Anyone ever see a radial arm drill press?

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Forum topic by srzsrz posted 06-24-2014 05:11 AM 4340 views 0 times favorited 24 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View srzsrz's profile


37 posts in 2880 days

06-24-2014 05:11 AM

Topic tags/keywords: drill press

This came by on my local craigslist. Anyone knows what it’s good for? I suppose if on some days, you want to drill holes in very large things, you extend the arm, but on others, you actually want the holes to be straight, so you shorten the arm to minimize flex?

24 replies so far

View Loren's profile


11031 posts in 4661 days

#1 posted 06-24-2014 05:34 AM

Useful for making some chair styles I suppose, or some
product you develop.

For general use it may speed up rare angled setups,
but that’s about it.

As with all machinery it depends on the work you do.

... if the price is nice though…

well, I wouldn’t pass if it was $60 and in town. I don’t
need it but it might be fun.

View Peter Oxley's profile

Peter Oxley

1427 posts in 4888 days

#2 posted 06-24-2014 05:35 AM

You see these around from time to time. I’m not really sure how practical they are. Drill holes in an arc pattern … drill holes in a row away from the post … tilting head for angled holes …

-- -- --

View Loren's profile


11031 posts in 4661 days

#3 posted 06-24-2014 06:05 AM

I will say they can pull out and drill far from the column. This
can be helpful once in awhile. I work around such limitations
by using a hand drill .

It would be a cool tool for a range of weird things you
might want to build. I suppose some Windsor chairmakers
use them to make the subtle angles, but most probably
use a brace with a spoon bit.

View runswithscissors's profile


3128 posts in 3038 days

#4 posted 06-24-2014 07:15 AM

I had the Rockwell version of that many decades ago. Like that one, it lacked a gear rack and cranked pinion for table elevation, which was really a PITA. You have to loosen the clamp, grasp the table with both hands, wiggle it back and forth to move it while lifting. Ugh. Not so bad going down, of course.

You can drill to the center of a very large circle, which is handy once in a while. They aren’t so good at drilling metal, as there is too much flex in the post and long arm.

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

View EEngineer's profile


1137 posts in 4627 days

#5 posted 06-24-2014 11:00 AM

What I would really like about one of these is the increased capacity. There are many times I was just a couple inches short of what I needed to do. As long as it works as well as a standard drill press with the head close to the vertical column, I wouldn’t mind having one of these. Finding the extra space needed behind it, though, would be tough in my shop.

-- "Find out what you cannot do and then go do it!"

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

6844 posts in 3507 days

#6 posted 06-24-2014 11:26 AM

The increased capacity is what I see as the strength of these things, along with the ability to tilt for angled holes. I think they would be superior for woodworking if a high quality one was ever built.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View distrbd's profile


2252 posts in 3460 days

#7 posted 06-24-2014 12:25 PM

If I had a choice between a regular/single column drill press or a radial type ,I would choose the regular ,unless the radial DP is designed for industrial use,I had a chance to buy an old radial DP but was told the further you drill from the main column ,the more the head would flex which would result in inaccurate holes.

-- Ken from Ontario, Canada

View Buckethead's profile


3196 posts in 2882 days

#8 posted 06-24-2014 12:40 PM

While attributed to Spiro Agnew, it was actually William Sapphire who coined the phrase “nattering nabobs of negativism”. May God have mercy on his soul.

Buy the danged thing! It’s awesome!

-- Support woodworking hand models. Buy me a sawstop.

View Nubsnstubs's profile


1768 posts in 2743 days

#9 posted 06-24-2014 12:46 PM

I bought the Delta Rockwell version back in mid 78, and by the end of 78, I wished I hadn’t. I’m not one for having to square things before use. It took 3 years to finally decide I had enough of it and I ended up getting a drill press made in 1912, and it’s been great…..... Jerry (in Tucson)

-- Jerry (in Tucson)

View dhazelton's profile


2839 posts in 3310 days

#10 posted 06-24-2014 12:48 PM

I guess a tilt head is the advantage over a tilt table. Drilling holes in a chair seat for splayed legs or whatever. I’d bolt it to a bench as it looks a bit top heavy.

View Ripthorn's profile


1459 posts in 3998 days

#11 posted 06-24-2014 01:09 PM

These are fairly common in metalworking, much more so than in woodworking. They are great for times when you need to drill lots of angled holes or increased capacity. A well built one does not suffer from flex and actually works quite well.

-- Brian T. - Exact science is not an exact science

View distrbd's profile


2252 posts in 3460 days

#12 posted 06-24-2014 01:51 PM

Yeah ,be positive ,”buy the danged thing”, it may not end up to be a door stopper .

-- Ken from Ontario, Canada

View bigblockyeti's profile


7097 posts in 2734 days

#13 posted 06-24-2014 01:59 PM

I’ve seen them used almost exclusively in metalworking and typically with much larger machines. That one is quite small relative to what I have experience with. We had one at work with a 12” vertical column and 8” round horizontal quill support. It really didn’t get used much after the 5 axis cnc.

-- "Lack of effort will result in failure with amazing predictability" - Me

View wiswood2's profile


1138 posts in 4709 days

#14 posted 06-24-2014 03:25 PM

I have a grizzly that is about 8 years old I use it all the time.

-- Chuck, wiswood2

View gtbuzz's profile


427 posts in 3455 days

#15 posted 06-24-2014 03:51 PM

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