Pillar Drill

  • Pillar Drill
  • Workshop Category: W3
  • Workshop Risk Category: Yellow Label



Suitable only for Perspex/acrylic, wood, some metals, according to type of drill bit (e.g. H.S.S., Tungsten
Carbide). If in doubt ask.

The pillar drill has a motor driven head that has a chuck that accepts bits or cutters. It also has an adjustable table on which the work is mounted. It is operated by pulling a rotary lever which lowers the drill bit into the material. To avoid accidents, the following operational safety rules must be observed by everyone working on the pillar drill.

Start with a Risk Assessment to ensure a safe work area:

  1. The area around the drill press must be kept clear of people, debris and sawdust.
  2. Safety glasses or a face shield must be worn. Hearing protection should be worn.
  3. Remove loose fitting clothing, jewellery, and tie back long hair.
  4. Give the work your undivided attention.
  5. Do not wear gloves or anything that would allow a hand, fingers or clothing to be wrapped around the revolving bit.

Operational Safety Rules:

  1. Approach your work in the workshop and on the drill press with a safe attitude.
  2. Make all drill press adjustments with the power shut off.
  3. Keep all guards and covers on the machine when it is on and running.
  4. Make sure the size of the bit is equal to or less than the capacity of the drill press.
  5. Use the recommended speed for the material you are drilling (the harder the material the slower thespeed).
  6. It is good practice to centre punch the drill-hole location into the stock.
  7.  Insert bit into drill chuck and tighten.
  8. Use a clamp or vice to securely fasten the stock to the drill press table. Never attempt to handhold stock while drilling.
  9. Drill into cylindrical stock using a “V” block.
  10. Long stock should be drilled with the excess to the left of the operator. So if the stock rotates it will hit the post, not the operator.
  11. Support the underside of the stock to be drilled with a backer board secured to the drill press table.
  12. Never start the machine without the table clear of everything except the stock you are drilling.
  13. Keep hands and fingers at least 8cm from rotating drill bits.
  14. When drilling deep holes, frequently raise the drill bit from the hole to remove cuttings and cool the bit.
  15. When you begin to break through the underneath side of the stock, ease up on the pressure as to not tear the wood from the underneath side.
  16. If a drill bit binds, turn off the drill press and carefully turn the drill chuck backwards by hand to free the drill bit.
  17. Never reach around or under a rotating drill bit or grab the chuck to stop a drill press. This can result in hand puncture or other serious injury.
  18. Turn the drill press off before looking up or walking away from the machine.
  19. Never stop the rotation of the drill chuck, spindle, or stock rotating on the bit with your hands or fingers.
  20. Don’t touch the drill bit and shavings since they are hot immediately after drilling. Wait until they have cooled down.
  21. Always clean the drill press table and work area upon completion of the drilling task. Do not use your hands or blow the drill shavings, use a bench brush.


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