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Cowells Compared with Flexispeed

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James Alford17/09/2017 09:39:25
464 forum posts
79 photos

Purely out of curiosity as I am quite satisfied with my Flexispeed:

I know that the Cowells lathe is held in high esteem; I did look into buying a new one, but could not afford it. I also understand that it is a descendant of the Flexispeed.

I was wondering what fundamental differences there are between the Cowells and the later Flexispeeds and whether this translates into much difference in terms of accuracy or usefulness between the two machines, allowing for age-related wear in the Flexispeed.

Similarly, is there much to choose between these two machines and a comparable size Chinese machine in terms of accuracy and usefulness ?


Michael Gilligan17/09/2017 10:09:11
20182 forum posts
1053 photos


In my limited understanding: The real difference is in the detail.

Rather like the oft-mentioned view of Chinese Mini-Lathes ... One might consider a Flexispeed to be a 'kit' for making a Cowells.

N.B. I mean absolutely no disrespect to any of the parties involved !!

It is a simple fact that the intrinsic value [i.e. cost of materials] of the machines is similar, but the added value comes from the workmanship.


James Alford17/09/2017 17:54:18
464 forum posts
79 photos


Thank you.


Michael Gilligan17/09/2017 18:44:05
20182 forum posts
1053 photos

It would be very interesting, I think, if Neil could arrange a 'factory tour' of Cowells ... for himself and perhaps a couple of Cowells owners.

It should be a very suitable subject for an article in MEW ... letting people see where the money goes, and how the guaranteed accuracy is achieved.



Edited By Michael Gilligan on 17/09/2017 18:44:34

Neil Wyatt18/09/2017 13:22:52
19033 forum posts
734 photos
80 articles

If someone else wants to organise and write up, I'd be happy to publish it.

I suspect the answer is simple though: jig made, hand fitted and possibly selective assembly.


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