Let’s see together for which applications one of the most popular power tools is used, both in the hobby and professional fields: the pillar drill.
The drill is a tool that is used to drill holes in different types of materials, but which can also be used to perform other types of machining based on the use of rotating bits, such as threaders, reamers, countersinks, counter bores, the twist drills and the dies, just to name a few.
Given its characteristics, the drill is one of the most popular tools and is used for a wide range of applications, both in the amateur and artisanal field as well as professional and industrial; in addition to this feature, moreover, the drill is also distinguished by its dimensions, by the type of power supply, which can be manual or electric, and by the different types in which it is carried out, depending on the specific type of work that is required to carry out.
In our article we will examine in more detail a particular family of drills, namely those defined as a column, trying to illustrate how they are made and for which applications they are used.
How a pillar drill is made
This variant of the drill is called “column” precisely because of its structure. The motor and the spindle, in fact, are placed in a vertical position on a structure called “head”, which is in turn mounted on a column that ends with a base; at a certain height of the column, then, there is the work surface on which the pieces to be processed are clamped.
Whether it is a large model for industrial use or a simple bench drill press for hobbyists, therefore, this is its typical structure, and any variations in it are subject only to the specific intended use of the machine.
The variations mainly concern the base, which in some cases can also act as a work surface (just think of the mini drills) and the head; as mentioned before, in fact, this houses both the motor and the spindle on which the various tips are mounted.
The motor can be brushless or induction for example, depending on the model and price, and is usually placed behind the spindle; the latter is in turn connected to a “rudder”, which can consist of a cross lever or a handwheel. Thanks to the drawbar it is possible to raise or lower the spindle during the machining of the piece.
On the head there is also the box with the transmission mechanism, which transmits the movement from the motor to the rotating shaft of the spindle. Also in this case the transmission mechanism varies according to the model chosen, and can be belt or gear.
The belt drive is generally used on column drills with manual feed, or on those that mount bits with a diameter of less than 30 millimeters; the reason for this distinction is given by the fact that this type of transmission, if subjected to too high loads, tends to slip and lose grip on the rotating shaft. The gear transmission, on the other hand, is mainly used on pillar drills with automatic feed and on those that mount bits with a diameter greater than 30 millimeters.
The transmission box also allows you to change the rotation speed of the drill according to the type of work to be performed or according to the degree of hardness of the material on which to work.
The worktop, on the other hand, can already have clamps or be prepared for the assembly of different systems for blocking the pieces to be processed; this factor depends very much on the dimensions of the power tool, which also affect its location in the working environment.
Being a rotary tool, in fact, the drill press generates vibrations and could easily induce movement in the workpiece or in the power tool itself, if both are not properly locked in position.
Column drills intended for industrial use do not have this type of problem, as they are very heavy and bulky stationary machines, but column drills for hobby and craft use, as well as precision mini drills, must necessarily be bolted to a workbench in order to offer a stable and safe platform for the operator.
The primary purpose of the drill, as we also mentioned at the beginning of our article, is to drill holes with a high degree of precision, but depending on the type of bit that is mounted on the spindle it is also possible to perform other types of machining. For this reason, its applications are many and this power tool is used at different levels, from do-it-yourself and do-it-yourself to professional and industrial uses.
The drill best selling column for example, both in the field of both professional and hobby, is to woodworking and carpentry, where it is used to drill holes in the pieces to be subjected to subsequent assembly. The holes are drilled perpendicularly, but some drill presses offer the possibility of tilting the work surface up to 45 °, so that you can drill holes at precise angles.
The category to which the drill belongs and the maximum diameter of the tips that can be mounted on the spindle also greatly affects the type of material on which this electric tool is able to work; In fact, wood is not the only one, even plastic and metal, in certain areas, can be subjected to processing with a pillar drill, consequently the latter is also used in mechanical workshops, factories, factories and everywhere there is a need to drill precision holes by working flat.
The mini versions, on the other hand, are used for the same reasons but on small pieces, so they are used above all by precision engineers and mechanics, goldsmiths, dental technicians, model makers, and other professionals or craftsmen who perform work on orders of decidedly large sizes reduced.