the lamp base to fix that and as you can imagine it takes ages.
So I thought pillar drill or drill stand is the answer in this situation. But I came to learn there aren't any for deeper holes, so I came here to get advice.
I thought maybe I am looking for a wrong thing and could use something else for drilling straight vertical holes.

How many holes are you expecting to do?
What sort of diameter?
1 or 2 off, an old fashioned Brace and Bit will do the job easily.
100 or 200, then explore different methods/drill bits.
Could the hole be made in larger size wood, then the finished size taken from the hole, where ever it is.

Bod
 

Gordon Tarling

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Jupiter - You're going to struggle to find a pillar drill which has a quill travel much more than 100mm or so, unless it's a specialised industrial type. Keeping the hole straight enough is also going to be a problem without some sort of alignment jig. If you really do want to drill it, then a lathe is probably going to be you best bet, though you're probably going to need one with a long bed. Think I'd seriously conside the split in half, then routed solution if I had to do it. A thought I've just had - might be worth checking the gun making forums, as they have specialised techniques for drilling rifle barrels.

G
 

Richard_C

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I've just drilled a 300mm piece without an auger, albeit in a lathe but I reckon you could do it by hand with the piece horizontally in a vice and an electric drill.

When you think about it, what matters is that the hole at the top is central and the right diameter, what happens after that doesn't matter much. Even with an auger and the proper kit, the hole isn't likely to go straight down the middle because it will want to follow the grain. The chance of drilling from each end and getting them to meet are very slim.

I started from the bottom, 3mm pilot hole about 30 deep, normal bit. Followed that by a 35mm forstner also from the bottom. Could be any similar size but 35 is what I had. The forstner follows the pilot, at least until the 'wings' are fully in the wood then it guides itself well enough. You can probably get to 150 deep like that, keep pulling back and clearing. Then add an extension bar to the forstner. They are horribly floppy inaccurate things but the bit will still go straight enough. Stop when you are 50 or so from the top, a drill bit length. Then using a conventional 8mm or whatever bit, drill the hole that will be seen, from the top. . The chances of it meeting your long 35mm hole are very high. You can thread the cable from the top to get past the 'step'. A spade bit would do instead of a forstner but might wander more. The bigger hole at the bottom is handy because you can grab the cable and feed it out through a hole in the side. You could plug it if so minded.

Maybe too slow for doing lots, but it works.

I think you would struggle to find a pillar drill with enough clearance and enough feed travel.
 

Alasdair

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I have a cheap one I think from screwfix or [email protected] Its got performance power on it but the top of the drill can be rotated by releasing a couple of grub screws. It wont drill anywhere near 250mm but if you rotate it 90 degrees you may be able to drill 250mm in stages off the side of the bench using a long bit and then raising the wood(suitably clamped to something) in stages. Hope that makes sense It looks the same as this one under a different name. Its pretty cheap but might do the job.
 
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Jupiter

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Thank you very much guys, I am carefully reading all of your suggestions and I will check out all the options that were suggested in this thread.
You are awesome :-D Thank you for your support!
If someone else is going to read this thread and have a some other ideas or suggestions please let me know...
 
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