How To Use The Pillar Drill Safely

Power tools, if not used with due precautions, can represent a source of risk for the operator. Let’s see what precautions the pillar drill requires.

Each activity has its risks, especially when it comes to crafts that require the use of machinery such as saws, drills, hammers, other potentially dangerous equipment if not used with due caution and precautions. In fact, accidents at work are mainly due to carelessness and failure to apply basic safety standards, not to mention the correct use of equipment and its regular maintenance.



In the field of woodworking, the machines that represent the main source of risk are above all saws and drills; in our article, therefore, we will see how to best manage the drill press in order to use it safely and minimize the potential risks for the operator.

The tool that presents the greatest risks is always the most underestimated one
It is no coincidence that we have chosen to talk about the pillar drill; in the specific field of woodworking this tool, together with milling machines, tends to be too underestimated in terms of safety.

If a much higher level of attention is developed towards the various types of saws and planes, in fact, precisely because they are cutting tools that offer a clear perception of their potential danger, while milling machines and drills are mistakenly viewed with less concern. Yet even the possibility of having the best drill press , as far as reliability and quality are concerned, absolutely does not protect the operator from the dangers associated with the use of this machine.

The potential risks presented by this specific tool are the following: entanglement and dragging with the spindle, the sudden projection at high speeds of chips and debris of other materials, the occurrence of possible injuries due to impact and dragging, and entanglement or crushing with the motion transmission organs.



These are the most striking cases, of course, but the risk case history is further extended if we also want to take into account any improper use of the power tool; so let’s try to establish the main parameters to be respected before, during and after using the drill press.

The preliminary operations


In the case of a recent purchase of the appliance, the first thing to do is to carry out a careful examination of it, especially if it is a model intended for hobby use. In fact, column drills of the hobby category are often characterized by a mediocre assembly and by an inaccurate quality control, mainly due to their cheapness; this does not mean that these drills are to be thrown away, in fact the exact opposite.

If you have the patience to carry out a meticulous check of the power tool, in fact, by disassembling and reassembling the main components, you can correct all the imperfections and further increase its reliability and safety.

Before starting the check, it is necessary to consult the instruction manual of the appliance, especially the section relating to safety and precautions for use, as well as the exploded diagram of the machine, if present, where all the parts and the order to follow are indicated. disassembly and reassembly.

During the check it is necessary to check the positioning and the presence of the safety devices, the protection screen and make sure that it is intact, clean and transparent, whether or not there is a device for locking the workpieces, check the spindle and the mechanism locking the bits in place, check the gearbox gears and make any necessary adjustments. Some of these checks can be carried out safely “dry”, ie with the power tool turned off, for others, however, it is necessary to connect it to the power supply and start it.

The first check, therefore, must be static and involve all the mechanical parts and their correct assembly. Once this step has been carried out, you can finally proceed with the “running in” of the appliance, in order to check the correct functioning of the suction system, the transmission and, above all, the effectiveness of the locking and protection devices, as well as of the device for emergency stop.

The precautions to be taken during use


The first cause of accidents, during the use of the drill press, is represented by the sudden breaking of the tips, followed immediately after by the sudden movement of the pieces undergoing machining.

As for the breaking of the tips, the first rule to follow is to always use certified quality accessories; in fact, more often than not, especially in the amateur and hobby sector, we tend to look to savings rather than quality, and we do not realize how dangerous this approach can be for the operator.



The low-cost tips, in fact, are made with poor steel and break with extreme ease under stress; the risk of the fragments being shot towards the operator’s face and eyes is therefore higher than one might imagine.

Obviously, breakage can also happen to a high quality tip, especially if this is particularly worn, so it is good to remember to also check the condition of the accessories before using them, especially if they are used regularly and more or less intensively. Furthermore, in case of sudden blockage of the bit in the workpiece, before lifting the spindle, you must always turn off the drill, because lifting it with the motor running could easily lead to the breaking of the bit.

The same goes for the pieces subjected to machining, these must always be firmly locked to the work surface by means of the special clamps and before starting the drill; It is absolutely forbidden to use your hands to block the piece, regardless of its size.

Further precautions to be followed are the use of adequate clothing and additional personal protective equipment, especially for the eyes and hands.


Post-work operations


After using the drill press, you must not simply turn off the machine, but you must also remove the tip from the spindle and subject the power tool to a thorough cleaning without using compressed air, because this would push dust and shavings into the interstices of the mechanical parts, clogging the appliance.

Instead, it is advisable to use a vacuum cleaner and carefully remove all dust residues, not only from the work surface but above all from the spindle, from the motor cooling slots, from the transmission and from all other parts subject to movement.

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