Frankie Howerd would've been proud of that one!

In keeping with the title, the rest of the post is a minefield of unintentional innuendo: who said drilling holes was boring (groan). Read on!

Oh pillar drill, why did I forsake thee!


Did a test run of my new panel drilling 'rig' yesterday. When I bought the drill I was trying to find one that had variable speed but didn't cost the earth but it seems those two criteria are mutually exclusive. The one I settled on was a bench-top one from Fox here in the Midlands (keeping it local, yo!) which was a reasonable price but the speed selection is done via 5 pulleys and the slowest speed only goes down to 500RPM. Hmmm...

From doing the speed calculations I could already see that drilling anything over 16mm was going to be 'challenging' so I setup a little test piece with some scrap aluminium, dug out the safety goggles and, armed with a squirty-bottle of lubricant, set out to see how far I could comfortably drill with my biggest step-drill (unibit)!

Unfortunately, another stumbling block was the hole in the middle of the drill table. It's only 20mm diameter which was a bit small for my testing purposes. Always the problem-solver, I fashioned a table add-on (a piece of kitchen worktop that I cut a 60mm hole in) and we were set!

I got to 24mm before it started to complain a lot which is not bad at all. I generally finish all holes by hand with hand-reamers and the biggest holes I've needed in the past have been around 21-22mm (XLRs) so I'm well covered!

So from now on....massive pain-free holes. What on earth did you think I was talking about!?

diy panel drilling

Published on by Neil Baldwin.