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radial arm drill

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madge

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Hi all, I'm looking for a benchtop drill and came across this radial arm jobby at axminster:

http://www.axminster.co.uk/axminster-ax ... rod719353/

The reviews on the site for both the freestanding and benchtop versions are very positive, and i like that it is has such a big throat (40mm). I considered getting an old meddings etc. but the versatility of this one is appealing.

Does anyone have one or similar? Are they any good?
 

Cheshirechappie

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It depends entirely on the duties you'd want it to perform. For pushing drills up to about 1" into wood, it should be fine, but it looks too flimsy to drill, say, accurate 1/2" holes in mild steel. The phrase 'designed for the home workshop' means built down to a price, rather than to a quality specification - though that doesn't necessarily mean it's complete rubbish; several reviewers clearly think enough of it to be positive.

The likes of Meddings, Fobco etc. will always perform a bit better (unless they have been really hammered) because the spindle designs and tolerances of manufacture are better, and the general fit and finish of the whole machine tends to be higher quality (and consequently pricier). They also tend to run more quietly as a result of their better alignment tolerances and fits.

If you need precision drilling in metals, or heavy usage for sustained periods, the higher-spec machines will be a far better bet. For lightish intermittent use, the Axi should be satisfactory.
 

Mike.S

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I bought that exact one a few weeks ago as I had to drill about 200 x 9mm holes in a 75mm strip of 18mm thick ply.

Seems solidly made and straightforward to assemble (need 2 people to mount radial arm on stem/base). Negatives? Drilled slightly out of true in that (when standing in front of machine) the drill point ended up around 1mm further away from me at the bottom of hole over a 75mm depth. Haven't had time/need to check whether this was because the table or the chuck was not true - I suspect from eyeballing that it's the table.

Oh, BTW, put my back out (an old injury) and unable to work on my project for 2 weeks whilst lowering the 40kg drill from workbench to the floor :oops:. So, remember to bend your knees!

Conclusion: accurate enough for general woodworking, but as others have noted about these types of drill, not well enough engineered for precision work. I'm happy with my purchase.
 

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Grahamshed

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I to have been considering this drill for a while but it seems to me that one of the main advantages of the radial arm ( apart from the bigger throat ) is that you could twist the frill round for horizontal drilling should the need occur..... and the write up says the spindle can drop out if you do this. Dont really understand that bit but it is making me think for longer than I would have.
 

RogerP

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Grahamshed":kc95sywl said:
.... and the write up says the spindle can drop out if you do this. Dont really understand that bit but it is making me think for longer than I would have.
I think all they mean is if you use it horizontally with say a buffing wheel, a sanding drum or anything that doesn't have the pressure in line with the spindle then the taper could loosen and the chuck shank come loose. This applies to all drill presses (even used vertically) with a tapered shank (most). Using it horizontally for drilling should be okay as the pressure will be in line with the spindle.
 

madge

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thanks all for the replies, I think I'll pull the trigger this weekend. It will be used mainly for drilling wood, so it doesn't have to be a tank, and the lesser weight of it might make it a bit more movable around the workshop. My only concern is mike's comment regarding the the 1mm drift on deeper holes. a lot of cheaper drills have some play in the quil - mike, when the drill is fully lowered is there any wobble?
 

Mike.S

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No wobble. The drill bit rotates true. The 'drift' isn't that the drill bit is moving out of line as the hole progresses. Rather, I believe, it's due to the radial arm and table not being parallel e.g. table is 1 or 2 degrees away from being perpendicular to the chuck (when viewed front-to-back; side-to-side alignment is spot on), so anything placed on the table is simililarly mislaligned.
 
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