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Best Auto Feed Drilling Machine

Pmoore96

Plastic
Joined
Sep 21, 2022
I am looking for an easier system to drill and tap our cast iron service saddle pipe clamps that are used in the waterworks industries. Currently we are using an older Carlton Radial Arm Drill Machine but would like to find a smaller drill that can handle this work. We drill from 1/2" to 2" holes and tape them. The depth drilling is 1 1/2" thick approx. Usually drill & tap a few hundred parts per month.
I have seen several options with magnetic base, auto feed drills but thought there could be an more permanent stand type available. We really don't need the drill to be mobile. Any suggestions would be much appreciated.
 

DDoug

Diamond
Joined
Oct 18, 2005
Location
NW Pa
"Snow"
Find them used & rebuilt.
However tapping 2" will be hard to find.
IIRC there was a machine that did the larger sizes, I believe it was german made.
 

Garwood

Diamond
Joined
Oct 10, 2009
Location
Oregon
I am looking for an easier system to drill and tap our cast iron service saddle pipe clamps that are used in the waterworks industries. Currently we are using an older Carlton Radial Arm Drill Machine but would like to find a smaller drill that can handle this work. We drill from 1/2" to 2" holes and tape them. The depth drilling is 1 1/2" thick approx. Usually drill & tap a few hundred parts per month.
I have seen several options with magnetic base, auto feed drills but thought there could be an more permanent stand type available. We really don't need the drill to be mobile. Any suggestions would be much appreciated.

By 2" threads you mean 2" NPT?

I feel like you have the right tool for the job if it were 1975.

Doing it today, I would probably invest in a quality used CNC mill. I'd drill the smaller holes, mill the larger holes and threadmill all the threads. Plus slip in a nice upper and lower chamfer while you're there.

A few hundred of these a month is not manual machine territory in 2022.
 

Overland

Hot Rolled
Joined
Nov 19, 2017
Location
Greenville, SC
There's a huge amount of torque required to tap a 2" hole, and the radial arm drill is the classic tool.
CNC mill is the "new" way to do it, using quite a different method - thread milling.
If you're just looking to reduce the size of your machine, then I doubt a CNC mill will be any smaller.
Bob
 

technocrat

Hot Rolled
Joined
Feb 9, 2009
Location
Oz
Since 1" to 2" npt all have a pitch of 11-1/2 tpi, could making a small hi-torque custom machine for those larger sizes be an option? A tapping head could handle the smaller sizes.
 

CatMan

Hot Rolled
Joined
Apr 12, 2005
Location
Brandon, MS
I think you've got the right tool already, just need a smaller size.

What size drill do you currently have? You don't say what size pipe clamps they are, but I'd think you could get by with a Carlton drill with a 3' - 4' arm.
 

Pmoore96

Plastic
Joined
Sep 21, 2022
Thanks for you replies. I just found out that its all about the tapping which requires much more torque than hole cutting. I am changing from standard (2 or 3 step) drill bits to using an annular hole bit for one pass then tap. Just talked to a drill manufacturer who basically said a magnetic base drill would work for cutting hole but not for tapping.

I would like to have an auto fed drill press with that would work but not sure what HP motor I will need. Our Carlton machine had a 5hp, most stand up drill presses I am seeing have like 2hp. Not sure if that will work.
 

DDoug

Diamond
Joined
Oct 18, 2005
Location
NW Pa
Thanks for you replies. I just found out that its all about the tapping which requires much more torque than hole cutting. I am changing from standard (2 or 3 step) drill bits to using an annular hole bit for one pass then tap. Just talked to a drill manufacturer who basically said a magnetic base drill would work for cutting hole but not for tapping.

I would like to have an auto fed drill press with that would work but not sure what HP motor I will need. Our Carlton machine had a 5hp, most stand up drill presses I am seeing have like 2hp. Not sure if that will work.
post #3 is the answer in 2022.
stop thinking "tap" and "Drill press".
Helical interpolate with a thread mill tool, not a tap.
Cheapest machine might be a Cellcon.
 

Garwood

Diamond
Joined
Oct 10, 2009
Location
Oregon
Thanks for you replies. I just found out that its all about the tapping which requires much more torque than hole cutting. I am changing from standard (2 or 3 step) drill bits to using an annular hole bit for one pass then tap. Just talked to a drill manufacturer who basically said a magnetic base drill would work for cutting hole but not for tapping.

I would like to have an auto fed drill press with that would work but not sure what HP motor I will need. Our Carlton machine had a 5hp, most stand up drill presses I am seeing have like 2hp. Not sure if that will work.

What industry are you in?

I want to know because if you can make a living do it the way you are then anyone with the right equipment could make a killing do it.

Sounds like you are doing it very, very wrong.
 

Superbowl

Cast Iron
Joined
Feb 12, 2020
I am looking for an easier system to drill and tap our cast iron service saddle pipe clamps that are used in the waterworks industries. Currently we are using an older Carlton Radial Arm Drill Machine but would like to find a smaller drill that can handle this work. We drill from 1/2" to 2" holes and tape them. The depth drilling is 1 1/2" thick approx. Usually drill & tap a few hundred parts per month.
I have seen several options with magnetic base, auto feed drills but thought there could be an more permanent stand type available. We really don't need the drill to be mobile. Any suggestions would be much appreciated.
Sounds like what you need is something with low speed and high torque. Consider an older small manual lathe with a back gear and a purpose built mount for the fittings.
 

Pmoore96

Plastic
Joined
Sep 21, 2022
Here is a picture of one of our parts we drill and tap. Notice the top piece where the yellow is. The yellow is a protective cap but that hole is drilled and taped. The thickness of the top is no more that 1.5" thick. We were using standard type drill bits in several steps to achieve larger holes sizes. We also used core bits but still needed to have a couple steps. Now we testing annular with one drill pass then tapping. I would like to use the most simplest method. Any suggestions?
SS 6 SIDE.jpg
 

Nmbmxer

Hot Rolled
Joined
Jun 22, 2008
Location
VA
The largest hydraulic Flexarm is rated to tap 2" NPT in steel.

CNC is the fastest way nowadays and how most would approach it.
 

Peter Colman

Stainless
Joined
Sep 22, 2004
Location
Rugeley UK
In days gone by I made these on a big capstan lathe, while cnc is the modern way, capital cost is high if the volumes aren’t there.
A capstan is cheap to buy, tooling is simple, hold the part in special jaws, progressive drill to tapping size, screwcut and finish with a tap.
all very old school but worth considering.
 

Limy Sami

Diamond
Joined
Jan 7, 2007
Location
Norfolk, UK
Here is a picture of one of our parts we drill and tap. Notice the top piece where the yellow is. The yellow is a protective cap but that hole is drilled and taped. The thickness of the top is no more that 1.5" thick. We were using standard type drill bits in several steps to achieve larger holes sizes. We also used core bits but still needed to have a couple steps. Now we testing annular with one drill pass then tapping. I would like to use the most simplest method. Any suggestions?
View attachment 377077
A big old turret lathe with a simple fixture to hold the castings, ........ you want grunt to tap? such a machine will have the guts to twist the tap in half
 

Garwood

Diamond
Joined
Oct 10, 2009
Location
Oregon

So you guys have been making these parts since Christ was a cowboy, hundreds a month, selling through dealer networks and you make the parts on a Carlton drill from 70 years ago?

That's crazy!

I hope you guys get your shit into the current century before anyone figures out they can take your market away!

Just be careful. Don't post this information where anyone in manufacturing could see it!
 

hvnlymachining

Cast Iron
Joined
Jun 21, 2019
Location
St.Onge
I beat out " modern " factories and machine shop prices frequently with manual machines. Even on parts runs in the hundreds. It's not the machine, it's tooling, labor, machine maintenance, etc... Some parts are still faster on a Carlton or turret lathe. I doubt any cnc can thread as fast as a Geometric head! ( I know mine can't)
 

Overland

Hot Rolled
Joined
Nov 19, 2017
Location
Greenville, SC
I started to write a post that a big old capstan/turret lathe would eat this job up, but thought people wouldn't be interested, then two other Brits posted just that, funny.
You know it's all about cost, quality, response to the market, etc.
I'm not sure that a modern CNC would gain much in this part's costs, but maybe the company should be looking from a broader perspective. How many more of the parts are being run on very old style, maybe not very efficient equipment; rhetorical question.
Maybe the company should be thinking about modernizing their business in a more general sense.
Standing still is really going backwards.
Bob
 

boslab

Titanium
Joined
Jan 6, 2007
Location
wales.uk
An old Elliot 4e would drill it or tap it, tapping machines may not be the best option, I think I’d be fixturing it and using a lathe, tap in Chuck, part on saddle myself
Plenty of old manual lathes with torque enough for 2 or 3” easily
( I’ve tapped 2” on an old Harrison 12” swing, no problem)
Mark
 








 
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