How to Make a Hole Using a Pillar Drill

Updated July 20, 2017

Pillar drill is another name for a freestanding drill press. This type of drill has its own stand, rather than having to be on a workbench for you to use it. You can drill several different types of holes with a pillar drill. You can drill all of them straight through an object, or you can set the pillar drill on the table at an angle to accommodate different angle holes. Making a hole with the pillar drill is relatively straight forward and takes only a few minutes to set up and a few seconds to drill.

Slip the shank of the desired size drill bit into the chuck of the pillar drill. Slide the round stud of the chuck key into the hole in the side of the chuck, and mesh the teeth on the chuck key with the teeth on the chuck. Turn the chuck key clockwise until the jaws of the chuck close securely around the shank of the drill bit.

Position a piece of scrap lumber underneath the drill bit. Plug in the pillar drill and turn it on.

While holding the scrap lumber with your left hand, pull down on the pillar drill handle with your right hand until the tip of the drill bit meets the scrap lumber. Apply sufficient pressure on the pillar drill handle to feed the drill bit through the scrap lumber, completing the drilling of a hole with the pillar drill.


Feed the drill bit through the lumber slowly enough so that the drill bit does not overheat from too much pressure yet fast enough that the wood does not burn from the rotation of the drill bit.


Read and follow all the instructions that come with power tools. Wear safety glasses when operating power tools.

Things You'll Need

  • Drill bit set
  • Scrap lumber
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About the Author

Tom Price began writing in 1989 after earning his master's degree in English at the University of Notre Dame. He has served in positions ranging from features writer to the managing editor of the "Daily Herald." Before college, Price was a GM factory trained tech and owner/operator/truck-driving instructor. He is also a private pilot as well as a lifelong expert boater and woodworker.