Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Radial Drill - How to Use / How Useful

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Radial Drill - How to Use / How Useful

    I've got a chance to buy a 3' radial arm drill. It's an American Tool Works Hole Wizard, which I think would look great next to my ATW Pacemaker lathes. And, ever since spotting a decrepit Niles radial arm drill at the Illinois Railway Museum as a teenager, I've thought it'd be cool to have one someday. At one point, I bought a large knuckle drill, which is still on my BIL's farm and used regularly.

    This particular drill is somewhat pricey and would be quite a drive for me, so I'm wondering whether or not it really makes sense for me to chase after it. The knuckle drill is actually super useful on larger items (which, admittedly, only really crop up on the farm) because it's so quick and easy to position. Finding a pilot hole or large center punch is easy because it doesn't lock.

    How hard is it to locate holes under a radial drill? I'm used to either using a drill press and letting the work walk its way to center or using a center-finder in a milling machine where I can make minute adjustments to x and y. How do you pick up holes / features with a radial arm drill?

    (By the way, I'm in this predicament thanks to the friendly advice offered here: https://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net/fo...-some-guidance I started scouring the auctions looking for a sand blasting cabinet. In the process I stumbled across a bunch of machine tools I think I really need )

  • #2
    Do you need to make big holes?

    they're a great tool, Locating work is quite easy, on mine you real power clamps and the head can rotate and move up and down the arm. I usually start drilling and quickly lock as the drill force pulls the head to where it needs to be be.

    I don't think they go for much, a lot of that function is made up for with cnc interpolation or mag drills on structural....but there's still lots of times they are just thing. If you have space it would be like adding a horizontal, maybe yesterdays tool for production, but super useful in home/maintenance type shop

    gratuitous shot of the "The Spaniard". Probably the most dangerous tool in the shop

    Last edited by Mcgyver; 02-03-2020, 08:43 AM.
    .

    Comment


    • #3
      It's a while since I used a radial drill, but it was a really pleasant experience; no troubles with finding and centring on a hole, everything was really smooth. Easy to lock the head in position, power downfeed and lots of torque plus power elevation of the arm.

      A 3' is a nice size for the larger home shop. Not ridiculously large. You might need to bolt it down if you plan to have the arm at right angles to the table and rack the head out to the end - watch the stability.

      Radial drills fall in the same category as planers & shapers - not part of the modern machine world, but great machines all the same. Go for it!

      Ian
      All of the gear, no idea...

      Comment


      • #4
        I love radial drills, best thing since sliced bread and the only option before mag based slugger drills came along.Great for drilling and reaming out sized work pieces, most will also tap holes given they have a mechanical fwd/rev clutch on the spindle.
        I just need one more tool,just one!

        Comment


        • #5
          That picture is incredibly sexy.
          Just saying.

          -Doozer
          DZER

          Comment


          • #6
            Since it is something you have "thought it would be cool to have someday", I think you need to get it.

            Comment


            • #7
              Knuckle drill... new one on me. Pic pls?

              Comment


              • #8
                How fast can you locat the hole and drill it? Here is my experience.

                I have ran a radial drill on the job, back in the 1990's. It was a big Carlton drill with a 6-foot arm and through coolant. I was drilling splice plates for bridge beams. I was able to drill a hole through 4" thick mild steel, 15/16 dia at a rate of one hole every minute or two, at 525 RPM. 60 holes per plate in an hour or two. So yes you can locate and drill pretty quickly.

                The trick is to have a very large and generous center-pop mark to locate on, then you can "feel" the point of the bit drop into the punch mark, lock the travels and pull the clutch.

                Dress the tip of your center punch to 90 degrees and smack it once, as hard as you can, with a 2-lb hammer. At least that worked for me.
                Last edited by nickel-city-fab; 02-03-2020, 10:52 AM. Reason: clarity, explanation

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Mcgyver View Post

                  gratuitous shot of the "The Spaniard". Probably the most dangerous tool in the shop.
                  It appear that "the Spaniard" is not anchored to the floor, wouldn't it be less dangerous if it was?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    A beautiful machine indeed! They're a lump, and top heavy, so careful with lifting & rigging.

                    Dunc, I think he means one of these when he mentions knuckle drills: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Meddings-...kAAOSwMIVdsFtS

                    A normal column drill with an extra joint. A sort of po'boy radial drill.

                    Ian
                    All of the gear, no idea...

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Dunc View Post
                      Knuckle drill... new one on me. Pic pls?
                      Broken arm drill?
                      https://www.practicalmachinist.com/footburt.jpg

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_2358.PNG
Views:	169
Size:	2.28 MB
ID:	1853088Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_2358.PNG
Views:	161
Size:	2.28 MB
ID:	1853089 Just got this little Swede up and running,it ugly right now but that will change.I think it's a little over 2 ft arm and is easy to position,especially since I added power elevation and locking setup that's user friendly.Larger holes will done with Annular Cutters 80% of the time with this unit.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          you really know that you've arrived in the machining world when you have a radial drill You'll also then have another hobby of scanning auction sites for MT drills and annular cutters to fit. If you work on stuff big enough to need one, I can see how they'd be very useful. If you don't, it still looks cool and you can occasionally drill some 1" holes in thick steel plate for entertainment/ impressing the ladies.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by mattthemuppet View Post
                            you really know that you've arrived in the machining world when you have a radial drill You'll also then have another hobby of scanning auction sites for MT drills and annular cutters to fit. If you work on stuff big enough to need one, I can see how they'd be very useful. If you don't, it still looks cool and you can occasionally drill some 1" holes in thick steel plate for entertainment/ impressing the ladies.
                            Ja, there's no way I could justify one even if I had the space and the money. It would have to be a money maker. The only ladies that will be impressed are kinda hairy.... that said, you can do some pretty huge jobs with one. Its almost like a HBM turned on its side.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              We have an ancient radial, it is a loud, smelly cantankerous beast. Excellent for large work

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X