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  1. #1
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    Default radial arm drills

    Hope i'm in the right category. Generally speaking going no larger than 4 ft. arm what are considered the better american made radial arm drills say between post world war 2 and 1975 or 80 thank you for reading, Clyde

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    Carlton is often touted as "the best" American made radial drill. However, I don't think you can go wrong with any of the big name players that made radials: American, Fosdick, Cincinnati Bickford, etc. At this stage in the game, finding one in good condition is going to be much more important than whether or not that brand might have been "the best" when it was new.

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    Quote Originally Posted by steelsponge View Post
    Hope i'm in the right category. Generally speaking going no larger than 4 ft. arm what are considered the better american made radial arm drills say between post world war 2 and 1975 or 80 thank you for reading, Clyde
    "No larger than 4 ft" you will probably find a Taiwanese knock-off that is sixty years newer the better deal.

    All three radials 3', 5', 8', I used in the early 1960's were built between First and Second World wars.

    More powerful portables, mag base especially, ELSE BIG mills, portal, gantry, bridge, etc. that could do far more operations, far faster, than ignorant 90-degree to axis holes began consuming most of the radial DP "new" market by around the Korean War period. Then came NC/CNC...

    The "classical" all-manual radial DP can still earn a crust on suitable work, but fewer places actually NEED them enough to dedicate even the space and power budget if the DP itself was "free".

    As some ARE. Nasty machines to remove, rig, transport, and re-install, larger sizes about as tough a rig as machine-tools generally get for their tipsy mass.

    Disclaimer: Much as I loved radials, I have an Alzmetall AB5/S 7 HP "column" drill. Fixed throat depth, but mass and height aside, it needs less floorspace than a BirdPort mill and not a Hell of a lot more space than say "one and a half" tiny Walker-Turners.

    Radials, OTOH, need ROOM, often most of it for the work, not just their own selves. Think drilling into the middle of the side of a mining car body. Hole isn't large. Mining car IS. Without lots of bring-to, position favourably, and take-away space a decent radial is crippled. Enter high-end mag-base or chained-on portables.

    And then.. water jet, laser, etc. holes made BEFORE a plate even becomes a part of a larger structure.

    2CW

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    Quote Originally Posted by thermite View Post
    "No larger than 4 ft" you will probably find a Taiwanese knock-off that is sixty years newer the better deal.
    I have a 3ft 9 in column Taiwan radial and have used a same size Carlton. There's no comparison. The Carltons are a real machine. The imports are a delicate copy.

    I've used Carlton and Cincinnatti Bickford. The Carlton's just looked like the best of the best to me, but the Cincinnatti worked fine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Garwood View Post
    I have a 3ft 9 in column Taiwan radial and have used a same size Carlton. There's no comparison. The Carltons are a real machine. The imports are a delicate copy.

    I've used Carlton and Cincinnatti Bickford. The Carlton's just looked like the best of the best to me, but the Cincinnatti worked fine.
    Carleton, Cannedy-Otto, Cincinnati-Bickford, American.. ..Asquith... yah. No argument.

    But where - in TODAY's wurld - d'you find one not already wore-out before Richard Nixon was thrown-out?

    Especially a "baby" one - 5 foot, prolly even more so 8 footers being the more common sizes?

    You did say you HAVE a Taiwanese one, right?


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    There might have been other US made radial drills that had horizontal boring mill "type spindles". But Carlton and American are the only two that I know of. To me that alone makes them the best. Finding one in good condition in that size might be hard to do.

    Andy

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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy St View Post
    There might have been other US made radial drills that had horizontal boring mill "type spindles". But Carlton and American are the only two that I know of. To me that alone makes them the best. Finding one in good condition in that size might be hard to do.

    Andy
    I have that "type" of spindle on an AB5/S "column" drill. 5 MT, dual azures, one for knock-out drift, the other for locking drift/key.

    However...only 15" of throat before an edge would hit the column. So I'd have been delighted to have had a small radial instead. Usta say the pre-WWII 8-foot American at Galis was so lovely to work with I cudda married her, she hadn't been so old, loose, and grubby.

    .. but still... that 7 HP AB5/S was built early 1950's in "West" Germany. Not a lot about it one could class as "delicate". At right around 4400 lbs avoir, it is only about half a ton lighter than the mill.

    Pure Bullshit LUCK to find one with no slop in the spindle.

    Grand-Old radials are more akin to unicorns. ANY condition, not just "good".
    And then one has to rig-out, TRANSPORT, and rig-in? $$$$

    Too difficult. Too expensive.

    Ergo too many went too long begging for a new home, found it to be the breakers, then a smelter.

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    Default unknown radial drill

    had to reply to this post as I have an old beast with no name, it does have a variable speed motor and can be had for cheap.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails radial_drill_3.jpg   radial_drill_2.jpg   radial_drill_1.jpg  

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    I have seen and found several Carlton's that weren't beat to snot and still capable of plenty of good work. I'd love to have one, but I have no room inside the shop to put one, and they don't take kindly to rain, snow, and ice......I don't know where the Johanssen's (sp?) were built, but I've seen a couple of pretty nice versions of those, too. There was one at the auction I was at this very morning that was well cared for. Somebody got a very nice machine. I bought 2 more Kurt vises and a pretty nice end mill grinder with all the collets......and they all fit in the back of the pickup with room to spare.

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    Quote Originally Posted by thermite View Post
    Carleton, Cannedy-Otto, Cincinnati-Bickford, American.. ..Asquith... yah. No argument.

    But where - in TODAY's wurld - d'you find one not already wore-out before Richard Nixon was thrown-out?

    Especially a "baby" one - 5 foot, prolly even more so 8 footers being the more common sizes?

    You did say you HAVE a Taiwanese one, right?

    I've only seen one radial that was beat down tired. Most of them seem to sit around unused for a lot of their lives. I think big CNC's replaced most radial drill jobs.

    I have a Taiwan one because a friend gave it to me. I've passed by the same size Carlton in perfect shape for $500 because I use a radial drill every once in awhile and could do absolutely anything my little guy can and more on my HBM. Sometimes the radial is the perfect tool, but most time it just sits.

    I'm considering buying a big lot of machinery right now that includes a perfect condition 6ft arm Carlton and the Carlton is the machine I'm on the fence about. It is 25k lbs of PITA to move and it probably isn't going to resell for more than the cost to move it.

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    The smaller radials are harder to find. If somebody was ordering a machine and they were giving up a big chunk of floor space, might as well get a 4ft or larger radial so it had some serious advantage over a big camelback drill press. Price was probably not much different between a 3ft and 5ft weight would not be significantly different, so go with a bigger machine. Get up to 6 or 8ft and they get HUGE, though.

    Main use of the radial at work is power tapping large diam holes in pipe flange adapters and other large drilling jobs. As usual, for one off or two-three pieces, which is what we usually do, it's faster to set up than the CNC and doesn't interfere with other CNC work that might be set up already.

    I find my Fosdick in the home shop to be used very little, but that's because I don't do the size stuff as at work. On the rare occasion I do use it, nothing else will work. It has an ENORMOUS work envelope compared to any of my other machines, especially under the spindle. Works amazingly well with the Universal boring/facing head for making really big holes when a huge drill is not available.

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    This ones been for sale for years. They drop the price every once in awhile.
    I think it started at around $3000.Radial Drill Press - tools - by owner - sale


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