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Adrian McEwen edited this page Dec 29, 2019 · 1 revision

Chester Machines Tools D13R

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Nickname Make Model Where Manual Issue Tracker Status
Drill "Sergeant" Chester Machine Tools D13R CNC Workshop TBC Tool: Drill - Sergeant TBC

Class Orange Equipment Do not leave unattended Wear eye protection No loose clothing/hair No lone working

See full safety information below


This machine, a manual drill press (sometimes called a "pillar drill"), is used to make vertical holes in pretty much anything.

It's useful for small ad-hoc jobs. For higher volume production consider using a mill, and for higher accuracy consider using a laser cutter.

How it works

You put a bit in the chuck, tighten the chuck with a key, and then start the drill. Place your material on the drill bed and position it roughly under the drill bit. Use the levers on the drill to bring the drill bit closer to your material, but not touching, then adjust the position of the material so the drill bit is exactly over where you want to drill. Now you can lower the drill to make the hole, and then raise it up again quite a bit afterwards so it's not getting in the way of moving your material. Repeat as necessary.

Please remove the bit when you are done and put it back where you found it, or the next person (who will not know where it belongs) will put it aside and it will get lost.


  • Optional: Any machine specific specifications that are worth noting.


This was very generously donated to us by Jim Chadwick. He won it in a competition from Chester Machine Tools.

Using the machine

To use this machine, you'll need to:

  • Follow safety precautions
  • Obtain materials
  • Prepare drill
  • Drill holes
  • Reset drill

Let's get started...

Safety precautions

With a high speed rotating drill bit, this machine poses serious risk of injury.

Class Orange Equipment

  • Workshop Safety
  • Always turn off the drill when not in use
  • Never leave the drill unattended

Step 1: Obtain materials

need infos on what materials can be drilled, where to get them

Step 1: Prepare drill

  • You'll need a drill bit - they are in the drawer near the drill
    • need info about what drill bit to use for different materials, etc
  • Use the chuck key (it's usually attached to the drill by a bit of wire) to tighten the drill bit in the chuck

Depending on the height of your material, you'll want to use either the base table or the moveable one that slides up and down.

  • If using the base table, swing the other one sideways so it's not getting in the way
  • If using the other table, you can move it up and down, left or right, using the quick-release lever on the right
    • ⚠️ Make sure the drill bit still lines up with the hole in the table!
    • Using the three-pronged rotating levers, move the drill but towards the table to make sure it's lined up with, and easily goes in to, the hole in the table
  • Using the three-pronged rotating levers on the right side, raise the drill bit upwards so there's enough room to place your materials under it
  • If the table hole is too big to support the material you are drilling, you can put some scrap wood under your material to support it

Step 2: Drill holes

need info here about speed setting; small diameter drills may need higher speeds

  • Lift the flap on the front of the drill at the top, and press the green button to turn on the drill
  • Place your material on the platform
    • If it's a big piece of material, get someone to assist you - don't risk injury!
  • To drill a hole:
    • Use the rotating levers on the right to bring the bit closer to your material, but not touching
    • Reposition your material as necessary so the drill bit is directly above where you want to drill
    • Slowly lower the drill bit in to your material to make the hole
    • Once the hole is made, raise the drill bit up again to leave plenty of room for moving your material
  • Repeat as necessary for any additional holes

Step 3: Reset the drill

  • Turn off the drill using the red button at the top of the front of the drill
  • Wait for the chuck and bit to stop spinning - ensure they are completely stopped
  • Carefully remove your material and place on a nearby workbench or table
  • Using the chuck key, loosen the chuck and retrieve the drill bit
    • ⚠️ The drill bit may be very hot - be careful!
  • Put the drill bit back in the drawer so it doesn't get lost

Returning the drill bit to the drawer, rather than just leaving it in the drill, has proved a reliable way of reducing the number of bits that go missing. Please make sure you return it to the drawer!


If the advice below doesn't solve the problem, please create a new issue to let us know.



  • If the machine is broken or needs maintenance, create an issue in the issue tracker (link in Troubleshooting above)
    • Label the issue: Tool: Drill - Sergeant
    • If broken, add Broken label
    • If maintenance required, add Maintenance label
    • If parts or consumables need purchasing, add Shopping label

See also

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