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If you bought this lathe what would you do?

oh dear Chinese lathe

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Men Ifr12/12/2018 12:58:49
113 forum posts
5 photos
Jason B, yes it's difficult decision what to buy, a lot of the problem is no-one has stock of the bigger lathes. I have tried to buy a 10x22 lathe off quite a lot of suppliers but all were sold. The 920 is only slightly smaller has a gearbox but no variable spindle speed. I did not expect any difference in quality from older vs newer design Chinese machines. But several sellers tell me there is a difference in quality getting better on bigger machines, also this size suits my needs quite well.
Graham Swales12/12/2018 13:02:16
25 forum posts

Good luck.

My replacement mill, apparently checked over by Chester's Chief Engineer was worse than the original..... Oh yes the motor in the replacement machine was fried on delivery as well.

Personally I would always go for a "green machine" - based on multiple purchases for home and work.


Ron Laden12/12/2018 13:51:36
1038 forum posts
158 photos
Posted by Men Ifr on 12/12/2018 12:53:28:
Chester have been quick to respond and we have agreed they will send another machine out Friday and collect mine at the same time. I'm happy with that and will wait and see what the next machine is like. Thanks to all for the replies

Edited By Men Ifr on 12/12/2018 12:59:32

Well thats good news that they are replacing the machine, just hope that the replacement has no issues. If it does dont play with it, phone them back and ask for a full refund.


Russell Eberhardt12/12/2018 13:54:54
2443 forum posts
83 photos

Just for a bit of balance; I had a Chester 920 lathe for a couple of years as a second lathe and found it to be accurate and easy to use. It certainly had none of the faults you highlight. It was, however second hand and possibly fettled by the previous owner.

I eventually sold it needing the space for a cnc minimill, keeping my old British made Acorn/Atlas. I kept that as I found the simple screwcutting gearbox rather limited in the range of threads it would cut compared with the change wheel selection on the Atlas added to which I had made a greater range of dedicated accessories for the Atlas.


Martin Hamilton 112/12/2018 14:50:26
87 forum posts

It does make me laugh when you here the spiel spouted by some on the vendors in the UK that sell Chinese machinery, machines checked by our expert staff. From what i have seen in the past & heard about from other buyers of most Chinese machines the machines don't appear to have been touched at all whilst in its crate prior to being dispatched to the customer. This is just another case that highlights this problem, it seems pot luck if you get a good n or a bad n, hope you get it sorted with a good n. I wonder how many Chinese machines are out there where buyers simply don't realize or cant dismantle there machine to check things out & also clean all the crap out that is in the grease/oil.

larry phelan 112/12/2018 17:39:06
415 forum posts
11 photos

Perhaps this machine was never run and tested before being sent out ? Such a pity !!

Am I surprised ? not really.

David Standing 112/12/2018 17:45:03
1206 forum posts
45 photos

I believe the technical term for that lathe is a POS! wink

Howard Lewis12/12/2018 18:43:01
1924 forum posts
2 photos

Hopefully, a good outcome!

Some Chines machines are poor, in quality norm performance. A small bandsaw ATE blades. Its replacement came with a cracked casting which had been painted , into the crack. the replacement worked wedll until the spacer between the bearings exited via the lower bearing and oil seal. New bearings, seal and a home made spacer have given no trouble since.

My Chinese lathe BL12 - 24 had noisy tumbler gears, replaced, immediately under warranty, but eventually I changed to to composite. All in all, a good machine, free of troubles, except those of my own making. One silly feature was a ball oiler that was inaccessible, but that problem was easily cured.

Possibly the quality was better because the Importer was an ex Tool Room man, and maybe he picked a good 'un for me, knowing my background. Otherwise it would not still be with me after 15 years!

Ultimately, we get what we pay for. If you buy a Rolls Royce, you expect it to be better in all respects than a cheap banger. Having said that, a new item should be of merchantable quality and fit for purpose.

It would be lovely to have a big workshop containing industrial quality machines. Unfortunately, my budget can run to none of those wishes.


John Haine12/12/2018 18:48:17
2500 forum posts
132 photos
I wonder if Chester have been following this thread?
Martin Hamilton 112/12/2018 19:20:54
87 forum posts

There is a huge difference in price between a new Rolls Royce & a new Mini but you still expect the Mini to be 100% usable. Not where you have to dismantle & repair the Mini & repair it before it's fit for the purpose it was sold for, you also wouldn't be to pleased if you had drain all the fluids from the cheaper Mini to get all the grinding paste out of the oil & greased parts of the car.

Tony Pratt 112/12/2018 19:54:39
854 forum posts
2 photos

I’m going to upgrade my old super early next year & will face the perennial problem of buying old British quality iron or a new far eastern job with plenty of features but possibly dubious quality?

I’m fairly sure I know more about mechanical engineering than the ‘experts’ in the dealers so would be able to hold my own in any dispute regarding a brand new lathe but obviously I would much prefer a fit for purpose item!

I will do my research, pay with a credit card & hopefully all will be well.frown


shaun hill12/12/2018 20:23:09
16 forum posts

With regards to the machines being checked over, i dont think they do anything at all, i ordered a lux mill in single phase, mt 3 taper, when it arrived it was 3ph iso 30 spindle, i had a 920 lathe, wasnt too bad if im honest, apart from the travis lever fell to bits first time i used it, but i fixed it no problem, i then progressed to a coventry lathe, reasonable machine, but when i checked it over after they had delivered it, the headstock and gearbox didnt have a drip of oil in it, also the suds pump was seized solid, so much for being checked over before delivery, i can only assume they must be employing stevie wonder!! in there qc dept

Nigel McBurney 112/12/2018 20:56:58
564 forum posts
3 photos

This machines faults seems to be the same as those shipped here from Taiwan in the 1970s and 1980s utter rubbish,I would certainly not want a replacement as there will no doubt more foundry sand in the out of sight pockets.Just get your money back and look elseware.

Ian Skeldon 212/12/2018 21:19:07
360 forum posts
29 photos

Men ifr, I did tell you how much work I had to put into getting my Chester lathe to a reasonable standard, don't expect too much of the replacement, theyr'e reasonable at best but can be made to produce good results if you put a lot of work in.

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