Advantages of geared head auto feed drilling machines
- Peter Dawber
A geared head pillar drill with automatic spindle feed is a valuable addition to most workshops. This design allows the rapid selection of spindle speeds via levers on the front of the machine saving time over traditional belt drive changes. Automatic feed allows deep holes or holes through large sections to be drilled automatically, without operator intervention. So what other features should be considered if purchasing a machine of this type?
Features of a geared head pillar drill
Electromagnetic clutch for spindle drive
Modern geared head drills features an electromagnetic clutch to engage the spindle drive. As well as the convenience compared to engaging a mechanical clutch, this feature means the drill can easily double up as a tapping machine. In standard mode the buttons on the pull down handles engage the drive and the lower limit switch stops the drill and sends the spindle back to the top of it's stroke.
In models with tapping mode the functions change from standard drilling, with the operator engaging the tap and allowing it to start feeding as you would with a manual machine. The lower limit can be set for through holes or blind holes and, once reached, will momentarily stop the spindle and reverse the drill allowing the tap to feed back out. As the spindle returns to the top limit the rotation returns to the clockwise direction ready for the next hole. The buttons on the pull down handles will also reverse the spindle if required.
Other features to look out for
- Variable spindle speed - an inverter allows infinite speed control within the speed range of the machine
- Milling capability - with some models light milling can be performed by fitting a cross table and a collet chuck which bolts through to the spindle collar
- Tilting heads and tables - these allow holes to be drilled at an angle to the workpiece
- Powered rise and fall tables - makes table adjustment very quick and easy especially if changing from large to small components regularly
- Up and down movement of the head - the table can remain in line with roller track and the head be adjusted to suit the part size and required stroke
- Coolant systems - coolant drains from the drilling table to a pump in the base and is then recirculated back onto the drill bit
- Safety accessories - common safety features include braked motors, interlocked drill guards and working lights for better visibility
Find out more
Meyer produce a range of geared head pillar drills benefiting from most of these features and can be viewed using this link. To see the machines in more detail you can view our 360⁰ showroom tour or get in touch via our contact page to arrange a demonstration.