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Archdale Vertical Mill

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Tony Simons14/04/2016 19:25:10
37 forum posts


I have the chance to purchase an Archdale vertical mill. Can't find any model numbers on it. But it is a similar footprint to my Tom Senior but much heavier built. It looks to have a MT2 spindle. Does anyone know anything about them, Google has failed to turn up anything that resembles it.

Mike Crossfield14/04/2016 19:50:39
267 forum posts
36 photos


If you haven't already seen it, there is some info in the archive at


Tony Simons14/04/2016 19:53:10
37 forum posts

Thanks Mike

I have seen the archive but nothing related to this model.

OneManEngineering11/09/2020 21:32:15
33 forum posts
48 photos
Posted by Tony Simons on 14/04/2016 19:53:10:

Thanks Mike

I have seen the archive but nothing related to this model.


I know it’s been a while, but did you find anything?

i am in the same shoe and was wondering if you gathered anything and wouldn’t mind sharing.
I’ve got a 20” horizontal and a vertical as well.

many help would be awesome.

Ady112/09/2020 07:28:08
4822 forum posts
717 photos

Saw one on ebay recently, huge lumpy big boy engineering

Have never found anything anywhere

John Hinkley12/09/2020 09:02:36
1197 forum posts
393 photos


You don't give any clue as to the age of your kit, but if it's really old, this publication has lots of words and pictures.

Link to

It looks to be more geared towards publicity than operating instructions etc, but interesting, nevertheless, I thought. Covers a couple of grinding machines, too.


OneManEngineering11/01/2021 08:04:49
33 forum posts
48 photos
Posted by John Hinkley on 12/09/2020 09:02:36:

Link to

Thanks Jon,

I haven’t seen these before.

regarding the ago of my machine, I HAVE NOT A CLUE!

i know nothing about it. Very weird that no serial numbers or dates shown anywhere.

my next task after finishing the INT40 taper conversion will be to mount the motor into the side of the machine as it is floor mounted now. And I hate it. The only problem is I need to find a motor. The one that came with it weighs a ton so wouldn’t be suitable.
I am still looking for inspiration and pictures of other machine with a side mounted motor.


MARK RIGG11/01/2021 11:39:50
21 forum posts

Hello . I was interested in the posts on the early Archdale Milling machine .

I did my apprenticeship with James Archdale at their works at Blackpole just outside Worcester city centre . I was there from late 1957 through to 1961 . At that time the workforce was about 1200 and a full range of both milling machines and radial and heavy duty drilling machines was in production along with various special purpose machining lines for the motor industry . . The Company was a fairly recent acquisition by the Staveley Machine Tool Group and two of the Archdale brothers - Mr Fred and Mr. Jim - were still in charge. They both made regular trips through the works and never missed a thing !.

Some time after probably during the 1960s The Staveley Group moved all the standard machines - the milling and radial drills etc up to Asquith`s works in Halifax , leaving Archdales in Worcester with the special purpose motor industry machines . The Worcester works finally closed in 1972 . I don`t recall when the original Birmingham works in Ledsham Street closed . The Worcester works was largely of post-war construction and two things that I remember was the line of I think 14 or so Genovoise jig boring machines - this was at a time when a jig borer , especially a Genovise , was something of a rarity on any shop floor, let alone 14 of them !

The other thing I remember was most of the works floor was faced with wood blocks - certainly in the machine and fitting / assembly areas . This was a - easier on the feet of the works personnel and b of course , prevented any damage to any tool or machined component dropped on the floor. Again unusual .

I have a few very old Archdale catalogues, if the original enquirer can post a photograph of his machine I will see what I can find . For many years Archdales fitted a small plate with the serial number and possibly the catalogue number to each machine .

Some years ago I had need for some information or a drawing for a machine part and I eventually traced the drawings to a company called J . H. Shand Ltd. also a member of the Staveley Group , down in Axminster , Devon, only to be told that all the remaining Archdale material had been burnt not long before as being of no further use or interest ! In very recent years even the Worcester works has now been demolished and re- developed - A sad end to what probably was, in its day, one of the finest machine tool manufacturing facilities anywhere.



Howard Lewis11/01/2021 13:00:29
5550 forum posts
13 photos

In then Training School, in 1958, there were two old horizontal mills, Archdales, as I recall. The overarm was actually twp large diameter bars. They were a pleasant machine to use, the " tick, tick" of the fastener in the flat belt was quite soporific.

Despite being old, they could still do good work. I can remember slotting soft jaws, by taking a 0.180" roughing cut, and working the feed rate up to 11" a minute, (Based on feed per tooth ) before the finishing cut of 0.007". By that stage I could slot a soft jaw in a lot less time than when I first started the job.


Peter Bell11/01/2021 17:21:34
372 forum posts
164 photos

Thanks for the history of Archdale Mark.

I have an Archdale radial arm drill circa 1921 which I bought from a factory closure sale in Birmingham. Great machine, pleasure to use with all the controls to hand.

It was in a store room partially buried. I bought the complete room and and demolished a wall to get it out selling most of the other contents of the room. I recruited 2 scrap men with a useful Hiab lorry to get it home and as we were gently pushing the drill through the factory delicatley balanced a pallet truck we were constantly heckled by people wanting to buy it, lots had looked at it but were more cautious than me about buying it and getting it out of the room.




MARK RIGG12/01/2021 00:08:44
21 forum posts

Hello Peter. Thanks for your post and pictures of your ` vintage ` Archdale radial drill .

I have found a picture and specification for what I think is your machine in an old catalogue from about 1916 / 1918 period . It is described as a ` CENTRALIZED CONTROL, SENSITIVE RADIAL DRILLING MACHINE . Interestingly It gives its nett weight about 3500 pounds , so you must have had quite a job to move it, balanced on a pallet truck ! Radial drills are always tricky machines to move due to their height . The height given for this machine is about 8 - 9 feet high .



Ady112/01/2021 00:35:55
4822 forum posts
717 photos

If you need to be sure that your 10mm cutter doesn't cause problems then you should use a proper milling machine

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