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Ajohnw09/01/2017 20:59:09
3631 forum posts
160 photos

There is a reasonably kitted out Harrison 300 on ebay at the moment maybe £3000. If it's good that would not be a bad price. Looking at the shots gives some idea of the sort of person that used it.

£400 for a truly good ML10 with hardly anything with it would be good too - ebay probably a lot more. Maybe on Gumtree. There is some one trying to sell a speed 10 in classified for £1300 on here. I'd say no chance given what's missing - change wheels.

I looked at a Boxford some time ago N of B'ham. An ME10A, mine is the older ME10. It's pretty good apart from bed wear that causes it to turn some taper and has what I suspect is a 3 phase motor driven from 240v via capacitors. I'd sort that out as it makes start up rather disconcerting. It's in Sale so if you are in N Wales might be an option, I'll PM you his email address just in case it's still about. It's on a cabinet - no way to open the doors so could be bits in it. Finish was good so bearings etc ok. They can be moved pretty easily by removing the headstock, tailstock and drive motor. 2 people could move it that way. Might be possible to force the cabinet doors with a rather large screw driver but an electric drill would be more certain. He goes to S wales regularly but suspect it's on his bike. I bought mine back in the back of a Passat estate. A van might be a better idea to include the cabinet. I would have that even if I didn't use it. On the bench you could just use the tray. Taper - not much but a lot more than mine. Just thou's though. I looked because it is the newer version. I didn't get as far as checking the back gear fully. It would be easy to do a lot worse but there is always some risk with used lathes.

I think Bikepete made a good point. One I always try to make - don't rush and if you do look at something try it and be prepared to walk away. If you think the price is too high discuss it before going.

I don't seem to be able to PM you. Pity as I looked last Sept so it might still be there.



Edited By Ajohnw on 09/01/2017 21:01:36

MalcB09/01/2017 22:10:47
245 forum posts
28 photos
Posted by Carl Wilson 4 on 09/01/2017 19:09:25:

Yes. I believe a Colchester Student is more in line with a Harrison M300. From what I can tell, a Harrison M250 is more like a Colchester Bantam. In fact, after the 600 group rationalisation, I think there was a Colchester Bantam that was essentially a Harrison M250 with a different badge and a few cosmetic alterations. I think this is shown on lathes

The latest Harrison M300's and Colchester Student 2500's are also the same lathe as each other. Not shown on though.

john evans 1310/01/2017 08:21:01
24 forum posts

No I am not bothered by the ribbing,it is what happens on forums as in real life. Similarly threads get high jacked and go off at a tangent thereby forming new sections.

Re the 14in. Yes having looked again there are tools.I had discounted it earlier when the seller failed to respond to questions.

john evans 1310/01/2017 10:00:10
24 forum posts

Thanks Ajohnw. Useful info. Sale would be about the limit I am prepared to travel. The ml10 however appears to be still available,seems the buyer did not pay! Could be sus but I will see what happens.

400 has been suggested as my budget but I have not said that. I expect to buy something for up to 650. Yes I can pay more,but no I do not intend to to as my money is better placed in my old bikes as they are generally appreciating assets. A good lathe seldom loses either but once again it is down to choice.

Re the 14in lathe on ebay,why do people advertise items yet fail to respond to queries? It seems counterproductive to me.

john evans 1310/01/2017 19:21:43
24 forum posts

Well the owner of the lathe in church stretton got back to me after the auction ended.

Still no idea of its manufacture. Weight approx 1/2 tonne. The major issues are that it does not run without shedding its monster 4"belt. Additionally the drive has been messed about with,plus the machine is 8' long..too big for me.

Carl Wilson 410/01/2017 20:21:57
640 forum posts
48 photos
Hi John,

Mate of mine with similar problem to you went to look at a Boxford today. It had come from a school. It was OK tooling wise but was an old knacker in other respects. Strangely he described it's drive to me and it sounded like a variator type unit a la Colchester Chipmaster.

I think that a lot of lathes advertised for private sale are like this. They are sold by people who don't know what they have. Whereas the likes of us who have good machines and tooling don't sell them.

So I guess what I'm saying is what I said to him. You'll never get a decent tooled machine for not much money. Save the ackers a bit more and buy from a reputable dealer. There are some good machines on Quillstar just now. Including Myfords if that does it for you. No connection.
john evans 1310/01/2017 21:00:48
24 forum posts

Yes it is difficult but I honestly have no intention of breaking the budget. I can get by with what I have if need be as it is not as bad as I portray.It can still turn accurately with care and time. In fact I used it today on a 275mm bar. The taper was 0003 end to end.Certainly good enough for what I needed.

I had set my heart on a bigger machine but will not worry if I fail to find one.

Thank you for the advice imparted so far. I can use a lathe etc but do not frequent hobby sites etc so the info on suppliers etc has been invaluable.

Carl Wilson 410/01/2017 22:53:06
640 forum posts
48 photos
That's top notch turning in anyone's book!
john evans 1311/01/2017 12:14:54
24 forum posts

Thanks Carl

What I failed to say was that it took 1.5hrs and used a copper alloy. The cut was only .75mm.

This is the cruz of my problem.Cuts have to be shallow and taken in steps. If I use Bms it will take longer and cgatter will occur. Stainless is ok to machine.

Looking at the chester 920 which is a logical upgrade I feel the minimum speed is too high,the 7/8 drop to 50 but are just bigger versions of my tiddler.

I will keep looking. Thanks again.

john evans 1315/01/2017 23:00:43
24 forum posts

Thanks John but I want to buy something to use,not throw more money at. I arranged to go to Widnes to see a boxford tomorrow but have recd a text saying it is now sold. According to eBay it was removed due to an error so assume he sold privately and pulled the auction to avoid commission.

john evans 1322/01/2017 21:25:26
24 forum posts

Thanks for the many responses and opinions.

Tonight I bought an old southbend 9" swing 36" bed machine. Unused and neglected for over ten years but owned since the late 40's by a development engineer.

Fingers crossed.It was cheap so if things do not work out it can be sold as spares.

Ian S C23/01/2017 08:45:48
6779 forum posts
224 photos

John, it sounds as if it has good possibilities.

Ian S C

john evans 1323/01/2017 10:19:15
24 forum posts

Time will tell. I cannot collect until sunday at the earliest so will report on my findings once collected.

The owner says there are other items to take but at present I know nothing more.

I assume having been owned and used by the late owner since the late 40's it must have been good. I am told he gave it much use and had to rescrape the bed due to wear in the centre.

Ajohnw23/01/2017 10:29:32
3631 forum posts
160 photos

I looked around at them a long time ago. Ideally one of the versions that had a large bore spindle. The only models I could find all had spindles running in cast iron and were all well used. It seems there are some that used phos bronze so could be replaced even though there is likely to be some spindle wear. Some of those are hardened. I've been down the runs in cast iron route several times on rather small lathes. Once worn it's not an easy thing to sort out and the wear spoils the alignment even if they can be adjusted. On one I bought I thought about taking it into work and reboring the bearings but decided to look for something with phos bronze bearings instead. As the ML's are too big for what I want that has taken a long time. I have seen some lathes where the bearings have been removed and a new larger diameter spindle made - probably on the lathe.



john evans 1325/01/2017 20:29:59
24 forum posts

Well that put a dampener on things. I suspect there will be wear but am reasonably confident the bearings are phosphor bronze as I looked up the original sales documents online. Sadly not the large dia spindle but it is said to be hardened.

As it is only £150 i can take the chance.

john evans 1329/01/2017 18:41:15
24 forum posts

Update as promised

The southbend is now home and I am pleased to report it is better than anticipated. The rust shownn in the sales pics turned out to be a mix of old oil,dust and sawdust. 14 additional change gears were located,3 chucks,one 4 jaw independent, a drill chuck and drills. Thread form tool,tool steel,tool holders and cutters.

It is currently painted white but seems to have been green initially. Any idea what is a close shade of paint?

The motor is quiet but it needs a new drive belt as it is perished and broke at the stitch when I ttied to separate it. All in all a good buy,150 well spent,I even picked up a nice 3a vice for an extra 20.

Happpy bunny. Just have to strip,clean and refurb cosmetically now.

Michael-w29/01/2017 18:49:52
2017 forum posts
49 photos
Posted by john evans 13 on 29/01/2017 18:41:15:

It is currently painted white but seems to have been green initially. Any idea what is a close shade of paint?

That's why I like painting my machines black, you can't really get it wrong.

Michael W

mark smith 2029/01/2017 20:10:48
565 forum posts
295 photos
Posted by john evans 13 on 25/01/2017 20:29:59:

Well that put a dampener on things. I suspect there will be wear but am reasonably confident the bearings are phosphor bronze as I looked up the original sales documents online. Sadly not the large dia spindle but it is said to be hardened.

As it is only £150 i can take the chance.

I have 2 southbend 9A lathes , one from 1942 and one from 1964 , both have plain cast iron bearings ,the earlier one is segmented ,the later one solid. The spindles are an extremely accurate  fit and neither had much if any wear. In fact the later one had two slight scores and corresponding welded on particles on the hardened spindle which cleaned up fine with a fine stone.The area effected was that so small compared to the bearing surface that it would have had zero impact on the accuracy.

The earlier 1942 one had no blemishes or damage whatsoever, i suspect the segments bearings help get rid of any abrasive particles that manage to get in there somehow.

The bronze bearing on 9" southbends appear to have been discontinued just before WWII and even after the war they continued with the plain iron bearing despite going back to bronze for larger models.

That said as long as the spindle is assembled clean and the correct oil used (mobil velocite 10) ,the iron bearings should be fine for decades.(thats if your new lathe has iron ones)

Edited By mark smith 20 on 29/01/2017 20:11:59

Edited By mark smith 20 on 29/01/2017 20:12:53

john evans 1329/01/2017 22:08:37
24 forum posts


No I do not want black but I understand your viewpoint. I would like to keep the colour close to original..not that I have with my 1924 royal enfield. My 1963 norton is green but darker than that on the lathe.


The seller told me the headstock had pb bushes but as I have not stipped the machine I cannot be sure. The serial number seems to put it at 1941,a model c..not a 35 junior as believed. This would fit the wartime use I was told about plus the 1940's purchase date.

The is no discernable play in the bearings and oil was visible in the oilers.In fact the whole machine operates smoothly. Before buying,my own research indicated that beds wore more that headbearings.The bed was rescraped in the past so hopefully it is ok for a few more years.

Are there any things to watch out for on the stripdown. I hear tge spring loaded wicks can be an issue?

Thanks for the feedback

Michael Gilligan29/01/2017 22:18:31
11040 forum posts
475 photos


I have no experience of the South Bend lathe ... but I remembered seeing this US Army manual a while ago

if you haven't got it already, I suggest downloading. **LINK**


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