It's absolute joy to follow your in-depth reports on any of your doings.
Keep it up! :}
@Lia said ):
... I'll have to get a pillar drill ...
I'm amazed how much investments you are willing to put in the project. My own stubborn standpoint (not sating to be the best one) on equipments is - if anything takes a load of space out of your working area, it better be good! And pillar drills of any kind are big. You might don't wanna get a cheap random one to start sorting out all the wobbles and non-stiffness.
There are a handful of jigs out there.
I've got this hand-held one (merely woodworking oriented). But if you manage to find smth similar with THIS ... being more like flat frame with less "simple" clamping bolts leaving more space to add some clamping screws up to your liking accordingly the characteristics of workpiece material.
Plus usage of cobalt twist drill bits .. plus comfortable and precise hand-held tool .. plus some practice on samples first .. and you can make wonders.
If you are more experienced with step drill bits and find more trust in those .. then ignore everything I just put down.