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Member postings for Colin Bennett 1

Here is a list of all the postings Colin Bennett 1 has made in our forums. Click on a thread name to jump to the thread.

Thread: Lathe tooling
25/01/2022 17:39:31

Thank you everybody for your thoughts.

Having had some time to think it all over and take your opinions into account I have decided to leave the QCTP for now. I will get a set of basic tools and it is easy to expand from there onwards instead of buying a whole range of tools I may never use.

The below tools is what I had in mind:

Carbide brazed lathe tools (12mm)

Lathe tapping attachment and chuck. (3MT)

And of course the face plate.

A wide ranging selection of measuring tools is already in my possession.

23/01/2022 10:42:38

Thank you all for your replies.

On my working block at the moment so will get back to you tomorrow.

Have a good Sunday!

19/01/2022 21:11:14


thank you, that hadn’t even crossed my mind. Yes, the lathe comes with a 4 jaw chuck so it should be possible.

18/01/2022 14:01:43

Thank you all for your replies.

JasonB, many thanks. I found that thread after posing the question.

Howard, you are absolutely right, these machines are sold by several companies under different names. Grizzly has an almost identical lathe for sale. For the face plate I have searched all over the internet and I can not find one. Even Grizzly don’t seem to stock them. If I use it or not, £72 for a face plate is not the end of the world when you are spending £3k on the lathe.

Milling a solid steel packer would be ideal but that means I have to invest in a mill! Which was not in the current plans and Domestic control might veto the purchase.

Steve,I might just do the same as you and use the machine for a bit before going on a buying spree.

Y C Lui, I like your shim solution. Always correct and nothing will get lost when changing cutters.

For my application an accuracy of 0.025mm is absolutely fine. Having said that, I have never worked with a DRO so once ai get used to it I might change my opinion. 30 years ago at college we didn’t have a DRO but time will tell.

15/01/2022 16:13:32

Thank you for all your answers and advise.

The reason for buying the face plate with the machine is because the face plate for this machine is difficult to find. Only Chester sell them (that I know of) and I don’t want to be in a position were I need a face plate but can’t get them anymore. Yes, it may be wasted money as at the moment I have no need for it.

After reading all your opinions I have decided to hold fire on a QTCP and have a play with the machine first. As I mentioned before I don’t do mass production so a little but of time changing tools is no real problem.

I understand that a QCTP works easier with a DRO as the tools are always in the same position. To be honest, I am not sure how much I will be using the DRO. My initial plan was to buy a Warco GH1236 without DRO but on the Craftsman it comes as standard.

On cutting tools it seems that carbide is recommended. I will have a look for a good set.

A carriage stop hadn’t crossed my mind but with me being a complete novice it is probably a worthwhile investment.

I already have a DTI, just need to buy a magnetic base.

Can anybody recommend a good place for shims and what sizes would be best to buy?

Next week I will have a look for all suggested items and get back to you.

Have a good weekend and once again, thank you very much!

13/01/2022 21:12:48

Many thanks everybody for your replies so far.

I will respond in more detail in the next couple of days, work is a bit hectic at the moment and I hardly spent any time at home. In the meantime, rest assured that I am not ignoring you and the time you have taken to reply is greatly appreciated.

Edited By Colin Bennett 1 on 13/01/2022 21:13:36

12/01/2022 13:39:51

As some of you may have read in my other topic I am about to pull the trigger on buying a Chester Craftsman.

This is my first time using a lathe again in nearly 30 years. Therefore I am looking for some advice regarding which accessories to buy and where.

-Face plate can be ordered directly from Chester.

-A Quick change tool post is available from Chester but I am not sure if I am better off buying it somewhere else. Below is the list of QCTP’s that Chester supply.

T1 63.5mm 94.5mm 57.15mm 14.29mm 2kg
T2 76.2mm 117.46mm 69.85mm 15.88mm 4kg
T3 82.55mm 130.18mm 76.2mm 19.05mm 6kg
T4 123.85mm 158.75mm 92.06mm 22.26mm 8kg

-I will also need some HSS lathe tools but not sure what size. 6mm, 8mm, 10mm or 12mm? Chester sells these as well but there is probably better quality out there?

-A live centre (mt3) is also on the list

-Last but not least some boring bars.

Any recommendations for any of the above or if there is something I haven’t thought about then please let me know.

Thank you.

Thread: Chester Craftsman or Crusader?
11/01/2022 16:51:45

Received a message from Chester today that a face plate can be ordered for the Craftsman and that it costs £72.46 which in all fairness is not too bad.

As they use a third party carrier they can not guarantee an exact delivery day but they can work with a block, ie Monday - Wednesday. Which works for me.

Giving it a few more days to mull it over before making a decision.

10/01/2022 13:22:26

Thank you Howard.

I have messaged Chester today to ask if they can supply a faceplate for it.

At the moment it looks like I will be ordering a Craftsman for delivery late Feb or early March. It depends a bit on their delivery service. They can’t just turn up with it as they can’t deliver to the house directly. We will see what they come back with.

Thread: Hello from Worcestershire
08/01/2022 21:31:09

Thank you Paul.

You are next door then as we are in Alvechurch.

It is a very interesting forum and I can quite happily spend a few hours on here. It is also very much appreciated that everybody is so helpful.

08/01/2022 21:28:59

Hi Henry, that is a massive price increase! If the GH1322 is the same as your GH1332 but with a shorter bed then the price has increased by over £1200 in 2 years.

Of course a lot comes down to the massive increase in container shipping cost but I am quite jealous that I didn’t buy one a few years ago. I have a couple of small machines from Warco and any issues were sorted very quickly. I certainly can’t fault their customer service, their prices are just a bit high.

Would you be able to tell me the model no. of the plasma cutter?

Many thanks.

Thread: Chester Craftsman or Crusader?
08/01/2022 21:19:40

-DiogenesII, excellent website. The Warco and Ajax look very good but I am just reluctant to buy a secondhand machine. Not because I have got something against secondhand but more because I have very little knowledge of lathes. Therefore I am not sure if I can accurately judge if I am looking at a good machine or a lemon.

-John, I have read one of the threads on here that it is not just a case of fitting a VDF to a Harrison L6. Something to do with the controls not working correctly. However, happy to be corrected.

-Mark, thank you for your reply. With the price increase of the Crusader Deluxe it brings it very close to the GH1236. If I am going to spend that sort of money then I would prefer the GH1236. Nothing against the Crusader but I have other Warco machines and have dealt with them before. Having said that, it is good to hear that the machines are good as long as you check everything when it arrives.

-Gary, thank you too. It is fair to say that it should easily run off a 13amp socket.

-Noel, yes for the welder (250amp) and a plasma cutter I need more than a 13amp supply. The cable between the house and garage should be ok for 32amp. From the top of my head it is 6mm2, so should be fine apart from some new breakers. It does mean some new cabling in the garage. Fortunately the distance between fuse board and garage is only about 4 metres so even if it needs replacing it won’t be the end of the world.

-Howard, thank you for your detailed write-up. I will see if I can get a back issue of the MEW’s you suggested. I am quite happy to stick with the original motor on the lathe. It is not mass production work so a few more minutes work doesn’t make any difference to me. It is a hobby after all.

One downside of the Craftsman is the lack of face plate and having searched high and low they seem to be very elusive. Even looking in the States has not given any results. Whilst at the moment I have no direct need for a face plate I do want a versatile late. It is something to keep in mind.

Thread: Hello from Worcestershire
07/01/2022 20:43:39

Hi Henry, that is a very kind offer. Thank you very much.

I am just to the North of Redditch, only 17 miles from you. Unfortunately Warco’s latest price increase makes a Warco machine unviable. I can’t justify a nearly £5000 machine if a £3000 machine dus everything I need. Especially as I also need to buy all the tooling etc.

If that changes then I would like to come and have a look at the GH1332, I will let you know.

Thread: Chester Craftsman or Crusader?
07/01/2022 20:35:37

Chester have updated their website today and increased the prices of all the lathes. The Craftsman is now £250 dearer at £3000 and the Crusader Deluxe has gone up to £4550 which is only £200 cheaper then the Warco GH1236. When taking delivery into account the difference reduces to £100. Unfortunately this makes the Crusader to expensive for what I need.

Jimmy, many thanks for your reply. If you are able to run the Crusader of a standard 3 pin plug then this should also be possible with the Craftsman. Glad to see another Chester customer that is happy with their purchase.

DiogenesII, thank you for the link. I was unaware of that company. The Warco GH1322 is a short bed and I would like something with a longer bed. Anything on their website is either out of my price range or has a short bed. However I will keep an eye on them as their inventory will change.

Larry, I have searched the internet today to try and find a faceplate for the Craftsman but nothing comes up. Even when searching in the States (Grizzly) I draw up a blank. Not sure if these can be made easily at home as that might be the only other option.

At the moment I have no need to cut threads but I am sure that it will change as I get used to the lathe and try different projects. I will keep the gears in mind.

I also had a look on the Home and Workshop Machinery website and they have a lovely Harrison L6 for sale. £750 more then the Craftsman but unfortunately it is 3 phase. Had a quick look what it would take to convert it to single phase but it is not as easy as it looks. The best way would be to buy an 230v - 415v inverter as that means that you can use the original controls but that adds another £350 to the price. 😞

Once again, thank you very much everybody. Your advice and ideas are really appreciated. If we ever meet then the first pint is on me! 🍺

Thread: Hello from Worcestershire
07/01/2022 12:19:47

Thank you everybody for the welcome to the forum.

No worries Howard, I appreciate the time that you have taken to reply.

Brian H, that sounds like an interesting career that you had. I am a B1 (engines + airframe) engineer and licensed on the Boeing B737-300/900, B757, B767 and Airbus A320. My engineering job is a part time split with my flying job as I am also a commercial pilot on the Airbus A320 and Airbus A330. I seem to have the perfect mix between flying and getting my hands dirty.

Thread: Chester Craftsman or Crusader?
07/01/2022 12:06:31

Thank you very much for all the replies. You have given me some more food for thought!

-Bazyle, I had a look at the Colchester Triumph after reading your reply and ai would love to have one. Unfortunately the last time I used a late is nearly 30 years ago so truth to be told I am reluctant to buy secondhand. I just haven’t got the knowledge to judge if a lathe is good or if the bed etc needs regrinding.

The other big issue is the 3 phase supply. We live of a little track with above ground powerlines. I did enquire how much it would be to have 3 phase added to the property and they said that it would be over £20k!! On that basis, 3 phase is off the “wanted” list.

I don’t really make digger buckets as such. If needed I modify them to a Swedish style bucket with a longer toe. General buckets are relatively cheap from the big manufacturers. No money to be made in, even as a hobby.

-Howard, thank you for your detailed response. It seems that the Craftsman lathe itself is not a bad machine, especially after a few modifications. I will certainly have a look at your photo’s if I decide to buy the Craftsman.

-Alan, that is exactly what I would like to hear. Whilst there are quite a few complaints about Chester on this forum, there are obviously also people that are happy with their purchase and the service provided.

-Gary, thank you. It is good to see people with a positive experience. I am getting closer to putting an order in with Chester. 

In general, does anybody know what power supply the Craftsman need? Does it need a 16amp supply or a 32amp supply? If it is 32amp then I might need to upgrade the supply to the garage.

After Larry mentioned the faceplate I had a look on the Chester website if they can supply one for the lathe but they don’t show any. Would anybody know where I can buy one that fits the Craftsman lathe?

Edited By Colin Bennett 1 on 07/01/2022 12:06:53

Edited By Colin Bennett 1 on 07/01/2022 12:10:48

06/01/2022 15:30:49

Hi Larry,

Thank you very much for your reply. It is greatly appreciated that you have taken the time to reply.

Until the New Year I had set my sights on the Warco GH1236 and hadn’t given Chester any serious thought after reading some of the threads on here. However after Warco’s price increase they have just become to expensive. I can’t justify have nearly £5k worth of lathe sitting in the corner to make pins/bushes that I can also make on a lathe that is sub £1k.

The Chester Crusader Deluxe is the closest to the GH1236 and of similar price, before the increase. However I then looked at the Craftsman and that is nearly identical to the GH1236 or the Crusader deluxe albeit being belt driven. And of course it is £2k cheaper then the GH1236, which is a considerable amount.

You also cleared another of my questions up. Looking at the specs of the Craftsman it mentions a distance of 940mm between centres. During my research I came across a video review of the Craftsman and he mentioned a distance between centres of 540mm. It appears that the only available option now is the long bed. Which is good as that is what I want. No immediate need for a long bed but as the spindle bore is a bit smaller the longer bed can make up for that.

The current offering comes with the following accessories:
160mm 3 and 4 jaw chucks
Stand and tray
Fixed and travelling steadies
4 way tool-post
MT3 steel centres
MT4 to MT3 reducing sleeve
2 axis DRO

As you mentioned, no faceplate.

What sort of power supply does this lathe require as it isn’t mentioned in the available documentation?. (I have the Grizzly documentation for this lathe)

I sent Chester an email this morning and had a reply back within 10 minutes. They have a Craftsman in the showroom and they are expecting the next shipment to arrive late Feb.

My only outstanding issue is regarding delivery. We live on a small lane and a lorry with tail lift will not be able to reach the house. Not an issue as such as we normally ask for bigger deliveries to made to the village hall and I meet them there with my trailer. However this requires them to deliver within a certain timeframe as I am normally away from for a week at a time. The lathe just turning up does not work for me so I need to see how willing they are to work with me.

Thread: Hello from Worcestershire
05/01/2022 16:00:50

Hello all,

Just joined the forum so here is a little about me.

I have been an aircraft engineer for the last 26 years and live in Worcestershire.

Currently I am in the market for a Lathe and I have been looking at the Warco GH1236, Chester Craftsman or Chester Crusader. In my searches I have found that this forum comes up with the most threads and knowledge about these machines. Hence why I joined.

As a hobby I built various excavator attachments for mini diggers and my lathe will be predominantly used to make the pins and bushes for these.

Thread: Chester Craftsman or Crusader?
05/01/2022 15:52:17

The last few weeks I have been considering which lathe to buy. I want to buy a new lathe and not an old British lathe, so my choice is between Warco and Chester.

Initially I had settled for the Warco GH1236 as I need a reasonable distance between centres. Unfortunately when I looked on Warco’s website yesterday they have now increased the price by £600, from £4150 to £4750 which makes it uneconomical for the occasional use it will be getting. Even the Warco GH600has seen a price increase of £500. Obviously all to do with the increased cost of shipping and inflation.

All of this made me reconsider and have another look at my second choice, the Chester Craftsman. A belt driven lathe, with supposedly a distance between centres of 940mm. The closest machine to the Warco GH1236 is the Chester Crusader Deluxe but in all fairness the capacity of the Craftsman is very similar.

Having spend some time reading the forum it seems that Chester customer service leaves a bit to be desired at times. Whilst I don’t want to create another Chester bashing thread, I do would like to hear of people that have a Craftsman or Chester lathe and what their experience is. Are either of these lathe’s a good buy or should I steer clear of them?

The lathe will be predominantly used to make bushes and pins for mini/midi sized excavators. I have a small sideline of making excavator attachments and this is where these pins and bushes will be used. However, I only do it for a hobby and want to be able to make everything in-house.

I also want a plasma cutter and a new MIG welder so any money that can be saved on a lathe, without ending up with an inferior machine is welcome.

Thank you for your opinions.


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