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Member postings for Lathejack

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

Thread: emco mill
28/02/2021 09:37:43

I am fairly sure the Emco Mentor mills were not copied by the Taiwanese, it was the later slightly larger and far more common 6 speed Emco FB2 mill that was copied in Taiwan and sold under many brand names, and very good copies they were too.

In fact some of the very last Emco badged FB2 mills were also made in Taiwan or China, these had a red and black paint job and were listed as the FB2 E.

So I think the Emco Mentor mill you are looking at is almost certainly made in Austria.

Thread: Anyone have a Clarke CL250MH (Sieg M1)
17/01/2021 11:31:45

Doh! I've just noticed the original post by Hollowpoint was almost 2 years ago, I'm sure it was all sorted out long ago.

11/01/2021 18:06:37

I am back at work tomorrow, so I could have a look and see what we have got if you wish, unless you prefer to go for the genuine part. As well as solid bar we do have some thick walled tube, but I'm not sure what diameter it is.

Edited By Lathejack on 11/01/2021 18:08:05

Thread: Lathe Milling Machine Help Needed
11/01/2021 17:48:21

Yes I would say Chester may be the best chance of spares for those two machines in the UK, although the lathe was discontinued a long time ago. They offered that Champion milling machine for many years, although it was once offered by Warco for a time, Warco called it the ZX15. I am not sure when Chester discontinued that milling machine.

In the UK I can only recall Chester offering the old Champion lathe, at the time it was priced at around £600 if I remember correctly.

Edited By Lathejack on 11/01/2021 17:52:24

Edited By Lathejack on 11/01/2021 17:55:46

11/01/2021 15:01:23

I do remember Chester Machine Tools selling that lathe and mill combination, probably at least 25 years ago. They also offered the lathe and mill separately.

The milling head and column is from the old 4 speed belt drive Chester Champion mill, as Nigel B suggests.

The lathe is the same as the old Chester Champion lathe, with its belt drive and deep bed casting formed with a single V and single flat guidway both shared by the saddle and tailstock. I think the centre height was around 4 or maybe 4 1/2 inches, not certain coz it was a long time ago.

I think the lathe was discontinued by Chester long before the Champion milling machine complete with milling table was. These much earlier Champion machines are not related to any of the current Champion named machines offered by Chester.

Edited By Lathejack on 11/01/2021 15:05:34

Thread: Chuck backplate error
10/01/2021 01:13:44
Posted by old mart on 09/01/2021 17:34:47:

Lathejack, you have had good results with close fitting radial registers, but you do not mention any experiance of using loose radial registers. So you are an expert on the subject?

Unfortunately there are times when I feel that you are coming across as rather unpleasant. Surely the rest of us should be able to comment on our experiences and opinions, just as you do, without receiving remarks such as in your last sentence?

Edited By Lathejack on 10/01/2021 01:16:50

Edited By Lathejack on 10/01/2021 01:33:52

09/01/2021 04:11:21

It is the two registers on a threaded spindle nose that are really intended for location, thats why they are there. The radial register for centralizing and the face or shoulder for squaring things up, the thread is just for securing the chuck, backplate or whatever on, but a close fitting thread will help centralize if the radial register has too much clearance.

There are plenty of lathes with spindles that have an integral mounting flange with just the face and radial register for location, but using separate bolts instead of a threaded spindle for securing.

Chris V said that the front face of his chuck runs true, which it will once the backplate is butted up to the spindle shoulder, but because of the sloppy fitting radial register and thread it is unlikely to centralise repeatedly.

 I have had my Smart and Brown Modal A for over 20 years now, and all new backplates machined to fit it have a little clearance on the thread but a close fit on the register to repeatedly locate them accurately. All machining of the backplate shoulder face, internal register and thread are done at the same undisturbed setting.

Edited By Lathejack on 09/01/2021 04:18:30

Thread: Walco GH610 info
28/12/2020 13:28:00

The Warco GH600 is a different machine altogether, it is the Warco GH1230 which is their current version of this long running design, with the same 9 speed headstock, tailstock, gearbox and similar but longer bed casting as the GH610, but with just a slightly different apron and thread dial indicator.

Edited By Lathejack on 28/12/2020 13:31:55

Edited By Lathejack on 28/12/2020 13:36:19

28/12/2020 13:14:21

Yes, I would say it is worth £1250. From what can be seen in the photo it looks quite good, so if with a closer look it has no signs of wear, damage or abuse and doesn't make any nasty noises and everything is working correctly then it is certainly worth it.

Warco have been selling that design of Chinese lathe for donkeys years, I remember when they called it the Warco 1224 and originally cost £2000 new many years ago. Their current version is the GH1230 at around £4000 with a DRO and coolant pump I think.

Although the centre height is the same as your Clarke lathe at 6 inches, the GH610 is in a different league with properly proportioned castings to suit its capacity, full screwcutting gearbox, power feeds and a geared headstock with a camlock spindle fitting.

With a lathe like the GH610 for home use you may never feel the need to upgrade again.

You say you have been offered this lathe, does that mean it is close enough for you to go and take a look and have a good fiddle with it? Which I think would be essential before buying.

Edited By Lathejack on 28/12/2020 13:19:44

Edited By Lathejack on 28/12/2020 13:21:35

Thread: Motorcycle General Discussion
29/11/2020 17:39:35
Posted by mgnbuk on 29/11/2020 13:15:34:

The first new bike I bought was a 1979 CZ 250 twin which cost me £412 OTR. I wanted an MZ TS250/1, but at £525 OTR it was too much at the time - a Yamaha RD250 was over £700 IIRC. Given the gross unreliabilty of the CZ, I would have been better off waiting & saving up the difference ! Apprentice wages at the time were not great - when I started in 1977 I was on £28 per week gross at 17 (wages started at £22 a week for 16 year olds). Half of my take home pay went to my mum, so not a lot left over to save up for bikes.

Nigel B.

I can remember a motorcycle magazine article on 250cc bikes from that period, i think it was in either 'Bike' or 'Which Bike?' The headline was "Is an RD250 worth £300 more than a CZ250?".

Like most of us at the time, I think they concluded that it was.

Thread: Taper Turning attachment - what a revelation
29/11/2020 16:03:50

My Chinese made Warco 13x30 geared head lathe has a telescopic crosslide feed screw. The end of the feed screw is secured to a cast iron bracket, with thrust bearings, bolted to the back of the saddle. There is a Chinese made taper turning attachment available for it, but it is still expensive so I have gone without for the last 16 years.

Thread: Traction Engine kits
27/11/2020 16:20:51

Have you tried Forest Classics? They offer D.R. Mercer and I think Markie traction engines in 3/4" to 11/8" sizes. I am sure some of them are available in fully machined kit form.

Thread: Warco HV mill
17/11/2020 18:53:53

Very nice, it looks like a universal mill with a swiveling table. I remember Chester machine tools also offered it, they called it the Model T.

Some examples had a gearbox built into the top of the milling head, and a hardened table.

Thread: Mitutoyo Caliper
21/10/2020 00:09:30

I also have a Mitutoyo 150mm digital caliper that I bought over 30 years ago and they don't turn off automatically, still going strong after all these years.

A cheap new digital caliper I have does turn itself off, it also turns on automatically as soon as the jaws are moved.

Thread: Optimum products?
20/10/2020 21:53:38

As well as Optimum there was also another Chinese/German brand called Quantum. The Optimum and Quantum hobby lathes that I looked at some years ago were good but didn't appear to be particularly better in terms of the machining and fit of parts. The equivalent Chinese machines from the main UK branded suppliers are just as good, allowing for the odd lemon of course, which you can get from any brand of Chinese made hobby machine tool. A Chinese made SwissTec 10X22 lathe I also examined was certainly not any higher quality.

I can recall a conversation I had several years ago with a UK supplier of Chinese lathes and mills. He told me that on one of his visits to the factory in China he asked the owner if he could have his own inspector there, the factory owner put his arm around him and replied " Of course, you can have as many of your own inspectors here as you like, but we will corrupt them"



Edited By Lathejack on 20/10/2020 21:55:28

Edited By Lathejack on 20/10/2020 21:56:10

Thread: Chinese BS0 Dividing Head
11/10/2020 20:09:59

I don't think you have to worry too much about the quality of the Chinese made BS0 dividing heads, they look fine to me. It must be almost twenty years ago when I bought my Vertex BS0 from Chronos at either the Harrogate or Donnington show and I am sure back then it cost £199, it came with a tailstock, division plates and a chuck back plate but no chuck.

The internals of the Chinese heads are identical to those in my Vertex, and I am not certain that my Vertex BS0 was made in Taiwan, it could also have been made in China, so there is probably no need to search for a Vertex branded dividing head anyway.

The spindle has a taper roller bearing at the front, with a radial plain bearing at the rear together with a needle roller thrust bearing.. After checking it over my dividing head sat unused for years from new, when I finally came to use it the spindle seemed a little tight. Dismantling revealed rather too much spindle preload had been applied at the factory. Although it was quite clean inside the factory applied grease was becoming a little dry, so it is worth the effort to dismantle them to ensure they are clean, properly lubricated and adjusted.


Edited By Lathejack on 11/10/2020 20:12:48

Thread: Buying a new Lathe....Asian?
04/10/2020 21:48:45

It's a few years since I looked at the Southbend Heavy 10 on Grizzly's website, but I remember that it is quite a close copy of the earlier Emco Super 11, before Emco put the curved covers on some of their lathes.

The Southbend Heavy 10 has just about the same headstock, screwcutting gearbox, tailstock, apron, saddle, topslide and crosslide with three longitudinal tee slots. The tailstock now has a camlock lever and although the bed casting looks the same as that on the Emco the guidways are different and it is now machined with triple vee ways, with two vee ways guiding the saddle which is a very nice detail as used on original Southbend lathes.

Edited By Lathejack on 04/10/2020 21:51:18

Edited By Lathejack on 04/10/2020 22:00:02

15/09/2020 20:19:34

Despite the tang being primarily for edjecting the tooling I think a tang slot machined into the quill of a lathe tailstock is also intended to help stop tooling such as a drill bit slipping and spinning. The nature of work on a lathe often means that there isn't as much load on a drill to force the tapers firmly together as there is on a drilling machine. There is nothing wrong in using the tang for this purpose in a tailstock, and it certainly works.

Lathe tailstocks that have a tang slot often still have a self edjecting facility, where the feedscrew pushes on the end of the tang when the quill is retracted, such as my Smart & Brown Modal A toolroom lathe. The last thing you would really want to do is bash in a wedge in the side of the precisely positioned tailstock and risk knocking it out of line. Some tailstock quills have the tang slot machined only from one side, so you can't really pass a wedge through them to edject the tooling, they self edject instead.

We do have a large old lathe at work though that has a tailstock quill with a tang slot, but the rear of the quill is solid with a thread machined on the outside diameter and projects out the rear end of the casting. A captive handwheel meshes with the external thread to drive the quill. So on this tailstock a wedge has to be used to edject tooling, but the tailstock is a very hefty casting with a very large diameter quill that is out of proportion to its 4 Morse taper, so a bit of a whack just won't do any harm.

Thread: Milling Machine Identification
14/09/2020 20:48:15

The three phase motor that this Champion mill is fitted with does look to be the original motor fitted from new, its external appearance is the same as the single phase motors that they were usually supplied with during that period.

I do recall Chester demonstrating one of these Champion mills fitted with a variable speed inverter at one of the Model Engineering exhibitions, must have been at least 25 years ago.

Mgnbuk is correct in his assessment of these early Champion milling machines, when new they were somewhat rough and ready and rather crude in places with no real feel of quality, although the price was quite low. The table was quite good though with a nice ground finish and Tee slots that extended past the coolant troughs and right up to the ends of the table. The tilting milling head was opperated by a worm gear which was an unusual addition on such a low cost machine. I agree that a £1400 asking price for one of these mills is rather excessive.

Edited By Lathejack on 14/09/2020 20:50:38

Edited By Lathejack on 14/09/2020 21:09:00

14/09/2020 09:24:38

It's a Chester Champion milling machine, one of Chester Machine Tools early products that they sold for years. It had a four speed belt driven tilting head powered by a single phase motor.The identical Warco version was called the ZX15.

The six speed geared head Warco XZ15 mill was Warco's replacement for their VHM mill which was the copy of the Emco FB2 machine, the geared head XZ15 was not as good as the Emco copy VHM and was only offered briefly.

It's easy to mix up the Warco belt drive ZX15 with their geared head XZ15 mill.

Edited By Lathejack on 14/09/2020 09:26:43

Edited By Lathejack on 14/09/2020 09:33:02

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