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How much do Colchester spares cost ?

Arm and a leg for Colchester Lathe Spares formerly 600 Group

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Absolute Beginner01/10/2018 20:41:44
103 forum posts


I purchased some spares for my "New to Me" Colchester Student 2500 Lathe Manufactured Yr 2007 today.

I have listed these prices for general info

I.280/50P - M8 X 16 KNOB
FE-0010. £7
A805H0101. £9
GA-0470. £56
S2502C007 GASKET
GD-0020 £10

Yes you have read correctly a nut is charged at £9

They were always rumoured to be expensive but these prices take the biscuit.


Alan Waddington 201/10/2018 22:02:06
501 forum posts
87 photos

Ouch ! Look on the bright least spares are still available, and once you get it up and running, you can make your own nuts cheeky

Ian Skeldon 201/10/2018 22:06:00
486 forum posts
37 photos

Hi Gary,

It's one of the dilemas when trying to decide between new Chinese or used British, as you have discovered the cost of parts can be very expensive. I don't think parts for Chinese lathes are a lot cheaper or much easier to get hold of, but anyone buying a new lathe should avoid the need to buy anything other than tooling.

Hopefully you won't need any more parts and can start making swarf at a fair old rate.

Hopper01/10/2018 22:50:47
4530 forum posts
94 photos

Seems on par with car and motorbike parts prices. Yes, 9 quid nuts and all. You pay for the inventorying and storage. And of course the fact that they have what you want and nobody else does...

Wait until you buy headstock bearings for certain models. Nine dollar nuts will be a pleasant memory.

Chris Evans 602/10/2018 07:33:27
1661 forum posts

Yup sounds as expected. Genuine Bridgeport mill parts are not far behind 600 group prices but availability is good.

I have a Taiwan built lathe about 20 years old, a similar model still sold but the distributor does not want to know about supplying parts. Fortunately I have been able to make the odd part I have needed, the last item being a cross slide.

Clive Hartland02/10/2018 08:25:52
2564 forum posts
40 photos

The maker/supplier uses a factor of .58 to multiply the cost of the goods to cover overheads. Then annually a price review is carried out and say, 5% increase is added. You can see how quickly prices will rise of stock goods.

Am example was a drive belt originally at £7.00 which over the years had 5% added ended up about £12.00 of course the customer rejected, citing the same belt in the local garage for £5.80.

This then meant a complete stock review and price adjustment, it was eye watereing.

not done it yet02/10/2018 08:53:01
4648 forum posts
16 photos

Stock holding likely increases (inflates) the company value, too. When it fails, due to nobody being able to afford to buy spares (or buys elsewhere) they wonder why a company with such high value has gone down the drain! A nut, unless a really special one, would need to be gold plated (OK, siver plated) to be worth nine quid.

Nigel McBurney 102/10/2018 09:16:32
708 forum posts
3 photos

Then I expect there is VAT on top,plus postage !!

About 15 years ago ,I bought an ex prison service Colchester master 2500,I wanted a new crosslide screw it had corroded due to coolant turned acidic being trapped in the slot where the screw runs, the bronze nut was ok, Colchester quoted for a new nut and screw, they would supply a nut separately but not the screw weird| around £450 for new nut and screw plus vat and post, so s--d that I made a new screw on my other lathe ,the screw is accurate and has lasted well as it did get used used for commercial work.

Martin 10002/10/2018 09:59:41
262 forum posts
6 photos
Posted by not done it yet on 02/10/2018 08:53:01:

Stock holding likely increases (inflates) the company value, too. When it fails, due to nobody being able to afford to buy spares (or buys elsewhere) they wonder why a company with such high value has gone down the drain! A nut, unless a really special one, would need to be gold plated (OK, silver plated) to be worth nine quid.

Funny you mention silver plated nuts and quote that price. Bought some silver plated nuts just the other day. M10 x 1.25 stainless K nut silver plated, essential for mounting a turbocharger to exhaust manifold and then actually being able to remove it years later without trashing the exhaust manifold or the turbo (access even on the bench is VERY tight) - 100 off price £900+, rising to nearly £13 for low quantities.

I remember doing a 'refresh' on my early 60's Boxford possibly in the early 90's The prices were eye watering then but at least they were still available new off the shelf which isn't the case for a lot of things now.

Just how much did the various lathes mentioned above (and others) cost when new?

When anyone complains about the price of something today then this can be useful

Bank of England Inflation Calculator

Chris Hembry02/10/2018 10:14:42
49 forum posts
1 photos

It all depends on the model that the company uses for spares pricing. Some companies will heavily discount the original product in order to generate sales, and then attempt to recoup that with the cost of spares. Large machinery producers regularly use this technique, think combines, tractors, trains and lathes !

Bear in mind that when the lathes are originally produced, a number of parts that are deemed to be consumable will be stocked as spares. These may well be reasonably priced. However, not all parts will be kept in stock, so you will be charged a one-off or small batch price for the component to be manufactured for you, if they even offer to supply parts for obsolete models

Martin 10002/10/2018 10:29:41
262 forum posts
6 photos

One thing I heard about car spares (at least those made by Ford) was the price was set, a batch was produced and as long as that stock lasted at the central warehouse the price stayed essentially the same, without an annual escalator. Once the part required manufacturing again, even on the self same tooling, a whole new price was established. Something, I can't recall exactly what, it may have been a gearbox synchro ring used on a Ford box fitted to a Caterham 7 went from about 3 quid to about 40 quid 'overnight' about 20 years ago. The original parts had been around in their hundreds if not thousands since the 1970's

Some low volume car manufacturers liquidate their excess spares stock 'at or around cost' or even a few percentage points above scrap value a few years down the line. But you can guarantee it's never all the bits you really need



Edited By Martin 100 on 02/10/2018 10:30:26

Muzzer02/10/2018 12:27:55
2904 forum posts
448 photos

It's worth considering the cost involved in simply creating and maintaining a part number on the system - and storing, auditing and shipping it next day. Honda, like most car companies hold spares in a central warehouse (in Belgium in their case). Even if the part itself were non existent and simply comprised an empty ziplock bag, there would be quite a cost involved.

Until fairly recently, Honda used to claim that you could still get parts for the S800 (mine was made in 1967) and indeed at one point I was able to obtain a variety of small parts for the brakes and engine. Some were reasonably priced but others (ball joint covers) were silly money. And of course they wouldn't make any new parts, even if the tooling existed. I'm guessing they probably still held some parts until a not so many years ago but unless you asked for the exactly correct part number, they couldn't even check for stock.


Nick Clarke 302/10/2018 20:15:47
769 forum posts
26 photos

While I also wince at the spares prices charged today - but about 40 odd years ago I was caught in the opposite direction.

I was working at a motor factors that sold everything except engine parts - an independent firm with branches in Nottingham and Derby that had been taken over by a big group. Overnight we changed from being the place everyone in the trade went to to a world of budgets and targets.

Our stock budget was fixed and we could only spend on new stock what was left after the current stock value was subtracted from our notional budget.

Every year we had our existing stock revalued upwards (eg multiple jeep track rod ends, Ford Consul exhausts, whitworth tooling etc - in the seventies???) and so we could purchase less and less new stock that sold.

Eventually we had too little new stock to function and not long after I left the business it closed.


Edited By Nick Clarke 3 on 02/10/2018 20:16:15

Bill Davies 202/10/2018 20:44:21
188 forum posts
11 photos

In the 60/70's, I worked for a firm that made large machines. We had 6 foot diameter phosphor bronze worm wheels in stock as spares. The accountants didn't like that, so a couple of my mates were given the job of hacksawing them up and throwing the bits in the scrap skip.

When the next customer broke a wormwheel, they were quoted many months for the part to be cast, weathered, turned and hobbed, then delivered overseas and installed. The customer said no, scrapped our machine and bought a German one. Needless to say, my old employer no longer exists. The German one still does.


Mike Poole02/10/2018 20:55:42
2575 forum posts
60 photos

We had a press line with two British Clearing presses that used a Torc Pac clutch and brake unit, one was purchased as a spare for £110,000 pounds, it spent some years in the stores without being used so they decided we didn’t need it and it should be scrapped, luckily it was rescued by maintenance. Failure would have stopped the whole plant for weeks while a new one was manufactured, the logic utterly fails me.


Clive Hartland02/10/2018 22:27:51
2564 forum posts
40 photos

Accountants have a lot to answer for, when a stock take was carried out without anyone knowing, selecting a part that I knew was in stock as i had seen it. It was not there, going to the stock accounting and asking them they told me it had all been sent back to Switzerland. A hurried call to Switzerland to recover the part ( Rellensman Gyro) cost about £700 to the customer. elicited the reply, sorry it is all scrapped. Customer not pleased and we searched the world for any stock at other agency but no stock anywhere.

The biter bit, shortly after a call from the main firm in Switzerland was asking us to check our stock of Rellensman gyros, oh how we laughed telling them they had scrapped them when they were sent back.

clogs03/10/2018 07:28:46
527 forum posts
12 photos

is it just me ????????

seemingly most of the worlds ill's are coused by men in suit's.......

I ran a small workshop with 5 employee's, when a rep came around trying to flog stuff...I told em that if they could convince me in 3 mins that I needed their product I would give them my time.......can only remember 1 that made it thru the door..........hahaha.....

Robert Atkinson 203/10/2018 07:36:18
645 forum posts
16 photos

I know of a current large machine where a complete subsystem is supplied to the machine maker free of charge and the subsystem manufacturer makes profit purely on spares. There are no routine replacement or "wear-out" parts in the system. Hardly a model for making reliable machines. The accountants must love it.

Electronics has gone through a huge obsolescence period of the last several years. Banning lead, corporate takeovers and changes in packaging for has lead to devices that were common disappearing from stock virtually overnight. It's a big issue for industries with long product life cycles like defence and aerospace.

If you want expensive nuts try buying aircraft ones.


SillyOldDuffer03/10/2018 10:35:58
5782 forum posts
1230 photos

Castles in the air are designed by architects and demolished by accountants!

Two big problem with accountancy are that numbers don't capture intangible values like reputation, and to an accountant money available NOW is worth far more than the promise of money tomorrow. However, done honestly, numbers don't lie about an organisations overall financial position. Many an apparently thriving business is broke, headed for bankruptcy, subsidised, or being operated fraudulently.

Chaps working at the front line rarely get to see the books, and if they do they are hard to decode. For example, it's easy to imagine that the cost of stocking spares is trivial. Actually, once you scale up from a shed full or so, locking money up in spares soon gets expensive. A big operation needs an Inventory control system, admin staff, a warehouse (on which you pay rent &/or rates), environment control (heat and light), storemen, racking, mechanical handling equipment, transport, telephones, and security. All this drains money continually, and the overhead may well exceed the value of the stock. If a business makes unwise or unlucky decisions, it's all too easy to end up with a warehouse full of stuff that's rarely wanted. Most of money saved by 'Just In Time' manufacture comes from reduced storage costs, and most stock management systems focus on reducing stock holdings to a bare minimum.

In defence of accountants (god forgive me), they rarely have any authority to change a business. Instead they offer facts and advice to the Managers and Owners who are the real decision makers. This being the real world, managers vary between genius and incompetence, owners may be either brave or cowardly with their money, and there may be political interest as well. Add an ill-informed workforce to the mix and the fog descends.

One thing that stands out about successful industry is their willingness to adapt as the world changes. Companies who can't or won't adapt go to the wall.


FMES03/10/2018 13:29:14
602 forum posts
2 photos

Is it so hard to grasp that if you purchase a commercial machine you are not going to maintain it for peanuts, That nine pound nut can net you thousands of pounds of profit in the working world.


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