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Advice on moving an Archdale radial drill

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Andrew Byron28/05/2021 13:58:09
29 forum posts
15 photos

I've bought an Archdale radial drill at an online factory auction. This**LINK** is the drill in question.

hopefully if that has worked you'll be able to see that it's a smaller type drill with the MT3 spindle and rise and fall table. I once saw someone trying to move a similar drill at another sale i was collecting from and they dropped it, which didn't end well. there is a forklift on site but the guy i spoke to at the auctioneer's office had never been to the site and couldn't tell me if you could get to the drill to move it with the forks. can anyone offer advice on the best way to go about moving the drill, can it easily be broken down into easier to handle components?, i'll have a four or five hour window to move and load it but i'm likely to be on my own and no one on site will help with loading.

My initial thoughts were to are to try and jack it up and get it onto a large pallet that i would reinforce by screwing a piece of 3/4 ply on the top, then pass a ratchet strap through the middle of the pallet and over the drill's table and ratchet to drill to the pallet to make it more stable. I could possibly lift the drill with a chain winch to get it onto the pallet but this is dependent on their being a suitable overhead beam and also a suitable lifting point on the drill.

I remember we helped out the guy who dropped the similar Archdale at the other auction, myself and the guy helping me load my stuff fired up the overhead crane and got the drill back upright and on a pallet for him, i can't quite remember how we did it though but i do remember that the reason he dropped it was something to do with picking it up in the wrong place. IIRC the arm swung round and messed up the way the weight was distributed, and then it all went horribly wrong.

Brian H28/05/2021 15:16:14
2218 forum posts
113 photos

It depends on where you live, Me and a friend have used a one man machine mover based near Mansfield and he is excellent. There may be someone near you.


SillyOldDuffer28/05/2021 15:31:56
7487 forum posts
1658 photos

Golly, looks a right beast:


Awkward shape, with the motor almost touching the ceiling, and appears horribly top heavy. Without knowing how much it weighs and seeing how it's placed in the building I've nothing sensible to say other than it must be possible! If it went in, it must come out.

Wow - please take lots of photos and share them on the forum. How to post photos described here.

Good luck!


Andrew Byron28/05/2021 17:56:55
29 forum posts
15 photos
Posted by SillyOldDuffer on 28/05/2021 15:31:56:

Golly, looks a right beast:


Awkward shape, with the motor almost touching the ceiling, and appears horribly top heavy. Without knowing how much it weighs and seeing how it's placed in the building I've nothing sensible to say other than it must be possible! If it went in, it must come out.

Wow - please take lots of photos and share them on the forum. How to post photos described here.

Good luck!


Thanks Dave, it looks bigger in the photo than it actually is, i think, the auction photos aren't great, you can't really tell if it's rusty or painted in a dark colour, or a bit of both, but there is a fair bit of additional tooling with it including the various angle plates on the table, what looks like some sort of dividing head and the cabinet behind it with it's contents.

I noticed the low ceiling as well, which is not good, suggests it might be in an annex but like you say, it went in, so it should come out.

i'll try and take some better photos of it, it looks like an interesting machine and i'm looking forward to getting it but i have a certain amount of trepidation regarding moving it.

Andrew Byron28/05/2021 17:59:56
29 forum posts
15 photos
Posted by Brian H on 28/05/2021 15:16:14:

It depends on where you live, Me and a friend have used a one man machine mover based near Mansfield and he is excellent. There may be someone near you.


I'm near stoke so mansfield isn't that far away from me, i am tempted to get a machine mover in but it's a short notice job to shift it, and i would probably still have to go down myself anyway to sort all the bits and pieces out.

rough ball park figure, does anyone have an idea of what machine movers usually charge for moving a single machine?

derek hall 128/05/2021 18:25:51
166 forum posts

Wow that's a mighty machine. You must have a huge workshop !

I used something like this in the shipyard during my apprenticeship, it looked a heavy beast, top heavy and must have been awkward to move.

The fitters shop was on the first floor where the radial drills where, when the yard closed in the 1980's all the machinery was auctioned it most have been possible to move it, dont ask me how though I had left by then.

Good luck!

Peter Bell28/05/2021 19:42:28
363 forum posts
163 photos

Not much help I know but I also I have an Archdale radial arm drill circa 1921 which I bought from a factory closure sale in Birmingham. Eveyone had a tale of disaster of moving these machines so I would imagine any established machinery mover is well versed.

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.

Mine is really top heavy but we managed to get it home intact and install in in a shed and its proved very useful especially as you can clamp work onto on the side of the table. Great machine, pleasure to use with all the controls to hand---hope it goes well.



Andrew Byron28/05/2021 20:39:59
29 forum posts
15 photos

Hi Peter, yes, those contents of room lots re often the best ones, i bought the contents of a store room from a factory closure in birmingham, (birmingham machine tools, the same sale that the guy dropped the archdale drill when loading)there was a complete Rennishaw Ballbar system in a case buried under the rubbish

can you remember where you put the sling when the scrap men lifted the drill with the hiab?

Robert Atkinson 228/05/2021 21:52:29
1076 forum posts
20 photos

Unless you are a business you would be best to get professional movers for this. Did you read the T&Cs ?

6.6 PDS requires that in pursuit of safe working practice all contractors, together with all equipment used for lifting and transportation, should be covered by appropriate insurance (in particular but not limited to:- lifting equipment and fork lift trucks). Such documentation shall be produced to PDS by the Buyer on request for inspection and if the Buyer fails to produce such documentation PDS reserves the right to refuse to clear the lot and/or rescind the sale in which event the provisions of condition 7 will apply.

I've not used this auction house or know the site where the drill i, but most are very strict on moving heavy items. Enforcement of seeing proof of insurance is patchy, but if the worst happens it can be a big problem.
There is a reason for low hammer prices on big heavy equipment. Moving it can be much more expensive than buying it. Unless you have "free" access to suitable equipment it pays to be careful what you bid on.
Machine moving "techniques" that you can get away with at home are not acceptable in a work environment.

Sorry to be negative, but it is just how it is.

Robert G8RPI.

Pete.28/05/2021 23:58:38
626 forum posts
102 photos

The machine auction sites I've used in the past always have a loading charge, £50~£100 ish, small cost when you consider what could go wrong.

Andrew Byron29/05/2021 00:15:48
29 forum posts
15 photos

I've got public liability insurance so that's not an issue, but if they were going to be picky about that they'd be asking for method statements. I've moved machines before and i've got suitable tools, it's more a case of forewarned is forearmed if i can pick the brains of anyone else who has moved one of these.

I've found the building on street view, it's all one unit, studying the photos of the adjacent lots it looks like it is in the same space as the surface grinder and the turret mill so there should be space to get to it, the ceiling is low above the drill but it's an apex roof and it looks as if the drill in against the outside wall so under the lowest part of the building. it can be more difficult moving stuff in older buildings with multiple rooms and different floor levels, i don't think that will be the case here, so that's something

David George 129/05/2021 07:05:51
1640 forum posts
497 photos

Hi Andrew I have moved these in the past and the main thing with these is getting the weight down and locking every thing up before moving. It may need moving down before the power is removed as some need power to lower the arm. These have to be bolted to the floor and I have jacked them up enough to get a large disc cutter to cut the bolts close to the floor. Watch out for sparks setting fire to oily items etc. There may be a diagram on the machine giving a lifting diagram but generally it is best to remove the box bed etc from base lower the head and move the head nearer to the column. If there is any possibility that the forum lock dosn't work put a substantial clamp on to the bed and use that to strap the arm to prevent rotating. Slowly Jack up and skate it to lifting point with crane or Hyab there may be an eybolt in top of collum and two points on side of base on other end. Fork truck would be my last resort but in necessary make sure there is rubber sheet between fork and bottom of drill. Have a look on web site there is a picture of one on there and also have someone check to see if there is a coolant tank as that will need emptying and you may be liable to remove coolant off site.


Edited By David George 1 on 29/05/2021 07:29:18

Nicholas Farr29/05/2021 07:37:49
2962 forum posts
1335 photos

Hi, just to clarify, I think Andrew's machine looks similar to this one Radial Drill as he says it is the table that moves up and down, not the arm.

Regards Nick.

Michael Gilligan29/05/2021 08:11:38
18761 forum posts
922 photos
Posted by David George 1 on 29/05/2021 07:05:51:


If there is any possibility that the forum lock dosn't work […]


I am naïve in such matters, David ... but

I would hazard a guess that your spell-checker has a wry sense of humour.


Andrew Byron29/05/2021 08:17:02
29 forum posts
15 photos

Thanks David that's very helpful.

Nick is correct, i think the drill in his link is the same as the one i've bought,.the arm is at fixed height and the table is fastened to the column and moves up and down, this is relatively small for a radial drill, it's 'only' MT3 with a 1 1/4" capacity, it's still weighs 1.2 tonnes though. i was thinking to drop the table as low as it will go to lower the centre of gravity and then wind the head in as close to the column as it will go, as David suggests,

Nicholas Farr29/05/2021 08:31:20
2962 forum posts
1335 photos

Hi Andrew, it might also be a good idea to strap the end of the arm to the table to prevent the arm swinging, in case the locking on the column isn't good or it it accidently gets unlocked. I was involved in moving a nearly 3 ton Richmond one into position from off a low loader about 40 years ago, but we did have a traveling 5 Ton overhead hoist, but I can't remember exactly how we rigged the lifting strops to it.

Regards Nick.

Peter Bell29/05/2021 08:31:27
363 forum posts
163 photos

Hi Andrew,

Its a bit hazy after 17yrs but I think we had wound the table down while in the room locked everything and wound tthe head as far to the column as possible then jacked and packed it to get it onto a pallet finding the balance point as it was some distance to push it through the factory to the loading point. Think we ratchet strapped the head to the table and the head to the column to reduce the chance of it all swinging out while it was in the room.

We lifted it with a strap on the column, that seemed easy as it balanced reasonably well. Ours had originally been driven with line shafting and a motor was fitted low down at the back which helped the balance.

The scrap men were well versed at moving and securing machinery and were patient throughout the epic journey which was around 40 miles, only mishap was taking a chunk out of our gatepost with his lorry as he drove in!

Dave Wootton29/05/2021 08:36:09
197 forum posts
51 photos

Don't know if this will help but I sold a largeish lathe and the buyer used 1 Tonne transport services of Halifax to collect it, I don't know how much they charged but I was very impressed with the care that was taken in loading the machine and accessories. Phone number is 01422 300129. No connection to them but can recommend, the driver knew quite a bit about machine tools and how to move them.

As far as moving prices go, from two different companies I was quoted around £500 inc VAT to move a Bridgeport 65 miles when I moved house in 2017. I actually sold the machine as it wasn't in great condition and wasn't worth spending the money to move it.


Andrew Byron29/05/2021 10:16:25
29 forum posts
15 photos

Nick, yes when we helped the guy who got in a mess with one a couple of years ago we used the overhead crane to move it, the guy shifting it then was the driver of the lorry sent to fetch it by the buyer, fair play to him for having a go, a lot of drivers would have refused but he didn't have much idea, IIRC he hadn't locked the arm and it swung round. This one is in a low roofed building and there's no overhead, the only thing on site is an old forklift, there are a load of other machines that will be being moved also so it's highly likely there will be someone there with a hiab or similar, i'll take some cash with me and then if i can skate it out to a suitable lifting point i can always give someone with a suitable lifting rig some cash to lift it onto my trailer.

Peter, thanks, that's very helpful, it's what i was thinking from seeing the botched move on the other drill, getting it locked up and secured with straps seems to be the way to go.

Dave, thanks for that suggestion, i've never used a machine mover as i've always managed myself in the past but i was thinking it would need to be somewhere in that price range, it's not a ridiculous price considering the work and equipment involved. I've found the one tonne transport guy's facebook page, he's got all good reviews but i think this would be too heavy for his crane, he's limited to one tonne and this drill will be around 1.2 tonnes

Andrew Byron02/06/2021 00:00:26
29 forum posts
15 photos

Fetched it today, took nearly three hours to get there but it was loaded with very little drama. we helped some guys move a surface grinder that was in front of the drill when we got there, and they loaded it onto my trailer with their hiab for me, i offered to pay for the lift but they said no, you've helped us so we'll help you, the drill was already standing on wooden blocks for some reason so we moved it to the door of the building with the onsite fork truck, and put a strap round both the drill and the mast of the forklift to prevent it falling off the forks.

with the table dropped right down, the head wound in and the arm locked, it rode fine in the trailer, i'm really pleased with it it's better than i expected and there was a load of stuff included with it. I'll stick some photos up. hopefully i should get it unloaded and in the workshop tomorrow,

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